Eastern Cape game breeders prove mettle
The days leading up to the second annual Signature Wildlife auction promised rain. In the drought-stricken Eastern Cape, this was a good sign. Drizzles the day before muddied the terrain, but nobody minded. The green hue of the Kwandwe Private Game Reserve held further promise of a remarkable auction to come.
The state-of-the-art runway at Kwandwe welcomed incoming jet planes ferrying the top of the game breeding fraternity from all over the country and beyond for an auction of legendary genetics.
In the purpose-erected air-conditioned auction tent things got off to a fabulous start when the first item, a charity lot benefiting the Ubunye Foundation, was sold for R850 000 to Norman Adami. He immediately donated the cash directly to the foundation without taking up the opportunity of participating in the United States’ whitetail breeding industry that was on offer. The lot was auctioned again and sold for R450 000, distributing a total of R1.3m to a wonderful cause.
Buffalo ruled the day at Kwandwe. In a show of force, the buffalo category sold remarkably well, indicating tremendous trust in the excpetional genetics on offer from breeders such as Buffalo Kloof, Kwandwe Signature Wildlife, Murray Ranches, Piet du Toit Wildbedryf and Woody Cape Wildlife.
Woody Cape wildlife’s 37 3⁄8″Her Majesty was sold as a 3-in-1 buffalo cow for R6.4m, the highest lot on the day. This remarkable cow was sold as in calf to 48 1/8″ Gnu and as to be covered 51 2/8″ Sidima.
Overall, buffalo produced a total turnover of R49.2m, representing 81% of the total auction turnover of R60.9m. The game farmers in the Eastern Cape are formidable buffalo breeders and showed what they’re made of at their successful second auction.
But it wasn’t only buffalo that attracted attention. Piet du Toit, who invested a total of R3.1m in scarce and exceptional female rhino genetics, remarked after the auction that he strongly believes in rhino breeding. “If the rhino is worth more alive than dead we are on a winning path with rhino conservation,” du Toit said enthusiastically.
After the auction the fires were lit and everyone enjoyed typical heart Eastern cape hospitality. Auction-goers left satisfied, looking forward to 2018.