The Hans Merensky Nature Reserve was proclaimed a nature reserve in 1953. This reserve has played an important part in the breeding of sable and giraffe which have helped stock other reserves in the province.
The Letaba River lies towards the north of the reserve, there you may find crocodiles on the banks of the river, and even spot a hippo in the tranquil pools. Giant water monitors are also to be found in these parts.
The reserve comprises a mixture of grasslands, wetlands, and woodlands and provides an ideal habitat for hundreds of interesting bird species, including the White-breasted Cuckoo shrike. The distinctive Mopane and Combretum trees provides create the backdrop for a variety of game.
You should be able to see giraffe, sable, hippo, zebra, crocodile and even leopard, bird watchers can keep an eye out for White-breasted Cuckoo shrike, Brown-headed Parrot, Raptors, Wood Sandpiper
Hans Merensky Nature Reserve is ideal for bird watching, hiking and game viewing, and a visit to the Muti Wa Vatsonga Museum is a must, here you can learn about Tsonga culture and view a variety of traditional practices and foods.
There are three self-guided trails, each starting from the visitors centre: The Letaba Trail to the river, which involves an hours walk. The Waterbuck Trail, a round trip of 12km. The Giraffe Trail, is an easy way to discover the beauty of the lowveld on foot. The 33km trail takes three days and begins and ends at the reserves offices. No more than 13km is covered each day which makes it perfect for beginners. The trails overnight overlooks a waterhole where a variety of game can be seen.
The Reserve lies 70km north of the town of Tzaneen, and is situated right next to the ATKV Eiland Spa. The reserve is open daily throughout the year and is most popular in winter when temperatures are lower and game is easier to spot.