Kokerboom Biological Station

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Kokerboom Biological Station

22 July 2022

Kokerboom Biological Station

About seventeen years ago we went herping in Namaqualand. It was Paul Moler, the late Gordon Setaro and Rob Deans. It was a very productive trip and me managed to photograph a wide variety of reptiles including Horned Adders, Many-horned Adders, Spotted Rock Snakes, Common Egg-eaters, Dwarf Beaked Snakes, Beetz’s Tiger Snakes, Cape Coral Snakes and a variety of lizards.

I mentioned to Paul that Namaqualand is such a reptile paradise and that we needed to buy a farm there and turn it into a reptile research center. In subsequent years we often discussed this idea on field trips.

About a year back I mentioned to Paul that I had found a farm near Springbok that could work for what we had in mind. But it was not quite suitable. Quite recently I found the perfect farm – close to Springbok, lots of magnificent rock outcrops and isolated – no noise pollution. With the generous help of Paul and Ab Abercrombie we scraped together some money and the deal is done – we have a farm!

The Kokerboom Biological Research Station has been registered as a non profit company and with 18A registration – this enables corporates to get a tax break if money is donated towards our project. There are many challenges – we need to do a lot of work on the farm, remove internal fences and loads of scrap metal, ploughed lands need to be rehabilitated to their original condition, fences need to be mended and additional student accommodation needs to be built.

Kokerboom currently has three directors – myself, Paul Moler and Graham Alexander and myself. None of us will earn a cent from the project and the main mission of Kokerboom is to provide affordable accommodation to MSc and PhD students as well as the opportunity to complete their field work for their projects. While our main interest is reptiles there will also be opportunities to work on mammals, birds, plants, invertebrates and geology.

Our website is up and running, and you can see a list of the supplies we’re looking for here:

Needless to say, we are very excited about the Kokerboom Biological Research Station and will keep you updated of our progress. Dreams do come true.