Place of Glory

Tourism Tattler - - Conservation - For more in­for­ma­tion visit lega­cy­ho­tels.co.za or email kuzuko@lega­cy­ho­tels.co.za

As a na­ture re­serve, Kuzuko is in its in­fancy. A five-year en­vi­ron­men­tal study pro­vided the bench­mark for a sus­tain­able re-growth of the area to its nat­u­ral habi­tat. Work­ing in con­junc­tion with SANParks, a pro­gramme was em­barked upon to re-stock the area with in­dige­nous flora and fauna. Orig­i­nally cre­ated by com­bin­ing twenty-two farms, com­pris­ing an area of about 40,000 acres, the land was bar­ren due to the neg­a­tive im­pact from years of goat farm­ing. To pro­tect the re­serve, 70km of so­lar pow­ered elec­tri­fied fenc­ing was erected by a team of 70 men over a pe­riod of 10 months. In clear­ing the land ap­prox­i­mately 230km of old farm fenc­ing, 41 wind­mills, 15 farm build­ings, 18 wa­ter reser­voirs and 20 tons of metal were dis­man­tled and re­moved. Game had to be in­tro­duced in phases af­ter the re­moval of 250ha of alien plant species and the cul­ti­va­tion and re-plant­ing of Spekboom ( por­tu­lacaria afra). An in­dige­nous plant known as “ele­phant’s food”, Spekboom has enor­mous car­bon-stor­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Its ca­pac­ity to off­set harm­ful car­bon emis­sions is equiv­a­lent to that of moist, sub­trop­i­cal forests. Once the flora be­gan to re­cover, buf­falo, ze­bra, and var­i­ous species of an­te­lope were re-in­tro­duced into the re­serve in part­ner­ship with SANParks and the Addo Ele­phant Park. In 2005, af­ter an ab­sence of 150 years, ele­phant and black rhino were re­leased on Kuzuko. Preda­tors were only in­tro­duced in 2007 when there was suf­fi­cient game to

sus­tain their num­bers. Kuzuko is com­mit­ted to the con­ser­va­tion of dis­ease-free ele­phants, black rhino, and moun­tain ze­bra. For con­ser­va­tion to be suc­cess­ful, Kuzuko be­lieves that all chil­dren need to learn to love and pro­tect their her­itage. Funded by the Kuzuko Foun­da­tion, ed­u­ca­tional school pro­grammes mainly fo­cuss on the up­lift­ment of dis­ad­van­tage com­mu­ni­ties and their ed­u­ca­tional needs. The only ex­pense that the school/in­sti­tu­tion is re­spon­si­ble for is trans­port of their groups to and from Kuzuko Lodge and Re­serve.

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