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2017 Game Census

The annual game count was conducted by aerial census across the Associated Private Nature Reserves (APNR) in September 2017.

Methodology is standardise through all the reserves as per the Peel/Pingo aerial census protocol (Peel et al., 1995).

These reserves include Balule, Klaserie, Umbabat, Timbavati and Thornybush, encompassing a total area of 196,684 hectares (Table 1). These private reserves have no fences along their shared boundaries and create an open system that extends into the Kruger National Park.

A total of 48,297 individuals were counted in this year’s census.

1709 game count table1


A total of 4,458 megaherbivores were counted across the APNR, down 49.54 % from 2016 (Table 2), despite the addition of Thornybush Nature Reserve and several new sub-regions within Balule. The largest drop in the landscape was the buffalo population, with a total 71.24% loss. Elephant and hippo numbers also decreased, but not to the extent buffalo numbers decreased.

1709 game count table2


Total counts for the Umbabat 2017:

1709 game count table3

Annual game counts: 2003 - 2017:

1709 game count table4


by John Llewellyn