|UNIQUE CONSERVATION OPPORTUNITY WITH TINTSWALO LAPALALA TO HELP COLLAR THE WILD DOGS OF THE WATERBERG
Conservation enthusiasts have the rare opportunity to book a safari package at Tintswalo Lapalala over the Heritage Day long weekend of 24 September 2020, to join a veterinary team and scientists from the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) while they collar a number of African Wild Dogs (Lycaon pictus) in the Lapalala Wilderness Reserve (Limpopo).
The African Wild Dog is Southern Africa’s most endangered large carnivore, with only about 438 left in all of South Africa. Conservation history was made in April (2020) when 10 adult dogs, notably one of the last free-roaming packs of the Waterberg, were successfully captured and relocated to a holding facility on the Lapalala Reserve. In the reserve they will be safe from pervasive threats such as hunting, poisons, road collisions, snaring and habitat loss, which have over the years reduced the population to near extinction.
The dogs adapted quickly in the boma at Lapalala and within a few weeks a litter of pups was born. The eleven pups are now strong enough to be released into the reserve, together with the 10 adults. The first step however is to raise funds to purchase VHS and satellite tracking collars, which has presented the unique opportunity for guests to not only donate, but physically participate as sponsors of the project.
Derek van der Merwe from the Endangered Wildlife Trust says that it is critically important to safeguard this pack within the Lapalala Wilderness Reserve. The scientific monitoring of the pack will help to secure the future conservation of the species, particularly in the Waterberg. It is essential to keep track of their movement patterns, habitat utilization, and population demographics, and to avoid snaring and poaching incidents and breakouts. He says: ‘This particular pack is very used to going through fences as the Waterberg area in general is full of game fences. However, we are hoping that the time spent in the boma has given them some respect for fences and that they won’t head straight out of the reserve after release.’
Spreading over 48 500 hectares of pristine bushveld, the Lapalala Wilderness Reserve is one of South Africa’s largest private nature reserves and is recognized as a champion of sustainable wildlife conservation. CEO Glenn Phillips says that this Wild Dog conservation project is another important conservation milestone for Lapalala. ‘We are however under no illusions that these dogs will eventually leave the expanse of the reserve and continue to do what they have always done. Roam free. We are very privileged to have been in a position to provide a temporary home for these wonderful, critically endangered animals, and trust that the role we played has provided them the best possible chance of survival.’
Tintswalo Lapalala’s Wild Dog Collaring Conservation package is available to 12 guests only, for the long weekend of 24 September 2020. Children are welcome. Guests will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take close-up photographs of the Wild Dog adults and pups feeding. They will also attend a briefing session by the veterinary team who will explain the collaring procedure, before they take part in the exercise which aims to collar at least two of the dogs. The release of the dogs into the reserve will take place on a later date (to be confirmed).
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About Tintswalo Lapalala
Situated in the malaria-free Waterberg region in Limpopo province, Tintswalo Lapalala is a family-friendly lodge of seven luxury tented suites with private plunge pools, accommodating up to 16 adults and four children. Environmentally conscious, it is operated off the grid, presenting a sustainable wilderness and safari experience within the expansive 48 500-hectare reserve. With 37km of pristine river frontage, unique wilderness activities include riverside picnics, fishing and swimming in rapids and crystal-clear rock pools. Daily game drives and guided bush walks are on offer, as well as a Children’s Activity programme. Excursions are offered to ancient iron age and rock art sites within the reserve and the community-based Wilderness School. Other relaxing pursuits include spa treatments, sundowner cruises, birdwatching, stargazing and romantic sleep-outs.
About Tintswalo Lodges
Tintswalo Lodges is an exquisite collection of five family-owned and run properties situated in unique locations within South Africa. Perched on a pebbled beach at the foot of the Table Mountain National Park, directly overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the award-winning Tintswalo Atlantic boutique lodge is renowned as one of Cape Town’s most precious hidden gems. Sharing an unfenced boundary with the Kruger National Park, Tintswalo Safari Lodge sits on the pristine Manyeleti Private Game Reserve, home to some of South Africa’s best game viewing. Within this property, Tintswalo Manor House offers a luxurious, fully-catered villa for families or friends looking for a tailor-made stay. Recent additions to Tintswalo’s collection of luxury lodges and boutique hotels include Tintswalo at Boulders Boutique Villa in Cape Town, located on Boulders Beach with its world-famous colony of endangered African penguins. Luxury tented camp Tintswalo Lapalala offers a family-friendly safari experience in an expansive, pristine private reserve within the malaria-free Waterberg region (Limpopo province). Nearby in the Welgevonden Game Reserve, Tintswalo Family Camp Welgevonden is available on exclusive-use basis only as an ideal safari getaway for corporates, as well as friends or family travelling together.
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On behalf of TINTSWALO LODGES
Kim De Klerk
Luxury Travel & Hospitality Specialists
Founder & Head of Agency: Janie M van der Spuy