From humble-beginnings to an expansive conservancy
Buffalo Kloof was started in 1999 with Warne Rippon’s idea to expand small, individually-owned farm lands into a large reserve with free ranging animals. The dream was for it to become a big 5 destination for ecotourism or ethical harvesting, and from there the conservancy was born.
Hundreds of kilometres of old sneezewood fencing was removed to join 10 goat and sheep farms into a wildlife conservancy. It has been a long road and we are working to create a balanced ecosystem where wildlife thrives and guests can enjoy an experience in nature that is unique and special.
If we don't look after our animals, there will be no reason for anybody to come to Africa. ~ Warne Rippon
Over the years, Warne realised the importance of conserving wild spaces and the significance of rewilding. His once side hobby consumed him and his family, as they fell in love with The Kowie River Valley and the idea of making a difference. Warne hopes that through establishing Buffalo Kloof, it will inspire others on the importance of protecting our natural world.
Slowly, began the reintroduction of plains game species as well as buffalo and white rhino. In 2017, elephants were introduced to the conservancy and Warne always says he wishes he had reintroduced them sooner. As without these mega herbivores working the thicket for the benefit of others, true biodiversity would be non-existent.
2018 was a pivotal year for Buffalo Kloof. This was the year that community land (Yendella Community), state land (SANPARKS), and land of neighboring private landowners was incorporated into the conservancy. This meant more habitat for free ranging animals to roam-free and thrive.
Buffalo Kloof was also declared a Protected Environment, and through this collaboration it allowed us to become custodians of 20 black rhino as part of the Black Rhino Range Expansion Programme (BREP). Our dream is to one day breed 100 black rhino, as the dense Kowie River thicket provides them with an abundance of food and habitat.
There is still additional work to be completed to increase the conservancy size, and our vision is coming into existence. We hope to one day expand Buffalo Kloof further through habitat and range expansion.
In 2019, the private family Spekboom Camp was renovated into a destination suited for guests, to be able to share the family project with the rest of the world. A safari destination that is family, conservation and fun orientated.