Who would have thought – members of the Africa’s big 5 on the Agulhas Plain? Well, that’s exactly the case. And for the first time, you can now see these animals here.
As the Black Oystercatcher, we care deeply about our natural world. So we became members of the Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area (with our founder, Dirk Human, also serving as Chair of the Nuwejaars SMA).
Over the past nine years, the Nuwejaars has worked to protect our unique environment – in particular our wetlands and all the life around the wetlands.
And that included bringing back animals that used to roam the Agulhas Plain – but became extinct over the last two centuries.
So here’s what you can see here:
These secretive animals were released in 2010 into Waagschaalvlei – on the Black Oystercatcher farm. Today we have a healthy pod of hippo – hippos that are often as curious about their human counterparts as we are of them.
Our glorious buffalo bull, Apollo, and his herd were released on the Agulhas Plain also in 2010 – a first in 200 years. Since then we’ve had a number of calves born here. The buffalo live in and around their Buffalo Boma – a facility built by the NWSMA to allow us to care for and view the animals.
Quagga used to roam free across the Agulhas Plain – but became extinct in the early 1900s. Now the NWSMA works with the Quagga Project – aiming to re-establish a herd of zebra that closely resembles the quagga, and shares the same DNA.
Ok – so you may expect to find the bontebok here – as the Agulhas Plain is their original home. But these beautiful buck were once nearly extinct (fewer than 20 buck remained). And it was only through the action of forefathers of current NWSMA members that the bontebok still exists today. So they have a special place in our hearts.
Now, for the first time, visitors can join two tours, hosted by the Nuwejaars team.
Saturday at 9am, we’ll leave from the Black Oystercatcher Restaurant on a Wildlife Guided Tour, including coffee at the Buffalo Boma (R200/person)
Saturday at 5pm we’ll leave from the Black Oystercatcher Restaurant on a Sunset Wetlands Tour, including a sundowner at the Hippo vlei (R220/person)