"...it was a magnificent experience which I wish others could share. I learnt such a lot from the 10 days."

"I look forward to keeping in touch via the website to hear about the animals and reintroductions."

News from Komsberg

November 2016
Honour (the springbok that we hand-reared in 2014) now lives independently in a large area next to the homestead. We are proud to announce that she gave birth to a healthy baby in October 2016.

June 2016
On 7th June 2016, a game capture team took off surplus animals from Komsberg West: 31 black wildebeest and 6 gemsbok. They were not for moving to another reserve, but rather to re-introduce the species on our own Komsberg North. These large antelope were expertly netted from a helicopter. At one point, Vicky and Wussy went up in the helicopter to search for gemsbok. In Vicky's own words: "What a privilege and opportunity to see Komsberg from the air! The ride was absolutely ecstatic. It was an inspiring experience, seeing the magnificence of Komsberg in all its splendour - what an amazing land." A week later, we received more good rainfall.

April 2016
The drought in South Africa has been the worst in over a hundred years. We have been providing lucerne and mineral licks to help our animals through this difficult time. Thankfully, none have been lost as a result of this severe drought. The winter rains must begin in May.

January 2016
We are proud to announce that Happy (the black-backed jackal that we hand-reared) has become a parent. He has two youngsters.

November 2015
Rainfall for this year has been the lowest in over 50 years. We are in drought. A major global El Nino event might be one factor. For now, our animals are in good condition - but we urgently need rain.

February 2015
Komsberg has many succulent plants, but we have found Conophytum minimum. It's quite a long way outside the previously known geographical range for this genus.

October 2014
Five more Cape mountain zebra foals have been born recently. Becky and Iain were lucky enough to see one of these born in front of them on a mountain's edge. Our growing population of this endangered species now numbers 30 animals

July 2014
Vicky and Wussy are hand-rearing a baby springbok that we were kindly given by a game capture team. We've named her Honour and she's living with us in the house. The photo was taken of Honour in the first snowfall of this winter.

February 2014
Eskom (South Africa's supplier of electricity) kindly support our work by donating large wooden poles for further strengthening of our perimeter fence. Also, three companies donated a chainsaw, safety helmet, and protective trousers so that we can cut the long poles into usable 3m fencing posts.

Our recently released eland have settled down well and now roam all over the large Komsberg North section of the reserve. Another seven Burchell's zebra foals were born last month, plus a new Cape mountain zebra foal.

October 2013
Eland are reintroduced to Komsberg North. This is our 11th antelope species or 13th large herbivore. Eland are big animals, weighing 600-700kg each. They are mixed feeders, meaning that they browse the leaves of bushes and trees, but also eat grass.

One of two new camera traps recently donated successfully captured pictures of the elusive Cape clawless otter. It's hard to believe that this aquatic specialist survives in the dry Karoo region, yet it does. Our river vegetation has dramatically improved in the past ten years, no doubt aiding the Cape clawless otter's recovery at Komsberg.

March 2013
Animals especially use the waterholes at this dry time of the year. Two camera traps are positioned for taking photographs of kudu. These large antelope can be individually identified by their unique stripe patterns. We are building up a good collection of photographs that allow us to monitor the size of our kudu population

Febuary 2013
Anton owns a mechanics business not far from The Tortoise Farm. He generously helps by repairing and maintaining our vehicles, making a round trip to Komsberg of 470km (292 miles) whenever necessary. Once, a vehicle had gone wrong and stopped half way down one of our steep mountainsides - his strangest ever call out. Anton is like an unofficial member of our team and we are extremely grateful for his support.

December 2012
Greater flamingos are still on three of our larger dams. And we get 110mm of rain - one third of our annual total - in just one day on 14th December. We would like to thank everyone for their support and wish you all a Merry Christmas

October 2012
A group of learners from our local school join us for the day. We spend the morning driving and walking around, watching animals, and discussing how to make dreams become a reality. They then decided to help us offload a delivery of 2,000 metal Y-posts, 9.8 tonnes in weight. We got it all done in 1hr 20min - a valuable lesson in the importance of hard work.

September 2012
Disaster struck on Friday 13th July. Freak weather, never seen before in 70 years, brings down 35km of our perimeter fence. Part of our successful attitude is "facing reality" and "never give up". We get it back up, initially in just four days. In September, Atlas Copco generously donate a rock drill to help us further strengthen the fence in preparation for cheetah reintroduction. Read more by clicking here.

