Molweni, which covers 8500 hectares of pristine Eastern Cape bush, is home to a wide variety of birds and animals. Antelope include an unbelievable variety – springbok, steenbok, mountain reedbuck, red hartebeest, gemsbok, lechwe, grey rhebuck, duiker, impala, Livingstone eland, kudu, bushbuck, blesbuck, fallow deer, blue and black wildebeest.
There is a wide variety of smaller animals indigenous to the area - such as warthogs, bat-eared foxes, porcupine.
Molweni has chosen not to have the larger more dangerous animals and predators. This gives visitors the freedom to walk safely wherever they like in the reserve. Game viewing can be done independently on foot, cycling cycle or on horseback. There are buffalo to be seen but they are confined to a large forested section of the reserve.
The numerous waterholes and dams are ideal places to sit quietly and watch for game. Alternatively, game drives in comfortable four-wheel drive game viewing vehicles can be arranged. Especially popular are night drives where nocturnal animals can be seen.
Horse trails and Mountain biking
Saddle up and enjoy a tailor-made horse safari in the Molweni Game Reserve. The horses are docile and familiar with the mountainous terrain, so you don’t need to be an experienced rider to enjoy a trail. Riding is a superb way of seeing and observing game and enjoying the environment. The trails can be arranged to suit you - from an hour’s ride to an overnight adventure.
Bring your own bikes and explore all that Molweni has to offer. There are many options - forest tracks, mountain roads, or paths on the grassy uplands where beautiful vistas await you. It is a wonderful way to fully experience the wilderness of this reserve.
Probably the best way to fully experience the wilderness is on foot. Hiking allows one the leisure and time to contemplate and absorb the beauty of nature at a leisurely pace. Apart from observing the large game, one has the chance of coming across the unexpected - activities of the small animals.
With no large predators on Molweni, the buffalo are in a special camp, and you are free to walk whereever you want. Molweni offers easy rambles or challenging full day mountain hikes. Our qualified trackers are available to go along with you should you want them. A favourite outing is to a beautiful waterfall in the Waterkloof Valley. On the way you walk alongside a mountain stream under a canopy of yellowwood, assegai and ironwood trees. This intriguing wilderness has its stillness broken only by birdcalls and the occasional crash through the undergrowth of bushbuck or kudu.
There are so many different birds in our area that space allows us to mention only a few of the more exotic types. These include the Ground Woodpecker - the only woodpecker with a pink belly and rump, and the Knysna Loerie - a beautiful green bird with magnificent red wings that show to the best advantage while in flight.
The beautiful pinky grey and green Narina Trogon, named by Francois le Vaillant (the first ornithologist to visit South Africa) in honor of a Hottentot girl whose beauty he greatly admired.
Look out for the Crowned Eagle or the Crowned Hornbill, whose female Seal herself into a hole in a tree for about 70 days during the breeding season. Maybe you’ll be fortunate enough to hear the Red-billed Hoopoe, also known in Xhosa as the ‘Intleki Bafaz , meaning the ‘laughter of women’ as it chatters in the treetop.
Add to this list birds such as the common White-throated Swallow, the Giant Kingfisher and the distinctive Paradise Flycatcher with their extra-long, wattle-colored, tail feathers, and the Giant Eagle Owls, with its wingspan of 155cm. Chats abound, but, with luck, you’ll spot the beautiful Black Eagle, a magnificent bird found in mountainous or hilly country, one able to perform ‘loops’.
The Fish Eagle, which is fairly common, can be found wherever fish can be caught. This bird is a magnificent sight as it swoops down and catches fish in the water.
Photography and Abseiling
Whatever your particular photographic interests, opportunities abound at Molweni – wildlife, natural forms, landscapes, textures, atmospheric scenes and old buildings. The freedom of movement on Molweni will allow you to photograph when and wherever you want. For those with the equipment and knowledge there are exciting opportunities for this exhilarating sport.
In the immediate area there are interesting options. In the Cowie Valley you can visit beautiful gardens and the well known Old Mill Cricket Club. While for those with an interest in history, visits could be included to Post Retief, Fort Fordyce, to the museums in Adelaide and to Fort Beaufort with its Martello tower could be included. For the golfers there is a golf course in Adelaide. Further afield, but still a days outing, there is the Baviaans Valley with its Pringle connections. Molweni can give more details and suggestions for these excursions.