FENCES

Sneezewood (Ptaeroxylon obliquum) was favoured for making sturdy fence-posts and even railway sleepers in the Eastern Cape from very early on as this hardwood is well known for its durability. Below is an example of a fence no longer in use, yet the sneezewood fence-post continues to carry out its duty.

There are many such abandoned fences in this part of the world. The following photograph shows a suburban fence made up of a collection of sneezewood fence-posts.

While they might look old and bent at different angles, these posts did their job very well and are still as strong as they were when they were first erected during the 1800s. The holes in them have not been bored by insects, but show where the fencing wires were threaded through them. In sharp contrast is a section of a modern fence, common in these parts where a number of game farms or private game reserves have sprung up.

These tall, multi-stranded fences are high enough to keep most wild animals from roaming – yet a kudu can sail over them with ease should it wish to!

21 thoughts on “FENCES

  1. Seeing the ease with which bulky kudu, and eland, can sail over 6-foot game fences really is amazing! Also amazing that the sneezewood posts are so durable – working the wood in preparation to use as fence posts or sleepers must have been tiresome work!

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    • A kudu crossed the road in front of us one late afternoon recently and sailed over a game fence with ease in one graceful leap. As for working the sneezewood – a lot of sneezing would have happened as the wood was cut and, I imagine, especially while the holes were being drilled for the wire to go through!

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