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Reserve Information

Layout and Development
Mahlathini Private Game Reserve is a prestigious low density residential wildlife property comprised of sixty three, 21 hectare sub-divisions is permitted.

Mahlathini Private Game Reserve Mahlathini Private Game Reserve

Owning a portion of land in Mahlathini Private Game Reserve differs from that in most other wildlife reserves in a number of important ways Firstly, the sub-divisions are 21ha (over 40 acres). This is huge and provides for the highest level of bush privacy. The bush on your sub-division is yours and yours alone. No other homeowners or visitors to the reserve may traverse carte blanche across your portion of the game reserve. Secondly, ownership of the land comes with freehold title and residential rights which means that you can retire to MPGR if you so choose. Some home owners are permanent residents while others use their houses for recreational purposes. With only one residence (maximum occupancy 10 people) allowed on each 21ha portion, exclusivity is guaranteed.

All power lines have been installed underground so there are no ugly overhead cables to mar the aesthetics of the bush and good quality water has been supplied to the corner of each stand. The entire reserve is surrounded by an electric security fence and patrolled security road. No internal fences separate the 63 sub-divisions meaning that the wildlife within MPGR roams freely across the reserve.

Each residential stand is a massive 21ha which provides the utmost privacy in the bush. Only one residence with a maximum of 5 bedrooms (10 people) is permitted to be built on each 21 ha stand. Minimum house size allowed is 180 sq.m. Double storey homes (maximum height to pitch of 9m) are allowed and a maximum area of 3000sq.m around each house may be fenced. Homeowners are, with permission from the land owners association, allowed to place one small watering point for game on each stand.

Reserve management
All owners in MPGR are members of the Land Owners Association. A Board of Directors comprising members of the LOA tends to the affairs of the LOA on behalf of the landowners. The LOA is concerned with all matters of common interest to the association such as finances, billing of landowners for electricity and water consumption, reserve security, boundary fences, main access road, game management, electrical cables, water pipeline, legal matters etc. A manager runs the reserve on a day to day basis and accepts instructions from the Board of Directors. Board members are elected by land owners at the AGM of the LOA.

Landscape and vegetation
The landscape of Mahlathini Private Game Reserve is characterised by series of low rolling hills and shallow valleys cut by seasonal stream beds draining to larger watercourses that ultimately flow into the Letaba River. An impressive feature of the landscape in this part of the world are the abundant termite mounds.

The overlying vegetation is Mopane-Bushwillow woodland. This eco-zone reflects the seasonal changes more dramatically than any other veld type in the lowveld. Typical tree species found across this ecozone include bushwillow species, mopane, silver cluster-leaf, mixed acacias, marula, false marula, apple-leaf and the leadwood. The distinctive distribution of the reserve's vegetation in terms of species composition and nutritional status is strongly influenced by the underlying geology of granitic origin.

From mid-slopes to hilltops the substrate is a pinkish coloured sandy soil supporting almost pure stands of red bushwillow with marula, mixed acacia species, appleleaf trees and isolated leadwood trees. From mid-slopes to drainage lines and the lower lying parts of the terrain the substrate is characterised by putty coloured clayey soil that supports almost pure stands of mopane trees and mopane shrub interspersed with patches of magic guarri.

Summer rains trigger the first flush of new leaves transforming a parched, leafless and grey dominated terrain into a lush green thicket. As summer merges into autumn and early winter, the veld transitions through a palette of greens, yellows and blazing oranges until the harsh dry season takes hold once again. Closely correlated with these dramatic seasonal changes are the life cycles of insects, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals.

The creature best known for its association with mopaneveld is the mopane worm. The mopane worm is the larva of a type of emperor moth and feeds exclusively on mopane leaves. The worm is a highly valued source of protein among indigenous African people.

Mopaneveld has historically been the least visited part of the Kruger National Park, yet many regard it as the Park's best kept secret. More than half the elephants in the Kruger Park live in mopaneveld. Directly east from Phalborwa gate is Letaba Camp which houses the Letaba Elephant Museum, a tribute to the Park's tuskers. This impressive exhibition includes the tusks of the "Magnificent Seven", a group of seven tuskers that roamed the area during the 70's and 80's. They are believed to be some of the largest bull elephants to have lived in Africa.

Mahlathini Private Game Reserve provides a truly exciting spectrum of wildlife experiences. The reserve adjoins the Kruger National Park and Letaba Ranch Game Reserve.

In other words it is surrounded along two boundaries (east and north) by Big 5 territory. Wild animals encountered in MPGR are made up of resident game and transient game. Transient game enters and leaves MPGR via fence line holes and breaks.

Game recorded in Mahlathini Private Game Reserve includes: Lion (transient), Wild dogs (transient), Leopard, Hyena (spotted and brown), Jackal, Buffalo, Elephant (transient), Eland, Impala, Kudu, Waterbuck, Blue Wildebeest, Warthog, Zebra, Giraffe, Grey Duiker, and Steenbok. Another fascinating species of resident mammal in Mahlathini Private Game Reserve is the antbear.

Elephants are commonly seen along the fence lines with the Kruger and Letaba and, on occasions, they have broken through into Mahlathini Private Game Reserve. The reserve has a rich diversity of small mammals as well.

Since lion, wild dogs, leopard and hyena from the adjoining Kruger National Park roam through Mahlathini Private Game Reserve from time to time it's wise to keep an eye out for them should you decide to take a walk on the wildside on your own stretch of the reserve.

Birdlife is prolific especially during the summer months

Land Claims
The entire Phalaborwa area including the adjoining Kruger National Park as far east as Letaba Camp is under land claim. MPGR is not excluded. Land claims are not uncommon in South Africa and although gazetted over land do not necessarily prevent land from being on-sold and/or developed provided that certain procedures are followed with regard to giving the requisite notice to the Land Claim Commissioner. Land claims may take many years to resolve and have been complicated by competing claims registered over the same tract of land, invalid claims, objections lodged by land owners etc. Often in-depth research has to be undertaken to verify the validity of a land claim and this may be a protracted process in itself.

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