Soutpansberg Protected Area

South Africa’s Soutpansberg Mountains are noted for their high levels of species endemism and unique ecosystems. They form part of the core area of the UNESCO Vhembe Biosphere Reserve that also includes the northern Kruger National Park and Mapungubwe National Park and Cultural Landscape. Five different biomes are present in the Soutpansberg Protected Area (SPA) – namely forest, thicket, savannah, grassland and wetland. All the vegetation types that occur in the SPA are endemic to Limpopo Province, or the Soutpansberg Mountains, and have a relatively limited range. Despite this, less than 1% of the Soutpansberg Mountains is formally conserved and hence there is a critical need to declare more of this area under formal conservation status.

In 2015, the EWT entered into a land purchase on behalf of the Roberts family in Australia. The result, after two years of negotiations and site visits, was the purchase of Medike Mountain Reserve (1,398 hectares). Simultaneously, the concept of an expansive SPA was developed and further funding secured through the Rainforest Trust, Phumelela Gaming and the WWF Nedbank Green Trust. This ambitious project will see the establishment of the SPA. The EWT plans to link the Luvhondo Private Nature Reserve (LPNR) towards the western edge of the mountain, eastwards including Medike to the Happy Rest Provincial Nature Reserve (HRPNR). This will create a continuous protected area covering over 20,000 hectares that will protect a number of threatened and locally endemic species of animals and plants.

We achieve this through the following projects:

Medike Nature Reserve
• Protected Area Expansion Project
• Anti-poaching Project
• SPA Water Conservation Project
• Community Outreach

For more information, contact Oldrich van Schalkwyk

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