The Big 5
Landscapes in the reserve range from rolling hills of open Acacia savannah, lush riverbeds lined with giant Sycamore figs and bright Fever tree forests, dense thickets favoured by the elusive Black Rhinoceros, towering cliffs and scattered waterholes often thronged with thirsty animals.
Zebra Hills boasts two comfortable safari vehicles and our rate includes two daily game drives with an experienced game ranger on this superb Big 5 game reserve…
Our healthy Lion population has supplied us with endless hours of thrilling viewing. They are often around Zebra Hills lodge itself where our guests are sometimes awakened at dawn by the reverberating roar of Lions. Other cats include Cheetah which are regularly encountered on our game drives and Leopard, which is the most elusive of the Big 5. Leopard do occur in healthy numbers but finding this stealthy spotted cat always requires a hefty dose of good luck. Serval are also regularly seen but Caracal less so, although they are resident on the reserve. Manyoni have gone to extreme efforts to reintroduce an African Wild Dog population and we are thrilled that our pack successfully raised pups in the winter of 2020. Spotted and Brown Hyena as well as Black-backed and Side-striped Jackal are more often encountered at night. White-tailed Mongoose, Large Spotted Genet and Honey Badger are also nocturnal predators but Slender and Banded Mongoose can be found during the day.
Our two African Elephant herds regularly move between the north and south of the reserve. We have two very impressive bulls who are often with the matriarchal herds. Our elephants are very relaxed, sometimes approaching to very close quarters. They regularly frequent the Zebra Hills lodge waterhole to quench their thirst. Large herds numbers in the hundreds of African Buffalo are sometimes encountered as well as some truly impressive Dagga Boys. Both White and the more elusive Black Rhino breed on the reserve and are strictly monitored and protected. Pods of Hippopotamus are resident Other regularly encountered mammals include the ubiquitous Impala and Common Warthog, splendid Nyala, Greater Kudu (males with impressive spiralled horns),
Common Waterbuck, the diminutive Natal Red Duiker and its more nocturnal cousin the Grey Duiker, Steenbok which favour the driest zones and Common Bushbuck which stick to the denser vegetation around the riverbeds, herds of ungainly Blue Wildebeest and Burchell’s Zebra which usually travel together, dispersed herds of enormous Giraffe and noisy troops of Chacma Baboon and Vervet Monkeys. Scarcer resident mammals include Suni, Mountain Reedbuck, Aardvark, Bushpig, Cape Porcupine, Temminck’s Ground Pangolin and Thick-tailed Bushbaby. A population of Wahlberg’s Epauletted Fruit Bat are resident right at our lodge.