Morning Sun Nature Reserve’s History & GoalJason Siddall
National Heritage Site
The Morning Sun Nature Reserve is registered as a National Heritage Site (No.89) because it is a prime example of the unique biodiversity of the Soutpansberg Mountains. The Soutpansberg Mountains are situated in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.
Dr Hans H Hahn purchased a farm, Little Leigh in 1970. In addition to this, Dr Hahn then bought three more farms namely Zwarthoek, Zwarthoek portion 1 (Lokovhela) and Morning Sun. These four farms make up the Morning Sun Nature Reserve in the Soutpansberg District.
Mashovhela Bush Lodge was built on the already degraded site of an abandoned Venda settlement minimising its ecological footprint. A conscious decision was made not to connect to the public power grid and renewable energy would be used to satisfy the energy needs of the Lodge. In this manner Mashovhela Lodge contributes to minimising greenhouse gas emissions and climatic change.
Mashovhela Bush Lodge received its first paying guests in May 2008. The lodge has 10 en-suite chalets and a restaurant and conference centre that can accommodate 60 covers in one sitting. Two safari tent annexes provide an easy camping experience.
Morning Sun’s Vision
Enjoyment of a unique eco-experience amidst stunning scenic beauty and biodiversity provides guests with an escape from the busy city life in an atmosphere of warm and friendly hospitality.
Promoting understanding, respect and preservation of the Venda culture, upliftment of local communities and conservation of the Soutpansberg environment.
Objectives and Goals
- Create an economically sustainable operation.
- Create new employment opportunities
- To provide an eco-friendly operation
- Provide on-going training and skills transfer to all staff
- Increase the land under conservation through purchasing further farms
- Creating a conservancy with like-minded neighbours
- Controlled introduction of game species indigenous to the region
- Removal of all exotic and invasive plant species
- Provide a memorable experience for guests
- Inform and educate staff and guests in eco-friendly living
- Aid in the upliftment of the local village through employment, including part time employment of dancers and labourers, village tourism and skills transfer.
- Create awareness of the Soutpansberg as a tourism destination