Shenton Safaris

Spekboom replaces superstition on Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th may be unlucky for some – what with ladders being avoided, and black cats the world over being eyed suspiciously. For Samara Private Game Reserve, and Narsing Straat Laerskool in Graaff-Reinet, it turned out to be a very lucky day indeed.

Samara Private Game Reserve’s Wildlife Volunteer Camp attracts visitors from around the world who share the reserve’s ethos of promoting an appreciation for nature through conservation work in and around not only Samara, but which has now been extended to include local communities. The first to benefit from their Spekbook Planting Initiative is Narsing Straat Laerskool, where over 150 cuttings were rehomed to form a living hedge near the school’s vegetable garden. The team spent time at the school, interacting with the kids, and teaching them how to plant the Spekboom cuttings.

If there is any hocus pocus drifting around, it can be assigned to the Spekbook (Portulacaria Afra) itself – indigenous to the Eastern Cape this plant is drought tolerant, easy to plant, and is adept at absorbing high levels of carbon – making it invaluable in Samara’s quest to rehabilitate overgrazed land in the region. Black rhino, elephant and other wildlife are also a fan of this hardy plant, and with continued initiatives like these, Samara hope that more people will become aware of not only Spekboom, but the larger mission of rehabilitating the degraded land of the Eastern Cape which tallies nearly 1.4 million hectares.

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Samara Private Game Reserve

Samara is unique. One of the best kept secrets in South Africa, its 70 000 acres encompass some of the most breathtaking scenery in the semi arid regions of the world. Its 5* lodges support ecosystems that are threatened. View species on foot: cheetah, black rhino, aardvark, cape mountain zebra, blue crane. Experience Karoo hospitality.

Africa Geographic