The South African Game and Wildlife Industry

Overview 

The South African game industry has in recent years become one of the fastest growing sectors of the South African economy, and has proven itself to be as viable as any other segments in the agricultural industry.

Many of the segments which deems to be pivotal to the many successes already achieved, has always been part of the South African culture, whether it be hunting, enjoying weekends on game ranches, or the vast amounts of biltong products being produced and consumed.

The Game industry as we know it today, wasn’t always as vibrant.

jdmwildlife 3During the last hundred years, the numbers of live and domestic animals has drastically risen as a result of local demand for a stable production in food. The same time, wildlife conservation fell considerably with severe effects on the populations of many species, like for instance the Bontebok.

The African conservation record proved to be even worse, as management of National parks outside of South Africa, doesn’t have the means, skills or knowledge necessary for the improvement, protection and expansion for the African wildlife.

Yet, in recent times it became a popular notion, even to the point of a status symbol, to breed with wildlife.

Added to the fact that South African laws (together with Namibia) are quite unique in regard to the ownership of wildlife, together with many South African’s passion for nature, it changed the horizon for the numbers of many species.

Loskop Game breeders 1When today, one combine the turnover of both business and the sales of wildlife, it is currently estimated to be a R20 Billion industry, bigger than the both the South African dairy and sugar industry.

Successes of the Game ranching industry of South Africa include 20 million hectares of land that has been converted from damaged (by extensive modern agricultural practices) marginal agricultural land, to superb habitat for the existence and steady growth of various species of wildlife.

With creativity, entrepreneurship, resilience and adaptability from many of the game ranchers, this industry continues to grow and add value to a beautiful country, where there are a vast amount of attractions to enjoy.