Fantastic Flora Of Melozhori

Melozhori Private Game Reserve spans 2,300 hectares consisting of glorious fynbos, renosterveld and succulent Karoo terrain. In amongst the greenery are splashes of colour that represent our abundant flower population. As some of the species are not often seen in day-to-day life, we’re here to acquaint you with a few of our favourite Western Cape flowers found at Melozhori in preparation for your visit. Introducing, Melozhori’s fantastic flora!

protea - western cape flowers

King Protea

As the national flower of South Africa, the King Protea is arguably the most notable species found at Melozhori.

This impressive flower typically develops a few thick stems that develop 6-10 big, bowl-shaped flowers as well as smaller, tubular flowers. Each large flower can reach up to an impressive 12 inches in diameter! Despite their root system, the King Protea can actually get all the water it needs from mist and fog – fortunately, given their location on the reserve, our protea population receives this fairly regularly in the early mornings.

king protea - western cape flowers

Pincushion Protea

Moving from one of the largest Protea species to smallest, the Pincushion Protea comes in several varietals – in terms of size as well as colour. These flowers are fairly common in South Africa due to the warm climate. As a low-maintenance, evergreen shrub, they are also popular in gardens.

The Pincushion Protea is one of the most easily recognised flowers worldwide thanks to their distinctive shape featuring stiff, curved stems with a slightly darker bulb on the end. Keep an eye out between June and November for their seasonal bloom.

Hyobanche Sanguinea

Introducing one of the more unusual flora species on the reserve, commonly known as Wolwekos. Don’t be deceived by its succulent-like appearance, this particular plant is actually a root holoparasitic species meaning it attaches to a host root system. These plants can create an underground structure of up to 2 metres before producing any flowers.

Their ‘flower’ consists of a bright pink/red fleshy, velvet-textured structure of around 15cm in height with white anthers that protrude from the end of each stem.

Jakkalsblom (Dimorphotheca sinuata)

Don’t you love daisies? If the answer is yes, you’re in for a treat! More commonly known as the African daisy or Namaqualand daisy, these fabulous flowers typically appear as carpets of vivid orange.

The flower family, Asteraceae, is one of the largest flowering plant families in the world and are recognised by their classic ‘daisy-like’ look. We are fortunate enough to have a variety of colours on the reserve including yellow, red, and orange. These carpets are often intertwined with other species which pop up in pink, purple and blue, making for quite a contrast.

Jakkalsblom - western cape flowers

White Heath (Erica peziza)

Although technically a member of the fynbos family, it may not be immediately evident due to the snowy white flowers that appear all over the bush. On first glance, White Heath looks like it has cotton wool balls all over the plant. Upon closer inspection, you can see each cluster is made up of tiny, bell-shaped flowers with a slightly fluffy texture.

The species is endemic to the Western Cape and is predominantly found in the hilly areas of Melozhori Private Nature Reserve.

It’s not too late to visit us at Melozhori Private Game Reserve and see all of these stunning Western Cape flower species for yourself. If you miss this flower season, don’t worry, there is always some form of flora to enjoy. To join us for a well-deserved getaway in the Western Cape, simply email info@melozhori.co.za and a member of our team will be in touch. Alternatively, visit our website for further information.

Nocturnal Wildlife at Melozhori

You may have done a daytime game drive, but have you ever wondered what wildlife can be seen at night?

If the answer is yes, we’ve answered your questions in a blog! Read more to find out about what could be seen on game drives near Cape Town at Melozhori Private Game Reserve.

game drives near cape town

Honey Badger

The name of this skunk-like creature literally means ‘Honey Eater of the Cape’ referring to The Cape of Good Hope. If you’ve ever seen one, you can attest to the fact they have some impressive claws, which they use daily to dig burrows to hide out in.

Diet wise, Honey Badgers are notoriously unfussy and will eat anything and everything. As omnivores, they’re happy to range from plants and fruit to birds, insects and even eggs.

honey badgers on game drives near cape town

Bat-eared Fox

The first thing you’ll notice about this little mammal is its enormous ears – often reaching up to 13cm in height. Not only do their ears provide them with impressive hearing but, like the elephant, they are also used as a way to regulate temperature.

As an omnivore, the Bat-eared Fox has a varied diet, however, around 80% of it will be termites and dung beetles.

bat-eared fox on game drives near cape town

Caracal

Although they may look like an enlarged house cat at first glance, the largest tell-tale sign of a Caracal is its pointy ears. This sandy-coloured cat is an impressive hunter and can jump around 3 metres into the air to catch a low-flying bird.

