The Official Welgevonden Game Reserve Website




Welgevonden Game Reserve lies in the Waterberg plateau,
just north of Johannesburg, South Africa.
Our guests enjoy unlimited traversing through the 34,850ha reserve and experience an environment where biodiversity conservation and game viewing are managed in harmony.

Livestock Guarding Dogs – Welgevonden Program


Background Document
2013 Sept: EWT Waterberg Update
2013 Jan: EWT Livestock Guarding Dogs Project Report
2013 Feb: EWT Snippets

2012 May: William Stegmann Letter
2012 March: EWT Livestock Guarding Dog Report
2011 March: EWT Livestock Guarding Dog Report


Welgevonden Game Reserve has researched leopards in the reserve as part of a greater study to attempt to understand leopard ecology and conservation issues in the Waterberg and elsewhere.

(Click here for more info on the progress reports and results of this Welgevonden Leopard Research Program)

Leopard research is continuing on Welgevonden in association with PANTHERA, Limpopo Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (LEDET), University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Please click here for more details on the “Limpopo Leopard Project”

The Waterberg Biosphere Reserve is situated within the Waterberg Mountains in the Limpopo Province is well known for its larger conservation areas which include the Marakele National Park as well as privately owned nature reserves, such as Welgevonden Private Game Reserve.

Leopards, and other predators, have existed in these areas naturally despite persecution by livestock farmers and being hunted by trophy hunters.

A conflict of interests therefore exists where leopards, and other predators, are seen to be valuable from an eco-tourism point of view for these large protected areas and private reserves. However, they are regarded as problem animals by livestock farmers who are suffer the consequence of predation on cattle, goats and sheep and in some cases even on wildlife, both natural and introduced, which have financial value to the game farmers who own smaller game farms in the Waterberg.

Being involved with leopard and predator research and conservation but understanding the realities Welgevonden joined hands with the Carnivore Conservation Programme (CCP) of the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) which aims to conserve predators, which are of conservation concern (cheetahs, leopards, African Wild Dog and the brown and spotted hyena), occur naturally outside of protected areas on commercial farms where species of conservation concern occur and where livestock farmers faced with predation are using methods which have a negative impact on the environment and the wildlife that occur in that area. One of the strategies used has been to introduce Livestock Guarding Dogs (LGD) onto the farms to assist the farmers in guarding livestock. The Livestock Guarding Dog Project has clearly showed that the use of these dogs can actually have a positive impact on reducing predation, making it unnecessary for farmers to use unselective and in most cases unsuccessful control methods in order to reduce predation.

The CCP of the EWT has been trying to mitigate conflict in the Waterberg for a long period. Together with the Welgevonden Game Reserve joined forces with the EWT and donated a substantial amount of money to secure the first ten placements of Livestock Guarding Dogs around the perimeter of the Welgevonden Game Reserve. The EWT made a decision not only to use the Anatolian Livestock Guarding dog, but also to do a trial on the use of the Africanis "Maluti" livestock guarding dog which is an indigenous African breed of dog used to guard livestock in Lesotho.

The first five Africanis "Maluti" dogs which were placed during August 2010 with farmers around Welgevonden have all adapted well. The farmers are all satisfied with the LGD's and are very surprised at the way these dogs are working and guarding the various herds of livestock. One of the dogs had a close death experience when a python decided to have him for breakfast, but luckily the farmer saw this and rescued the dog!

Being part of the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve the idea is to create safe movement corridors for the larger predators, such as leopards, between the bigger conservation areas, such as Welgevonden Game Reserve , within the greater Waterberg Biosphere by reducing and or limiting predation by these predators on livestock which occur on the farms between these conservation areas. Another three dogs sponsored by the lodges in Welgevonden have been successfully placed and are working well. To date a total of 25 Livestock Guardian Dogs placed in the Waterberg. The average livestock farm size is 1 500 ha in the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve, meaning that the EWT Livestock Guarding Dog project has secured approximately 37 500 ha for predators through placement of dogs.


Livestock Guardian Dog Project
Livestock Guardian Dogs guard herds and flocks with which they have bonded, and protect the livestock from predators while they graze in fields during the day and sleep in kraals at night. Farmers that take part in this Endangered Wildlife Trust project have reported 100% reduction in predator-related livestock losses. The farmers have stopped lethal predator control methods thus allowing predators to roam freely in these areas. This Livestock Guardian project has shown that it is possible to protect both livestock and predators on farmland.
Please contact Derek van der Merwe (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or 011 372 3600) for more information about the project or how you can sponsor a dog.

Your R10 000 sponsorship includes:

  • Adoption Certificate
  • Veterinary Costs for your dog for one year
  • Quality Eukanuba Dry dog food for one year
  • Monthly monitoring by the Endangered Wildlife Trust
  • Quarterly reports on your dog’s progress
  • Pictures of your dog
  • 1x EWT annual Vision book, 4x Environment magazine and 1 free admission to a Johannesburg Country Club talk.


Current sponsors:

Eukanuba sponsors all the dog food to the project and Novartis supplies Practic and Milbemax products to all the working dogs.

If anyone is interested in sponsoring a dog please contact André Burger (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Derek van der Merwe (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


Internal Document – Not for citation without written permission of the EWT


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Welgevonden Wild Flowers

wild flowers

Click here to view and identify wild flowers photographed at Welgevonden. They are conveniently grouped by flower colour

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Welgevonden Books

We have 1 splendid book available from the author.