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February 19, 2018

Solanum linnaeanum


The thorn apple also known as devils apple, apple of Sodom or Gifapple, is native to South Africa and was introduced to many countries including Australia. It occurs in most areas from the Cape to Zimbabwe. It grows to be about 1m tall. The scientific name is Solanum linnaeanum (previously S.hermannii).

It is a fascinating medicinal plant, and can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Fruits can be poisonous to sheep and children; green fruits are more toxic than ripe ones. Our APU and field rangers have used this plant out in the field to treat wounds and to treat people suffering from pain. The pulp from the green fruits of many Solanum species are applied directly to the tooth and gum for the treatment of tooth ache. Solanum supinum for example is also known as tyndpynbos (tooth ache bush). Solanum species contain toxic steroidal alkaloids (solanine and solasodine) these are used as base materials in the manufacture of steroidal drugs.

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February 7, 2018

Snap Shot Safari Website Launches

We are pleased to be a part of SnapshotSafari, an international camera trap survey that looks to citizen scientists to classify wildlife caught on camera. The website ( officially launched today! You can explore Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa through camera-traps spread through the first six reserves. Over the next couple weeks, more sites from other countries in eastern and southern Africa will be added to the platform for users to investigate from the comfort of their home, office, or local library!


cutest elephant hyena





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January 21, 2018

Tritonopsis antholyza


Tritonopsis antholyza, also known as the karkarblom, is a gorgeous showy plant that can stand about 90cm tall. The flowers are a striking cluster of long tubular blooms that vary from pink to reddish pink in colour. These are flowering on the reserve at the moment and should continue to do so right into autumn.

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January 8, 2018

Micranthus plantagineus


One of the three species of Micranthus occur here in our region and was found on Gondwana at the end of November – the beautiful Micranthus plantagineus also known as the Vleiblommetjie. This plant is endemic to the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa. It is not easily mistaken for any other member of the iris family. It can be up to 50cm tall with small blue flowers arranged in two rows on the flowering stem. Its leaves are narrow cylindrical hollow leaves. It is usually locally abundant and found in areas that have been burnt on moist slopes.

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January 8, 2018

A species of Alepidea found on Gondwana!


This is an exciting find! Brendan (Eco Camp), you will recall seeing this strange plant growing in the Nouga in September when we took Yvette van Wijk around on our fynbos scout…
It has taken months to identify and I think we may have found one of the two species of Alepidea that occur in this region. The two species that occur here are Alepidea delicatula (Rare) and Alepidea capensis. They should be in flower so please look out for them, this could be another rare species for Gondwana.

It can grow upto 20cm tall. Its characteristic leaves arranged in a rosette have long incurving soft spines that look like those found on insectivorous plants. The flowers are small and delicate.
The rhizomes and roots of some species are important medicinal plants.

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October 26, 2017

Stay in Style this summer at Ulubisi House and SAVE 20%


Imagine a luxuriously spacious and stylish African villa with your own Field Guide, Chef and Butler situated in a private Big 5 game reserve. Save 20 % when you book your luxury stay at Ulubisi House. Valid 1 Nov – 15 Dec 2017

What’s Included

  • Luxury accommodation for up to 6 adults or 4 adults and 4 children
  • Pool and Jacuzzi/hot tub with extensive deck area to take in spectacular surrounds
  • Private field guide for the duration of your stay with private vehicle
  • Private chef for the duration of your stay
  • Private butler and laundry service
  • All meals and drinks including spirits, liqueurs and soft drinks. The only drinks excluded are French champagne and premium wines.
  • Premium specialty coffee maker
  • Guided walks including Fynbos and wildlife hikes
  • Mountain biking, fishing and trail running
  • Fun Junior Ranger Experience for children including custom activity book
  • Wi Fi and DSTV

Make an Enquiry Make a booking 

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October 5, 2017

Spring is Blooming at Gondwana Game Reserve


Cyphia volubilis

Cyphia volubilis is a climber and the colour of the flowers can vary from white to purple with small white purple markings at the base of the three upper petals.

Plants from the Cyphia group are generally easy to recognise as they are mostly climbers that twine around stems of other plants. During the summer months the stems, leaves and flowers of Cyphia volubilis are dormant. They have an underground tuber from which they grow rapidly in Autumn after the first rains.

The tubers of Cyphia volubilis are edible and they were once an important wild food in the Cape. People would eat the potatoe-like tuber raw or slightly roasted. It was locally named “baroe”. Its fleshy tuber was considered to not only a staple food as well as a thirst quencher because of its high-water content.


Lobostemon fruticosus

Lobostemon fruticosus is also known as “Agdaegeneesbos” in Afrikaans. The vernacular name refers to the plants believed ability to heal a condition in eight days. (eight-day healing bush).

