"All the animals are wild and live naturally off the veld with no human intervention. To encounter the animals during a visit to the Reserve is a true wildlife experience."
Currently the Nature Reserve carries about 800 larger mammal species including more than 400 Chacma or Cape Baboon and 400 antelope including the following: Greater Kudu, Cape Eland, Gemsbok, Red Hartebeest, Springbok, Common Duiker, Klipspringer, Steenbok, Grey Rhebok and Cape Grysbok.
Rock Dassie (Hyrax), Porcupine, Lesser Grey Mongoose, Small-spotted Genet, Scrub Hare, Hewitts red rock rabbit, Striped Polecat and Bat-eared Fox amongst others are some of the smaller mammals present and larger carnivores include Black-backed Jackal, Caracal, Cape Mountain Leopard and African Wild Cat.
Vervet Monkeys, Honey Badgers (Ratel) and Leguans have also been seen on the Reserve.
A small breeding herd of Burchells Zebra was introduced in 2010.
A small herd of African Nguni cattle roams freely in the Reserve.
There might not be elephants and rhino around every corner in South Africa, but wherever you go on this planet there are birds! Identifying and listing the host of different birds you might spot on holiday or even a quick weekend getaway is great fun!
With a diversity of habitat types ranging from mountain fynbos, spekboom dominated karroid thicket and acacia riverine thicket to karroid broken veld and arid inland renosterveld, Bosch Luys Kloof is an ideal birding location with a variety of different species!
There are two bird hides, each situated close to waterpoints within 2.5km of the main lodge, but even around the lodge and chalets the rich birdlife is clear. To illustrate this, the following is a quote from a mail received from Vernon Head (Chairman of Birdlife South Africa and author of the book The Search for the Rarest Bird in the World published in 2014) after he visited us with his family in September 2016…
You should tell future guests that it is possible to see over 40 species from the deck of a chalet! My final count from my front deck was 42 species, 39 of which were seen in two hours, while having coffee on the first morning! This does not even happen in the Kruger National Park!
We have compiled a checklist of bird species documented by guests (mainly in the spring and summer months) at the reserve. Checklists compiled by D. Osborne (1999) for the Gamkapoort and Swartberg Nature Reserves (121 000 ha) include 188 spp, the checklist for Bosch Luys Kloof (13 700 ha, one tenth the size) currently has 110+ spp and is growing, so remember to bring your binoculars along with you and see if you can add a couple more to the list.
Goldfish and Koi
At Bosch Luys Kloof three goldfish arrived by accident in our cement irrigation dam at the lodge in 2011 when we bought a few Koi fish – and have now multiplied to more than 300 hundred!
Both the Goldfish and the Koi are mutations from carp. Goldfish from Crucian Carp (Carassius auratus gibelio) and Koi from the common carp (Cyprinus carpio).
Goldfish were first bred by Chinese Buddhists in the Tang dynasty (600-900AD) as symbols of peace, friendship and good fortune. By the 10th century they were prized as pets and from the 16th century they were being bred for variety – color, shape, eyes, tails. From there the hobby expanded to Japan and then to Europe, reaching the United States in 1850 and since then they have spread the world over.
Koi has a history that goes back to South China – 20 million years ago and were described in Chinese scriptures around 200-300 A.D. Koi were used as subjects / models in Chinese artwork and carvings.
For the Buddhists Koi symbolise happiness. Other symbols of the Koi include consciousness, determination, power and perseverance. Has it ever occurred to us how much we can learn from fish?
The Japanese played a big part in developing the Koi further and recognise Koi by the term Nishikigoi.
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