MORNING SUN NATURE RESERVE is centrally situated To explore the northern Limpopo and Soutpansberg Mountains. Our Venda Culture day-tours are a perfect combination with the Tshipise Hot water springs, Mapungubwe World Heritage Site and the Northern Kruger Park to see the Big 5 around our area.
On our beautiful Natural Heritage Site we offer walking trails to the Big Waterfall passing our Sacred Mashovhela Rock pool ideal for Botany and Birding, Butterfly, and panoramic drives on the Mountain to our Archaeological site.
Its safe for Children to play and learn, while relaxing in the unique Hammock Camp which is next to our small Waterfall.
Don’t Miss Out on the variety of guided trails and tours we offer.
MORNING SUN NATURE RESERVE Activity Offer
Guided Scenic Drives on Morning Sun Nature Reserve
Let our guide bring the bush alive whilst sharing his knowledge on the natural wonders of the bush and the use thereof to man.
- Welcome Sun Downer Drive in the afternoon (2 hours): Enjoy the view on top of the Soutpansberg Mountains, passing the ruins of an old Venda Village, overlooking the Morning Sun Nature Reserve and enjoying a drink while watching the beautiful sunset and an explanation of the activities on the reserve.
- Mashovhela Rock Pool (2 hours): The guide drives the guests to the closest point with a short walk to the Mashovhela Rock Pool which especially accommodates the elderly guests.
- Plateau Drives (2 ½ hours): A relaxing scenic drive along our Soutpansberg Mountain plateau up to our Archaeological Ruins of Morning Sun Reserve where guests are welcome to walk around. Recommended for Bird and Butterfly watchers.
Guided Scenic Drives and Walks on Morning Sun Reserve
- Big Waterfall & Mashovhela Rock Pool (3 – 4 hours): Our guide accompanies the guests on a beautiful scenic and botanical walk to our big waterfall which passes the Mashovhela Rock Pool.
- Plateau & Mashovhela Rock Pool (4 ½ hours): Driving around the mountain plateau road up to our Archaeological Ruins where you might come across some antelope and then walk down to the Mashovhela Rock Pool trail. Recommended for Bird and Butterfly watchers.
- Panorama & Mashovhela Rock Pool (3 ½ hours): Driving to the top of the mountain plateau with a beautiful view of our Big Waterfall and the valleys, where you might come across some antelope and then walk down to the Mashovhela Rock Pool trail. Recommended for Bird and Butterfly watchers.
Guided only Walking Trails on Morning Sun Reserve
Explore and investigate the diverse fauna and flora of this magnificently beautiful natural heritage site on foot. Recommended for Bird and Butterfly watchers
- Mashovhela Rock Pool (3 hours): This is a nature walk to our sacred Mashovhela Rock Pool (the second most sacred site to the Venda people).
- Eagles Nest (1 hour): A walk up the hill to see an eagle nest depending on the breeding season.
- Plateau Ruins walk on mountain road (5 hours): The guests walk up the botanical hill and over the top of the mountain and then along the road of the mountain plateau where they might come across some antelope, up to the Archaeological Ruins view point overlooking the valley were the Venda village can be seen , then heading down on old cattle trail, back to the lodge.
- Big Waterfall & Mashovhela Rock Pool (4 – 5 hours): A relaxing walk from the lodge to our big waterfall passing the Mashovhela Rock Pool and enjoying the botanical diversity.
Guided or Free Unguided Walks on Morning Sun Reserve
Marked trails take you across scenic valleys, along sparkling streams and through various indigenous forests.
- Small Waterfall & Small Hill (2 hours): This is a trail to our small waterfall and passing our big Baobab Tree, it is also a botanical experience passing a smaller Baobab tree, here is a bench where guests can sit, relax and enjoy the view of the mountains.
- Small Waterfall (30 Min): This is a trail to the small waterfall and passing our big Baobab tree.
- Small Botanical Hill ( 30 min): This is a botanical experience where you can also see a smaller Baobab tree, there is a bench where guests can relax and enjoy the view of the mountains.
Unguided walks are for free for guest staying in Mashovhela Bush Lodge
Unguided walks for day-visitors cost R50 conservancy fee
Guided Local Village Drive and Walk on Morning Sun Reserve
Local Kavambe Cultural Village:
Experience day to day life in an authentic Venda village, buy crafts directly from the craftsman and learn about local beer making.
- Visit a Venda family at their home, the guests are shown how the Venda people live, how they make African beer, traditional jewellery making, building materials for their houses, wall drawings, clothing etc.
