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CONSERVATION

Our Founding Promise

Founded as a conservation initiative 45 years ago, Greater Kuduland strives to fulfill its founding promise of adhering to an incredibly strict code of ethics when it comes to the conservation and well-being of the Reserve's animals and their habitat to ensure that future generations will one day be able to witness the wonders of the African bush. 

 

Over 90% of Greater Kuduland's tourism revenue goes back into conservation initiatives to protect the wildlife, the environment, and the cultural heritage of the land. These efforts led to Greater Kuduland being the very first private game reserve in South Africa to introduce elephants in 1991, since which the herd has almost quadrupled in size. Up until a few years ago when the Kruger National Park managed to expand its herds, Kuduland had the largest breeding herd of roan antelope in the country. We were also the first reserve to introduce disease-free buffalo into the area in 1975. Presently, we are one of the only reserves in the country that is home to both black and white rhino. These are just a few of our advances along the way to our goal to prevent the further decline of endangered animals. 

 

WILDLIFE CONSERVATION

Counter-Poaching


Greater Kuduland works side by side with the South African Police Force and Limpopo Rhino Security Group to help fight poaching. Howard and his team closely monitor animal species on the Reserve and keep track of the game through monitoring systems, trail cameras, helicopter surveys, and scouting missions. These efforts have led to a drastic decrease in poaching on the Reserve and have allowed for the introduction of various rare game breeds, including black rhino, sable, roan, and tsessebe.




Ecological Balance


Much like other nature reserves, game reserves are established to preserve wildlife in their natural habitat, but with private land come boundaries which essentially prohibit animals from their natural migration patterns during times of drought and over-grazing.This means that there is a delicate balance that needs to be maintained to create a thriving ecosystem. We manage this balance by conducting regular game counts and assessing whether we need to introduce or remove animals based on conditions such as rainfall and quality of food sources. One of the means by which we control population numbers and support the environment is through trophy hunting. Unlike government-funded reserves who are reliant on tax, private game reserves are funded through tourism, of which hunting safaris bring in three times the amount of normal safaris. Over 90% of the Revenue brought in from a safaris on Greater Kuduland Safaris goes straight back into the Reserve. This not only allows us to support the animals through times of drought, disease, and poaching crises, but also enables us to expand our conservation efforts to breed and safeguard other rare-game species such as the black rhino to help bring them back from the brink of extinction. With some of the larger mammals, such as elephant and lion, where overpopulation could cause devastating effects on the environment, we use a contraceptive method which involves inserting a pill under the animal's skin that renders them sterile for up to 18 months. The procedure is reversible. To read more about it please see our blog post: Alternative to Lion Hunting on Greater Kuduland Please feel free to contact us with any questions. safaris@greaterkudulandsafaris.com




Drought Management


Greater Kuduland Safaris falls within a high drought-prone area so a number of measures need to be taken to ensure the well-being of the animals during the dry season. 1. Feeding - Greater Kuduland sources and invests heavily in feed for the animals during a drought. Produce such as hay, lucern, and over ripened fruit from farms in the area is brought in to sustain the wildlife during these dry periods. 2. Boreholes - There are 17 boreholes spread across the reserve that pump water into waterholes and reservoirs for the animals to drink from when the dams and streams are low. 3. Salt Rocks - We place large salt rocks at the waterholes during droughts for animals to lick during the dry months. These salt rocks, or licks, help regulate the body's fluids and control electrical impulses in nerves and muscles while replenishing electrolytes. 3. Game Count - We conduct regular game counts to ensure that the land remains sustainable and that an overpopulation of game does not lead to overgrazing and a shortage of food. Reintroduction programs, game sales, and hunting are all important factors of herd management. 4. Monitoring Teams - Howard and his team continuously monitor the rainfall, natural and human-made water sources, food sources, and the animals’ overall condition to ensure that all parts of the Kudualnd eco-system are healthy and prepared for any climatic uncertainties.




Disease Control


There is unfortunately little you can do once a disease has entered an area. However thanks to our monitoring teams we are constantly aware of our animals' well-being and when a disease does take hold of an animal we are likely to pick up on it in time to move the animal into an isolated area to receive treatment, while closely monitoring the other animals that could be prone to the condition. We are also thankful that the Limpopo farming community is a tight-knit community and when a disease has implicated one of the other reserves, the news travels fast, and we are usually able to take the necessary precautions in time to prevent further spread. Since the introduction of disease-free buffalo in 1975, which was a first of its kind in South Africa, Greater Kuduland has proactively put steps in place to detect and prevent this serious environmental threat.





The Battle for Wildlife Preservation Through Focused Efforts 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION 

We conduct a large amount of research on non-game species to better understand our role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

Studies on biodiversity include the analysis of the flora, insects, and small mammals and birds, and are administered to help us better understand what is needed for our wildlife populations thrive. We then apply this research through closely monitored programs to eliminate environmental threats such as invasive species, erosion, contaminated water, and pollution. 