July 2012
Three Cape clawless otters are seen sunbathing and playing together on the riverbank at our main homestead. An amazing sighting of such an elusive species.

February 2012
We are delighted to announce the birth of two more Cape mountain zebra foals, (now four in total). Other recent additions include 15 black wildebeest babies and 12 blue wildebeest babies, all doing well.

New team members get extra training at Komsberg. Wendy comments: "I have been shocked by the vastness, despite prior warning that it is a big place." Rachel adds: "The dedication and determination of the team needed at Komsberg is inspirational and matches the huge wilderness. Being here has given me even clearer goals about the attitude that is required to achieve what is necessary. I am not prepared to do less than my best."

November 2011
Our first two Cape mountain zebra foals have been born, 13 months after this endangered species is reintroduced..

October 2011
We haven't hand-reared any baby animal at Komsberg in the past decade - until now. At the beginning of October, we began looking after a tiny orphaned black-backed jackal who we named Happy. He is intelligent and totally adorable.

February 2011
What a month! From the 1st to the 18th February, we've had a lot of rain - making this the best February since our rainfall records began 40 years ago. In fact, there have only been two other months of rain slightly heavier in all these years. So Komsberg is looking very green. Although overall welcome, one huge downpour washed away some of our roads; we had 47mm of rain in just 10 minutes.

Our animals are enjoying the resulting new growth of vegetation and so are in great condition at what is normally the dry time of the year. And we've had lots of births – including four new Burchell's zebra foals and nine black wildebeest babies.

The recently released endangered Cape mountain zebra have settled in well to their new environment. They look fantastic on the steep mountain slopes of Komsberg West. The place is so big, it took us four weeks to locate one particular family group!

October 2010
The endangered Cape mountain zebra is re-introduced to Komsberg West on 7th October. Four small family groups plus an additional bachelor male are released. This species almost went extinct and there were only 91 individual animals left alive in 1950. It is great to see these mountain zebra back on our numerous and dramatic mountainsides.

March 2010
Five zebra foals have been born recently, along with six blue wildebeest babies. These two species associate well together.

We watched a caracal with two young hunt and kill a springbok. We then observed them eating over the next couple of days.

Rainfall at the end of February and early March has been excellent. This is normally a dry time of the year, yet we have enjoyed over a third of our annual rainfall. Everywhere is looking lush and green. Our animals, already healthy, are in superb condition.

October/November 2009
Our first six black wildebeest babies are born. Gemsbok, red hartebeest, kudu, and springbok are also all busy giving birth. Komsberg has taken another step forward during this past year, with a major increase in the number of large animals.

September 2009
Yet another release of gemsbok takes place (our fifth). These animals, including a mother and baby, are off-loaded in the valley section of Komsberg West.

July 2009
A delivery of springbok is off-loaded to the brandhoek section of Komsberg West. A few days later, 15 gemsbok are released to Komsberg East.

May 2009
Blue wildebeest are released to Komsberg East. As grazers of short grass, we hope they will complement the zebra and gemsbok which are both bulk grazers. Red hartebeest are selective grazers.

Black wildebeest are released to the brandhoek section of Komsberg West. These black wildebeest faced extinction in the late 19th century when numbers crashed to approximately 550 individuals. Nowadays there are over 10,000 black wildebeest. Their long white tails distinguish them from the more commonly known blue wildebeest.

April 2009
More Burchell's zebra are released to Komsberg East. This includes a family group of seven. They stayed together as a family unit following their release and are regularly seen in waterhole valley. Added to the original zebra re-introduced in September 2008, we now have the foundation for our future population of Burchell's zebra.

October 2008
Our zebra are settling down.  It is fantastic to see these iconic African animals at Komsberg Wilderness Nature Reserve.  Yet another release takes place: gemsbok and more red hartebeest for Komsberg East.

September 2008
The old boundary fence that we erected over six years ago between Komsberg East and Komsberg East extension is removed, opening up a huge area.  A small number of Burchell's zebra are re-introduced on 10th September; they have been absent since 1811 or thereabouts.  Two days later, additional kudu are released in the valley section of Komsberg West to boost our existing population of these huge antelope and increase genetic diversity.  Two new baby red hartebeest are running around with their mothers, plus lots of springbok babies everywhere.  Two gemsbok babies have been born early; we are expecting more births in October and November of these spectacular antelope.

August 2008
We finally finish fencing the perimeter of Komsberg East extension after a lot of hard work, ready for the release of additional animals during the next two months.

