Game Breeding

Njala Breeding Programme

Overview

Wildlife in South Africa was on the brink of disaster 50 years ago. At the time there were only about 500 000 heads of game in the country. The destruction of our country’s game population disturbed the genetic composition of our wildlife.  Much of the genetic diversity within each species was lost. The consequence thereof was that the number of trophy animals in each of our indigenous game species had substantially decreased.


The major cause of trophy animal unavailability since the early 1990’s to date relate to unplanned and uncontrolled trophy hunting during the preceding decades. It wiped out the opportunity of long horn and large size trophy animals to breed and thereby transfer their trophy record producing genes to subsequent generations.


Nimeng has accepted the co-responsibility of making a marked contribution to the sustainable provision of trophy animals through both extensive and intensive wild game breeding programmes. Our game breeding strategy can be describes as “genetic purification and optimisation”


Nyala Breeding Programme

Our Nyala breeding programme is the first of the game breeding programmes that we introduced. The phenotypical characteristic of both our bulls and ewes are distinctive.

Our ewes have already produced their second offspring. Consequently, we have recently completed the construction of two additional breeding camps. One will be used as a "bull camp" where all the male offspring will be kept. The other one will be used where offspring ewes will be mated with another high quality bull from a different gene pool.


Sadleback Impala Breeding Programme

Our second breeding programme will be the production of sadleback impalas. The construction of the first breeding camp was completed in 2014. During the 2015 breeding season 39 impala ewes were captured in one of the large game camps and transferred to the intensive breeding camp to assess their fertility potential. These ewes were selected on the basis of their extraordinary phenotypical characteristics, and their proven trophy producing genes. 


A 92% fertility potential was achieved at the beginning of 2016. Two F2 split rams with sadleback fathers were recently released in this camp with 36 fertile ewes. The aim is to produce F3 sadleback splits at the beginning of 2017. We believe that there is a strong possibility of harvesting a few sadleback impala among the 2017 offspring arrivals.


Buffalo Breeding Programme

The first of two large buffalo breeding camps will be completed in due course. Eight 3-year old buffalo bulls will be groomed in this camp for hunting during the 2019 hunting season. Our plan is to retain one of these bulls (the one with top class breeding potential) as a breeding bull. Two pregnant 3-year old buffalo cows will soon join the bulls in the short term. If their offspring are cows, these cows will join the breeding stud. If the offspring are bulls, they will eventually be moved with the other seven bulls to the second camp where they will be groomed for hunting.


Our primary buffalo breeding focus is to breed high quality buffalo bulls for hunting. It is not to produce stud animals for other buffalo breeders. However, if this breeding programme does produce buffalo bulls and cows of high breeding quality, we will sell them to other buffalo breeders as our secondary focus.

Njala bull and ewe
Njala Bull
Njala feeding tray
Created by Sanet Botha