The Landscape, Geology and Biome of the Maseke Reserve

Deep within the heart of the lesser-known and relatively unexplored Maseke Balule Game Reserve, lies the humble and intimate Chacma Bush Camp.  This reserve is also home to the 3 day trail adventure courtesy of Africa on Foot Wilderness Trails. The landscape alone is fascinating and would most certainly leave David Livingstone wishing he’d conquered this sector of the Greater Kruger. 

The reserve offers the perfect big five safari experience in 8000 hectares of undulating landscapes dotted with rocky outcrops, ancient Mica mines and caves, koppies, granite boulders, waterholes and a mighty river. The soil type gives rise to an interesting mix of flora, and as a result of the vegetation and contrasting geography of the immediate area, there dwells an interesting mix of animal species. The Maseke Game Reserve is a unique biome, and game drives provide every opportunity to explore these intrepid surrounds.

In terms of game viewing, the presence of wildlife is largely affect by access to water, vegetation and climate of the area. Below we’ve outlined the general landscape, geology and biome. 


Soil types, rainfall and various other geographical factors influence the type of vegetation on a reserve. Maseke Reserve has low lying shrubbery, short dense grassland and highveld grasses. There’s an amphitheatre of low lying mopane trees, acacia trees and plenty of knobthorn scattered throughout. The neighbouring reserves tend to be flatter and sandier, but Maseke is rocky due to the river and geology of the area. Rock fig trees grow elegantly from the granite rocks, while Marula trees cascade over the river below.

Olifants River Chacma Bush Camp Vegetation Chacma Bush Camp


Some of the world’s largest mammals are in their natural habitat here in the Maseke Game Reserve. There’s an abundance of elephant, and recently we’ve discovered a coalition of five male lions dominating the reserve. Other wildlife includes giraffe, hippo, buffalo, and rhino. Game drives lead to unforgettable sightings of these large species, in addition to general game, such as zebra, impala, kudu, gnu, waterbuck, bushbuck, duiker and steenbok. Nyala buck and elephant herds are frequent visitors to the camp itself. Leopard, hyena, cheetah, African wild dog, and the Nile crocodile are some of the prominent predators residing in the Kruger. Smaller predators include jackal, mongoose, civet, and genet and honey badger.


The Kruger habitat accommodates a complete smorgasbord of birder’s delights. Water birds such as herons, storks, plovers, spoonbills, and sandpipers are common along dam edges; kingfishers, orioles, robins, chats, larks, cisticolas, and coucals are some of the veld and woodland birds around; while birds of prey are seen and heard throughout the day. 

Chacma Giraffe Sunset Chacma Brown Hooded Kingfisher Male Lions Chacma Bush Camp


The Maseke Game Reserve has a diverse geography, one laden with a variety of rock formations and dotted with undulating landscapes. The Maseke Game Reserve is fascinating from a geological aspect. Chacma’s traverse is dotted with koppies with neatly stacked granite boulders, intrusive dolerite dykes, and granite intrusions on the banks of the Olifants River which courses through the northern part of the traverse. You will also find a variety of metamorphic (gneiss), igneus and sedimentary rock formations, which provides the perfect conditions for the formation of the multi-layered mineral called Mica.

Ancient Mica mines are located a short drive from camp, and provided a narrow canyon with natural caves. These rocky outcrops and precipices are perfect for leopards, and other predators, to den their young. Don’t be surprised if you stumbled across small sheets of Mica and flecks of silver – these are the remnants of the Mica mine. Black granite, feldspar and quartzite are just a few examples of the types of rocks that form part the natural landscape.

You can expect diverse landscapes with plenty of waterholes, a mighty river, caves, hills and boulders which is the ideal habitat for a variety of game.

Chacma Landscape Chacma Landscape Views Chacma Sunset Maseke