Training Centres

Meletse Bat Research & Conservation Training Centre (MBRCTC)

The Meletse Bat Research and Conservation Training Centre (MBRCTC) are owned by Aquila Steel (South Africa) Pty Ltd, who have given AfricanBats access to facilities on the farm Randstephine, east of Thabazimbi, in Limpopo Province, South Africa. These facilities are situated near one of South Africa's most diverse bat caves (9 species have been recorded), and some of these species are migratory and utilize this site as a maternity roost. The MBRCTC will be used as a base station from which to undertake research, conservation and training in relation to bats of the region.

What is being envisaged for the MBRCTC  


  • It will be the base from which, AfricanBats will undertake longer-term monitoring of the bats in the area and the cave.
  • Provide limited accommodation and working space for three to four field researchers at a time, on a semi-permanent basis (several months to years), who are undertaking more detailed bat related research in the area.
  • Provide accommodation and working space for short-term training courses (several days to weeks) being run by AfricanBats, for groups up to about 10-15 people.
  • It can also be used on a short-term basis by other researchers, environmental groups / clubs, and for post-graduate field training.

Training and capacity building 

AfricanBats hosts regular training courses and workshops at this Centre. See further information on training

What it costs? 

R 200 per person per night self-catering. 

Accommodation and Facilities

 The built infrastructure, within a fenced off area of the farm, consists of the following separate buildings that are linked by paved paths. 


  • A - *main building with: a large covered porch area with a built in table; a large room with a fireplace, cupboards along one wall, and doors on two sides that can be opened into the garden and onto the porch; a kitchen with a double sink; and a store-room with a toilet and basin. To one side of the porch is a paved area around a built-in fire/braai platform.
  • B - *bedroom, with en-suite toilet, shower, and two basins.
  • C - bathroom block, with a separate toilet, a separate shower, and a bath, basin and toilet.
  • D - *two bedrooms, each with own basins, sharing access to an en-suite toilet and shower.
  • E -  *bedroom with en suite toilet and basin.
  • F -  untreated borehole water reservoir for swimming.

*Most of the rooms have lots of cupboard space. 

There is electricity from the Eskom grid, although this is not always reliable, especially in summer. The ablutions and the kitchen have hot water from electrical geysers. 

Drinkable water is from a local borehole. 

Waste water is processed into septic tanks; so only single-ply toilet paper must be used. 

Cell phone connectivity is limited. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 


  • What is Meletse Bat Research and Conservation Training Centre (MBRCTC)? The Meletse Bat Research and Conservation Training Centre (MBRCTC) are facilities located on the farm Randstephane a 3000 ha mixed land use (cattle and game). The general vegetation of the area is Central Sandy Bushveld. These facilities primary function is for research, training and capacity building in the natural sciences, with a special focus on bat research, education and training. The MBRCTC is located near an important cave, which is of conservation importance.
  • Who can go to MBRCTC? AfricanBats staff, researchers, interns, volunteers, students and Friends of AfricanBats. Bona fide staff, postgraduates and post-doctoral fellows of other academic institutions, particularly if they have co-operative research or teaching programmes with AfricanBats.
  • Why go to MBRCTC? Research, workshops and training of any kind, ecological studies, projects on the flora and fauna of the region.
  • Where is MBRCTC [Link into a google Map?]
    • MBRCTC is 21 km north of the town of Rooiberg, Limpopo Province, South Africa.
    • It is >>km north of Johannesburg and >> km north of Pretoria
    • It is a >> hours drive from Johannesburg and >> hours from Pretoria.
    • Accessible in 4x2's, but 26 km of dirt roads need to be traveled to get to MBRTC and the state of these road are variable depending on the season.
  • GPS Coordinates >>>>> >>>>
  • Beware! Follow the text directions as well, your GPS will probably lead you to the incorrect gate or onto someone else�s farm where you will be trespassing.
  • Directions
    • From Bela-Bela (old name Warmbaths) (GPS - >>>>)
      •  >>>>>>> & >>>> to Rooiberg (GPS - >>>>).
      • Travel through Rooiberg, and the tar ends and then travel on the dirt road for 21km until you reach a T-junction.
      • At the T-junction, turn right and travel 5km, entrance to farm is on the left.
    • From Thabazimbi (GPS - >>>>)
      • Travel North through Thabazimbi and pass the entrance to Marakele National Park, until you come to a 4 way stop (tar ends and the three options are dirt roads)
      • Turn right onto the >>>>, from the dirt travel >>km (at >> km will pass the intersection with the Rooiberg road) the entrance gate is on the left hand side.
  • What you need to take
    • Bedding including pillows, towels, soap and clothing, loo paper (please single ply due to septic tanks).
    • Food and drink, braai wood or charcoal. Harvesting of wood in the reserve area is prohibited.
    • Clothing Layers are recommended (June/July can get to -3oC).
    • Sturdy walking shoes (preferably with ankle support & also some protection from snakes), sunhats, fleece tops, t-shirts, cotton trousers, swimming costumes are all recommended.
    • Those undertaking AfricanBats training courses at MBRCTC then please refer to the recommended clothing requirements associated with the associated training course. Weather/climate <<< Waste
    • We ask that all waste is removed from the site when groups leave.
  • Risks
    • Ticks, mosquitoes, snakes, baboon, wasps, bees. 





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