Another lovely wild snippet from Hoedspruit.

Hello FBees and blog followers,

My e-friend Margaret in Hoedspruit writes as follows:

What I mean by “dead” is at the end of summer, except for the odd
very large & tall evergreen trees, all the Lowveld bush loses its
leaves, & it is grey & lifeless looking. One wonders what the
browsers, such as Giraffe, find to eat during a normal winter.

All the game is obviously genetically programmed to cope, to find
food, as they are to withstand drought, but this drought has been

You may have “a personal peeve about the strange habit of humans
feeling the need to feed a perfectly healthy animal in nature”,
& you will read shortly that this is no longer nature as it used
to be.

What I meant when I said I am not feeding my Duiker & Grysbok is
that they are coping very well, & are in good condition, so I
don’t need to. The Impala at Wits Rural Facility are also coping
very well. They look marvellous.

In some areas, there is no ground cover at all – just sand. It’s
terrible. And it goes on like that for kilometres. On the west
side of the R40 between Hoedspruit & Acornhoek that I travelled
along so nicely not so long ago, there is again just sand. The
big water hole in which one could often see hippo coming up for
air is nearly empty. Not enough water to cover the hippo & no
grazing for them when they go out at night to feed. If one wants
to keep the animals alive, feeding is vital. A couple of the
plots near me are the same – bare earth.

A lot of the game is no longer wild in the old sense of the word
because they are being “farmed”. Game fences everywhere & for
many kilometres so the game can no longer migrate in search of
better pasture as they used to.

A commercial value for them arose about 30 years ago with the
development of the private game reserves & nature reserves
catering for tourists & utilizing areas already containing game.
Such as Londolozi & those on the west side of Hoedspruit
bordering the Kruger. Given the enormous increase in the human
population, I think this development has saved the game.

About 25 years ago in the Hoedspruit area, there were regular
auctions of wild animals, & I recently met a Hoedspruit farmer
who makes a living from breeding & selling buffalo. He was
worried about availability of food for his animals. One cannot
allow these animals to die of starvation, they cost too much to
buy & are therefore too valuable, & the overseas tourists – what
would they have to say?

About 40 years ago, one could buy horse food in cubes & now one
can buy wild life food also in cubes, which are scattered on the

A good while ago, I heard a radio programme about the safari
company Singita in connection with 5 black rhino that had been
bred here & flown to Singita’s property on the Singita river &
on the border of the Serengeti. They were transported in one of
those huge American transport planes (C130 with a veterinarian
travelling in the cargo hold with them, they being sedated. A
special runway had to be made to accommodate the plane.

The green spring leaf buds are just beginning to appear on the
bushes & wait a bit thorn trees. They will open fully after it
rains properly – not just a few drops as it is doing as I write
(12.20 pm). The leaves on the much bigger knob thorn & marula
trees have already opened.

Blogger Barry: Thanks for your time. Hope you enjoyed as much
as I did. Please share to your friends.

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