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Holidays in South Africa

Cosmopolitan cities, stunning wildlife and deserted beaches - South Africa has it all.

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Tanzania Safari And Beach

Migrating wildebeest, idyllic palm-fringed beaches, and snow-capped mountains ... these could be YOUR Tanzania holiday memories!

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African Safari And Beach Holiday News.

The Travel Butlers Blog

Fenced or Not Fenced – that is the question

TraceyCampbell - October 16, 2013

A very common phrase that you will see when you are searching for your South African safari is the term ‘fenced reserve’.

But what exactly does this mean? For those not in the travel industry, it may seem like an extra word that has just been added to the description of the reserve, to fill out the page.  Surely everywhere has to have a fence somewhere?

Technically, yes, in South Africa every game reserve or National Park does have a fence, even Kruger and it’s neighbouring private reserves.  Somewhere along the border, there will be a fenceline that will act as a deterent to the wildlife, to stop them leaving the safe sanctuary of the reserve/Park and wandering off to visit local villages.

However, in Kruger, you are talking of an area that covers over 2 million hectares (for those reading this in the UK that is about the size of Wales (minus the sheep); for those in the States this is somewhere between the size of Conneticut and New Jersey; and for those in the rest of Europe, it is about the size of Slovenia).  So the chances of spending your entire game drive looking at a fence is fairly low, as with so much land to cover why would you?

Fenced reserves is a term therefore that is used for smaller reserves, and that is where it does actually have some significance.

For example, in the Eastern Cape, all the reserves are fenced, and in the Kruger area, you have a couple of fenced reserves, such as Kapama and Thornybush.  This is because these reserves are all independently owned, so therefore the owners have to firstly differentiate their land from their neighbours, but more importantly, they have to keep their wildlife on their land too!  As a land/reserve owner, you certainly do not want your larger game such as elephant, rhino or lions wandering off to visit another reserve, so that your guests who pay to stay at your reserve don’t get to see them!  How annoying would that be!  Equally, you don’t want your pride of lions deciding to go for a wander through the local village!

Fenced reserves tend to range vastly in size – anything from 1,500 hectares up to 25,000 hectares and upwards.  Obviously, the larger the reserve, the more wildlife the area can sustain, but this will be reflected in the rates charged.

Larger reserves can also play ‘home’ to more predators, as they equally have the space to keep the plains game and buffalo that the predators will naturally hunt for food.  Get the balance between predators and their ‘food’ incorrect and you will have a reserve full of hungry lions and no buffalo!

I have spent many a happy game drive in a fenced reserve, and to be honest, I have had some wonderful game drives and game viewing experiences.  As long as you go to a fenced reserve knowing that you will not see a herd of a million wildebeest wandering across in front of your game vehicle, or expect to see 20 different prides of lions, then there really is no reason not to have a great safari experience in a fenced reserve.

Kapama Aquires Gwalagwala

Paul Campbell - December 1, 2008

During November 2008 an agreement between Kapama and the neighbouring Gwalagwala lodge was concluded whereby Kapama would acquire the property and business of Gwalagwala.

Kapama will take ownership of the property and business on 1 December 2008, and the fence between Kapama and Gwalagwala which stretches for 3.5 km on Kapama’s southern boundary will be removed and the Gwalagwala property will be incorporated into Kapama Private Game Reserve.

Gwalagwala is a tented camp similar to Buffalo Camp with 6 tents with en suite bath rooms and one large luxury tent with a bath, double basin and outside shower. The camp is positioned along the Klaserie River, a permanent river which provides water to the many game species within the Kapama Reserve. The Klaserie River and immediate surrounding vegetation provides the ideal habitat for leopard, hippo and crocodile on the reserve.

From the 1st of December Kapama will include two daily game drives in open vehicles on Kapama Game Reserve and this will be included in the rate.

Camp Jabulani wins ‘Leading Eco-Retreat’ Award

TraceyCampbell - October 31, 2008

Camp Jabulani in Hoedspruit has won the ‘Leading Eco-Retreat’ category at the Amarula Best Retreats in Africa Awards 2008, the prestigious travel awards that celebrate and reward the rich diversity of retreats throughout Africa and assist in promoting the continent as a prime destination for first class world travel. The category recognises the retreat that has done the most to embrace and apply ecological and conservation principles, either to its practical running or to enhance the experience of the guests.

Elephant Back SafarisCamp Jabulani is a perfect translation of the African bush, reduced to a classic and elegant environment fit for royalty, but warm enough to make the most “down to earth” feel at home.

With a philosophy to conserve nature while educating guests and locals to its importance, the entire Jabulani camp is built around conservation and ecological principles with a harmonious and pleasing balance between “designer” and “authentic”. Originally established to save and sustain a troupe of elephants, it now enables guests one-on-one interactions with one of the most magical creatures in the world.

Each entry, some from as far as Mauritius and Kenya, went through a rigorous judging process in their entered category of choice. A panel of well-established and respected judges from tourism, food and design backgrounds were inspired by the level of entrants at extensive judging sessions in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Runners up in the ‘Best Eco-Retreat’ category were Borana Lodge, in the Samangua Valley, Kenya and Grootbos, in Gansbaai, which received Silver and Bronze awards respectively.