Andre and Lucia arrived early (07:30) and, with six pairs of hands to help, the van and trailer were unloaded in no time. Andre and Lucia have invited us to visited them on the game farm where they have a house this coming weekend but, in the meantime we are heading to Charles’ and Anschu’s home on a game farm at Bela Bela (Warmbads) about
140 Kms north of Johannesburg. They had both their vehicles there in J’Burg so Bruce went with Charles and I went with Anschu and had a lovely drive and chat with her (after a stop at the Pik ‘n Pay clothing store to get another pair of nice linen pants for a song).
More heavy rain but other than some delay for roadworks, it was an uneventful journey. Entering Bela Bela, Anschu wanted to get some groceries and, as we walked into the supermarket she casually mentioned that she was angry at herself because she’d forgotten her pistol. “Your pistol?” sez I, as nonchalantly as possible. “Yes, my gun” says Anschu. “And why” I cautiously asked “do you need a gun?” (Never ask a question to which you don’t want to know the answer!)
“Well, we have mambas at the farm.”
Too late to worry about it now and, stricken into silence, I tagged along behind Anschu as she zipped around the supermarket picking up food at the fastest pace I’ve ever seen.
I was EXTREMELY gratified when we arrived at the Farm, however, to find that it is completely surrounded by the highest, most completely electrified fence I have ever seen anywhere but around a high security prison (maybe 7 feet high with horizontal electric wires every 6 inches or so, except at the very bottom where the bottom wire almost touches the ground. Yes! Turns out Charles doesn’t care for snakes, either!
And what a lovely house this is! We are being spoiled rotten by superb hosts and in such lovely, comfortable surroundings! Before dinner on our first evening we all four went out for a ‘Game Drive’ around the farm. Charles and Anschu have 40 hectares which is one lot of maybe 20 (not all the same size) which makes up the entire Game Farm. Collectively, the owners are responsible for maintenance of the Farm and the purchase and care of animals. They have giraffe, zebra, warthogs, kudu, bushbucks, impalas and jackals but no predators. That way, the human inhabitants are able to walk or cycle around the Farm with no fears. It's not necessary to wander far from the house to see the wildlife though, as the animals come down to a water trough near the fence of the house so, when sitting out on the verandah, we have a constantly changing, fascinating view. Much better and much closer sightings than when we were in the Karoo National Park!
It’s a real privilege to be here and to be able to experience all this.