Named after the successive rain-making queens who have inhabited the area since the 16th century, this 305-ha reserve features the world's largest concentration of single-species cycad: the Modjadji palm. It houses a cycad nursery, day trails through the forest, and a walking trail where one is likely to encounter dassies, monkeys, bushpigs, impala, nyala, bushbuck and other antelope.
As it’s situated a stone's throw away from the Modjadji Rain Queen’s palace, visits to the Royal Kraal can be arranged.
Once the main diet of the prehistoric mammal-like reptiles that lived here, the Modjadji cycad forms a unique natural forest which can be viewed in its prehistoric state. These protected plants not only grow in profusion in the area, but are giants in the genus of 29 species, with specimens up 10-13 m high, and bearing cones that may weigh up to 34 kg.
Approximately 12 km of well-constructed walks drop from the cycad forest to the acacia and grassveld below. The best time to view the Modjadji cycads are when they’re at their showy best in the summer months: from December to February when they boast spectacular orange seeds.
Permits must be obtained at the entrance to the reserve. Facilities include an information centre, and picnic and braai sites.