Tussen Die Riviere Game Reserve
Covering about 22 000 hectares of land, the Tussen Die Riviere Game Reserve is located in the Free State Province of South Africa. Translated to ‘Between the Rivers’, the game reserve is situated between the mighty Orange and Caledon Rivers. Offering hunting from May to August, and delightful hiking trails the rest of the year, Tussen Die Riviere is well worth a visit.
Tussen Die Riviere Game Reserve consists of a transitional ecosystem, combining the Karoo vegetation with Highveld grasslands. Small hills are dotted with bush guarri and wild olives, while the rivers are bordered by star apples and white stinkwoods. The reserve offers sufficient resources for populations of blesbok, springbok, zebra, black wildebeest, steenbok, impala, kudu, eland, red hartebeest and mountain reedbuck. The odd black rhino may be seen along the river banks, as well as buffalo. White rhinos also reside in the reserve. At night the bat-eared fox, aardvark and aardwolf come out to search for food. A variety of birds can be viewed along the Caledon River, including grey heron, shelduck and blue crane.
The walking trails at Tussen Die Riviere Game Reserve are open in the summer months, as winter is reserved for hunting. The Middelpunt Hiking Trail extends for some 7 kilometers along the Caledon River banks. This is perfect for bird watching enthusiasts and is the recommended trail for inexperienced hikers. The Klipstapel Hiking Trail guides hikers through the middle of the reserve for about 12 kilometers. Along the trail hikers will come across a fascinating natural phenomenon, a field of dolerite pillars that have been eroded so that they are balanced on a small base. The Orange River Hiking Trail is the longest at 16 kilometers. This lovely trail will guide hikers across the open plains as it follows the Orange River. Hikers are recommended to carry sufficient water with them and may wish to wear gaiters with their boots to guard their legs from spiked grass seeds.
Along with the walking trails there are also about 120 kilometers of dirt roads that most cars can handle. The routes offer brilliant wildlife viewing opportunities. Accommodation is available in the game reserve. Tussen Die Riviere Game Reserve is easily reached via the N1 from Bloemfontein, Springfontein and Aliwal North.