The Karoo was once the scene of one of Africa’s largest migrations – The Trebokken – or Grand Migration of Springbok. Until 1896 when certain conditions were met immense numbers of springbok gathered on the veld migrating in search of fresh pasture.
These spectacular treks recorded by European explorers and settlers became the stuff of legend and South Africa’s biggest tourist attraction in the 19th century drawing prince’s and paupers to witness and hunt the great herds that would arise out of the dust trampling all before them, before melting away with the onset of rains.
NKF’s long-term vision is to see one or more large tracts of land sewn together by fencing removal so that the quintessential Karoo ecological process of roaming springbok will again be allowed to function.
While the Trekbokken may be a dream too far researching the economic feasibility and ecological sustainability of reintroducing Springbok as the dominant herbivore of the Karoo is a focus for the NKF.
The springbok is a signature species sensitive to the changing environment and health populations of springbok indicate a healthy environment. To hunter-gatherer populations the springbok was sign of ecological harmony and it is uniquely adapted to the Karoo’s environment and climate.
The national favourite food (biltong) the national rugby team (Springboks) and the national coin (Krugerrand) are just three of the many reminders of how every South African has an entrenched nostalgia and awareness of South Africa’s national animal, the Springbok.
Springbok and tourism are two of the fastest growing parts of the Karoo economy.
With time and effort we believe that the springbok can increasingly become recognised as the essential Karoo species and its reintroduction a vehicle for rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems and the management of farmland without loss of productivity, species diversity and natural resources.
The Karoo was the scene of Africa’s largest migrations until 1896. The Trebokken – or Grand Migration of Springbok – remains South Africa’s biggest tourist attraction, historically and futuristically. The area around Richmond is still a rich habitat for springbok and supports some of the largest populations of the antelope in their natural habitat.
Already, tracts of land upwards from 20,000 hectares/50,000 acres have been opened for springbok & their associated plains game companions such as wildebeest and zebra.
Springbok and tourism are the fastest growing economy of the Karoo. The national favorite food (biltong) the national rugby team (Springboks) and the national coin (Krugerrand) are just three of the many reminders of how every South African has an entrenched nostaligia and awareness of South Africa’s national animal, the Springbok.