Maroi Conservancy Joins Growing Hunting Trend In South Africa


Published: May - 2010

I have reported previously on the hunting conservancy trend in South Africa. The latest conservancy I've discovered is the Maroi Conservancy in the Limpopo Province. Conservancies, you'll recall, are basically a number of adjoining properties that agree to remove all interior game fences, leaving only one perimeter game fence that joins all the properties together into one contiguous hunting area. Some of these conservancies are huge and offer hunting that is much closer to a free-range experience than you typically get on smaller or divided properties. The Maroi conservancy was brought to my attention by subscriber Mike Cassidy of ESPN Outdoor. He hunted there last season and had glowing things to say about the place and the hunting services. It's called the Maroi Conservancy, and it is located in the Limpopo Province on the border with Zimbabwe about 30 kilometers northwest of the town of Musina. It currently encompasses 17,000 acres, but manager Johannes Nel is negotiating with other landowners whose properties will bring the conservancy to a total of 30,000 acres.

Nel started the conservancy with his family farm of about 900 irrigated acres planted with citrus, melons, tomatoes and other crops. Maroi now includes six farms in total with a seventh about to join and three to four more that want to become part of the conservancy. In the past, parts of the conservancy were intensively farmed for citrus and other crops, and some landowners tried running cattle. None of them managed for game. Poaching was common, with people cutting the fences to trespass. Now, all the meat from animals that are hunted goes to the local community to encourage them not to poach.

The property contains most of the indigenous veld game, including giraffe, eland, kudu, gemsbok, blue wildebeest, impala, warthog, nyala, duiker, steenbok, bushbuck, zebra, waterbuck and bush pigs. There are leopards on the property, and Nel plans to introduce Cape buffalo. Nel says they released enough game to get a sustainable breeding population going so that all the animals hunted are born and bred on the conservancy. He says there is no put-and-take hunting of released........(continued)

 
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