The GannaHoek Private Reserve has been under Cawood custodianship since the 1800's. The focus here is the conservation of this unique biome which almost neighbors the Mountain Zebra National Park. This is a natural habitat to over 400 species of fauna and flora. We believe that environmental sustainability is key to the future of preserving and protecting conservation areas in South Africa. It is a combination of our exclusive-use private reserve, together with low impact responsible hunting, that enables us to pursue our vision.
GannaHoek is a friendly, relaxing luxury retreat for travelers looking to ground themselves in natural beauty and a wholesome experience.
The Location, Fauna & Flora
GannaHoek is located at an elevation of 998 meters above sea level. The mountain elevation stands high above the surrounding area with a small summit area, steep slopes and local relief of 300 metres or more. The landscape known as the Karoo Heartland epitomizes the essence of South Africa. Vast open spaces; sparse veld and distant brooding mountains were millions of years ago, dinosaurs roamed the plains, leaving in their wake fossils which attract the attention of paleontologists from all over the world.
The Reserve is home to Zebra, Golden, Black and Blue Wildebeest, Copper and Common Springbok, Waterbuck, Mountain Reedbuck, Cape Buffalo, and the Majestic Sable as well as the Giraffe and Eland. GannaHoek has become a natural breeding ground for the Warthog and more recently the Aardvark, the rare Bat Eared Fox and Hedgehog has been sighted. This is a bird lovers paradise with over hundred species found around the lodge. The high rocky mountain ridges are home to the Black Eagle, while the flat plains are nesting grounds for the Blue Crane (South Africa's National Bird), Secretary Bird, abundant hawk and owl and small bird species.
The diversity of flora found at GannaHoek makes it especially attractive all year round with a mix of three biomes: The Nama-Karoo, Grassland and Thicket. The warm north-facing slopes offer a wide variety of habitats ranging from the grassy rocky mountaintops, to the dense thorny slopes with steep meandering river beds and thickets rolling down into the flatter grassy savanna and acacia thorn tree plains below.
Guests can be collected by our safari vehicles from the Port Elizabeth Airport in Port Elizabeth. The trip inland is approximately 2.5 hours by road. A private helicopter charter is also available from Port Elizabeth to the reserve and a private airstrip is available close to the reserve. Local guests also have the option to self-drive.
The climate is categorized as semi-arid to arid. Most rain falls between October and April. Winter and summer occur at opposite times to Europe and North America. Freezing temperatures are common during mid-winter.
The winter months are very cold early in the morning and stay relatively mild to warm during the day. Bringing winter clothes is strongly recommended. Skies are clear, and there is very little rain. Snow can fall, but mainly on the mountain peaks.
Temperatures cool down to a brisk 4°C/39°F in the morning and 18°C/64°F in the afternoon, signifying the start of winter.
June - July
Night time gets well below freezing during the coldest months of the year.
The average morning temperature is 1°C/34°F and 15°C/59°F is the average daytime temperature.
August - September
Mornings warm up slightly with average temperatures of 3°C/37°F.
Afternoons are pleasant and mild with an average temperature of 19°C/66°F.
Temperatures are milder in the summer, and it rains more often, but still not a lot. It is generally sunny although drizzle and overcast skies can occur.
October - November
Rain is possible, although it isn't likely to occur for days at a time. Average temperatures warm to about 8°C/46°F in the morning and 23°C/73°F in the afternoon.
December - January - February
Rain is more frequent. Afternoon average temperatures climb upward of 27°C/81°F. Mornings are very comfortable at around 11°C/52°F.
March - April
Rainfall is at its most plentiful in March (although it rarely rains for consecutive days), but begins to decrease around mid-April. The temperatures slowly cool to an average of 24°C/75°F in the afternoon and 9°C/48°F in the morning.
All meals are catered for by our in-house staff. An Exclusive Use dining and drinks menu is available and tailored to meet your requirements. A fully stocked honesty cellar bar is available.
International Hunting Guests
All meals are catered for by our in-house staff. The menu is set daily and guests can expect an exciting choice of South African favourites, light cafe-style lunches and flavours of home-grown venison in the evenings. An a-la-carte breakfast menu is provided and a fully stocked honesty bar is available.
GannaHoek has a small dedicated team of resident housekeepers, ground staff, trackers, drivers, and cooks.
GannaHoek is an exclusive-use reserve with no overlapping guests. Your privacy is paramount to us.
Private Medical Facilities are available 40 minutes from the reserve and there are excellent private hospitals in Port Elizabeth only 2 hours away. Please bring all medication. For emergency evacuation please go to
The Cawood family and GannaHoek are also inextricably woven into the Olive Schreiner story. Olive Schreiner worked as a governess to the Cawood children, who adored her, and where she wrote the famous “Story of an African Farm”, which met with great success and received world-wide acclaim. Olive’s friendship with Mrs Erilda Cawood was well published and their letters can be read in many books of that era.
Olive’s dream was finally honoured. The concept of setting aside land in South Africa for the preservation of Wildlife! Olive mapped out the Kruger National Park area for this vision and sat at President Paul Kruger’s door until he finally gave her entrance for the persuasive interview, which changed the history of South Africa.