Gondwana Introduces 2 New Antelope Species this Spring!

September 21, 2012

Gondwana Game Reserve, situated in the Garden Route of South Africa, is now home to Waterbuck and Springbok among 12 other antelope species already found on the reserve.  Antelope diversity is an important part of the overall nature and game experience at Gondwana and includes Kudu, Eland, Red Hartebeest, and Gemsbok among many others. Gondwana has added nearly 200 new four legged friends to the reserve this month which will have a fantastic impact on the game viewing experience.  Growing the bio diversity of the reserve forms an important part of Gondwana’s wildlife management plan in order to offer visitors an interesting wildlife experience.  Gondwana’s climate and grazing and browsing capacity allow for a wide variety of antelope species – now only 4 fewer species than the whole of the Kruger Park!

Gondwana Game Reserve provides the perfect safari break for Cape Town visitors and residents. Less than a four-hour drive, the 11,000-hectare (26,000 acre) private game reserve offers a distinctive and luxurious malaria-free safari experience.  Indigenous Fynbos vegetation cloaks the undulating valleys, adding vivid colour and interest to a Big Five wilderness experience with awe inspiring views of the Langeberg Mountains wherever you look. This exclusive reserve offers guests attentive service, superb cuisine, inspiring luxurious interiors, expert game rangers, and an array of activities including horseback safaris and mountain biking.  World-class tourist facilities and attractions on Gondwana’s doorstep include championship golf courses at Pinnacle Point, Pezula, Oubaai and Fancourt, great swimming and surfing beaches and the attractive coastal towns of Mossel Bay and Knysna.   The reserve is easily accessible through George Domestic Airport, a 45-minute drive (transfers provided) with daily flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town International airports.

The herd of Waterbuck, a shaggy grizzly grey antelope, was released onto the central plains of the reserve. Despite its name, Waterbuck are not truly aquatic, though they are water dependent and rarely forage more than 2km from a water source. With the vast plains and abundance of water, this has made Gondwana an ideal home for these large robust animals.

The waterbuck especially the older ones take on an unpleasant odor that is believed to be from the waterproofing secretions of its sweat glands, prompting predators to choose other prey. Waterbuck have been known to be good swimmers and have been recorded running into dams to avoid stalking lions. Waterbuck in general are bulky and slow animals and thus adopted an alternative anti-predator approach in comparison to other antelope.

Probably the most distinguishing characteristic of these large ungulate are the circular white ring on the rump. There are various theories in regards to the purpose of this, but it is likely an adaptation to help them follow one another when in pursuit.

The agile Springbok is a medium sized brown and white gazelle, which enjoys the vast grasslands of Southern Africa grazing and browsing mostly seeds and succulent shrubs. Springbok can go without water and in extreme cases some go without drinking water throughout the course of their lives meeting their water needs from the food they eat.

The Springbok get their name from their most prominent characteristic which is being able to leap repeatedly at high leaps of up to 4.0 meters (13ft). This practice is known as “pronking” which is the Afrikaans word for “showing off”

Springbok normally gather together in the wet seasons and spread out in the dry seasons. Bachelor males and females tend to form separate herds, quite similar to the nature of South Africans at an informal braai. The Springbok is known to be South Africa’s national animal and was adopted as a nickname by the South African Rugby Union.