Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve in Graaff-Reinet, in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, has announced that it will be introducing elephant and lion into the reserve in 2018. This will make Mount Camdeboo a ‘Big Five’ reserve. The reserve is already home to leopard, rhino and the Cape buffalo.

Historically, these species occurred in the region. This move forms part of the reserve’s long-term plans to reintroduce naturally occurring species to the area.

Iain Buchanan, Owner of Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve, says: “We are thrilled to welcome back these majestic creatures to Mount Camdeboo,” adding that this area meets the habitat requirements of these animals.

The reserve was created in 1995 when Buchanan’s late father, Logie Buchanan, purchased several properties to make up the current 14 000-hectare private reserve. The family has a long-term conservation vision, which includes developing the property for the conservation of fauna and flora, sustained by eco-tourism.

Recently, the Department of Environmental Affairs approved the Mountain Zebra-Camdeboo Protected Environment’s proposed management plan, which will see approximately 286 343-hectares of private and public land in the Great Karoo protected and preserved. Mount Camdeboo Private Game Reserve was the first property to sign on to the management plan in 2012.

Buchanan concludes: “We are proud to continuously be working towards achieving our long-term conservation vision of ensuring sensible and sustainable utilisation of natural resources as a foundation for eco-tourism and wildlife conservation. With the introduction of elephant and lion, we are one step closer to realising our vision.”