A Unique African Reserve
The Klaserie is one of the largest privately owned Nature Reserves in South Africa (approximately 55,000 hectares) and forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park (approximately 2 million hectares). It is unfenced, which both allows for all migratory species to roam freely and increases the area that territorial species can establish themselves, enabling genetic drift. From a conservation standpoint, this provides a benefit for the animals and the people visiting them.
The meaning of Serendip is given as: “the art of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought after.” No other description could fit this, our special bit of Eden. It has some special mysterious magic which captures and holds one forever. It’s a land of mystery and unexpected surprises. Wildlife, gigantic to minute… each so enthralling and holding so many secrets still unsolved by Man – each fulfilling its particular role in the chain of life.
Who has not stood spellbound watching an elephant herd, so intelligent and so caring of one another? Adapting the pace of their feeding pattern to the pace of a mother with a newly born baby, helping a youngster up a steep incline! Trunks held up, catching messages on the breeze and as one, moving on. Then, there are the ‘beautiful uglies,’ the rhino and the hippo. A herd of buffalo, heavily horned, mean-eyed, moving away in a cloud of dust. Striped beauties – the zebra.
Antelopes, large and small, all swift and beautiful. Wildebeest, quaint ‘rocking-horses’ of the veld. And our stately mannequins – the giraffe. Warthogs, with upturned tusks and tails like radio antennas, always good for a laugh. Our cousins the baboons, a source of amusement and rage when they visit and destroy. Rollers ‘rolling’, flashing their jewel-like feathers in a breathtaking display. Plovers, calling, running, dive-bombing. And within yourself an inner surging response to the call of the fish eagle.
A sunset song from a choir of long tailed shrike, heavenly!
The humble dung beetle, frantically collecting dung and rolling it away – who knows where? One seen emerging through a hole in the intestine of a giraffe killed by a lion, resting his ‘elbows’ on the rim, then carefully running his ‘hand’ under his nose as though saying: “Whew!”
The magic of the Lowveld night – the clear star-filled night and a silence – yes, a silence filled with a myriad of small night noises of insects. The swooping flight of bats and then the silences temporarily broken by the call of a nightjar – or the reverberating roar of a lion. Jackals and hyena call and answer. The bush comes alight with myriads of fireflies weaving and dancing. Be there when the first rains fall – overnight the desert blooms like a rose – grass, leaves, flowers, and carpets of velvety moss pop out all over. Birds sing, beetles shrill, and frogs join in with the great thanksgiving song! And Man? God gave him the Earth and dominion over all creatures therein and sadly, he has betrayed his trust.
“God will ask thee neither thy race
Nor thy birth,
All he will ask of thee –
What has though done with the
Land I Gave thee?”
Contributed by Mary Crookes