Alpetra Nature Reserve
Since 1985 – Waterberg Biosphere, Limpopo
As part of the famous Waterberg Biosphere, the area around Alpetra Nature Reserve has been inhabited over hundreds of thousands of years and is one of the most important San rock art areas in South Africa. Tourism is the major source of income.
According to Unesco.org, the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve represents a considerable area of the savannah biome of Southern Africa. The savannah biome, or wooded grasslands, has a rich biodiversity with more than 5,500 species of plants, 43% of which are endemic to Southern Africa. The area is characterized by seven different vegetation types: Central Sandy Bushveld, Limpopo Sweet Bushveld, Makhado Sweet Bushveld, Roodeberg Bushveld, Waterberg Mountain Bushveld, Waterberg-Magalies Summit Sourveld and Western Sandy Bushveld.
At least 18 threatened or scarce plants species, 11 bird species, 4 reptile species, 4 species of fish, one butterfly species and 18 mammals occur in the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve. All are deemed of the utmost importance for biodiversity conservation. Red Data List species include the white-backed night-heron (Gorsachius leuconotus), the Cape vulture (Gyps coprotheres), the aardvark (Orycteropus afer), the brown hyaena (Parahyaena brunnea) and the critically endangered black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis).
Apart from the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis), most of the mentioned species of birds and animals can be seen roaming freely at Alpetra Nature Reserve.