Protecting our Environment

Carbon Footprint


Greater Kuduland has taken significant steps toward waste management policies, such as restricting the use of all water bottles and straws on the Reserve. Whatever is not recycled at this point is burnt rather than buried. By 2021 we aim for all disposable appliances to be reused or recycled. There is a zero-tolerance for pollution and anyone caught littering on the Reserve will be prosecuted. Parts of the establishmenet are already run on solar power, and we aim to implement other green energy stratergies over the next few years to power the Reserve.




Non - Game Species and Birds


This specific line of research was encouraged when we noticed how butterflies and rare wildflowers benefited after moving some of our grazing herds to a separate encampment during a drought in 1984. There were some instances when new bird species migrated to the area for the fresh vegetation, despite the lack of water. Since then, we have initiated many projects aimed at creating a sustainable environment for our non-game species, including improving bank-side vegetation on the Madimahuru dam to encourage ducks and other water animals into the area. We also looked into the drainage on the marshlands to help preserve the tributaries to encourage frogs, insects, and other wetland species to the vicinity during the rainy season.





 

Counter-Poaching


Greater Kuduland works side by side with the South African Police Force and Limpopo Rhino Security Group to help fight poaching. Howard and his team closely monitor animal species on the Reserve and keep track of the game through monitoring systems, trail cameras, helicopter surveys, and scouting missions. These efforts have led to a drastic decrease in poaching on the Reserve and have allowed for the introduction of various rare game breeds, including black rhino, sable, roan, and tsessebe.




Ecological Balance


Much like other nature reserves, game reserves are established to preserve wildlife in their natural habitat, but with private land come boundaries which essentially prohibit animals from their natural migration patterns during times of drought and over-grazing.This means that there is a delicate balance that needs to be maintained to create a thriving ecosystem. We manage this balance by conducting regular game counts and assessing whether we need to introduce or remove animals based on conditions such as rainfall and quality of food sources. One of the means by which we control population numbers and support the environment is through trophy hunting. Unlike government-funded reserves who are reliant on tax, private game reserves are funded through tourism, of which hunting safaris bring in three times the amount of normal safaris. Over 90% of the Revenue brought in from a safaris on Greater Kuduland Safaris goes straight back into the Reserve. This not only allows us to support the animals through times of drought, disease, and poaching crises, but also enables us to expand our conservation efforts to breed and safeguard other rare-game species such as the black rhino to help bring them back from the brink of extinction. With some of the larger mammals, such as elephant and lion, where overpopulation could cause devastating effects on the environment, we use a contraceptive method which involves inserting a pill under the animal's skin that renders them sterile for up to 18 months. The procedure is reversible. To read more about it please see our blog post: Alternative to Lion Hunting on Greater Kuduland Please feel free to contact us with any questions. safaris@greaterkudulandsafaris.com




Drought Management


Greater Kuduland Safaris falls within a high drought-prone area so a number of measures need to be taken to ensure the well-being of the animals during the dry season. 1. Feeding - Greater Kuduland sources and invests heavily in feed for the animals during a drought. Produce such as hay, lucern, and over ripened fruit from farms in the area is brought in to sustain the wildlife during these dry periods. 2. Boreholes - There are 17 boreholes spread across the reserve that pump water into waterholes and reservoirs for the animals to drink from when the dams and streams are low. 3. Salt Rocks - We place large salt rocks at the waterholes during droughts for animals to lick during the dry months. These salt rocks, or licks, help regulate the body's fluids and control electrical impulses in nerves and muscles while replenishing electrolytes. 3. Game Count - We conduct regular game counts to ensure that the land remains sustainable and that an overpopulation of game does not lead to overgrazing and a shortage of food. Reintroduction programs, game sales, and hunting are all important factors of herd management. 4. Monitoring Teams - Howard and his team continuously monitor the rainfall, natural and human-made water sources, food sources, and the animals’ overall condition to ensure that all parts of the Kudualnd eco-system are healthy and prepared for any climatic uncertainties.




Disease Control


There is unfortunately little you can do once a disease has entered an area. However thanks to our monitoring teams we are constantly aware of our animals' well-being and when a disease does take hold of an animal we are likely to pick up on it in time to move the animal into an isolated area to receive treatment, while closely monitoring the other animals that could be prone to the condition. We are also thankful that the Limpopo farming community is a tight-knit community and when a disease has implicated one of the other reserves, the news travels fast, and we are usually able to take the necessary precautions in time to prevent further spread. Since the introduction of disease-free buffalo in 1975, which was a first of its kind in South Africa, Greater Kuduland has proactively put steps in place to detect and prevent this serious environmental threat.





CULTURAL CONSERVATION 

In Honour Our Fathers Who Walked the Land Before Us

We are very proud of the Reserve’s ancient roots and do our best to guard its heritage. A recent study done by the University of Pretoria discovered archaeological findings that prove the first human inhabitants on the Reserve date back to the Middle Stone Age.

 

We go to great lengths to protect the land’s history as it serves to remind us that we too are just visitors on this earth.

 Greater Kuduland Safaris, Limpopo, South Africa

safaris@greaterkudulandsafaris.com 

+27 15 539 0720

2019. Photography by Níall Beddy and GreenGraf Photography

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