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.

News 2009

Botswana training course

Shani Preller writes:
"I recently came back from Botswana after spending a wonderful month in the Okavango Delta, helping Okavango Guiding School (OGS) out with their Fgasa Level 1 course.

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Blue Cranes on Welgevonden

The end of the year is the time when the blue cranes arrive on Welgevonden and begin looking for breeding sites and pairing off with their mates. The cranes generally start arriving at the end of September and early October and usually stay until sometime in March.

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Rhino Bull Killed

A large rhino bull in the central part of the reserve died recently as a result of injuries sustained either during a fight with another bull or through an aggressive interaction with a rhino cow. When rhino bulls fight, which they do fairly regularly over territories, both protagonists invariably leave the field of combat with numerous scratches and wounds.

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Brood Parasites

by Gerhardt Lorist

A bird that lays its eggs in the nest(s) of other (foster or host) species, e.g. Honeyguides, Cuckoos, Indigobirds (widowfinch) and Whydahs. (ref: Roberts Birds of Southern Africa)

We all know that Cuckoos do not raise their own young but lay their eggs in the nests of other birds, but not many people know of the other brood parasites like Honeyguides, Indigobirds (widowfinch) and Whydahs.

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2009 Annual Game Census

The 2009 annual game census was successfully completed over the period 27th to 30th September. We were a little concerned that the early green flush of the trees would impede our ability to see animals and preliminary results suggest that this may indeed have been the case. Hence, next year’s count will definitely be done earlier in September.

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Spring has sprung!!!

After what has been an unusually cold bush winter, I feel I can speak on behalf of all the occupants of Welgevonden, warm and cold blooded, in welcoming back some warmer weather. The Dombeyas (Wild Pear) and Erythrinas (Coral Tree) are already in full flower and it won’t be long before the other trees start to produce new shoots in anticipation of the coming rainy season.

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Fire season

The arrival of spring also heralds the onset of the fire season when dry lightning storms prevail and can cause widespread fires. We therefore urge all lodges to get their firebreaks into a state of adequate readiness as from an ecological perspective, we hope that around 10% to 15% of the reserve will burn as a result of lightning strikes over the next couple of months.

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Welgevonden Game Introductions

One of the aims of Welgevonden management is to re-establish a balance between the predator and prey populations.

Due to the historically high lion numbers on Welgevonden the prey population had dropped into what is known as a “predator pit”.

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Volunteer Programme

Welgevonden, in conjunction with Wildlife and Ecological Investments (WEI), has launched a volunteer research programme to promote research output on the reserve.

WEI is a voluntary, non-profit organisation.

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Sibusiso Vilane

Welgevonden is extremely proud to have as a member of its staff, albeit on a temporary basis, the intrepid mountaineer, explorer, motivational speaker and patron of the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Conservation Leadership Group, Sibusiso Vilane.

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Bush school...

On their way to a set of habitats in the southern plains,  Gerhardt Lorist (WEI facilitator) and some university students encountered this awesome sighting of the southern pride interacting with a rhino cow and her calf.

The two lion cubs were practicing their stalking skill on the rhinos, while the lionesses who were were not interested, only looked in from time to time to make sure the cubs didn't get too close.

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Death of young rhino calf

After receiving a report of a dead rhino calf in the south, management responded with extreme concern. The calf was found lying under a tree with its mother milling around not far off.

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Late summer burns

Conventional, or rather dogmatic, conservation practise dictates that management burns should be restricted to the end of winter just prior to the onset of the rainy season.

Although natural lightning strikes are responsible for a lot of natural fires at this time, the exclusion of fire throughout the rest of the year does not necessarily make good conservation sense.

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Broken Bridge repaired

The so-called Broken Bridge in the Sterkstroom Valley got its name in 1995 after the original structure failed a year after being built.

Oom Hennie and his team then effected the running repairs that, with the odd patch here and there, lasted nigh on 15 years.

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African leadership academy

On the 2nd of April, 9 students from the newly established African Leadership Academy arrived at Welgevonden. The African Leadership Academy recruits top performing, high school age students from all over Africa between the ages of 15-20yrs for a 2 year program that teaches leadership and entrepreneurship.

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Library construction

Welgevonden is involved with the construction of the library at Mokolo Primary School in Vaalwater through the Rural EcoWarrior Programme (REW) it initiated.

The new library is funded by the Khutso Foundation and from donations received from the Welgevonden membership.

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Two new female cheetah

Over the last couple of years there has been at least one male cheetah resident on the reserve, while a few other younger males are seen from time to time, probably moving in and out of the reserve.

However, no female was ever seen and it was decided to introduce some females and try to establish a breeding population on the reserve.

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Battle with Pom-Pom weed

The control of the pom-pom weed is a difficult task in that the emergence of the aerial parts of the plant from underground rootstock depends on the amount of rain and the temperature. Once these aerial parts emerge a flower is produced very rapidly and the associated seed production starts.

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Record rainfall on Welgevonden

Like most of the northern parts of South Africa, Welgevonden has seen an exceptionally wet month in January. All this rain has transformed the reserve into a water paradise, with streams of water flowing out of the mountains, causing cascading waterfalls everywhere.

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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

Property Market

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Welgevonden Books

We have 1 splendid book available from the author.