Boots in the Wild

I never quite realised the beauty of the Klein Karoo until a few weeks ago.  A friend of ours has a family farm near Ladysmith in the Karoo and wow, what a gem of a spot. It’s quite a drive (roughly four hours plus another half an hour to get to the camp once you are through the farm gates) so we left at lunch time to get there in time for sundowners. The beauty with this farm is that it is pure unspoiled beauty and as it’s not open to the public (they don’t rent the place out at all), there is very little traffic through the farm. There are two camps a few kilometers apart, which being a city girl, I was slightly anxious about what exactly I was getting myself into but this place takes glamping to a whole ‘nother level! We stayed at the main camp where there are five beautiful and fully kitted out ‘tents’ with double beds and fluffy duvets. Our tent was one where the toilet and shower (flushing toilets and hot running water to confirm) were a little walk away, nestled in the vynbos. There is something so surreal about showering under a blanket of stars surrounded by this vastness of space – you really feel so incredibly small in relation to everything else! Waking up to the sun peeking around the corner of the tent and the magnificent view was pure magic.

It’s such a treat to properly unplug from technology for a weekend and enjoy quality time with friends – with very little signal available, my phone was my camera and that’s about it. The sheer beauty of the mountains around you and open plains takes your breath away. There are a number of animals on the farm, from ostrich, springbok, zebra to my favourite, giraffe and with the help of three game viewing vehicles, we really got to see some amazing sights!

Things got hairy on Saturday afternoon though… As you may know, there was a rather large rugby game taking place so the idea was to go the Warmbaths, not too far from the farm to watch the match. On route, boys will be boys and we did some game viewing and quite wild 4x4ing… which resulted in us getting stuck… in a swamp (in sweltering heat) After an hour of very unsuccessful digging and engine revving and getting eaten by horseflies the size of my hand, the boys accepted defeat and it was time to walk… through said swamp… 7km back to camp. We had beer, about half a bottle of water, a fair amount of gin and tonic and no cellphone reception. To cut a long story short, the husband and friend took off at a run to speed up the process and the rest of us eventually found a river (after walking for 2km in flip flops) where we gave up and tucked into G+T’s using a tupperware as our bucket with far more gin than tonic. By the time the boys arrived back with transport, we were all rather golly and no long cared about the rather unpleasant oder wafting over us from the dead gemsbok!

As much as I am a city girl and that pushed my limits of the amount of wilderness I can cope with, it’s often the most unexpected adventures that become the best memories (and make the best stories!) And everything happens for a reason – on the way back from rescuing the stuck game viewer the next morning, we found the giraffes!! What a highlight!! I am in awe of these majestic creatures and could have sat watching them for hours.

We often forget how spoilt we are living in South Africa (I know I do) and we always want to travel overseas, to a tropical island, or someplace exotic, when in fact we have so much sheer beauty right on our doorstep that you’ll never find anywhere else in the world. On my bucket list is a trip another trip to a game farm and it’s definitely been bumped up a few notches!

XXX Cat

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