“Buffelsdrift Game Lodge” Ron Hartman
The first time my step father (being a tour guide) mentioned this name I kept reciting it as Buffaloes’ dorp for some strange reason. I visited Buffelsdrift Game Lodge for the first time in March 2013 with my family. It was the most fantastic experience of my life and although I have never really travelled, never actually having been on an aeroplane, it made my experience in Buffelsdrift Game Lodge so much better.
Buffelsdrift Game Lodge is situated off Route 62 just outside of Oudtshoorn. Looking towards where the reserve is meant to be situated – it just looks like a deserted set of dry, sandy dunes. I didn’t know what to expect so I waited patiently as we drove along a dirt path in order to arrive at our one night destination.
Narnia in the clothes closet is an understatement. This too was another world when we arrived at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge but full of wildlife that I don’t experience on a daily basis, living in the over-crowded towns of civilization with fake grass, cement walls and too many faces. There were horses where we parked and as we got out, we over-looked a building with a thatch roof and a wooden deck on the banks of a beautiful dam. It was a fancy restaurant over-looking the hippopotamuses, turtles and thousands of large fish swimming around in the dam. I had seen nothing so real, so beautiful in all of my life.
I hate camping; say the word tent and I feel dirty. But this place had tents made up on wooden floors over-looking the dam on every level. The tents were 4 star, with an en suite bathroom and air-conditioning, accompanied by an outdoor shower surrounded by sticks of bamboo. I don’t want to sound too over the top here, but there were animals everywhere. It was a game reserve at its finest, with springboks walking around the tents and the pool area just above the dam. The safari game drive was bone-chilling but exhilarating, traveling through bush in an open jeep! I had my first real encounter with wild animals: giraffes, buffaloes, hippo’s, rhino’s, spiders (which I didn’t much enjoy) and many spectacular looking birds.
The best experience was meeting with the elephants on the morning of our departure. They were huge, I had no idea that elephants could grow so large, and they were still juvenile, their skin as rough and as tough as sandpaper but they were magnificent, breath-taking. Their long trunks hugged around your shoulders with the power of a thousand men, with their prickly whiskers tickling your neck. They even played ball, it was such a humbling experience.
So no, I haven’t travelled Europe or spent nights drinking cocktails on the sands of Thailand but I had the opportunity to see God’s work at its finest in my own country and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
Jessica Anne Herbert
Jessica is almost 21, living in Stellenbosch. She is currently in her second year studying at Stellenbosch University, where she is hoping to become a qualified teacher in a few years time. Of course, writing is also a passion of hers, so pursuing writing is another route she may decide to enter into. Other than that, she enjoys cooking, exercising, reading and interacting with nature.