Bothongo Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve. Kromdraai.

Welcome to the Bothongo Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve, where you and your family can go on a game drive, watch predators feed, explore a cave, have a braai, speed around a bike track, climb a jungle gym, go for a swim, share a pizza, enjoy sundowners, stay the night and so much more. From the official website.





Bothongo Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve is situated in the Cradle of Humankind a mere 48 minutes from either Johannesburg or Pretoria. The road is well signposted and unlike my of the major roads I have travelled recently, is relatively pothole-free.

The only gravel road that I had to tackle was the 3km from the reception area to my accommodation. That is kept in good condition and although looking rather narrow, cars are able to pass each other with ease.




This is the recently completed reception centre. On my last visit here, pre-pandemic, this had not been completed so it was a revelation to me.

The building houses a curio shop, toilets, the check-in for overnight visitors (like myself) as well as a reception area for those visitors who are only coming to spend the day.

It is also ‘home’ to a mountain biking shop as well as a restaurant that can be hired as a venue. The reason for the bike shop is that there is a BMX track for children on the property and parents are able to hire safety gear and bikes here.

It is from this building that the game drives leave, so guests can gather here before boarding the game viewers for their guided tours. You do not have to use this service as one can self drive on all of the roads on the property.




This was to be my base for the following two nights. A perfect place to escape the city, except that I was here to work as well as try to get in a few game drives. The Log Cabin overlooks the lion enclosure and being awakened at 03h00 by the sound of lions vocalizing is much better than being awakened by an alarm clock.

Even though I was less than an hour from home, being surrounded by nature and an open valley, made me feel that I was in the Lowveld. 




This is referred to as a couple’s cabin on the official website and there is more than enough space for a couple to relax and enjoy themselves without tripping over each other.

The cabin in the background is far enough away and positioned in such a way that I could have walked around naked on my verandah and been totally private.




The lounge/dining room. And it was at this table where I spent much of my time editing images and doing work when I had completed my activities for the day. The TV in the cabin had great reception, but the same cannot be said for internet connectivity or cell signal.

As a working travel writer, I now carry a mobile router with me and that is how I am able to stay connected and continue working.




This is a self-catering cabin with a modern open plan kitchen that is almost better equipped than my kitchen at home. At the time of writing the cabin was only 4 months old, so all the appliances were still brand new.

Kettle, 4-slice toaster, microwave, digital hob and oven as well as a fridge that dispenses cold water out of the front door!

The cupboards and drawers have more than enough crockery and cutlery that is required by 2 people. And as an aside, the coffee mugs are of a decent size and not the small ones that can be drained in an instant.

Cleaning equipment is also provided although the unit is serviced once a day.




The bedroom was spacious and had more than enough cupboard space as well as a shelf under a mirror that covered most of the wall at the foot of the bed.

With wither fast approaching, the extra blankets that I found in the cupboard will come in most useful, although there was a floor heater if it got really chilly.

The bed was extremely comfortable and the linen was excellent.




No bath in this unit, only the shower as well as a toilet (obviously) and a single washbasin with a large medicine cabinet and mirror, in case you needed extra storage space.

Given the way that the cabin is constructed, there is no outdoor shower option




There is a built-in braai on the deck and had I known that wood and firefighters were supplied I would have brought meat and cooked enough to last me the weekend. ASs it was, the website does not state this so I dined on sandwiches that I had brought with me as well as fruit and snacks. I bought lunch from one of the restaurants and was very happy with my choice.




The Jacuzzi was an unexpected bonus and a treat that I have not had before at any of the lodges I have stayed at.

I did have dinner seated here on my first night as the sounds of the lions and the spectacular sunset almost demanded that I be outside with the tv and my laptop OFF.

I contacted a friend of mine who sells fire-heated hot tubs and his response was; “It is noisy and full of chemicals”…and my reply was; “Who are you talking about, me or the hot tub”?




Open and ready for action. The 2 seater jacuzzi on the deck outside the bedroom, which I used even though there was a chill in the air.




THIS is the way to end off a long day of wandering around the property, enjoying the wildlife and visiting the various restaurants for snacks.

Seated in the Jacuzzi with the jets at full blast watching the sunset in the distance.

Pure bliss…




An African sunset. The perfect way to end off a busy day.




Good morning! Time to get up and head out on a self-drive game drive. If you are staying in the log cabins, guests are allowed to head out from 06h30 to enjoy early morning sightings.




To find out more about what the nature reserve has to offer, click on the logo above.





All images are the copyright property of

and may not be used without permission.