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Kimberley (Photo Diary)

From battle fields to diamond fields, Kimberley and its surrounding area is drenched in history. We stayed with a wildlife vet at Magersfontein Farm where the British suffered their greatest losses during the Boer War and explored Kimberley’s preserved ‘New Rush’ streets. With so many fortunes made and lost in this historic area, Back to Africa’s Sable Project at Mokala National Park is proving to be another success for the history books.

 

Herd of Sable antelope. Kimberley, South Africa.

Sable Antelope were once widespread in the bushveld areas of the Transvaal.

 

Lone Sable antelope. Kimberley, South Africa.

In the 1940’s it was estimated that there were over 36,000 Sable Antelope in the lowveld outside the Kruger National Park.

 

Three sable. Kimberley, South Africa.

Today there are less than 200 Sable left inside the Kruger National Park!

 

Lula in the bushveld at Mokala National Park. Kimberley, South Africa.

We visited Back to Africa's Sable Project at Mokala National Park near Kimberley to see how the reintroduced herd have adapted to life in the wild. (You can see Back to Africa's logo, which features the iconic profile of a Sable Antelope, on Lula's door.)

 

Herd of Sable antelope relaxing in the bushveld. Kimberley, South Africa.

In 2002 ten Sable Antelope were donated to Back to Africa from three European zoos; Blijdorp Zoo in the Netherlands, Dvur Kralove in the Czech Republic, and Marwell in the UK.

 

Herd of Sable antelope. Kimberley, South Africa.

They were transported to Kimberley, where they formed the nucleus of a breeding unit that will be used to stock various parks in South Africa where numbers of this species have dwindled.

 

Two Sable antelope relaxing in the long grass. Kimberley, South Africa.

These introductions have yielded positive results and there are now 23 animals.

 

Sable antelope calf. Kimberley, South Africa.

7 calves were born in 2009 and 6 in 2010!

 

Three sable antelope. Kimberley, South Africa.

The conservation and study of this magnificent species is a priority.

 

Lucie watching a herd of Sable antelope. Kimberley, South Africa.

The exact reason for declines of Sable is not entirely understood, but a tick-borne disease called Theileria has recently been implicated in causing mortalities. Back to Africa are involved in research for a Theileria vaccine.

 

Lone Sable antelope. Kimberley, South Africa.

Kimberley's extreme temperatures mean that there are not so many ticks and may be why the herd is doing so well here.

 

The reintroduced herd roam free at Mokala National Park alongside wild African animals that include rhino, wildebeest and buffalo. Pictured are tsessebe antelopes grazing nearby. Kimberley, South Africa.

The reintroduced herd roam free at Mokala National Park alongside wild African animals that include rhino, wildebeest and buffalo. Pictured are tsessebe antelopes grazing nearby.

 

Tsessebe. Kimberley, South Africa.

Why the long face?

 

Happiness is a pink fly swat and going out to play. Kimberley, South Africa.

Happiness is a pink fly swat and going out to play.

 

Windmill with cloudy blue sky. Kimberley, South Africa.

We stayed with Emma, a wildlife vet, and her young family at Magersfontein Farm near Kimberley.

 

Bow Wow joined the farm's pack of dogs and together they tore across the old battlefields. Kimberley, South Africa.

Magersfontein is where the British were severely trounced during the Boer War. Bow Wow joined the farm's pack of dogs and together they tore across the old battlefields.

 

Bow Wow and friends fetching pepples on the farm. Kimberley, South Africa.

There were lots of pebbles to fetch.

 

Bow Wow enjoyed the muddy dam. Kimberley, South Africa.

Bow Wow enjoyed the muddy dam.

 

Amazing how much respect a pink fly swat can command. Kimberley, South Africa.

Amazing how much respect a pink fly swat can command.

 

Bow Wow swimming in dam. Kimberley, South Africa.

Ring of bright water.

 

Bow Wow and friends going for a walk on the farm to the dam. Kimberley, South Africa.

Walkies

 

Bow Wow investigating the head of a shot blesbok. Kimberley, South Africa.

Magersfontein is also a hunting farm. Neither Bow Wow nor Taula seemed sure what to make of this shot blesbok.

 

A wildlife vet's home is full of unusual artefacts. Bow Wow even sniffed out a rhino bone. Kimberley, South Africa.

A wildlife vet's home is full of unusual artefacts. Bow Wow even sniffed out a rhino bone.

 

Fake mouse hanging on retro green fan. Kimberley, South Africa.

Too late for mouse to mouse resuscitation.

 

Old garage repair at The Big Hole. Kimberley, South Africa.

Diamonds were found and great fortunes made in Kimberley.

 

Old petrol pump. Kimberley, South Africa.

Some of the streets have been preserved just as they were during the diamond rush.

 

Clock Tower at The Big Hole. Kimberley, South Africa.

The 'New Rush' began in 1871 and people came from all over the world in search of small, brilliant pebbles.

 

Old railway line at The Big Hole. Kimberley, South Africa.

In 1882, Kimberley became the first town in the southern hemisphere to install electric street lighting.

 

The Big Hole filled with water. Kimberley, South Africa.

As miners frantically dug for diamonds with only picks and shovels, the "Big Hole" was created. It is an astonishing 215m deep.

 

From 1871 to 1914 miners found 2,722 kg of diamonds at The Big Hole. Kimberley, South Africa.

From 1871 to 1914 miners found 2,722 kg of diamonds!

 

African sun roof. Kimberley, South Africa.

African sun roof.

 

Buffalo with large horns. Kimberley, South Africa.

Grande dame.

 

Snorting buffalo waiting for their morning muesli at Magersfontein Farm. Kimberley, South Africa.

Snorting buffalo waiting for their morning muesli at Magersfontein Farm.

 

Frankie (short for Frankenstein) is a gemsbok who is convinced that he's a buffalo. Kimberley, South Africa.

Frankie (short for Frankenstein) is a gemsbok. He ran into a tree when he was little which damaged his horns and now he is convinced that he's a buffalo.

 

Herd of buffalo. Kimberley, South Africa.

Luckily the buffalo have accepted him into their herd but he respectfully allows them to eat first before having his breakfast.

 

Buffalo licking his lips and eating grass. Kimberley, South Africa.

Lipsmackin!

 

Feeding a herd of buffalo. Kimberley, South Africa.

Dust risers.

 

Young boy on the back of the ute on the farm. Kimberley, South Africa.

What a magical place to be a kid.

 

Climax windmill on the farm. Kimberley, South Africa.

We find it's always good to end on one.

 

 

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2 Responses to “Kimberley (Photo Diary)”

  1. 塞班岛自由行 says:

    回复:先去常州,之后到南京。 :去哪旅游啊?

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