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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 3:59 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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There is'nt any chalavans very close to the river compared to camping, but you can take a quick 5 minute walk for a swim or to relax next to the water.
:lol: 8) :lol:


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 4:01 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)
Thanks for all the interesting facts, leopardspotter!! I really must make an effort to visit. My only bontebok sightings have been a few of the very shy ones at Cape Point. And the rare fynbos sounds equally interesting.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 5:08 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Port Elizabeth
arks wrote:
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?


The chalavans aren't far from the river.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 5:10 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Port Elizabeth
BunduBoi wrote:
Since the success of the bontebok park, are their any plans envisioned to expand it ...?


Expanding the park could be quite difficult as it is surrounded by farmland which I imagine would be quite expensive to buy up.


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 Post subject: Bontebok Bird Census
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 5:37 pm 
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Bontebok is proud to announce its hosting of a bird count and associated birding extravaganza on the weekend of the 25th to 27th November 2005. The event is run in association with Birdlife SA and Marloth Nature Reserve

If you are still looking for a venue for Birding Big Day, why not merge your efforts with this event. Habitat wise there will be the Mountain Heights in the adjacent Marloth Reserve to compliment the renosterveld, riverine bush and Breede River offerings found in the park. A real diversity of habitats which could see participants log impressive totals. The forests of Grootvadersbosch are also within the permitted 50km radius as an additional habitat option.

In addition there will be talks by birding experts on among other the Blue Crane and the Black Harrier. There are also bird themed activities for children.

Go to events on the home page for more detail or look under information for Birders.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2005 7:57 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: Kleinmond, Western Cape
As promised - a short report on our visit to Bontebok. It was only our second time staying over in the park, but we had numerous day visits over the years. It was the first time that we took our caravan to the park. Reception is about 5 km from the N2 on gravel (not the best road for a caravan, but I drove very slowly - took me 30 minutes). The first part of the road to Lang Elsie's Kraal (campsite) is also quite a test for your caravan, but if you do it slowly it is quite passable. We found a very nice campsite under two Acacia karoo trees with a bit of a view over the river.

During the weekend we saw most of the more common antelope species (even steenbok which was a first for me in the park). It is lambing season for the bontebok and we saw quite a few young ones. It was a bit disturbing to have a young bontebok lamb around our caravan the Friday night. He/she either lost it mother or was abandoned. We really felt sorry for the little one as it was calling for its mother. My suspicion for abondonment was the fact that its legs were slightly deformed and it probably could not keep up with the herd. But we never saw the little fella again during the rest of the weekend. Hopefully he/she found its mother. I nevertheless reported it to one of the personnel, but I got the impression nature has to go its own way. (A ranger in a private reserve once used the following expression in my company: "Nature is beautiful, but nature is cruel")

We saw a wide variety of birds, which I am not going to list here. But I also struggled with positive ID with a lot of LBJ's (being quite a novice bird watcher). However, the sound of fish eagles and blue cranes flying over is definitely worth mentioning.

New accommodation is going to be build at Lang Elsie's Kraal. Work will progress in April 2006. The camp site will be closed while building is taking place. Hopefully the character of the present camp will not be touched too much, but upgrading to the present ablutions is necessary.

Our Saturday night was slightly spoiled with a crowd of intoxicated people at the chaletvan right opposite our camp site. Why does people who want to party come to tranquil places like Bontebok? Unfortunately there is no resident personnel in the camp and therefore nobody who can "enforce" a bit of camping etiquette at a wonderful place like Bontebok.

All in all it was a great weekend and we are already planning for our next trip.

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Chris Boucher


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2005 8:26 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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We came back yesterday from a three night stay at Bontebok, we had lots of fun and saw many things. A Fish Eagle (that I was very exited about) perched on a dead tree sticking out of a cliff along the Breede River, after observing him for a while he flew off in search of prey and later on flew straight above the camp.

We also saw eight Zebra (nothing like Kruger :lol: :lol: ), Hartebeest, Kori Bustard, Southern Black Koraan, Secretary Bird, Ostrich and of cause loads of Bontebok, there was a very cute new born strolling around the camp with its mother by it side.

Leopardspotter 8)


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Dec 24, 2005 12:32 pm 
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Location: Schoenmakerskop (near Port Elizabeth)
If you are into birds, this is one of the better places to pick up Black Harrier.


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 Post subject: Bontebok National Park
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2006 2:04 pm 
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:?:
Hi
I have never stayed at Bontebok and wonder what the accommodation is like? Accommodation is advertised as 'Chalavans' which are apparently caravan-cum-cottages. Also are they near the river because we would like to do some canoeing.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 1:04 pm 
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Location: Port Elizabeth
They were building a few cottages in Jan last year. I am suprised they aren't finished.

The chalavans look cute. The caravan part is for sleeping and is attached to a wooden living area.

I camp - anything permanent looks like luxury to me.

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Kruger - July


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 1:07 pm 
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Location: Port Elizabeth
The river is close to the chalavans. Someone else will probably comment on its canoeing suitability. Perhaps you can start further upstream and canoe down to the park?

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 12:22 pm 
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Location: Beatyful Black Forrest (Germany)
We visited Bontebock on our way from Addo to Cape Town (after a stopover in Moselbay).
It is really a lovely and beautyful park, very quiet, and we saw plenty of game and birds. We loved the river and the walks there.
Unfortunately the weather was not all to pleasing and I could not convince my wife to stay where she might need to stalk thru the dark and wet and cold to the restrooms. So we drove on to Cape Town.
One thing we would have loved is to walk more thru the park. We had been to Karoo NP on our way up and enjoyed walking with the animals. I figure there are no dangerous predators (apart from Ticks) and few enough visitors that game is not really interfered with.

We will defenitely be back!
Jan


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:07 pm 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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Hi Jakop. There are 2 short walking trails in the park. And more activities here. Perhaps next time, if the weather is a bit better? :D


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 Post subject: Bontebok National Park: how old is it?
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 2:50 pm
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Location: S A National Biodiversity Institute
Why does SANParks persist with the fiction that the Bontebok National Park is 75 years old?
The first Bontebok NP was established in the Limestone Fynbos near Bredasdorp to conserve the last remaining Bontebok that the local farmers had been preserving. However, Bontebok don't eat Fynbos and started showing signs of deficiency diseases!
The new park at Swellendam is only about 50 years old. Fortunately there is a tiny bit of Renosterveld in the park and the translocated Bontebok have thrived.
The history of the saving of the Bontebok is fascinating and the facts should not be hidden under the pretence that the park has always been at its current location.
I think it is a pity than SANParks missed the opportunity to purchase the land to the east of Swellendam before it was converted to agriculture 15 years ago - the park linking up with the Langeberg would have been a superb concept! However - all that Fynbos would not have helped the Bontebok!
Far more exciting is the concept of a conservancy from Bontebok National Park to De Hoop Nature Reserve. It is only a matter of time before the Bontebok will again be found all the way from Bontebok NP to Potberg and Bredasdorp.
Keep up the good work - but please keep us informed of the facts!

Tony Rebelo


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 Post subject: Re: Bontebok National Park: how old is it?
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:45 pm 
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Distinguished Virtual Ranger
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tony rebelo wrote:
The history of the saving of the Bontebok is fascinating and the facts should not be hidden under the pretence that the park has always been at its current location.


Natural and Cultural History of Bontebok National Park.
This is the information given by SANParks on this website. Nothing seems to be hidden to me. Are you perhaps referring to a publication?


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