Wildlife in Welgevonden Game reserve
Welgevonden has a diverse mix of habitats that encourages a wide range of wildlife.
The reserve is home to 50 different mammals including the big 5 (white rhino, lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo), cheetah, giraffe, bush pig, pangolin, warthog, wild dogs, honeybadgers, black-backed jackals, wildebeest, sable, gemsbok, kudu, impala, red hartebeest, tsessebe, gemsbok, waterbuck and duiker. Rare and unusual mammal species found here include the brown hyena, aardwolf and aardvark.
There are around 300 bird species including the rare blue cranes.
Welgevonden first became a conservation area in 1993, when a number of private farms consolidated and removed their internal fences with a vision of returning the area to its original natural state. The reserve’s management successfully achieved their aim to create an environment where biodiversity conservation and game viewing are managed in harmony.
The establishment of the Marakele National Park (originally founded as Kransberg National Park in 1994) and the designation of the Waterberg Biosphere (approximately 654,033 hectares) in 2001 has contributed greatly towards conservation in this region of Limpopo Province.
Welgevonden's management team continue to be deeply committed to ongoing conservation research and development. They have embraced innovative and proactive techniques in their endeavours. A recent project they are trialling to aid rhino conservation uses a combination of IBM’s Internet of Things, a cell phone network and a herd of zebras and antelopes.
In 2018 South African National Parks and Welgevonden Game Reserve signed a partnership agreement that sees them working together to achieve long term sustainable tourism goals.
No private vehicles are permitted into Welgevonden, which ensures minimal human impact. The lodges are carefully positioned in order to remain inconspicuous to maximise the wilderness experience as well as provide privacy for residents. Historically, wildlife on the reserve has never been hunted so game viewing is always up close and personal.