The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Willem Pretorius Nature Reserve

Afrikaans name: Willem Pretorius Natuur Reservaat

View of the reserve

Willem Pretorius Nature Reserve

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Free State

The Willem Pretorius Nature Reserve is a 12,000 hectare reserve in the Free State. It is located on the shores of the Allemanskraal Dam, just north of the town of Senekal.

Various accommodation options are available just outside the reserve. There are a number of huts, chalets and camp sites overlooking the dam.

Birding in the reserve and around the dam and camp areas can be quite rewarding. The area has a checklist of around 220 species.

The Willem Pretorius Nature Reserve itself is well stocked with animals including White Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Red Hartebeest, Gemsbok, Giraffe and Mountain Reedbuck. There is an extensive road network in the reserve.

Driving around the reserve one will see the remains of settlements in some areas. These date back to the Sotho people many hundreds of years ago. A visit to Bekkersberg Iron Age Settlement is worthwhile.

Hilly area

Generally the reserve is flat but their are hilly sections

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Photo © Johan van Zyl

Bekkersberg Iron Age Settlement

Bekkersberg Iron Age Settlement

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Reserve entrance

Entrance to the reserve

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Mammals of Willem Pretorius Nature Reserve

Please note that this is only a guide and, while we have made every effort to be accurate, we can't be held responsible for any errors.


Antbear / Aardvark

Banded Mongoose

Black Wildebeest

Black-backed Jackal


Burchell's Zebra


Cape Buffalo

Cape Clawless Otter

Cape Fox

Cape Hare

Cape Porcupine


Chacma Baboon

Common Duiker




Ground Squirrel



Mountain Reedbuck

Red Hartebeest


Rock Hyrax

Scrub Hare



Striped Polecat


Vervet Monkey

Water Mongoose

White Rhino

Yellow Mongoose

Birds of Willem Pretorius Nature Reserve

Please note that this is only a guide and, while we have made every effort to be accurate, we can't be held responsible for any errors.

Common Ostrich

Natal Spurfowl

Swainson's Spurfowl

Helmeted Guineafowl

White-faced Duck

Egyptian Goose

South African Shelduck

Spur-winged Goose

Yellow-billed Duck

Lesser Honeyguide

Red-throated Wryneck

Cardinal Woodpecker

Acacia Pied Barbet

Crested Barbet

Common Scimitarbill

European Roller

Pied Kingfisher

White-fronted Bee-eater

European Bee-eater

White-backed Mousebird

Red-faced Mousebird

Jacobin Cuckoo

Great Spotted Cuckoo

Red-chested Cuckoo

Diderick Cuckoo

Alpine Swift

Little Swift

White-rumped Swift

Speckled Pigeon

Laughing Dove

Cape Turtle-Dove

Red-eyed Dove

Namaqua Dove

Southern Black Korhaan

Blue Korhaan

Common Moorhen

Red-knobbed Coot

Common Greenshank

Wood Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper

Little Stint

Curlew Sandpiper


Spotted Thick-knee

Black-winged Stilt

Kittlitz's Plover

Three-banded Plover

Blacksmith Lapwing

Crowned Lapwing

Double-banded Courser

Grey-headed Gull

Whiskered Tern

White-winged Tern

Black Kite

African Fish-Eagle

Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk

Gabar Goshawk

Verreaux's Eagle

Martial Eagle


Lesser Kestrel

Rock Kestrel

Greater Kestrel

Little Grebe

African Darter

Reed Cormorant

White-breasted Cormorant

Little Egret

Great Egret

Grey Heron

Black-headed Heron

Goliath Heron

Cattle Egret


Greater Flamingo

Hadeda Ibis

African Sacred Ibis

African Spoonbill

Yellow-billed Stork

Brown-crowned Tchagra


Red-backed Shrike

Common Fiscal

Ashy Tit

Sand Martin

Brown-throated Martin

Barn Swallow

White-throated Swallow

Greater Striped Swallow

South African Cliff-Swallow

African Red-eyed Bulbul

Long-billed Crombec

Chestnut-vented Tit-Babbler

Cape White-eye

Levaillant's Cisticola


Black-chested Prinia

Rufous-naped Lark

Sabota Lark

Spike-heeled Lark

Grey-backed Sparrowlark

Red-capped Lark

Olive Thrush

Fiscal Flycatcher

Cape Robin-Chat

Kalahari Scrub-Robin

African Stonechat

Mountain Wheatear

Familiar Chat

Ant-eating Chat

Mocking Cliff-Chat

Red-winged Starling

Cape Glossy Starling

Pied Starling

Wattled Starling

Malachite Sunbird

White-bellied Sunbird

Scaly-feathered Finch

White-browed Sparrow-Weaver

Southern Masked-Weaver

Red-billed Quelea

Yellow-crowned Bishop

Southern Red Bishop

Long-tailed Widowbird

African Quailfinch

Red-headed Finch

Common Waxbill

Violet-eared Waxbill

Blue Waxbill

Green-winged Pytilia

Red-billed Firefinch

Pin-tailed Whydah

Long-tailed Paradise-Whydah

Village Indigobird

Cape Sparrow

Southern Grey-headed Sparrow

Cape Wagtail

Cape Longclaw

African Pipit

Cape Canary

Black-throated Canary

Yellow Canary

Cinnamon-breasted Bunting

Cape Bunting

References and further reading

Atlas of National Parks and Reserves of South Africa - Author: Marielle Renssen - Published: 2006 - Page: 90

Birding Hotspots - Author: Trevor Hardaker - Published: 2007 - Page: 17

Chris and Tilde Stuarts Guide to Southern African Game and Nature Reserves - Author: Chris and Tilde Stuart - Published: 1989 - Page: 163

Conollys Guide to Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Denis Conolly - Published: 1982 - Page: 330

Illustrated Guide to the Game Parks and Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd edn - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1991 - Page: 114

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Published: 1995 - Page: 262

On Route - Explore South Africa region by region - 3rd edition - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Published: 2014 - Page: 378

Places to Visit in Southern Africa - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1995 - Page: 352

Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa - 4th edition - Author: - Published: 1986 - Page: 297

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 126

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 232

Stuarts Field Guide to National Parks & Nature Reserves of SA - 2nd ed - Author: Chris & Mathilde Stuart - Published: 2018 - Page: 130

The Pictorial Motoring Atlas of South Africa - Author: Maxwell Leigh - Published: 1987 - Page: 107

Top Birding Spots in Southern Africa - Author: Hugh Chittenden - Published: 1992 - Page: 235


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