The leaves of Lobostemon fruticosus were pulped, or put into leaf decoctions and ointments and fried in sweet oil or fat. These were used to treat wounds, sores, ulcers, burns, planter’s warts and ringworm.

The crushed leaves of this plant and other species of Lobostemon are mucilaginous (produce a thick and gluey substance) and are thus emollient (having the quality of softening or soothing the skin). The leaves were chewed until a slimy mass formed which was then applied to a fresh wound like a plaster. The outer layer dried to form a soft brown layer. This “plaster” was left on the wound for more than a week.

Lobostemon is closely related to comfrey and may also contain a chemical compound known as allantoin which is well known for its wound healing properties.


Tritonia securigera

Tritonia securigera, is a striking bloom with 3 characteristic prominent yellow teeth on the lower flower lobes. Honeybees grab onto these when they visit the flowers and then crawl over them to reach the nectar. The distance between the top of these teeth and the anthers is just less than the diameter of the bees. The bees squeeze into this gap and this ensures that the pollen of a flower is deposited on the back of the bee and is carried to the next flower for pollination.


Indigofera heterophylla

Indigofera heterophylla. The roots of many Indigofera species are recorded to have been used medicinally as a treatment for infertility. The leaves of some Indigofera species (usually the larger ones) were boiled up to extract the chemical indigo which is the main source of indigo pigment used as a dye.


Satyrium muticum

This critically endangered orchid was found growing on a rocky slope at Gondwana Game Reserve in September. It is only found in the Mossel Bay Region and is extremely rare.


Hermannia filifolia

Hermania filifolia is also known as “broodblom” it has beautiful characteristics twisted to flaring hanging flowers. Most Hermannia species are highly palatable and readily browsed by game. The flowers of Hermannia filifolia  have an unusual taste, and are a wild flower that can be enjoyed in salads.


Agathosma capensis

The Agathosma genus is restricted to South Africa and is a typical fynbos species, not easily mistaken by any other as the leaves are usually strongly scented. Traditionally the Khoi had many medicinal and cosmetic uses for different Agathosma species. Also known as “buchu” this plant makes a delicious Buchu tea. Medicinally many Agathosma species were also used to treat chest, stomach and urinary tract infections.

The leaves of Agathosma capensis above, have a strong aniseed or liquorice scent when crushed.


Gladiolus floribundus

A beautiful Gladiolus with large showy flowers. Growing all over the reserve in spring – it cannot be missed.


Freesia alba

Freesias are delightfully fragrant and are known for their unique mixture of spicy and floral scents. Freesias have been used as a vital ingredient in many scented oils because of their captivating fragrance. Their oils are used for aromatherapy and in perfumes.


Babiana patula

There are a number of Babiana species that flower around this time of year their bright colours are a sight to behold. The name is derived from a Dutch word – baviaan, referring to the Chacma baboon that relishes the underground corms of plants in the genus. Most Babianas are adapted to Renosterveld and its shale-derived clay soils so much of their habitat has been destroyed.


Watsonia Laccata

A gorgeous smaller species of watsonia flowering in tones of pink to red. Their blooms are dotted all over the reserve in Spring and appear as beautiful flame like blooms that are about 30 – 40 cm tall.


Gerbera crocea

These beautiful Gerberas grow in open fynbos areas and are a wide spread species. They are most abundant in areas that have experienced fires. Gerberas form the whimsical (puffy ball-like) seed heads on which most childhood wishes are placed before being blown to the wind.

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July 25, 2017

GCF, Riding to Save Rhino



In under a decade, 7 134 rhino have been killed in South Africa alone.

Once again, the Gondwana team will be riding the Cape Pioneer Trek, presented by Biogen, presented by Biogen, to raise funds to continue the fight against rhino poaching in South Africa. Our team this year consists of Devon Naude and Tristan Sandwith from Table Mountain Bikers Club in Cape Town who will be slogging it out for 7 days, from October 15 to 21. The 7-day race stretches a grueling 572km in distance with an overall ascent of 10,650 meters in and around the Garden Route near Mossel Bay and they aim to raise R1000 per kilometer or R572 000 for the Gondwana Conservation Foundation (GCF). The first stage of the race will be traversing through Gondwana Game Reserve and has been named #GondwanaGlory by the organizers.

All donations of R1000 or more will be entered to win a luxury safari weekend for 2 at Gondwana Game Reserve inclusive of all meals and game drives worth over R16,000.


The poaching of Rhino in Southern Africa, and in South Africa in particular, has been increasing exponentially over the past five years. In 2013 more rhino were killed than born. To combat this increase in poaching incidents, the Gondwana Conservation Foundation launched the Rainbow Rhino Initiative.

