Another Eland, and Plans, for Reserve

Eight eland roam the reserve. Photos: provided

The last of eight eland was released into the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve last week. Seven more eland were introduced to the 2000 ha reserve in December 2016, and again in February, this year.

8 Eland, 5 hartebeest
“Thus far, eight eland and five hartebeest have been reintroduced,” says the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councilor Brett Herron. The eland were donated by the Koeberg Nature Reserve as part of their management of their eland population. In September 2016 five red hartebeest that were obtained from a private game owner were also introduced into the reserve.

Collared for monitoring
One of the eland has been collared for vegetation and habitat use monitoring within the reserve. “Monitoring is critical as we need to ensure that the reintroduced animals also do not impact negatively on the reserve’s critically endangered vegetation types” says the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Area North, Councillor Suzette Little. The City plans to release more of the designated species in future, depending on the numbers that can be allowed.

The vision
Apart from the red hartebeest and eland, grey rhebok are also earmarked for re-introduction. The game introduction plan conforms with the historical incidence of larger mammals in the area, a description of the habitat and habitat conditions. ‘The eland and the other large mammals will increase biodiversity in the reserve as their presence will assist other species in appearing.

Apart from assisting with the management of vegetation in the reserve, the addition of the eland and red hartebeest will be an added attraction for tourists.

Tourism potential
The reserve has a self-catering unit which sleeps up to four guests. The unit was designed to be sustainable. Photovoltaic panels charge the batteries that provide light; it is equipped with a gas stove, fridge and freezer, an outdoor shower with a gas geyser and a self-composting toilet. According to Councilor Little the reserve also has the potential to become an open-air classroom.

Bookings can be made through the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve administrative offices on 021 444 0454 or via email to



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