One of National Geographic’s Unique Lodges of the World, Bushmans Kloof is in the heart of South Africa’s majestic wilderness, and is surrounded by awe-inspiring nature. Here we reveal some of the wild inhabitants that can be spotted in the reserve, from timid leopards and herds of zebra to colourful avian residents. Binoculars at the ready… allow us to introduce the flora and fauna of Bushmans Kloof.
1. Cape leopard
While Bushmans Kloof is free of dangerous predators, the rare and elusive Cape leopard roams our remote mountains. Smaller than a regular leopard and very shy, the Cape leopard is lovingly protected by The Cape Leopard Trust, a charity sponsored by Bushmans Kloof.
2. Southern double-collared sunbird
With its vibrant plumage, the southern double-collared sunbird is easy to spot in the bushlands. A metallic green head, orange collar and yellow stomach make it one of the most colourful birds that occupy Bushmans Kloof estate.
Thanks to the wildlife reintroduction programme around Bushmans Kloof, the estate has seen the return of the bontebok; a magnificent antelope with a distinctive white snout and elegant ringed horns. See them grazing while out on a nature drive.
4. Cape batis
Look for this chubby little bird pecking in the dust for insects. Indigenous to South Africa, the Cape batis has beautiful black and white markings with a bold bib across its breast.
Part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, Bushmans Kloof is home to an extraordinary array of flowering fynbos – delicate, fine-leaved plants. Meaning ‘fine bush’, these horticultural marvels come in all manner of colours, from vivid red fronds to purple heathers.
6. Cape mountain zebra
Bushmans Kloof proudly protects one of the largest private herds of Cape mountain zebra in the world. An animal saved from the brink of extinction, it’s typified by narrower stripes than its savannah-dwelling relatives and is smaller, too.
You’ll recognise this petite, pale grey bird by its unmistakable black mask and the white stripe across its brow and wing. The fairy flycatcher is commonly found in South Africa. Watch out for it from your patio, fluttering from tree to bush.
When out on a nature drive, look out for small groups of ostriches roaming through the scrublands. You won’t miss their iconic shape; a cuddly mound of black feathers, with a long white neck and slender legs.
9. Bat-eared fox
Like its name, the bat-eared fox has a vulpine body and head similar a bat. Its large black ears are perfect for listening out for predators. See them hunting for insects amid short grasses and shrubs.
10. Cape clapper lark
If you can’t spot a Cape clapper lark soaring up above the scrub, you’ll certainly be able to hear its distinct cry. Named after the movement its wings make upon flight, this small brown bird is quite shy but its proud wing-clapping display is a pleasure to witness.
Explore the extraordinary wilderness of Bushmans Kloof on a nature drive or guided walk.
Image credits: lead image © iStock/Life in Technicolor. Flowers © iStock/Rich Townsend. Double-collared sunbird © iStock/vanderje. Cape Batis © iStock/Leopardinatree. Zebra © iStock/EcoPic. Bat eared fox © iStock/pjamlsbury.