The South African wildlife culture is based upon sustainable use/commercialisation and the industry scope comprises:
An assortment of private game ranchers who own 16,8% of agricultural land and approximately 16 million head of game (of which 6 million in protected areas).
6,1% of this land is in protected areas.
The industry has until recently contributed R20bn to the GDP.
The industry produces +- 20% of SA’s red meat.
The industry employs more than 100k and the reward systems remain – even in current times – up to 3 x higher than that of conventional stock farmers.
The wildlife industry should not only be measured by the decline in the value of game. In 1960, SA had only 3 private game ranchers with ownership of game and land vested in farmers. Today, a huge amount of marginal, uneconomic, semi-desert agricultural land has been converted from domestic stock or crop farms into sustainable land use for the wildlife industry.
These and the success of the rhinoceros, bontebok and black wildebeest recoveries, to mention a few, are a priceless contribution of unmeasurable economic value contributed by game ranchers.
Due to the value placed on scarce game, the wildlife industry has not only restored wildlife to the land but has also enhanced and restored the genetic quality of our wildlife. The wildlife industry has grown positively, predominantly because of the legal trade, the value of eco-tourism, innovative utilization of wildlife by-products and the hunting industry.
Castle de Wildt derived double delight from their breeding endeavours in 2018 when 2 animals with the biggest horn measurements in the world were produced from its breeding program.
Through the ongoing desire to breed bigger, better and bolder, Castle de Wildt has conscientiously focused on the careful selection of breeding stock. This process paid dividends when Castle de Wildt bred Nkulu – the biggest golden wildebeest bull in the world today, measuring an astonishing 32″.
Diesel, a black impala ram with outstanding 26″ horns proudly adjourns the already phenomenal scope of genetics in the Castle de Wildt breeding program.