A unique sighting


Vergelegen wine estate in Somerset West, renowned for its environmental programmes, is celebrating the birth of a young ‘Rau’ quagga, a rare zebra sub-species.


The stripes will develope

The arrival of the healthy youngster is a milestone in an ambitious project, initiated by  a dedicated group of conservationists in 1987, to breed an animal resembling as closely as possible the quagga. This animal was hunted to extinction in the second half of the 19th century and the last known mare died in Amsterdam Zoo in 1883.

The young Vergelegen foal was born on 14 December after a 12-month gestation period. It was left undisturbed to bond with the other seven quagga and its sex has not yet been determined.

They are very protective

“This youngster appears very relaxed and has been accepted as one of the herd,” says Eben Olderwagen, Environmental Project Manager at the 323-year-old estate. “It has grown about 15cm taller in a month and has been spotted nibbling lucerne, in addition to suckling from its mother.”

Quagga were shorter and stockier than Southern Plains zebras, with a pale brown hide and black markings, unlike the white hide and black markings of other Plains zebras. Quagga usually have stripes on the head, neck and front portion of their bodies only.

With its mother

The quagga at Vergelegen are located in a 180 hectare reserve with lush natural grazing, a mix of renosterbos, Boland granite fynbos and various grasses.


Visitors have the opportunity to spot the quagga by booking a place on the estate’s popular guided game drives. These take visitors through the Vergelegen nature reserve, with possible sightings of the estate’s Nguni cattle, bontebok, quagga and five eland.


Take the tour

Vergelegen Environmental Tour

The environmental tour is weather permitting, costs R350 pp and departs from the tasting room at Vergelegen at 10h00. Duration is approximately 1.5 hours.
Phone  021 847 2122 for bookings and find out more https://vergelegen.co.za/experiences/environmental-tours/


Find out more: https://www.quaggaproject.org/