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Up in the air for the game count

Mon 02 Sep 2019

Being an enclosed reserve means that we have to keep track of the number of animals, and particularly the balance so that the animals and, in fact the whole ecosystem stays healthy.

A game count is performed every other year and this year’s event was slightly different from earlier game counts. The count must be done in the dry winter season, in order to have the best possible view between bushes and trees. Our guides Lucky and Actor share their story of that fantastic experience.

Lucky: “This year the game count was directed by Dr Erik Verreyne, the vet who comes to the reserve on a regular basis. We got up in a helicopter with him and the pilot, and really started counting in a different way than ever before. The first day we counted towards the south and the next day to the north. And it was really perfect counting, not just estimating. For some species we even counted males and females.”

Actor: “So, Lucky and I were counting each on one side and Erik captured the total of the species. To count the elands and giraffes, the pilot circled around them to get them close together and then he would chase them in one direction so we could finish the count as they fled.”

Lucky: “It was a really fantastic experience, but you have to imagine how cold it was in the heli! There were no doors and we hung half out to get the counting done.”

Actor: “The most special thing for me was to see Limpopo-Lipadi from above. I loved it!”
Dr Erik Verreyne is expected to present his report and recommendations to the Game Reserve Council in September.

Photo: Lucky (left) and Actor