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06/09/2020 - The Rudman Family and Blaauwkrantz Safaris : Proudly Eastern Cape

 

Blaauwkrantz Farming Enterprises is a fourth-generation family farm or “ranch” situated in the Valley Bushveldt region of the Eastern Cape. There are no fewer than four habitat biomes that occur on the extent of the current property, including the Xeric Succulent Thicket, Grassland, Fynbos and Karoo, making it one of the most naturally diverse ranches in South Africa.

Arthur Rudman started farming with his Father, Eardley in 1963 and through wise and sustainable use of the natural habitat by farming domestic livestock at first, Arthur saw the value and opportunity that conserving wildlife had due to the demand that hunters were placing on the hunting of game, especially the Eastern Cape Kudu. The demand for huntable game didn’t stop at kudu and Arthur realized the economic value from the other species including bushbuck, duiker, bushpig and grysbok. At the time these species were being marginalized in the area as they were mostly regarded as competition for the more valuable goats, sheep and cattle that were being raised for the markets. Wildlife has an opportunity cost and Arthur understood this well and by promoting the value of wildlife as an agricultural commodity so that wildlife could compete with other agricultural activities, this would, in turn, ensure the conservation and sustainability of the wildlife and their sensitive habitat.

Blaauwkrantz Safaris was established in 1978 and initially, the operation was set up to cater for other professional hunters to bring their mainly international clients to hunt for the Eastern Cape species. Hunting has since been the focus of the wildlife operation as it is well accepted that hunting forms the foundation of the wildlife industry in South Africa. Without the value that hunters bring to the wildlife resource, there is little incentive for private landowners to conserve wildlife considering the opportunity costs. Indigenous species and their respective population numbers have grown remarkably since then. Over the last few years, South African meat or “biltong” hunter numbers have also grown very well as fast-increasing impala and kudu numbers need to be kept in check. The property has also grown since those early days to its current size of almost 50 000 contiguous hectares. Arthur Rudman was awarded Wildlife Ranching South Africa’s prestigious Southern Africa’s Wildlife Rancher of the Year Award in 2015 and together with his wife, Trinette and their three children, Eardley, Francois and Zani and their respective spouses, all are involved in the operation. The wildlife ranching activities extends to more than just hunting with Carmen Rudman’s Wildlife Skull Art developing into a viable business of its own too. The recently acquired Vela Mountain Lodge has been the focus of much renovation and improvements, making it a great getaway for local city folk looking for an escape to the bush. The “Blaauwkrantz Biking & Hiking” Enterprise is also being developed into an attraction for those adventurers who prefer some other outdoor activities in the Port Elizabeth area.

The COVID-19 disaster has presented challenges for everyone involved in the wildlife industry but is an industry that requires much pioneering spirit, the Rudman Family and Blaauwkrantz Safaris are prepared and adept at continuing the utilization of wildlife and its habitat to ensure the sustainability and conservation of this incredible resource for present and future generations.

Contact Blaauwkrantz at info@blaauwkrantz.com or check out the website www.blaauwkrantz.com

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