Author Archives Vanessa

June 18, 2010

Winter Game Releases

Winter Game Releases on Gondwana

18 June 2010

Gondwana will be introducing 400 head of general game this winter including Springbok, Kudu, Zebra, and Gemsbok as well as 3 hippo into the Lehele Lodge waterhole and giraffe.

Stay tuned for photos and more details.

We would like to thank Rein and Arne van der Horst, home owners in Milkwood Valley for their kind donation of 2 hippo as part of Gondwana’s conservation efforts to reintroduce
endemic species to the reserve.

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June 17, 2010

Black Rhino

It’s a cold winter’s early morning on Gondwana, freezing on the open game viewer. I can’t feel my face, and by wearing a warm hat I try to keep a bit of heat. Even though I’m half frozen, there is nowhere else I would rather be. The rays of the sun are running up the mountains to the east, indicating that the much awaited sun will be with me shortly. I just know that it is going to be a beautiful day.

Our rainy season is almost over, and we are still waiting for most of the rain. We get around 380mm per annum down here on the eastern side of the Southern Cape. The veld is not too bad but I’m worried that we might have to go into summer like this. On the many open plains within the grass there is a lot of wild clover growing, which is saving us at the moment. The little rain we get every few weeks seems to be enough for them.

I can see small herds of kudu and some bushbuck coming out of the thickets every afternoon to feed on these delicious clovers. Even the very endangered Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis bicornis) is seen almost everyday on the open plains grazing like a White Rhino on this wonderful plant that gives life to those in need. With Black Rhino being solitary, aggressive and mostly seen running back into the thickets they came from, these rhino seem so busy enjoying the clovers, they kind of ignore my vehicle most of the time. I like to think that we are getting some of the best Black Rhino sightings in South Africa at the moment. It is also the first Black Rhinos being reintroduced into the Western Cape for 180 years.

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June 12, 2010

5 Star Lodge Officially Opens!

Gondwana´s new 5 star lodge officially opens!

12 June 2010

5 Star Lodge

Gondwana´s new luxury Kwena Huts main lodge and 14 stand alone deluxe bedrooms opened in the end of May with a festive 60 person private event. True to its Khoi San concept the whole
lodge feels like an African village or camp with intimate pathways leading you to your doorstep. The idea was to make the lodge feel transitory as though it could be picked up and moved true
to the nomadic Cape Herders, the first residents to this area. Bar stools were made from carved out stumps with skins thrown over for comfort, worn pathways were created rather than decking
and many textures and materials used could have been picked up from the surrounding land such as Nguni skins and horns, rocks, stumps and sticks.

Facilities include reception building with curio shop, central fireplace and offices. This leads out onto a jaw dropping view of the valley, waterholes and dramatic mountains beyond. Wind
your way to the spacious dining facility under 2 dome roofs with central fireplaces in each creating a romantic and elegant space underneath calbasher chandeliers. Or take a turn past the
equally dramatic lounge and bar building which houses a chic combination of African accents and top modern design. A staircase built into the hill leads down to the pool area with a stunning
infinity pool overlooking 2 waterholes. The bedroom huts fan out from there all landscaped for total privacy and maximum views of the mountains. The spacious bedrooms are dubbed "rooms
in the round" with the bed centrally located underneath a skylight and clay pot fireplace nearby to keep you warm. The large open plan bathroom houses a double vanity, open rainfall
shower, separate toilet and a deep tub with a view to die for out a 3-meter window. Each bedroom has a large verandah under a reed ceiling to take in your natural surroundings.

Rian Fourie transformed the landscape surrounding the lodge buildings so naturally that it feels as though the camp has been there for a 100 years. The landscaping creates privacy between
the units and lends authenticity to the concept using natural grasses, rocks and Fynbos found on the reserve. Lynne K Interior Design worked creatively within the concept, creating
interesting spaces within the dome/hut architecture style and mixing the Khoi San heritage with new contemporary design.

The name Kwena comes from the Khoi San language and was used as a reference to one another. We hope you can come and share the warmth and history of Gondwana´s new, luxury Kwena Huts!

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June 7, 2010

World Environment Day 2010

World Environment Day 2010

7 June 2010

World Environment Day 2010

World Environment Day (WED) 2010 is aimed to be the biggest, most widely celebrated, global day for positive, environmental action.

Under the auspices of the Eden District Municipality, local schools were invited to join in the celebrations of this important week.

Kindly sponsored by Gondwana Game Reserve, Isalekiso and Imekhaya Primary schools were treated to a range of educational activities at Gondwana.

Learners partook in fynbos identification, alien vegetation, animal dung and spoor and spoilt with a lovely lunch courtesy of Pick n Pay, Game and Quali Juice.

