Finding myself in the middle of the Karoo
Have you ever been to a place that literally feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere – a place so arid and hot that you simply can’t imagine why any rational person would live there? I was born in a place like that and I asked myself that same question. It was only after 15 years of living a ‘normal’ city life that I came to the answer.
When you’ve lived through a few -7 degree winters, 45 degree summers and stepped on your fair share of snakes – you realise that the Karoo is not the kind of place where one feels comfortable. Even though life isn’t always easy here, something about it drew me back to our family’s farming operations after 15 years. It took me a while to acclimatise, but as soon as you start embracing the uncomfortable, raw nature that surrounds you, you start to see it for what it is. You start to realise how much life there is around you and that you can learn to manage it, to live in harmony with it and also to appreciate it.
For us, this turning point came when my husband Chris discovered a lively spot next to the mighty Orange river that flows through our farm. As a keen fly-fisherman, he helped us to realize that when we started to embrace our environment, we would start seeing all the extra potential it had. It is at this moment that Gkhui Gkhui River Lodge was born.
Suddenly, we saw past the little things like insects and other annoyances. We saw the thriving ecosystem of fascinating creatures that surrounded us and once again we could imagine children learning about nature here, men sharing stories of their latest kill around the fire and families spending quality time around a hearty homemade meal made from ingredients off this very land. Suddenly, we saw ourselves on the banks of a beautiful green river bank that we could transform into the luxurious (but wild) oasis it is today. And together with our guests, we soon realised – there is nothing quite as attractive, as sophistication in the middle of the raw Karoo!
Today, we share our wild piece of oasis with anyone who is willing to leave their usual comforts behind, stare nature in the face and say, “Bring it on.” Our fly fishing, hunting, wing shooting and white water river rafting are all ways in which you can embrace nature and live in harmony with it. And afterwards, let us spoil you with a wholesome meal made with fresh local ingredients before you retreat into your luxury, air-conditioned room for a break from the madness.
This is the first blog in a series written by the people behind the business.
Their aim: "To live a Purpose driven life in a family farming business by allowing each family member and employee to live out their God given talents and dreams."