Close encounter of the herd kind

“As a CPUT nature conservation student, an opportunity to get up close to Africa’s biggest antelope species is not one to be missed. So an offer by ecologist Petro Botha to view the small herd of eland (Taurotragus oryx) at the Vergelegen Nature Reserve was irresistible…

Given the proximity of the reserve to the Cape Town metropolitan area, it is hard to imagine that at one time eland migrated, back and forth, over the Hottentots Holland Mountains, up behind the estate and onto the Cape Flats below. Petro, who manages the project, is a great mentor and likes to involve conservation students in the Gantouw Project.

During the time I spent doing volunteer work at the reserve, she gave freely of her knowledge about the eland’s beneficial impact on their habitat, their browse and graze preferences within certain vegetation types, as well as behaviour and physical characteristics.” – Ruby Davies