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)