Kingdom Nature Reserve covers
an area of 15,000 ha between Witbank and Loskop Dam
in Mpumalanga Province.
Two main rivers, the Olifants and Wilge, meander between
soaring cliffs and lush riverine bush. Most of the
area is mountainous with gorges and red granite cliffs
dropping steeply down to the rivers. The property’s
altitude ranges between 1,120 m and 1,460 m, and between
about 1,140 and 1,450 m in the hiking trails area
itself. Annual rainfall for the region fluctuates
between 600 and 750 mm.
area lies within the Grassland (Rocky Grassland and
Moist Sandy Highveld Grassland) and Savanna (Mixed
Bushveld) vegetation types. This ensures a rich species
diversity. At least 120 tree species have been identified.
Numerous riverine, woodland, water and savanna bird
species have been recorded. Fish Eagles breed along
the rivers and Black Eagles (Vereaux Eagle) are frequently
seen near the cliff faces. The African Finfoot is
one of the interesting river residents often encountered.
large variety of large mammals on the property include
eland, blue wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, kudu, impala,
nyala, bushbuck, gemsbuck, tsessebe, waterbuck, mountain
reedbuck, klipspringer, oribi, warthog, bushpig, leopard,
brown hyena, black-backed jackal, baboons and vervet
paintings have been recorded by the Archaeological
Department of University of Witwatersrand. The rock
paintings are, however, not in an accessible area.
Kingdom Nature Reserve was the vision of Dr Edward
King Snr, who was born in 1910 and grew up in the
Free State, the second son of a farming family impoverished
by the Boer War. He would travel by horse buggy to
deliver milk to Bloemfontein, two hours before school
began. As a child he had no shoes, and in winter with
a cold wind blowing off the Maluti Mountains, he sat
watching a colony of ants hard at work, and vowed
to work as hard himself to own a farm with much water.
In 1960 that dream became a reality. Today it is owned
by his four children and their families.