The Dabchick Wildlife Reserve is situated in the in the Waterberg district of Limpopo Province, South Africa. The reserve is roughly a two and a half hour drive from the OR Tambo international airport in Johannesburg. The area is a malaria-free zone. The reserve caters for nature lovers who want to experience the wonders of the African bush, in comfort but without the intrusion of modern life.
Dabchick Wildlife Reserve is owned by Dr Peter and Pam Oberem, owners of Afrivet, the largest generic veterinarian service in South Africa, Dr Andre and Nelia Schreuder the Managing Director of Villa Crop Protecton and their junior partners Tommy and Sandrie Fraser. Dabchick is also actively involved in BEE through the Dabchick employees trust. This unique combination makes Dabchick a one of a kind conservation project.
The reserve is roughly 2000 hectares in size and has 3 of the Big Five mammals, namely leopard, buffalo and the third which we would prefer not to name for fear of poaching. In addition there are numerous antelope species, giraffe, wildebeest, jackal, brown hyaena, small cats, monkeys, baboons, and warthog. Small mammals, reptiles and insects add interest to the visitor's experience. To date 200 bird -, 100 tree and shrub -, and many of the typical Waterberg grass species have been identified. Although the natural vegetation is characterised as Bushveld, the reserve has other habitats namely mountain, grassland and vlei areas resulting in a wide variety of fauna and flora. The nights provide breathtaking star watching opportunities.
Spring is a variable season in the Waterberg area, since the days can be warm and dry but, the nights can still be cold. The grass is still dry but trees begin to bud and some of them flower spectacularly. Game is still easily spotted in the short dry grass.
Summer in this area is hot, with refreshing afternoon thundershowers. This is a good time for bird watching since migrants like water birds, cuckoos and birds of prey are abundant. It is also the main breeding season of many birds. Many of the antelope species lamb at this time of year, which provides an excellent opportunity for photography. Butterflies are also numerous in summer.
Autumn is a wonderful time when the heat of summer has abated and the evenings are becoming crisp and cool. Butterflies are still numerous and most of the ground birds are leading flocks of youngsters along the roads and often through the camp.
Winters are excellent times for game viewing because the grass is not as high as in the summer. The season is dry so animals tend to visit waterholes to drink providing good viewing. Days are wonderfully crisp, even warm while the nights are cold and provide an excuse to drink wine around the fireplace. The skies are mostly clear and the stars are, well, heavenly.