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May 17, 2010

Project King Protea

Project King Protea

6 March 2010

Saturday turned out to be a fantastic day, after a week of unreliable weather. Ten enthusiastic students from Indwe School, in Mossel bay, arrived at our Main Gate, ready to explore!

Exitement rose as Forget, our Head Guide, set off with them on a short drive to our Protea Forest, with a short detour to our Elephants. After a quick bumble on the game viewer, they
arrived at the Protea Forest, which is located on a far northern corner of the reserve. Each student (and teacher) received a small King Protea, ready to plant, Forget volunteerd to slug
the 20 Liters of water down the hill.

Albert, ready with a spade, led the way down a incredible slope, earlier cleared by our two guides. With a bit of sliding we found our way down to where Albert and Forget have dug
holes for the plants.

Each student got the chance to plant their own King Protea, with Forget helping them along. After all the Proteas were safe and sound in their new homes, Forget and Albert helped
them to a drink of water. Then came the big trek back up the hill.

After quenching everybody’s thirst, they set off on a afternoon game drive to discover the magic of Gondwana.

Juts before sunset, ten hungry students arrived at our Bush dining spot. With a magnificent view and a roaring fire alongside, our chefs served the students (and hungry waterboy) with
a well deserved dinner.

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May 17, 2010

General Motors SA Corporate Event

General Motors SA Corporate Event

2 December 2009

GM Motors Event

On the 2nd of December General Motors descended on Gondwana Game Reserve to showcase their new Isuzu 4×4 and show off all of
its capabilities.

30 members of the media and press enjoyed 24 hours of action packed itinerary which included a presentation from the new
General Motors CEO, Edgar Lorencon, a two and a half hour 4×4 driving course, bush cocktails and snacks followed by an elegant
meal at Lehele Lodge and loads of drinks!

A 6am wake-up call from the lodge saw the journalists and TV crew embark on a early morning game drive where the lions and
elephants kept them very entertained and kept the rangers on their toes. A blazing fire and delicious breakfast was well received
by all and it wasn’t long before we had to bid farewell to our new friends from around the country.

Thank you, General Motors, for such an exciting event’ we look forward to hosting you all again in the future!

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May 17, 2010

Reserve Expansion

Nauga Valley

Nauga Valley
Large sweetveld area in expansion ground

Reserve Expansion

28 November 2009

Gondwana’s expansion program has now come to fruition with the completion of the external fences and the
current dissembling of the fence dividing the two properties.

Gondwana adds 3000 hectares onto its size totaling nearly 11,000 hectares and brings in new eco-systems.
The inclusion of this area has added numerous species to both our mammal and bird list with the guides
excitedly reporting a first sighting of the Knysna Lourie and breeding pairs of Klipspringer.

The timing of the fence coming down was ideal with the late rains stimulating growth in this sweet veld region creating natural movement of wildlife into this new area.
We have successfully relocated one of our black rhino into this area according to plan as it is a more
suitable habitat for this highly selective browser species.

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May 17, 2010

Another 500 head of Game Added

Gondwana Introduces Another 500 head of Game

13 November 2009

Gondwana introduced many key prey species this winter to stock our new expansion area and fuel our growing
lion. Black Wildebeest, Eland, Red Hartebeest were the main species introduced.

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May 17, 2010

MOtober at Gondwana Game Reserve

MOtober at Gondwana Game Reserve

1 November 2009

For some team spirit and to support a good cause, all of our burly guys on Gondwana grew a moustache
for the month of October. Participants were subjected to continual snickering from staff members trying
to keep a straight face while in meetings with these hairy men.

By the end of the month moustaches were getting frizzy, girlfriends, wives and daughters were refusing
affection, and annoyance with facial hair was about to reach its peak! At the end of the month
“MOtober men”, wives, girlfriends and children gathered for a festive celebration of fantastic
team spirit. All mozzies’ were themed, colored or styled and somewhere in the mix we were graced with
a Thabo Mbeki lookalike (aka Forget Nglovo).

Our Head Chef from Italy Alex took the prize for best moustache and Albert one of our field guides was
given a shot of Jagermeister for his brilliant idea! The funds raised went to support the local Primary
School in Hertbertsdale.

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May 17, 2010

Happy Horse Trails at Gondwana

Happy Horse Trails at Gondwana

27 October 2009

Gondwana’s trail horses have been successfully relocated to their new stables in the reserve’s 1000 hectare walking area.

The 11 horses are enjoying their daily rides in the beautiful Fynbos landscape and open fields for a bit of a run! The 6 Shire breeds have come a long way since their first days on Gondwana after much patience and training from Megan and the team.

Riding safaris can be enjoyed with a delicious picnic laid out at one of the areas waterholes. Riding lessons can also be arranged for those interested.

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