Bontebok NP: INFO

Agulhas, Bontebok, Table Mountain, Tankwa Karoo, West Coast

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Jonkers
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Re: staying at Bontebok

Unread post by Jonkers »

no, sleep in one with two or put two next to eachother or just leave them as they are
marloise
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Re: staying at Bontebok

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Dear Clerette,

Bontebok National Park can make up a double bed for you on request when you book.

Kind Regards,
Marloise
Stoffel
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Re: Supermarket close to Bontebok

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Swellendam has a brand new Checkers - one of South Africa's best supermarket chains.
marloise
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Re: Supermarket close to Bontebok

Unread post by marloise »

Dear Tobago,

Swellendam is the nearst town to Bontebok National Park and is located about 7km from the park. There is a wide variety of shops to choose from when in Swellendam.

In the main road we have a big Spar shopping centre where all basics can be bought including beers. Spar is open from 07:00 to 19:00 Monday to Sunday. (Although beers and wine is only sold until 17:00 on a Saturday and not at all on Sundats) Across the road from Spar, Swellendam is boasting with anew small mall with a Checkers supermarket as mentioned earlier. They are open from 08:00 till 18:00 from Monday to Friday. Saturday and Sunday from 08:00 till 15:00.

Bontebok National Park also has a small shop that sell basics including wood, cooldrinks and chips.

Hope you enjoy your time at Bontebok.

Kind Regards,
Marloise
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Re: staying at Bontebok

Unread post by pietert »

Bontebok, we agree with all of the good things people say about your park. I have actually one small little problem, or rather, four little problems, namely those four little swallows who wanted to go into the ablution rooms to build nests, but every now and then the staff closed the doors after chasing them out, leaving them sitting outside on the windowsill and on the suggestions box.
I wonder if it will be possible to build places where they can nest, something like the bats at Letaba?

Congratulations with the beautifully kept and managed park. We will not pass there without sleeping over at least once.
marloise
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Re: staying at Bontebok

Unread post by marloise »

Dear Pietert,

We do allow the Swallows to nest outside the ablution facilities but due to health issues as well as upholding the standard and qaulity of out visitor facilities we unfortunately cannot allow them to nest inside a building.

We take the nests down while they are in the starting stages of building it, however, we will never take down a nest that we mght have missed and now has chick in. We will then wait until the chick have left the nest and than take it down.

I hope this anwsers your question and consern.

Kind Regards,
Marloise
Kind Regards,
Marloise

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Bontebok National Park
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squirrel81
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Re: Bontebok NP: INFO

Unread post by squirrel81 »

Dear all,

I would like to book a 4-bed Family Chalet in Bontebok. Can someone please explain if No. 7 or 8 does have a little shade on the patio during the day

On a picture I saw a big tree next to No. 8. But do not know at what daytime this picture has been made.

Many thanks and looking forward to a reply,


Brigitte :gflower:
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MATTHYS
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Re: Bontebok NP: INFO

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bonteboka.JPG
bontebokb.JPG


Link to FB post.
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Re: Bontebok NP: INFO

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aquila non capit muscas
Stoffel
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Re: Bontebok NP: INFO

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I cannot help to wonder why there is apparently no bushbuck to be found in Bontebok. One of the trails in the park is called the Bushbuck Trail, but bushbuck is not mentioned in the list of mammals. That is in spite of bushbuck being present in the Western Cape. I remember from my childhood days that bushbuck was to be found between Stanford and Gansbaai. The habitat along the Breede River in Bontebok looks ideal for bushbuck. It will be interesting to get an answer to my question. And if bushbuck is not present in the park, what is the motivation to name the one trail "Bushbuck Trail"?
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Re: Bontebok NP: INFO

Unread post by RichardJ »

Hi Stoffel
Perhaps for the same reason that there are no Lions at Leeupan nor Ellies at Olifantsbadpan.

Or why Bontebok NP, we saw more Bontebok in 30 min at De Hoop than in 2 weeks at Bontebok! :tongue:

Good question. I don't recall seeing any during our 1 month camp there :hmz: (after meeting you at the 1 Stop)
(I did see cows/cattle at the river).

