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BENFONTEIN

Benfontein comes alive at night as several species of rare nocturnal animals thrive in this unique habitat on the doorstep of the city of Kimberley.

Benfontein is globally recognised as the home of leading research on aardwolf and black footed cat as well as a number of lessor known nocturnal species that live in this unique habitat.

Benfontein has several nocturnal mammal species like aardwolf, aardvark, bat eared fox, black backed jackal, black footed cat, caracal, cape fox, porcupine and spring hare. Read More...

Benfontein has much to offer including interacting with researchers as well as being a bird lover’s paradise. Other activities include:

• Mountain biking (Group bookings)
• Horse endurance events
• Research opportunities
• Organised bird watching

Basic accommodation is available.

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CONSERVATION

Supporting the Diamond Route conservation initiatives, Benfontein is practicing up to date wildlife management techniques with top class research. Benfontein has through more than a century of dedicated management and conservation become a benchmark site in terms of the Karoo/Kimberley Thornveld/Grassland zones.

In the 1940s, the black wildebeest population was reduced to probably less than 100 animals on a property in the Free State. Half of that population was brought to Benfontein, and thereby ensuring the re-establishment of this species that was virtually extinct, testimony to the support of long term extensive wildlife management systems. Read More...

HISTORY

Bought by De Beers in 1891, Benfontein covers 11 000 hectares of open arid terrain favoured by some of the more unusual species you won’t typically see in our other sites.

Richard Liversidge, at the time the director of the McGregor Museum, helped to pioneer and implement wildlife management strategies on the De Beers conservation properties. It was on Benfontien that he started one of the longest studies on the biology of springbok. With over 20 years of data, Richard was able to show that springbok appeared to predict the coming of the rains, producing their young at a time to coincide with the first fresh growth of grass following the rains.

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