(Taken from the Bontebok National Park e-newsletter for May 2012 and loaded with the permission of the Editor. - Ed.)
During the month of April I will celebrate my 3,000th visit to the Bontebok National Park. I have been visiting the Park on a regular basis for the last 15 years either by myself or with family, friends or visitors to Swellendam. People ask whether I do not find these trips boring, considering the number of times I visit the Park and the relatively short driving distance. The answer is a categorical 'no'. Almost every time I visit the Park nature supplies something new or different for me to marvel at, as evidenced by this latest sighting of a Kori Bustard, the first time in 15 years, or one sighting of a water mongoose, or two sightings of a European Roller, just to name a few. It really is quite amazing to note the great diversity of bird, animal and plant life to be found in the Park.
Over the years there have been many changes - the chief among these is the various staff members who come and go with regularity. Despite this the Park seems to cast its magic over everyone so that they become so friendly and dedicated to the well-being of the Park. Roads might be bouncy and at times really quite difficult to navigate. That, however, does give one an opportunity to admire all there is to see while going at a slow speed.
The pleasure the Park gives me is immense and I am always surprised at how few members of the Swellendam public visit the Park on a regular basis. It also amazes me how many of our overseas visitors, having visited the Park once, come back year after year and make a special stop in Swellendam just to spend two and a half to three hours just driving around the Park.