Mark and Wendy Rutherfoord met in the Kalahari Desert, where Mark was involved in wildlife management at Tswalu Private Reserve and Wendy was on a marketing trip for De Beers Diamonds. In 2004, they were drawn to the seaside of Mossel Bay by a beautiful piece of land they now call Gondwana. The amazing colors and variety of the Fynbos drew Wendy in, while the area’s ability to carry game and dramatic valleys lured Mark.
Originally, three cattle and sheep farms were purchased totaling 6,500 hectares. The properties were chosen for their conservation value, viability to support wildlife, and desirable setting for tourism. The reserve grew by an additional 4,000 hectares by 2009, increasing its biodiversity and wildlife carrying capacity and, most importantly, its conservation contribution to Fynbos species such as the Renoster thicket and Blanco Fynbos Renosterveld, both of which are critically endangered.
The primary objective in developing Gondwana Game Reserve was to create a significant eco-tourism destination within the Western Cape while sustaining a stable and resilient ecosystem for the conservation of indigenous flora and fauna. Wendy & Mark’s goal is to provide people with the same romantic and exhilarating experience they have had living in the bush together.