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Mattanu Private Game Reserve
Conservation Area
Game Reserve
50km north of Kimberley, Northern Cape Province, South Africa
-28.3993639, 24.47733333


Mattanu Private Game Reserve is located north of Kimberly in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. This 4700 ha game reserve is owned and managed by the Kriek family. 

Dr JC Kriek, father of the family and a renowned wildlife veterinarian and commercial helicopter pilot, moved to South Africa in 1980 from Zimbabwe starting a veterinary practice while also importing wildlife. He had the dream of one day owning a game farm which came true when he imported Tsessebe in 1984 from Zimbabwe; Roan, Sable and Lichtenstein hartebeest in 1987 from Malawi; and 95 endangered Roan and 65 rare Sable from Malawi in 1991. These are regarded by many as the most successful game capturing and importation operations ever. 

The profit return from the 1991 Malawi operation was used to purchase Mattanu Private Game Reserve, which then had been a cattle farm until 1990. In 1994, more Sable and Livingstone Eland were imported from Zimbabwe and today, the main breeding herd combines bloodlines from Malawi, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Further, also in 1994, a herd of buffalo was introduced to Mattanu to operate a breeding project for disease-free Buffalo. Dr JC Kriek wrote the protocol for this project and was the first private game rancher to receive permission for the breeding of these Buffalo.

To date, millions have been spent on the development of infrastructure and re-introduction of numerous species. Dr JC Kriek is regarded by many as the pioneer for the breeding of endangered antelope industry in Southern Africa. The Reserve has bred and sold over 250 of each Roan, Sable and disease-free Buffalo species to other reserves and parks over the last 30 years. Mattanu is now home to over 36 different game species with approximately 700 animals. Further, birders can enjoy more than 250 wild bird species.

Daleen Kriek, Dr JC's wife, supported the endeavour from the onset and today is majorly involved in the hospitality at the reserve together with their three children who are responsible for different parts of the management and operations as well as activities and services offered at the reserve.


Conservation Highlights:

  1. The breeding of endangered and rare antelope species is the main industry at Mattanu along with the game capture activities.
  2. Providing antelopes to the Southern African wildlife industry with over 140 clients and destinations.
  3. One of the oldest disease-free herds of Bufallo in South Africa with a combination of different bloodlines, after more than 20 years of breeding and selection.
  4. Contribution to the conservation of Roan antelopes, which was heavily reduced in numbers until the 1960s.
  5. Several awards for best accommodation and game reserve experience over the years.
  6. The local community of Barkley-west and Kimberley benefited greatly from this development as only local labour was used and local businesses and establishments were supported.
  7. The game capture safaris are often run as part of overseas veterinary student courses. During these courses participants are mentored and skills transferred to up and coming wildlife veterinary enthusiasts.


Future Aims:

  1. Continue with ecotourism offers, conservation efforts, sharing expertise and ensuring clean genetics in game species.
  2. Channeling investment, attracting more feet into the Northern Cape and hopefully increasing the economic contribution and multiplier effect that the tourism industry already has.
  3. Keep this 4-star and AA superior graded establishment affordable to the local and international tourists and share Mattanu's conservation efforts with everyone with a sense of adventure.


Images provided.