New (budget-friendly) wildlife reserve set to open in Eastern Cape

Nature lovers are in for a treat as Nyosi Wildlife Reserve is set to open on December 10 and 11.

Nyosi, set between Nelson Mandela Bay, Uitenhage and KwaNobuhle is a protected oasis where families can reconnect with nature and care for the environment while having fun, eating good food, and tasting good local wines and gins.

The wildlife reserve also offers explorers affordable glamping accommodation off Cape Road.

Nyosi is named after the bee, considered a guardian of the natural world and a symbol of rebirth and wisdom.

The 2 500-hectare reserve, formerly known as Hopewell Conservation Estate, connects its urban neighbours to nature and wildlife.

According to Nyosi’s management, it hopes to nurture nature and create a healthy escape for city dwellers.

This underlying mission sets the tone for the type of activities and accommodation on offer at Nyosi, which are tailored to meet the budget and desires of ordinary South Africans, and international travellers who want to experience an authentic South African lifestyle.

“Nyosi Wildlife Reserve has five different habitats of unique grasses, plants, and insects. It is also home to key species, such as bees and elephants, that help stabilise the environment.

“Nyosi Wildlife Reserve is repopulating the area with the wild animals that roamed this part of the Eastern Cape freely before they were eradicated by hunting in the 1800s. The return of these species will restore intricate connections that create whole ecosystems,” said the reserve.

It revealed that in just a few weeks since the arrival of elephants to the park in October, there had been a spike in the presence of dung beetles that feed off elephants’ dung. These beetles help to disperse critical nutrients to the soil and seeds that become new plants.

“This small natural activity is the beginning of significant positive changes to the environment. The elephants at Nyosi were relocated from Shamwari on the 10th of October 2022. This relocation split a big herd that would have soon struggled to find food and water, thus alleviating the pressures caused by the drought,” said the reserve

It said this reintroduction of wildlife was accomplished with the expertise of the founders of Shamwari Private Game Reserve and the Mantis Group, who have managed wildlife relocations for more than 20 years.

The Mantis Group’s foundation, the Community Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA), is the custodian of all conservation and community projects at Nyosi.

Shamwari and Mantis Group founder, Adrian Gardiner, said: “With the co-operation of Nyosi’s neighbours and the Conservation and Wildlife authorities, permits have been granted to introduce, elephant, rhino, buffalo and cheetah.”

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