Bontebok National Park

Bontebok National Park - Southern Africa : Bontebok National Park was established to conserve the Bontebuck. In the late 1800s when Bontebok populations had crashed to about 17 animals, the van der Byl, van Breda and Albertyn families set aside portions of their farms near Bredasdorp for the p

Bontebok National Park was established to conserve the Bontebuck.

In the late 1800s when Bontebok populations had crashed to about 17 animals, the van der Byl, van Breda and Albertyn families set aside portions of their farms near Bredasdorp for the preservation of this species.

SANParks bought part of this land in 1931 to proclaim the Bontebok National Park. The park being LImestone Fynbos was unsuitable and due to a copper deficiency rickets, worm infestations and other related problems resulted in a very high mortality. A more suitable Renosterveld area was sought. An area of Swellendam Silcrete Fynbos was acquired and the park and 16 of the Bontebok were moved to the current reserve in 1961.

By 1969 there were about 800 Bontebuck in the park and Western Cape nature reserves. Currently there are about 3000 Bontebuck, with about 200 in the Bontebok National Park.

The park consists of a minute portion of Renosterveld (at the Resies Baan) within the Swellendam Silcrete Fynbos.

First European contact with the resident Hessequa Khoe Khoe was in 1660. Lourens Visser established a trading post in 1667. A Drostdy was built in 1745, and the town of Swellendam developed in 1747 to serve the magisterial district.

Two Hessequa captains and their followers lived in the area.
Lang Elsie lived in the area between 1734 and 1800, grazing to the Buffeljags River.
Nouga Saree, lived in the area known as the Ou Tuin.

Central to the park is the Resies Baan (Race Track), used by the Swellendam Turf Club for race meetings. It is reputed that the Bree River was navigable to the Resies Baan, with the a steam ship Kadie chartered for the Cape Town - Swellendam trip.

Source: http://www.sanparks.co.za/parks/bontebok/

26 Mar 2015
Tony Rebelo