(The Venda village gets 30% commission from each per person rates)
Specialised Activities on MORNING SUN NATURE RESERVE
Pre –book in advance & Subject to availability & change
Star Gazing (Pre –book 1 week in advance)
Join our local Venda Astronomer who blends mythological stories with stargazing and watch the stars and planets rise as the earth slowly turns on its axis.
- Our reserve is the ideal setting for an out of this world stellar experience whether you are a seasoned observer, starting out or just want to enjoy the night sky.
Birding (Pre –book 24 hours in advance)
The Soutpansberg has an amazingly high diversity of birds. 56% of the birds of Southern Africa and 75% of the relevant South African avifauna occur in the greater Soutpansberg area.
Join our specialised Birding Guide on a Walking Trail to spot the wide variety of Bird Species in the area.
Around 360 different bird species can be found in the Morning Sun Nature Reserve area. Not all the birds are resident in this area; some are migratory birds which are seasonally residents in this area, you will also find those tricky vagrants that are sometimes spotted as they pass through the area on route to somewhere else but use this area as part of the route. We have a group of Crested Guinea fowls visiting our Lodge garden in the early mornings and a Verreaux “Black” Eagles nest on the Reserve with a breeding pair and also offer a guided walking trail to this nest. We offer full day guided Birding wich have to be booked in ADVANCE.
- Eagles Nest (1 hour): A short walk up the hill to see an eagle nest depending on the breeding season. Due to the sensitivity during the breeding period, no children under 16 Years old are allowed. ( Subject to the guides discrepancy)
Massage treatments (Pre –book 24 hours in advance)
(Subject to masseur availability & subject to change)
Retreat to Mashovhela Bush Lodge in the Morning Sun Nature Reserve for relaxing and revitalising massages in the African Bush. Surrounded by birds, fresh air and the calming sounds of the Soutpansberg Mountain spring, you can unwind and fully revitalise body and mind.
CHILDREN Activities on
Morning Sun Nature Reserve
Mashovhela Bush Lodge and Lokovhela Mountain Cottages is ideal for young, old and everyone in between and is located on our Morning Sun Nature Reserve.
The Lodges are child friendly accepting children of any age and have additional activities suitable for them that will keep them busy and happy.
For the very young, baby cots are available on request and we do offer a baby-sitting service.
Activities for children depend on the age, their interests and their length of stay at the lodge and must be arranged in advance, to secure availability of staff members and materials used.
Our Eco Lodges offer the following facilities for your little ones:
- Jungle gym: we have a few children gyms to play on in our Lodge garden
- Swimming pool: Our pool is fenced off, but can be used by children under the Adults supervision and care.
- TV, DVD’s or videos: The children can watch Kids DVD’s together in our communal TV room. ( This is Free subject to availability)
- Bongi’s Quest” They are also taught about Rhino poaching and what impact this will have on this specie – they will be given a children’s book that will educate them even more on their level of understanding. The book is called “Bongi’s Quest” which can be purchased at R30 in the curio shop
- Colour in booklet: R45 per colouring-in booklet including pencils available in the curio shop
Half day Children Care (2 Hours)
R150 per child Excludes: Beverages / Gratuities
(Pre –book 24 hours in advance)
Our staff at the lodge can offer one of the following activities while the parents have a few hours relaxing to themselves. (Subject to availability)
- Venda bead Art: The Venda staff at the lodge will teach the children to make their own necklaces and/or bracelets using the beads that are used by the local Venda people.
- Venda Drumming: The Venda staff at the lodge will teach the children all about the different drums that they use and for what occasion it is used. The will also be able to drum themselves.
- Story-telling: Children are kept fascinated by stories of the Venda people of past happenings and their culture, which is filled with myths, water spirits, white crocodiles and many other mythical creatures.
- Eco-Living: Children are educated in eco-living and will hear an explanation on how the solar system, hot water system works and they will also learn more about waste recycling
Nature Reserve Activities:
- Educational but fun walks with our guide to discover the world of insects, spiders and other bugs, plants and their uses to the Venda people, animal tracks and a lot more. They will search and identify for different footprints found along the trails.
- Children will also enjoy the guided walks and scenic drives on offer with their parents at discounted Rates.
- Treasure hunts: These vary in the degree of difficulty, easy for the youngsters and trickier for the older kids. Rate can be arranged with the adults, depending onthe treasure gift. (Pre –book 24 hours in advance to make special arrangements)