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Fairy Glen Private Game Reserve

Home > Cape Town > Accommodation | Animals and Wildlife | Game Reserves | Travel | Walks
by Elaine (subscribe)
Impromptu adventuring, exploring our backyard and then putting pen to paper, hoping to entice you to try one, if not all, of our escapades, is my true reward!
Published February 10th 2017
Your Very Own National Geographic Experience
Fairy Glen Private Game Reserve, privately owned, lion, elephant, zebra, mountain leopard, Brandwacht Mountains, Worcester, chalets, game drives, day trippers, Higgins and Lady, poaching survivors, very own National Geographic experience
The entrance to the privately-owned Fairy Glen Game Reserve - Image: Elaine de Wet


You cannot visit Africa without experiencing an encounter with the Big Five - lion, elephant, buffalo, Mountain Leopard and rhino, for this is truly a life-changing occurrence. We had pre-booked our overnight stay at Fairy Glen Private Game Reserve from Australia and were astounded that not even a deposit was required at the time of booking.

Fairy Glen Game Reserve, privately owned, lion, elephant, zebra, mountain leopard, Brandwacht Mountains, Worcester, chalets, game drives, day trippers, Higgins and Lady, poaching survivors, very own National Geographic experience
Views from our chalet - Image: Elaine de Wet


If you're looking for an intimate, personal encounter with wild animals, then the privately-owned Fairy Glen Private Game Reserve, located in the Brandwacht Mountains close to the Boland town of Worcester is the place for a thrilling safari adventure. Whether you're into game drives or bush walking, your experience will be unparalleled with fantastic photo opportunities and experienced game rangers sharing their local knowledge with you.

Fairy Glen Game Reserve, privately owned, lion, elephant, zebra, mountain leopard, Brandwacht Mountains, Worcester, chalets, game drives, day trippers, Higgins and Lady, poaching survivors, very own National Geographic experience
Despite the kitty face, definitely a wild one - Image: Elaine de Wet


Fairy Glen is only an hour's drive from Cape Town and tucked away at the foot of the world famous Brandwacht mountains. This Reserve is surrounded by natural Proteas and fynbos (fine bush) vegetation in an idyllic little piece of paradise. The name Fairy Glen originated from a very large Dragonfly which was found in their natural habitat in the valley mountain streams, known as Fairy Glen.

Fairy Glen Game Reserve, privately owned, lion, elephant, zebra, mountain leopard, Brandwacht Mountains, Worcester, chalets, game drives, day trippers, Higgins and Lady, poaching survivors, very own National Geographic experience
Our chalets for the night - Images: Elaine de Wet


We checked in at 2.00pm on our day of arrival. Our choice when booking was for a standard chalet, one of six available for guests. The great advantage to the standard chalets is that the guests' swimming pool is right on your doorstep and the restaurant for meals is only a hop and a skip away. There are also five luxury chalets, one of which is wheel-chair friendly, but all boast their own game viewing decks overlooking the watering hole. The standard chalet has all the essentials for an overnight stay, including a TV, small bar fridge for 'cold' necessities and an en-suite bathroom. Click here for accommodation options.

Once we had settled in to our accommodation, we were treated to a bushwalk by one of the resident rangers, who was very happy to share his local knowledge with us re the fauna and flora.

Fairy Glen Game Reserve, privately owned, lion, elephant, zebra, mountain leopard, Brandwacht Mountains, Worcester, chalets, game drives, day trippers, Higgins and Lady, poaching survivors, very own National Geographic experience
Our bushwalking - Images: Elaine de Wet


We were really fortunate and were the ONLY guests on the night of our stay, so had the restaurant totally to ourselves. We were even offered a third chalet, free of charge, which needless to say we didn't take advantage of. The dinner was buffet style with a choice of South African delicacies.

Fairy Glen Game Reserve, privately owned, lion, elephant, zebra, mountain leopard, Brandwacht Mountains, Worcester, chalets, game drives, day trippers, Higgins and Lady, poaching survivors, very own National Geographic experience
Dinner is served - Images: Elaine de Wet


Our three and a half hour game drive was scheduled for 9.00am the following morning after a sumptuous breakfast - either English-style or Continental. Did I mention I will need to go on a serious diet when getting home to Australia - all this food has definitely ensured I've put on a few dreaded kilos!!

