About the author: André Meyer, owner of Gamka Wilidlife is one of the principle founding-members of the newly established Cape Wildlife Group.
Cape Wildlife Group — The beginning of something exciting and new
Updated: 10 October 2018
The Western Cape is known worldwide for its incredible natural beauty with millions of local and international visitors flocking to the province every year. Despite the province’s immense popularity the region is not widely thought of as being a wildlife destination and tourists often look to northern provinces of the country when seeking wildlife experiences. The Cape Wildlife Group aims to change this. The group is comprised of private reserve owners and game farmers who are all firmly committed to the conservation of wildlife in the Western Cape.
The main character trait that South African farmers are known for is their resilience. That’s where the Afrikaans saying “‘n Boer maak n plan” comes from. It directly translates to “a farmer makes a plan” and that’s exactly what the Cape Wildlife Group did when its members came together following the success of the first Boland Wildlife Auction in 2017. At the time the industry was undergoing major changes and there were huge challenges that needed to be overcome. A large and unexpected drop in the price of game along with widespread criticism of wildlife breeding practices had come to the fore. In addition, a severe drought in the Western Cape, political uncertainty and a weakened South African economy had led to a significant reduction in the number of tourists visiting the country including overseas trophy hunters. The Cape Wildlife Group, originally called The Boland Group, decided to reposition itself to address these issues by turning their collective attention onto the broader aspects of wildlife conservation.
The launch of the Cape Wildlife Group will take place on the 19th of October 2018. Its 12 official members are now aligned around four main foundational pillars namely best practice eco-tourism, wildlife breeding, hunting and the supply of game meat. By partnering with local government and other key stakeholders the Group will work to promote the Western Cape as a premier wildlife destination, with plenty of exciting outdoor activities on offer. Adventure lovers can enjoy everything from staying on a functioning farm and observing its everyday routines right through to hiking, mountain biking, trail running, stargazing, bird watching, nature photography, conservation education and much more.
The Group will also increase the number of options and facilities available to both local and international hunters in order to grow the wildlife breeding market. This will involve close collaborations with local hunting associations in order to educate the public on the necessity for hunting as a vital component of wildlife conservation as a whole.
The Group will also focus on the supply of game meat, especially to international tourists who want to experience a culinary experience as part of their holiday in the Western Cape and also as a healthier protein alternative. This is a long term objective that requires larger numbers of participating wildlife farmers but the initiative will commence by making game meat available to needy schoolchildren when trophy hunters don’t use the meat themselves.
Members of the Cape Wildlife Group are blessed and honoured to be involved in this exciting and important new venture and are fully committed to creating a successful organisation that will benefit their home province. Their cumulative efforts will create many new jobs and contribute to the Western Cape’s economy while protecting and preserving its wonderful wildlife.
For more information