The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Hans Merenski Nature Reserve

Afrikaans name: Hans Merensky Natuurreservaat

Hans Merenski Nature Reserve

Hans Merenski Nature Reserve

Photo © Johan van Zyl


The Hans Merenski Nature Reserve, which is 5,268 hectares in extent, is a great place to visit if you want to go walking, riding or driving in a nature reserve that features a wide variety of animal life. The reserve offers a 32 km hike that takes 3 days to do with accommodation in huts along the way.

Some of the bigger mammals that you may see include Hippo, Sable, Zebra, Blue Wildebeest and Giraffe. There are occasional sightings of Spotted Hyena, Black-backed Jackal and even Leopard.

Birders will not be disappointed as the reserve is home to a wide variety of species throughout the year. Some of the specials include Arnot's Chat, Bennett's Woodpecker, Red-billed Buffalo Weaver, Stierling's Wren-Warbler, Southern White-crowned Shrike, Retz's Helmet Shrike and Thick-billed Cuckoo. Birders should make sure to spend some time doing the Letaba Trail.

There is a variety of accommodation available in the reserve including chalets, camp sites and a rustic camp.

What is Hans Merenski Nature Reserve like?

Mammals of Hans Merenski Nature Reserve

Please note that this is only a guide and, while we have made every effort to be accurate, we can't be held responsible for any errors.


Antbear / Aardvark

Banded Mongoose

Bat-eared Fox

Black-backed Jackal

Black-footed Cat

Blue Wildebeest

Brown Hyena

Burchell's Zebra



Chacma Baboon


Common Duiker

Dwarf Mongoose



Honey Badger




Large-spotted Genet


Pangolin / Scaly Anteater


Rock Hyrax

Sable Antelope

Scrub Hare


Sharpe's Grysbok

Side-striped Jackal

Spotted Hyena


Striped Polecat

Tree Squirrel

Vervet Monkey


Water Mongoose


Wild Cat

Birds of Hans Merenski Nature Reserve

Please note that this is only a guide and, while we have made every effort to be accurate, we can't be held responsible for any errors.

Crested Francolin

Natal Spurfowl

Helmeted Guineafowl

White-faced Duck

Egyptian Goose

Comb Duck

African Black Duck

Kurrichane Buttonquail

Greater Honeyguide

Lesser Honeyguide

Bennett's Woodpecker

Golden-tailed Woodpecker

Cardinal Woodpecker

Bearded Woodpecker

Black-collared Barbet

Crested Barbet

Red-billed Hornbill

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill

African Grey Hornbill

African Hoopoe

Green Wood-Hoopoe

Common Scimitarbill

European Roller

Lilac-breasted Roller

Purple Roller

Malachite Kingfisher

African Pygmy-Kingfisher

Woodland Kingfisher

Brown-hooded Kingfisher

Striped Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher

European Bee-eater

Southern Carmine Bee-eater

Speckled Mousebird

Red-faced Mousebird

Red-chested Cuckoo

Black Cuckoo

African Cuckoo

Klaas's Cuckoo

Diderick Cuckoo

Burchell's Coucal

Little Swift

White-rumped Swift

Purple-crested Turaco

Grey Go-away-bird

Barn Owl

African Scops-Owl

Spotted Eagle-Owl

Pearl-spotted Owlet

Fiery-necked Nightjar

Laughing Dove

Cape Turtle-Dove

Red-eyed Dove

Emerald-spotted Wood-Dove

Tambourine Dove

Namaqua Dove

African Green-Pigeon

Red-crested Korhaan

Black-bellied Bustard

Double-banded Sandgrouse

Marsh Sandpiper

Common Greenshank

Wood Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper

African Jacana

Three-banded Plover

Blacksmith Lapwing

Black Kite

African Fish-Eagle

White-backed Vulture

Brown Snake-Eagle


Dark Chanting Goshawk

Little Sparrowhawk

Wahlberg's Eagle

Martial Eagle

Little Grebe

African Darter

Reed Cormorant

Great Egret

Grey Heron

Green-backed Heron


Hadeda Ibis

African Spoonbill

Yellow-billed Stork

Marabou Stork

Black-headed Oriole

Fork-tailed Drongo

African Paradise-Flycatcher


Black-backed Puffback

Black-crowned Tchagra

Brown-crowned Tchagra

Orange-breasted Bush-Shrike

Grey-headed Bush-Shrike

White-crested Helmet-Shrike

Retz's Helmet-Shrike

Chinspot Batis

Pied Crow

Red-backed Shrike

Black Cuckooshrike

Grey Penduline-Tit

Southern Black Tit

Barn Swallow

Lesser Striped Swallow

Red-breasted Swallow

Dark-capped Bulbul

Terrestrial Brownbul

Long-billed Crombec

Willow Warbler

Arrow-marked Babbler

Cape White-eye

Rattling Cisticola

Levaillant's Cisticola


Tawny-flanked Prinia

Yellow-breasted Apalis

Green-backed Camaroptera

Grey-backed Camaroptera

Stierling's Wren-Warbler

Flappet Lark

Sabota Lark

Groundscraper Thrush

Kurrichane Thrush

Southern Black Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher

White-throated Robin-Chat

White-browed Robin-Chat

White-browed Scrub-Robin

Arnot's Chat

Cape Glossy Starling

Greater Blue-eared Starling

Violet-backed Starling

Scarlet-chested Sunbird

Collared Sunbird

White-bellied Sunbird

Lesser Masked-Weaver

Spectacled Weaver

Southern Masked-Weaver

Village Weaver

Red-headed Weaver

Red-billed Quelea

Common Waxbill

Blue Waxbill

Jameson's Firefinch

Bronze Mannikin

Pin-tailed Whydah

Southern Grey-headed Sparrow

African Pied Wagtail

Yellow-fronted Canary

Golden-breasted Bunting

References and further reading

Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa - 4th edition - Author: - Published: 1986 - Page: 267

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 59

Places to Visit in Southern Africa - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1995 - Page: 75

Top Birding Spots in Southern Africa - Author: Hugh Chittenden - Published: 1992 - Page: 120

The Pictorial Motoring Atlas of South Africa - Author: Maxwell Leigh - Published: 1987 - Page: 97

Southern African Birdfinder - Author: Cohen, Spottiswoode and Rossouw - Published: 2006 - Page: 186

Conollys Guide to Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Denis Conolly - Published: 1982 - Page: 286

Go Birding in the Transvaal - Author: Brendan Ryan and John Isom - Published: 1990 - Page: 80

Chris and Tilde Stuarts Guide to Southern African Game and Nature Reserves - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 1989 - Page: 29

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 31

Atlas of National Parks and Reserves of South Africa - Author: Marielle Renssen - Published: 2006 - Page: 126


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