As the lockdown continues in South Africa, we find ourselves missing our guests more and more with each day.
Luckily, life in the bush is never boring and there’s always something going on to distract us. We are still eagerly awaiting the moment when we can reopen our doors and welcome guests back, but while we wait for that day to arrive, we’ll continue to share with you what has been happening in the reserve.
We have had two new and exciting additions join the Ants family recently!
Firstly, Sophie the Rhino gave birth to a healthy bull calf, Dinka, about 3 weeks ago. This is great news for our rhino herd, and the team, especially after having lost two of our eldest rhino’s (Erwin and Skewhorn) during this lockdown period. It has been great welcoming this new little chap into the world. Sophie is still keeping him well protected from the other rhinos and us, so it can be tricky to get a sneak peek, but both are doing very well.
Secondly, a new project we are quite excited about, is breeding some of the best safari horses in South Africa. Our first arrival was on 12 July, a little filly foal born from Lydia, who was born and bred at Ants, and Pemba, the sire, also born here and only turns 3 years old in August. The little foal is a Warmblood x Friesian x Boerperd. With those good genes, we’re certain she’s going to make the perfect safari horse!
We now suspect Pemba managed to cover a few more mares while he was running with the herd, before he was separated and put in a separate area, so watch this space. We now have two lovely thoroughbred mares in with him who we are hoping will produce some beautiful foals next year. This is a very exciting project for us and in a few years from now, we hope to have our own string of well-bred and adapted safari horses.
With over 70 buffalo in our main herd on the reserve and our breeding project doing so well in producing new genetics, it has come a time where we need to sell a number of cows and bulls to continue to diversify the gene pool. We are selling 16 buffalo to a neighbouring reserve who are looking to expand their genetics.
The capture and relocation of these incredible animals is no small task and will take place over a weeklong period in July. All hands will be on deck/on horseback and vehicles to safely dart, load, and move the buffalo into a boma where they will be tested for the 4 diseases (foot and mouth, brucelliosis, Corridor disease and TB) to ensure they are disease-free before moving them to their new home.
They will stay in the boma for a quarantine period before having to dart them again and relocate them. It will be like a mini game census, which seeing as Game Census 2020 had to be cancelled due to COVID 19, the staff are quite excited to take part in it and it will be good practice so we are ready for Game Census 2021!
Find out more about our annual Game Census that guests can partake in here: https://waterberg.net/safari-experiences/#census[:]