Timeline for Jejane Private Nature Reserve
- Side striped jackal, Aardwolf, Civet ,Large spotted genet, Scrub hare, Bushbabies, Honey Badgers sightings recorded. Evidence of lion and leopard found. Various lizards recorded.
The very first recorded "kill" on Vienna was this magnificent Bushbuck ram taken by a leopard along the river bed which crosses river road just before the Pixie Pans. Discovered immediately after the kill whilst a working party of shareholders were cutting a hiking trail along the riverine from Pylon Drive - from the state of the carcass the leopard must have been distrubed at its kill.
Steve Rademeyer (facing on the left), an ex Merchant Navy sailor and one time professional boxer ( and quite a character) was employed as a manager to replace the part timer, Willie Boschoff. Steve's focus was infrastructure (he knew nothing of the environment and conservation) - he supervised the erection of the western boundary bonnox fence, the stone bridge at Kudu Trough,and the trenching and laying of the steel piping for the water reticulation. Steve's Pan owes its name to Steve Rademeyer. He felt sorry for the game whilst he was laying the water pipeline from borehole #6 and surreptitiously fabricated a leak in the pipeline to create a small pan for the animals - the forerunner to the beautiful pan and hide that exists today. Steve suffered a heart attack as he left the farm and into retirement. His ashes are scattered at the magnificent leadwood along river road which carries his name to this day as Steve's Tree.
Frank Douwes in his element - ringing birds, surrounded by children and teaching the older children the skills of ringing and passing on his love of the bush and birding. The youngster being taught in the photograph is Johann Griffioen - a parent himself today and still a staunch member of the Jejane family. You may be able to identify the other children in the photograph.
The late Frank Douwes, an enthusiastic bird ringer of renown set up a registered bird ringing station under the auspices of the University of Cape Town Ornithological Research Unit. Shareholders were constantly amazed at the gentleness displayed by this rough tough man when he was extricating a minute blue waxbill from the mist nets for ringing. He loved children and shared his knowledge of the birds and the ringing process and was always surrounded by onlookers. Perhaps you will recognise some of the children in the picture. Many of them are still associated with Jejane and have children of their own.
Another early view of the Bushcamp. The "communal" braai structure in the middle of the camp was the scene of many festive evenings around the fire by a group of shareholders. Many long lasting friendships forged in this environment. Who can ever forget the late Frank Douwes' earthy language and his famous "train smash" and pap. Enough for the whole camp irrespective of numbers. Current office structure in the background. Sadly the magnificent knobthorn tree in the foreground died off years later and no longer exists.
Ablutions in the Bush Camp was limited to a single water tap. The shell of bungalow one can be seen in the background - subsequently to be thatched by Harry Savage and thereafter known as Harry's Hut.The remaining bungalows were refurbished and thatched in later years. Bungalow one was in constant demand because of its relative luxury.
Communal "Five Star" accommodation in the early days was on the floor of the old hunting camp shed.(Which has been transformed into the manager's house over the years) The walls were chicken wire to keep out dangerous "noonies"! The alternative accommodation was in the old abbatoir (current parking garage) with the old meat processing relics and the piles of giraffe skins and abandoned biltong in the drying ovens. But there was a hot shower and a flush toilet available!! Not popular with a lot of the ladies who likened it to an Auschwitz camp! Quite an adventure though!
The western boundary was graded in preparation for the erection of the Bonnox boundary fence. The late Dave Telford organised the bulldozer which Gerrie Griffioen transported down to Hoedspruit. Materials for the fence were transported from the "factory" to the erection sites in his father's landrover by your current manager, Glen, who at that time was a volunteer conservation student during his college vacation. Some 16 tons of materials were moved in this way, and in the process cracking his father's landrover chasis. Prior to the erection of the fence the Western boundary was a favoured entry point to the farm for poachers. Note the completely inefectual fence that existed at the time.
Pictured here is the first manager on Vienna, Willie Boschoff, a former Selous Scout from Rhodesia. He looked after the farm in return for accommodation and access to the farm to run survival courses. Willie was an imaculate dresser and a fitness fanatic. For instance he did not have transport initially and ran all the way from the Bushcamp, where he occupied what is now the office,to fill the diesel tank on the Lister pump at Kudu Trough in the North with a 10 gallon container full of diesel balanced on his shoulders as he ran. Many of the present authorised users were youngsters who participated in Willie's survival courses - a few that come to mind were Sven Ploger and Charl and Johann Griffioen. They slept under the stars in a river bed in the North and lived off the veld - grasshoppers and that ilk!