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 Post subject: Bontebok NP: INFO
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2005 9:32 am 
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Last edited by gwendolen on Sun Nov 20, 2005 10:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2005 8:37 pm 
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Location: Somerset West, Cape Town
It is about 200kms east of CT. We always pass it and say we must visit there when we drive to CT from EL.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2005 9:51 am 
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We stayed at Bontebok for one night. It's a very small park, as you can see on the map. We loved the campsite. We thought it was the absolute best of all SANParks campsites we visited on our trip.
There isn't any electricity, but most of the individual sites are private and secluded. The sites are surrounded by lovely green trees and bush. There are no fences around the campsite and some of the buck visit regularly.
We saw bontebok :lol: , grey rheebok, red hartebeest, a fish eagle, a secretary bird, robins, weavers, 2 blue cranes (yes francois, the other 60 pairs were all in the neighbouring fields), and a mouse.


Last edited by gwendolen on Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 8:53 pm 
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I have been there and camped as well.

The bontebok sometimes lie down under shade in the camp, but are not as 'friendly' as the remaining bush buck at Timbavati picnic site. 3 metres is about as close as you can expect to get to study them.

We saw paradise flycatcher, malachite & lesser double collared sunbirds, black shouldered kite, jackal buzzard, Cape robin, southern boubou, goldentailed woodpecker, Namaqua dove (WTM) and a few others, mostly in the picnic site.

It is good for an overnight stay. Why not......

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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:36 am 
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Location: Port Elizabeth
Good birding and a great river to swim in


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Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 2:54 pm 
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My first visit to a National Park, as a young boy, was in 1964 - it was to Kruger. My dad bought a book at Phalaborwa gate called "Mammals of the Kruger and other National Parks". I was in love with Kruger right from the start. After returning home (in the Boland) I became sick of hankering to all the wonderful things we experienced during our short visit. The mentioned book was a slight consolation.

Paging through it on numerous occasions, I made lists of different mammals to be found in the different parks. The Bontebok Park was the nearest park to us (still today). I persuaded my dad to visit this park - and I was hooked on it from the very first visit. The only "Big 5" mammal occurring in the park (those days) was buffalo. The park also stocked eland and springbok. I can remember it was big news when the first buffalo calf was born in the park. But unfortunately the buffaloes kept breaking the fences and eventually it was decided to remove them. As the park was proclaimed to save the Bontebok from extinction, and the carrying capacity of the typical fynbos veld in which the park are situated, is not that good, it was decided to remove the eland too. Springbok always seemed to struggle to adapt to this area, and in the middle 70's it was decided to remove them too.

Visits to the park suddenly were not that full of expectation anymore. We lived in Swellendam for the first year after my marriage. I can honestly say that very few Sundays past during that year without driving through the park. It was in the time when Harold Braack was the park manager.

I once wrote to the National Parks Board and suggested that accommodation should be provided in the park. I don't think my letter persuaded them, but just a few months later the present chalet-vans were introduced.

I get very nostalgic about this small park. Kruger surely ignited the love for nature in me. But the Bontebok Park really set my love for nature alight.

Don't pass this this little haven next to the N2 between George and Cape Town. Don't expect something spectacular, but hopefully you will get touched by it own unique beauty.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2005 4:54 pm 
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Stoffel wrote:
Kruger surely ignited the love for nature in me.


I wonder if Paul Kruger knows how many lives he touched and influenced, foreign and local by proclaiming a park.... Albeit for hunting reasons

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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 1:15 pm 
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Sanpark's video clip of Bontebok.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 3:16 pm 
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arks wrote:
Just a bit too far for a day trip from CT, tho, I think?

It's 240 km from Cape Town.
But you could overnight in a Chalavan. Imagine saying "Hey, I slept in a chalavan. :lol:


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 3:27 pm 
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gwendolen wrote:
But you could overnight in a Chalavan. Imagine saying "Hey, I slept in a chalavan. :lol:


Considering that, actually ... sounds 8) 8) . Probably will leave it for a last minute decision, depending on what the weather is like while I'm in CT. I expect that for a midweek visit, it might be reasonably easy to get a last minute reservation.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 3:35 pm 
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leopardspotter wrote:
I'v been to bontebok loads of times, I prefer camping next to the river and fishing after a hot cup of coffie early in the morning. :lotsocoffee:


Sounds great, but since I come to CT from the USA, I don't have the option of camping as I'd have to invest in gear I'd rarely use. The chalevans sound a good option for me. Are they not near the river?


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 3:35 pm 
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Location: Schoenmakerskop (near Port Elizabeth)
Swimming in the river above the weir below the campsite is lovely. A Decembers ago, lam & I and the kids (then in their early teens) spent a memorable afternoon cooling off there. Because the river flows quite strongly at times, it makes for quite energetic swimming, but it still quite safe.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 3:40 pm 
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Since the success of the bontebok park, are their any plans envisioned to expand it to give the bontebok a greater chance to multiply?

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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 3:49 pm 
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Did you know that... :big_eyes:

The park was proclaimed in 1931 to protect the last 30 Bontebok left in the wild?

It is also one of the largest remaining 'renosterveld islands' containing several plant species found nowhere else in the world?

It is also the smallest of South Africa's 20 National Parks?

It has a high density of rare and endangered bird life, fynbos species and animal life?

The rest camp is named after the 'Hessekwa' khoi-khoi chieftainess called 'Lang Elsie'?

The Hessekwa traded with the first Dutch settlers who landed in Cape Town in 1652?

The park has a spectacular view of the Langeberg mountains?


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 3:57 pm 
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Location: Schoenmakerskop (near Port Elizabeth)
BunduBoi wrote:
Since the success of the bontebok park, are their any plans envisioned to expand it to give the bontebok a greater chance to multiply?

Bontebok (Damaliscus dorcas phillipsi) are now quite common in private reserves as well as the BNP. Alarmingly, they are commonly listed on the price lists of professional hunting companies (at less than 1500USD an animal). They are now considered to be a sub-species of blesbuck.


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