Place of Glory
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.