Game poaching is an enormous problem in the Lowveld and a large portion of a game farmer’s security expenditure goes towards his first line of defence – the fence around his farm.

The well-known Mabalel game farm and resort east of Nelspruit, right next to the N4, has had to deal with game poaching. “The fence around our farm has been cut hundreds of times”, says Billy Botha. He and his father, Raymond, are the owners of the resort, with Billy being responsible for the day-to-day management.

They were simply forced to find a permanent solution for the problem of cut fences and poached game. Luckily, they know the fencing industry. “My father previously had his own wire and nails factory and a friend of mine is involved in his own fencing business, with another one in the construction industry. We previously had Bonnox on the farm and everybody agreed that we simply had to revert to Bonnox,” says Billy.

East of Nelspruit, right next to the N4, is a huge rock with the name of the game farm and holiday resort in big white letters on top – Mabalel. The rock is an old landmark and the resort has for many years been a popular venue where Lowvelders relax. Recently the farm was turned into a game and holiday resort by introducing Golden and Blue Wildebeest, Blesbok, Impala, Black Impala, Nyala, Zebra and Ostriches. Billy Botha is the proud manager and he recently had the whole farm fenced with a Bonnox game fence.

Raymond phoned the Bonnox factory in Sunderland Ridge, Centurion, for a quotation. He was given a much lower price compared with quotations received from local fencing undertakings. A lorry was sent to the factory in Centurion to collect the rolls of Bonnox fencing. They started on the project three months ago with a contractor friend, who has had previous experience fencing with Bonnox, and who quoted them a very reasonable price because “… it is a logical fencing solution to work with Bonnox…”

“The fence we bought is 1,8 metres high and 2,6 km of it was erected around the farm resort as a whole,” Billy added.

Mabalel is the home to Golden and Blue wildebeest, Blesbok, white Blesbok, Impala, black Impala, zebra, Nyala and ostriches.

Raymond and Billy decided to make absolutely sure that they would have an extra sturdy fence. They erected a Y-post every five metres instead of the usual ten metres. Steel pipes were used for supports and corner posts. As a safety measure, to ensure that they have undisturbed, restful nights, the Bonnox fence was fitted with electrified wires at the top and also at ground level.

“We are highly satisfied with Bonnox’s product and so far we have had no problems. Recently we had a burglary but, funny enough, the perpetrators steered away from the Bonnox fence and cut through our main gate to gain entrance,” says Billy.


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