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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

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 Middle Stone Ages - The "Bushmen" Period


With the help of the of one of the most ancient art galleries in the world, the rock paintings found in the hills on the reserve give us a glimpse of the inner workings of the Bushmen (San) people that inhabited the area in the Middle Stone Age, over 70 000 years ago. These paintings are by far the oldest form of art and tell stories of their hunter-gatherer lifestyle. Other treasures discovered include tools, pottery, and weapons. Old versions of a chess game can be found carved in to a lot of the rocks in the same area. Sadly, only an estimated 100 000 San people remain living in Southern Africa. These historial sites are protect by the Conservancy and we do not allow anyone to touch the items on site.




The Iron Age - The "Chifumbaze" Period


Pioneers from India and China came down to start gold and ivory trade routes to Asia. They brought with them livestock and crop farms and before long began integrating with the local African's and formed a colony, informally known as the Chifumbaze. There is much mystery around this period, and it is not known for certain which tribes formed part of the Chifumbaze. One of the most beautiful reminders of this period are the ruins of an ancient fortress built on top of one of the hills on the reserve. The ruins have a 360-degree uninterrupted view of the land below and would have served as the perfect look-out point for raiders and any other threats. Constructed without mortar, it is a miracle that parts of this archaeological treasure remain today.




The 19th Century - The Dutch "Voortrekkers"


The arrival of the Voortrekkers in the early nineteenth century brought profound changes to the region. Their route roughly followed that of the N1 today and brought about the founding of the towns now called Bela-Bela, Modimolle, and Polokwane, among others. The Voortrekkers who ventured this far north were determined and hardened people, making it through obstacles such as tribal wars, tropical diseases including Tick-Bite Fever and Malaria, and surviving radicle heatwaves with little or no water on their journey north. A few of the Voortrekkers must have crossed through the area as remains of some of the houses and their graves can be seen on the reserve. As with all the history that we have managed to salvage on the reserve, we protect what has been entrusted to us by preventing further human damage and ensuring the stories that the finding carry are told.





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.