Caracals often opt for smaller prey such as rabbits, some reptiles, and other small mammals. On the odd occasion, they have also been known to take down larger prey such as goats and small buck if they come across them.

Cape Porcupine

Now, this isn’t an animal you’d like to walk into by accident! Porcupines are covered in quills that can reach up to 50cm in length and detach when touched by a predator. When under threat, a Porcupine will puff up in size and shake – as some of their tale quills are hollow and knock together, this can make quite a racket and ward off attackers.

Their diet mainly consists of roots and bulbs they dig up as well as some fallen fruit or even bark.

cape porcupine on game drives near cape town

Aardvark

Although elusive and often tricky to track down, you’ll know one when you see one! Aardvarks are typically greyish-brown with coarse hair, large ears, a long snout and an arched back.

Much like the Bat-eared Fox, their diet largely consists of termites and have been known to travel up to 16km to find sources of food. They have an exceptionally long tongue covered in sticky saliva, which prevents the termites from escaping.

aardvark game drives near cape town

Aardwolf

Now, make sure you don’t confuse an Aardvark and Aardwolf as they’re quite different – in appearance anyway! An Aardwolf is sometimes mistaken for the similarly dog-like features of a hyena. Their furry coat has several vertical black stripes with a bushy black-tipped tail.

Diet is the only characteristic that connects the Aardvark and Aardwolf given their affinity for termites. Interestingly, an Aardwolf will switch termite species halfway through the year as one becomes dormant during the winter months. In one night, an Aardwolf can consume anything from 200- to 300,000 termites!

aardwolf game drives near cape town

African Wild Cat

True to its name, the African Wild Cat looks almost exactly like a domesticated house cat, just bigger. It’s said that the Egyptians domesticated African Wild Cats as a method of pest control and from there they became the pets we know today.

Their diet consists of mice, rats, small mammals like rabbits or sometimes even young antelope.

african wild cat game drives near cape town

Now that you’re clued up on the nocturnal residents of Melozhori Private Game Reserve, it’s time to experience some evening game drives near Cape Town and see how many you can spot!

Book your stay at our exclusive Lodge or even our self-catering Cottage via email to info@melozhori.co.za. For more information, you can also visit our website.

Image Credit: African Conservation Foundation

Why Melozhori Should Be Your Next Getaway

Following the downgrade to Lockdown Level 2, domestic travel is finally open and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome you back to Melozhori Private Game Reserve. With that in mind, we’re here to refresh your memory and show you why this should be your next getaway. So, without further ado, here’s a reminder of all that’s on offer at this game reserve near Cape Town.

The Lodge

Located just two hours from Cape Town, Melozhori’s main offering is our exquisite, exclusive Lodge. Located amidst the fynbos with views over the dam and across to the rambling mountains, the property exudes peace and tranquillity.

The Lodge features four en-suite bedrooms each fitted with their own Nespresso Machine, television, fireplace, Wi-FI, and so much more. We are a proudly family-friendly destination so both of our indoor suites can easily accommodate two children each. Our lovely thatched Lodge also offers a large lounge, an expansive deck with infinity pool, and even an outdoor fire pit.

During your stay with us, each and every meal is catered for by our capable team. Prior to arrival, we’ll discuss your favourite foods and come up with a menu designed just for you and your guests so all you need to do is enjoy your stay. The Lodge is completely exclusive so whether it’s a romantic weekend away or a group of friends, you’ll have the place to yourself.

The Cottage

Located several kilometres away from the main Lodge, in the middle of the reserve, stands our sublime self-catering Cottage. Given its hilltop position, the Cottage also offers exquisite panoramic views of the valley and across to the blue-hued mountains.

The Cottage has recently undergone a makeover so if you haven’t visited recently, you’ll notice some changes! Featuring two en-suite bedrooms that comfortably sleep four adults and two small children, the cottage is perfect for a family getaway. Spend some time in the pool, out on the deck, or by the braai to properly enjoy the natural beauty surrounding you. The Cottage also has great Wi-Fi, a TV, and a fireplace for cosy nights in.

In some exciting news, the Cottage offering is about to experience another upgrade that we’re sure you’re going to love – who doesn’t love a hot tub?

Activities

You’ll never be short of things to do during your stay with free roam of our reserve for hikes, picnics at sunset, mountain biking and more gentle walking routes. Don’t forget about our game drives either! Melozhori is not only a top game reserve near Cape Town but also optimally located for off-site activities with Robertson, Bonnievale, and the Breede River nearby.

If you’re convinced, join us at Melozhori Private Game Reserve at our Lodge or Cottage soon. Visit our website for more information or make a booking via email to info@melozhori.co.za.