March 2008
Several sightings of our first gemsbok baby. A group of 17 gemsbok are being regularly seen on the plateau; a spectacular sight. They are all in excellent condition, with full bellies, and we are hopeful of more babies in October/November. Excellent viewing of aardvark and caracal. Based on the recent frequency of sightings of caracal, this locally persecuted species is recovering well.

February 2008
We appear to have no less than four martial eagles on Komsberg at present: an adult pair and two juvenile/immature eagles. The martial eagle is classified as being vulnerable to extinction in South Africa and endangered in neighbouring Namibia. There are only 100 to 150 martial eagles in the whole of the Western Cape, Northern Cape, and Eastern Cape. Ours are being seen almost daily. Komsberg is a great place to see eagles and other birds of prey.

December 2007
Komsberg is having great summer rainfall after three previously dry summers. The endangered rye grass is flowering and everywhere is green. Christmas was wet!

November 2007
Both groups of eco-tourists see meerkats daily. Flamingos are passing through for the whole of November. One widely travelled guest who has seen wildlife all over the world comments this has been her best holiday ever! We do our best to involve guests in the running of our wilderness nature reserve, providing them with a special insight and experience.

September 2007
More gemsbok arrive to boost the population. Released on Komsberg West's plateau, these spectacular 240kg antelope roam everywhere. Our first-born red hartebeest herself gives birth.

January 2007
The best few weeks of wildlife viewing yet! Including a caracal family and black-backed jackal, two locally persecuted predators. We now have a resident pair of martial eagles; one was seen hunting springbok.

October 2006
Gemsbok are re-introduced for the first time in approximately 200 years. Fantastic flower displays everywhere.... the best we have seen. Work begins on the new land, removing internal camp fencing and erecting a 2.4m perimeter fence.

May-August 2006
Heavy winter rainfall breaks the severe drought and kick starts the recovery process. However, massive downpours damage two large dam walls.

March 2006
We purchase an adjoining sheep farm, almost doubling Komsberg in size to over 30,000 acres or 17 miles in length. It is all plateau, offering excellent future grazing potential and wildlife viewing opportunities. A lot of hard work lies ahead!

January 2006
The new year sees us in the grip of a severe drought. Springbok begin to die on Komsberg East. We implement emergency measures. Springbokfontein has never dried out since it was constructed in the 1950s; it is now completely dry. (The drought continued until April and was the worst since 1933. The recently released red hartebeest, kudu, and Komsberg West springbok thankfully survived.)

October 2005
Red hartebeest are historically re-introduced to Komsberg East for the first time in approximately 200 years. Kudu are released to Komsberg West's main valley area. Springbok are released to three sections of Komsberg West.

April 2005
Grasses have recovered on Komsberg Wilderness Nature Reserve sufficiently to now go ahead with the re-introduction of large grazers. The sheep were taken off three years ago. All the perimeter fencing has now been completed and all the internal camp fencing has been removed.

Honour and her fawn
Nov. 16: Honour & her fawn
Game capture & relocation
Jun. 16: Game capture & relocation
springbok eating lucerne
Apr. 16: Springbok eating lucerne
Jan16: Happy's youngsters
Jan. 16: Happy's youngsters
Conophytum minimum
Feb. 15: Conophytum minimum
Endangered Cape Zebra
Oct. 14: A Cape mountain zebra family
a baby springbock
Jul. 14: Honour in the snow
Night Vision camera trap
Feb. 14: Vicky in her chaisaw gear
Eland & Cape Clawless Otter
Oct.13: Eland (top) & Cape clawless otter
Night Vision camera trap
Mar.13: Kudu, night vision camera trap
Anton
Feb.13: Anton our emergency service
Snow in August
Dec.12: Snow at Komsberg - in August!
Delivery
Oct.12: Unloading delivery of Y-posts
Vicky & rock drill
Sept.12: Vicky and rock drill
Wussy & Happy
Feb 2012: Wussy and Happy
black-backed jackal
Oct.11: Becky and Happy
March 2010: Cape Mountain Zebra re-introduced
Feb 2011: Rain guage in the downpour
March 2010: Cape Mountain Zebra re-introduced
Oct.10: Cape mountain zebra release
March 2010: Zebra mother and foal
March 2010: Zebra mother and foal
gemsbok
Sept.09: Our fifth release of gemsbok
Watergatkloof
Watergatkloof