8 October 2009

Recently a pride of lions were released into Nkomazi under the watchful eyes of wildlife management, staff and invited guests. All were enthralled as the lions took their first tentative steps out of the boma and into the history books, being the first lions to be returned to the upper Komati River Valley in almost 200 years.

The pride, comprising of 2 males and 2 females was sourced from sister reserves, world renowned Shamwari Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape and Sanbona Wildlife Reserve in the Western Cape to enable a diverse genetic composition for the founding populations. These lions have been monitored from birth, and the Mantis Wildlife Team is confident that they will adapt well to life in new reserve, Nkomazi Game Reserve.

The presence of free-roaming lions on Nkomazi signifies an important milestone in Nkomazi’s objective of becoming one of the foremost destinations in wildlife conservation and tourism in Mpumalanga, and the flagship reserve in the southern Mpumalanga, Komati River Valley region.

Over the following months and years, Wildlife Section Manager, Manzi Spruit and Animal Monitor, Stefan Swanepoel will have their work cut out for them, as they carefully monitor the lions’ movements and feeding patterns. This information is vital in enabling the reserve to make informed wildlife management decisions.

“The sense of excitement and achievement at Nkomazi is almost tangible, and makes the months of careful preparation all the more worthwhile”, adds Manzi Spruit, Nkomazi Wildlife Section Manager, “It adds a whole new dimension to this breathtakingly beautiful game reserve”. No small accolade from a dedicated conservationist, who took her first steps in the Kruger National Park.

Nkomazi Game Reserve, a Mantis property, joins its sister reserves in South Africa by offering great wildlife encounters in Africa with its diversity of predators lions, leopard, cheetah, elephant, rhino and a variety of herbivore species.

For more information on Nkomazi and its offerings, please contact 041 407 1000 or email

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