Fencing specifications

The South African provincial government requires that properties holding large predators erect perimeter fences meeting certain requirements. Each province has specific requirements but the general requirements are as follows;

    • 2.2 – 2.4 meters high (Figure 4)
    • 5 electrical strands of wire including a tripwire to dissuade digging under the fence – approximately R140.00 per meter
    • Minimum of 6,000 volts (but recommended that it be maintained at 10,000 volts)

                Additional points regarding fences

  • Diamond mesh on the lower 600 mm of the fence to become a more effective barrier (Figure 4)
  • The fence should be monitored serviced as often as possible
  • It costs approximately R155/km/month to monitor and maintain an appropriate fence (including vehicle running costs, employee salaries and maintenance expenses)
  • The fence must be strong enough to withstand the force of prey being chased into it
  • A rock-packed apron on the fence is recommended to further prevent digging
  • If the reserve is in an area that experiences high rainfall, river crossings may need extra protection to ensure the likelihood of breakouts are minimised during the rainy season. Examples of this are; easily replaceable sacrificial fences that give way if hit by flooding waters (but need to be replaced soon after to prevent animals escaping) and fence aprons, made from swinging wooden droppers, that allow debris carried by flooding waters to pass under the fence with minimal damage (Bothma 1989).

Figure 4. Diagrammatic representation of game fence showing the optional trip wire and diamond mesh (adapted from Woodroffe et al. 1997)