Perhaps the trail should be called Denham Bustard trail, as this is the only place I found them. :whistle:
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lion queen
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Re: Bontebok NP: INFO

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Stoffel wrote: Mon Aug 28, 2023 1:42 pm I cannot help to wonder why there is apparently no bushbuck to be found in Bontebok. One of the trails in the park is called the Bushbuck Trail, but bushbuck is not mentioned in the list of mammals. That is in spite of bushbuck being present in the Western Cape. I remember from my childhood days that bushbuck was to be found between Stanford and Gansbaai. The habitat along the Breede River in Bontebok looks ideal for bushbuck. It will be interesting to get an answer to my question. And if bushbuck is not present in the park, what is the motivation to name the one trail "Bushbuck Trail"?
Hi Stoffel, this is not an answer on why the trail is called Bushbuck, but some interesting info on Mammal history in Bontebok NP

Bontebok Park management plan

Page 5
Mammals
Various accounts of historical mammal occurrence in the Swellendam area exist, listing
predators such as lion, leopard, hyena, jackal, wild dog, and wild cat(s). Ungulates within
historical range include bontebok, grey duiker, Cape grysbok, red hartebeest, grey rhebok,
steenbok, and Cape mountain zebra (currently present in the park), and buffalo, bushpig,
eland, elephant, hippopotamus, black rhinoceros, and klipspringer (currently absent from the
park) (Boshoff & Kerley 2001). Extralimital species that were previously introduced but later
removed are common reedbuck and springbok (Novellie & Knight 1994). A checklist of
mammals is included in the SoKR. Rodents are listed by De Graaff (1974). Among the
specialised studies done on mammals, much emphasis was on the bontebok and grey
rhebuck. Aspects particularly well-studied were bontebok life history, demography,
population dynamics (De Graaff et al. 1976a; Novellie 1986), genetic purity (Fabricius et al.
1989; Essop et al. 1991), feeding ecology (Beukes et al. 1989), fecundity, reproduction
(Skinner et al. 1980; Novellie 1981), territorial-, mating- and drinking behaviour (David 1970,
1971, 1973a&b, 1975a&b; Van Zyl 1978); grey rhebok feeding- and general ecology
(Beukes 1984, 1987, 1988); and life histories (De Graaff et al. 1976b; Van der Walt et al.
1976a&b), parasitology and glandular secretions/ pheromones (Le Roux 1980; Nell 1992) of
various ungulates. Bontebok is a preferred grazer of short- to medium grasses such as
Cynodon dactylon, Themeda triandra, Digitaria eriantha and Eragrostis species (Beukes et
al. 1989). Of the grass species in the park, 11 can be considered palatable, 18 acceptable
and 23 unpalatable to bontebok, whereas only 5 % of shrubs are utilized (De Graaff et al.
1976a). Beukes (1984) showed that the quality of the bontebok’s diet is higher during winter
than during summer. Presumed poor reproduction in bontebok between 1960 and 1973
spurred several studies on the matter. Skinner et al. (1980) found males to be in fair
breeding condition and concluded that a post-lambing seasonal lambing percentage of 54 %
must be considered the norm for bontebok in the park, permitting a satisfactory population
growth. An unknown factor was the extent and causes of lamb mortality. Novellie (1986)
showed that lambing percentage is correlated with rainfall of the 12 months preceding the
mating season. Bothma (1986) recommended a sex ratio of 1 male to 2 females for natural
bontebok populations, and for the maintenance of a healthy age structure, populations
should consist of 30 – 40 % sub adults. Watson et al. (1991) described a method of age
determination from skull growth in blesbok, which may also be applied to bontebok. Beukes
(1988) showed that grey rhebok are predominantly browsers, contrary to the common belief
that they are grazers. Dicotyledonous shrubs and forbs (many of the genera Disparago,
Metalasia, and Aspalathus) comprised 97 %, and graminoids 3 % of their diet, which has
implications for the management of rare plant species in the park. Life history descriptions
of the red hartebeest, eland and Cape buffalo account for the removal of buffalo from
Bontebok NP in 1974 due to great difficulty (and expenses) with keeping the animals in the
park, and the removal of eland and red hartebeest in 1975 as a result of poor performance
and low fecundity (mainly related to nutritional deficiencies and parasites) (SoKR). Selected
studies were done in the park on the genetics of animals other than bontebok/blesbok, i.e.
geographic mitochondrial DNA variation in the rock hyrax (Prinsloo & Robinson 1992), and
the role of cytogenetics in genetic conservation of mammals (Robinson & Elder 1993).
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Stoffel
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Re: Bontebok NP: INFO