Gondwana feels this epic mountain bike race is a fantastic platform to raise awareness for the GCF’s Rainbow Rhino Initiative which has 3 tactical approaches to contribute to this epidemic. Firstly, the foundation has established a counter poaching training camp which sponsors courses focusing on tracking, crime scene investigation and drone surveillance. Second, the initiative is developing a core breeding population of rhino from which a custodianship program can be launched, distributing new founder populations of rhino throughout Africa together with trained anti-poaching units. Third, the GCF is partnering with technology companies to create interactive awareness of rhino relocations through the latest GPS and drone technology allowing international communities to follow real time movement and imagery of individual rhino. The foundation has also played an integral role facilitating all key anti-poaching role players in the region including SAPS, Cape Nature, State Vets, Game Rangers Association of Africa, and the private sector to coordinate rhino poaching crime scene roles and responsibilities.

The cyclists goal is to raise R1,000 per Km or R572,000 for the Rainbow Rhino Initiative. Last year funds raised through the Cape Pioneer Trek helped to complete the anti-poaching training facility on the 11,000 hectare, Big 5 reserve as well as purchase a rhino cow and calf to add to the core breeding population. The funds raised this year would go to securing vital training equipment needed, including night vision glasses, safety equipment, lecturing equipment as well as subsidizing multiple training courses over the next 12 months.

Follow our team’s progress on the GCF & Gondwana Facebook pages and blogs!

view our GCF Facebook page
view our Gondwana Game Reserve Facebook page


The initiative ran its first training course in February 2017 at Camp Charleston, the foundation’s new onsite training facility. The first course trained eight local general workers in the field of counter insurgency. This course offered skills to individuals on fence maintenance teams to enable them to provide valuable input and assistance to anti-poaching units during their day-to-day patrolling of protected areas. This training is a perfect example of empowering people to contribute to the protection of our treasured natural resources. The training was made possible through the kind donation of Sportingbet.

The second course sponsored was a five-week Security Ranger Program which took place in March/April 2017 at Camp Charleston where eight candidates working in private and public parks attended. This training provided these individuals with the necessary qualifications and skills to be legal and competent security rangers in protected areas and game reserves. The foundation has funds to sponsor three more courses this year.



What Can You Do?

Rhinos in the wild will be extinct by 2020 if the levels of poaching continue, experts have warned. Donate towards the Rainbow Rhino Initiative and help us make headway against the increasing poaching epidemic to protect our threatened rhino across Africa. Spread the word! Rhino poaching needs everyone’s help to stop it!

GCF is calling on all corporates and individuals with a passion for conservation and an interest in saving our rhino to please donate to this worthy cause and cheer our boys on during this exciting but strenuous event!



To Make A Donation

Please see GCF bank details and use reference: Name and RideGCF2017

Banking Details:
Gondwana Conservation Foundation
FNB Bank Mossel Bay
Account number: 62457931345
Branch: Mossel Bay
Branch code: 210314
Swift code: FIRNZAJJ

All donations of R1000 or more will be entered to win a luxury safari weekend for 2 at Gondwana Game Reserve inclusive of all meals and game drives worth over R16,000.

Please also send an email notifying us of your contribution with name/organisation and sponsored KM’s to – all contributors will be mentioned and thanked on social media platforms and in Gondwana’s end of year newsletter.

Our team will be riding in style this year with a very generous kit sponsorship from Ciovita. Inspired by the cycling passion of Italy, Ciovita design and manufacture high quality performance cycling clothing. With full in house production at their state of the art facilities their kit is rigorously tested and constantly improved to ensure that you are always inspired to ride. We are very grateful for Ciovita’s sponsorship and coming on board to support our Rhino. – – +27 21 461 3931

Follow our team’s progress on the GCF & Gondwana Facebook pages and blogs!

view our GCF Facebook page
view our Gondwana Game Reserve Facebook page

The aim is to raise R527 000 – so please get donating!

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July 7, 2017

Winter Full Board Special


Photo credit – Gaenor Botha

  • Only R1950 per person per night on Full Board
  • Kids Under 12 –R950 per night
  • Kids Under 6 stay Free!

* Extra premium charged for Fynbos Villas. 


  • Fine Dining: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Morning and  late afternoon game drive
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Taxes
  • Free Internet Access (Wi-Fi) at the Lodge
  • Minimum 2 night stay
  • Junior Ranger Experience for kids
  • Terms and Conditions Apply
  • Valid 1-31 July 2017
  • Valid for new bookings only

Conservation Fees:

Please note Conservation Fees apply and are not included in online or quoted rates: R200 per adult and R100 per child per stay. 

Please note this special is not bookable online. Please email or call +27 (0) 21 555 0807

Make an Enquiry 

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