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April 5, 2018
Comments Off on Corporate Conference Safari Special

Corporate Conference Safari Special

2018-03-23-winter-specials-conferences

Gondwana provides the ultimate boutique corporate getaway in an awe-inspiring wilderness teaming with game. The 11 000 hectare Big five game reserve is accessibly located on the Garden Route only 4 hours drive from Cape Town or 45 minutes from George airport. Enjoy 2 exhilarating game drives daily, three gourmet meals a day, and accommodation […]

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April 5, 2018
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Eco Camp Exclusive Winter Offer

2018-03-23-winter-specials-ecocamp

Book Gondwana’s Tented Eco Camp exclusively to enjoy this special bush retreat with a group of family or friends! Situated in the heart of the reserve the camp offers “glamping” at its best. Five stylish, yet rustic double tents with en-suit bathrooms provide very comfortable accommodation. A private staff complement is ready host your group […]

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April 5, 2018
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Bush villa B&B Safari Breakaway

2018-03-23-winter-specials-villa-special

Enjoy a Big 5 safari with your family and friends in the comfort of Gondwana’s luxury bush villas and receive a complimentary game drive daily! Gondwana’s open plan 3 and 4 bedroom bush villas are ideal for groups and include fully stocked kitchens, spacious en-suit-bedrooms, and expansive decks. Braai in your own private lodge enjoying […]

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April 5, 2018
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Luxe For Less Winter Special – Ulubisi House

2018-03-23-winter-specials-ulubisi

Imagine a luxuriously spacious and stylish African villa with your own Field Guide, Chef and Butler. The villa is privately situated in the reserve’s 1000 hectare walking area surrounded by grasslands teaming with game. Three luxurious guest suites with endless mountain views provide extravagant accommodation for 6 adults or 4 adults and 4 children.The ultimate […]

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April 5, 2018
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Month of June Father’s Day Special

2018-03-23-winter-specials-fathers-day

Treat Dad this month and take the whole family on a Big 5 luxury safari ideally located in the Garden Route! Enjoy 2 exhilarating game drives daily in the 11 000 hectare private reserve, three gourmet meals a day, and family accommodation in spacious and luxurious bush villas. All for only R2250 per adult, children […]

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April 3, 2018
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Month of May Mother’s Day Special

2018-03-23-winter-specials-mothers-day2

Spoil mom this month and take the whole family on a Big 5 luxury safari ideally located in the Garden Route!  Enjoy 2 exhilarating game drives daily in the 11 000 hectare private reserve, three gourmet meals a day, and family accommodation in spacious and luxurious bush villas. All for only R2250 per adult, children […]

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March 12, 2018

Wildlife update with Jono Berry (Conservation and sustainability Manager)

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Photo credits: Zebra – Magdelene, Rainbow – Pierre

Gondwana has enjoyed some lovely rain in January with over 94 mm falling at Lehele and an additional 15mm in February. This is up to three times the figure of neighbouring farmers in the area. The rainfall has provided a fantastic green flush of grass for the grazers.

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There has been a lot happening with the lion pride. It was observed by the rangers and wildlife team that the big male lion had begun to chase the three sub adult males off the kills. This behavior is completely normal and in the wild the sub adult males would take this as a sign to move off and start their own territory. Unfortunately this is not possible at Gondwana as the sub adult males could begin to break through fences in order to source new territories, which would jeopardize relationships with neighbouring farmers. The three sub adult males have therefore been caught and are currently being held in the predator holding boma. The wildlife team is working closely with the Game Rangers Association who are in the process of setting up a new Game Reserve in Angola. The Association will be sourcing animals for this reserve and the plan is to release the 3 sub adult Gondwana males into this reserve along with some females from other areas  so that they can set up their own pride. It is interesting to note that up to now lion populations in reserves like Gondwana were never recognized. Many Lion foundations however are now sitting up and taking notice of lion populations in smaller reserves as these populations are growing, whereas lion population numbers on the whole are declining. It is reserves like Gondwana that are contributing to the survival of the lion species.

The male has subsequently mated with the two adult females and the sub adult females broke away from them during this time. 

The sable have not been doing very well in the protected area so a process was set up to move the Sable into the Mountain Ridge and Sunset Ridge areas where they can be closely monitored. Homeowners are enjoying getting up close to these magnificent antelope in these homeowner areas.

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Photo Credit: Brenda Li

There have been many young ones born on the reserve over the last three months, including impala, waterbuck, eland, red hartebeest and wildebeest. The populations are healthy and enjoying the supplementary licks to help with lactation and fertility. The wildebeest population is the hardest hit however as they are the favorite prey species of the lion. It is always a balancing act to manage the predator prey numbers on the reserve so with this in mind one of the short term wildlife plans is to introduce more antelope species towards winter.

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Photo Credit: Brenda Li

With the recent bushfire at Red Rocks 20, it bares mentioning that the fast response of the fire team assisted in containing the fire to under 2 hectares, even though they were called out on a Sunday afternoon.

Last and certainly not least PG is hard at work currently setting up the wattle eradication program for 2018.

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March 12, 2018

Radio Jargon at Gondwana

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Whilst out on game drive in many reserves in South Africa, there is another language that comes into play between field guides over their radio network. This radio jargon has evolved over time derived mostly from local African languages to allow the field guides to discuss sightings and updates . There is no translation app or google connection to help one at this time! With this in mind here are some common names that can be heard frequently over the radio…

Hippo – Imvubu

Elephant – Indlovu

Giraffe – Dlulamiti

Lion – Ingonyama

Youngsters – Impanpane

Kill ( grip, grasp, hold) – Bamba

Male/husband – Madoda

Female/wife – Mufasi

Bush/Thicket – Hlathini

Old one – Madala

Text: Nadine Clarke
Photo: Raquel de Castro Maia

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March 12, 2018

Erica cerinthoides

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A relatively common heath, widespread and native to South Africa, Erica cerinthoides is flowering in bursts of crimson on the reserve at the moment. It is also known as fire heath, red hairy heath or rooihaartjie. The flowers on Erica cerinthoides are fascinating as they are an unusually deep shade of red and are arranged in umbels of 7 to 10 flowers at branch tips. The tubular flowers are covered in red hairs which seem to have a swelling at the tip.

Photographs and text: Raquel de Castro Maia

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February 19, 2018

Bobartia Orientalis

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Bobartia Orientalis is flowering all over the reserve at the moment. It is commonly known as the rush lily or blombiesie.

Flowers are yellow and densely clustered on the end of flower stalks. The main flowering season is from September to November, however plants may flower sporadically throughout the year, depending largely on rainfall.

Fire is thought to be important in its life history as woody rhizomes below the ground are able to re­sprout after fire.

Not much is known about its exact pollinators, however its flowers are hardly ever found intact as a variety of beetle have been found eating its petals.

There is reason to believe that the rush iris might have a special symbiotic relationship with bostrichoid beetles, three species of which have been found feeding on the plants. This is unusual as the bostrichoid beetles usually feeds on wood or dry organic materials throughout its life cycle. These are the beetles that are often found eating furniture and wooden floor boards.

It has been found that the seed capsule on the Bobartia Orientalis, has a capsule lid that is just large enough for the bostrichoid beetles to lay one egg in one of the three seed locules. The seed locules contain lots of red brown seed. As the larva of the beetle grows it will consume the seeds present in one of the locules, before it is ready to leave the seed capsule as a beetle. The seeds in the other two chambers then mature and are released when the capsule dries and opens, to produce more plants. The bostrichoid beetles also seems to favour eating Bobartia Orientalis petals and this may be where it is involved in pollinating the flowers as it moves from flower to flower.

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