Unread post by Stoffel »

Hi Richard - yes I have also never seen ellies at Olifantsbadpan - probably because it has always been dry during my 5 visits to the pan (between 2003 and 2020). The only animals I've seen there was 1 warthog, 1 steenbok and 1 squirrel.

And I agree - In all 8 visits to Leeupan (between 1987 and 2011) I have never seen lions there. But prior to 1987 (the year I started keeping records) I recall one occasion where I had a quick glimpse of a lioness.

Thanks Lion Queen for that interesting information. I have been coming on with this park since 1965. I recall the excitement when the first buffalo calf was born in the park. My personal disappointment was quite big when I heard that the buffaloes were to be removed for understandable reasons.

But my real relationship with the park started in 1976, when I lived in Swellendam. During that year Harold Braack replaced the previous park manager who was transferred to Golden Gate. Harold came from Skukuza. Hardly a weekend passed during which we did not visit the park either on a Saturday or Sunday. The park did not offer accommodation facilities then, but we had numerous braais at Langelsieskraal.

Just as a matter of interest - Harold was later transferred to Addo before he became the park manager for Karoo National Park.

A student friend of mine's father (Oom Hampie Lourens) farmed on the other side of the Breede River - thus actually bordering the park. Oom Hampie was friends with the Braacks. During that year (1976) it was decided to remove the springbok from the park too as the park was primarily declared for the protection of the Bontebok - and the springbok was in competition with the bontebok for grazing. Harold asked Oom Hampie to come and assist him with the shooting of the springbok. And in that way I became a recipient of one of the springboks.

Those years the area, which are now shown as the vicinity of the Bushbuck Trail, was known as Die Tuin but evidence were also found of graves of the then known "Hottentots". Therefore the area was also marked on first maps as the "Hottentot's Graves.

My close relationship with the park has somewhat waned over the years and therefore I was surprised to see the name of the specific trail as the Bushbuck Trail when I had a look of the park's map recently. And knowing that bushbuck, as far as I can remember, was never found in the park, made me wonder if bushbuck was introduced. Because, as mentioned in my previous post, bushbuck was to be found in the area between Stanford and Gansbaai when I was a child. If bushbuck still does not occur in the park, why such a name for the trail?
Last edited by Stoffel on Fri Sep 01, 2023 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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lion queen
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Re: Bontebok NP: INFO

Unread post by lion queen »

Hi Stoffel,

According to the info I received now from the park, there is still 3 or 4 Bushbuck in the park in and around the "Die Tuin" area. The trail was named the Bushbuck Trail because of the mating call made by the Bushbuck in that area.

I hope this helps.
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Stoffel
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Re: Bontebok NP: INFO

Unread post by Stoffel »

Thanks for the feedback Lion Queen.

It is gratifying news that there are indeed bushbuck in Bontebok. Never ever was it mentioned in any publication over all the years that there are also bushbucks in the park. When I saw the name of the relevant trail and knowing the type of vegetation along the river, which is such typical habitat for bushbuck, I thought there must be a reason for naming it Bushbuck Trail. All that remains now is to update the park's official list of mammals.

I also notice in the information piece you attached in your penultimate input, mention is made of red hartebeest that was removed in 1975. I was not aware that there used to be red hartebeest in the park during that period. But there are now a few red hartebeest in the park?

Another thing that makes me wonder - are there duikers in the park? This little antelope is so wide-spread in South Africa and it would be strange if they are not to be found in Bontebok. I live in Kleinmond and right behind my house is a wild flower farm with big areas of natural fynbos. And we see duiker (and Cape grysbok) amongst the fynbos quite regularly. And Bontebok is a fynbos paradise? But no mention is made of duiker in the list of mammals.
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