Fairy Glen Game Reserve, privately owned, lion, elephant, zebra, mountain leopard, Brandwacht Mountains, Worcester, chalets, game drives, day trippers, Higgins and Lady, poaching survivors, very own National Geographic experience
English-style or Continental brekkies - Images: Elaine de Wet


Mauritz was our personal Game Ranger - another advantage to staying overnight as day visitors share a game viewing truck. First stop was the lion enclosure. One has to remember that all these animals are wild and are kept in very large enclosures for their safety against poachers and naturally, for our safety too. Judging by all the feathers, these lions had already eaten, but we weren't taking any chances by venturing too close.

Fairy Glen Game Reserve, privately owned, lion, elephant, zebra, mountain leopard, Brandwacht Mountains, Worcester, chalets, game drives, day trippers, Higgins and Lady, poaching survivors, very own National Geographic experience
Higgins and Lady - Images: Elaine de Wet


Our next meet and greet was with Higgins and Lady - these are the only two rhinos that have survived poaching in the whole of South Africa. A bit of trivia - did you know that a group of rhinos is called a 'crash'? Very appropriate I would think - as surely with all that weight any opposition would cause a crash.

Fairy Glen Game Reserve, privately owned, lion, elephant, zebra, mountain leopard, Brandwacht Mountains, Worcester, chalets, game drives, day trippers, Higgins and Lady, poaching survivors, very own National Geographic experience
Elephant, Springbuck and Eland - Images: Elaine de Wet


The poachers had created a fire on the game farm as a distraction to the employees of the game farm, before darting Higgins and Lady with a dart gun containing the deadly anaesthetic drug called M99 and then savagely removing their horns, whilst they were still alive. Without the quick thinking and medical attention by the owner of Fairy Glen, Pieter de Jager, and local vets, Higgins and Lady would surely have died. Today, these two precious beasts wander around the Game Reserve without their horns, their sensory abilities forever damaged and their only mechanism with which to defend themselves against would-be predators, gone forever. For a fast, very informative read on the drama surrounding these two rhinos, one can purchase the book, Higgins & Lady, either through www.amazon.com or www.chapter1.co.za.

Fairy Glen Game Reserve, privately owned, lion, elephant, zebra, mountain leopard, Brandwacht Mountains, Worcester, chalets, game drives, day trippers, Higgins and Lady, poaching survivors, very own National Geographic experience
Zebras - Image: Elaine de Wet


Even though this is only a small game farm, we were treated to elephants, zebra, buffalo and various species of buck, all presenting beautiful photo opportunities. Unfortunately, we didn't see any mountain leopard as these beautiful predators are nocturnal and yes, you've guessed it, prefer to stay in the mountains. We even had the pleasure of seeing a rather large Leopard tortoise out on his morning stroll. The tortoise was ambling UP the hill, which I've learned they tend to do before rainfalls, so as to avoid being in flood-prone areas - how clever is that?

Fairy Glen Game Reserve, privately owned, lion, elephant, zebra, mountain leopard, Brandwacht Mountains, Worcester, chalets, game drives, day trippers, Higgins and Lady, poaching survivors, very own National Geographic experience
Morning amble? - Image: Elaine de Wet


There is such a big variety of Game Drives available at Fairy Glen - one can do morning safari's which include pick-up from Cape Town, breakfast, lunch and being returned back to Cape Town; afternoon safaris or even horse-back safaris amongst the animals. For all the different options, please click here. And, of course, you can choose to stay overnight - definitely a worthwhile choice as you'll get to wake up to the early morning roar of the lions - not something we would hear in Australia.

Fairy Glen Game Reserve, privately owned, lion, elephant, zebra, mountain leopard, Brandwacht Mountains, Worcester, chalets, game drives, day trippers, Higgins and Lady, poaching survivors, very own National Geographic experience
Hear my roar - Image: Elaine de Wet


Fairy Glen Game Reserve was a memorable encounter for us - our very own National Geographic experience.
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Why? To have your very own National Geographic experience
When: Any day of the week, all year round
Phone: Reservations:- 001127 (0) 21 424 9173
Where: Brandwacht Rd, Worcester, 6850, South Africa
Cost: See website for various costs
Your Comment
Wow! Great article Elaine! You are having a ball!
by Sue W (score: 2|973) 589 days ago
Fairy Glen Reserve is certainly worth a visit, and only 1 hour away from Cape Town.
by raymo (score: 1|45) 589 days ago
Lovely place, and so close to Cape Town. Worth a visit.
by raymo (score: 1|45) 589 days ago
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