Worth the wait

Af­ter find­ing out about Bendito Ranch on a camp­ing page on Face­book, Johnny and Judy Rade­man from Sa­sol­burg fi­nally man­aged to book a spot for a re­cent long week­end.

Go! Camp & Drive - - My Spot -

It took us nearly two years to book a spot over a week­end at the ev­i­dently very pop­u­lar Bendito Ranch, which is about 25 km out­side Mokopane. So we made the most of it by tak­ing along our cousins Mer­cia and Pieter Jacobson and their two daugh­ters, aged 16 and 10. We hitched our Jur­gens Sa­fari Xplorer to our Ford Ranger 2.2 dou­ble cab 4x2 and headed to Lim­popo from Sa­sol­burg via the R59, N1, and R101. The jour­ney took us about four and a half hours.

De­scribe Bendito Ranch to those who have not had the plea­sure.

This is a proper bush camp so don’t ex­pect any run­ning wa­ter or elec­tric­ity sup­ply. There are stor­age drums at the stands that the staff fills with enough wa­ter for your stay. There’s also am­ple wood pro­vided.

What do the fa­cil­i­ties look like?

Not really grassy, but there’s firm soil at the stands and plenty of shade trees. The ablu­tion fa­cil­i­ties are rus­tic but pri­vate, with a long-drop toi­let setup and the shower wa­ter pro­vided by a bucket. You heat your own wa­ter. It’s all perched on a

con­crete stand with sim­ple shade net­ting for pri­vacy.

What other kind of ac­com­mo­da­tion is avail­able?

We didn’t really ven­ture that way, but there are fur­nished rooms avail­able in the self-cater­ing farm­house. There are three bush camp­sites, all lo­cated far enough from each other so you feel se­cluded. Each site is big enough for about three off-road trail­ers or car­a­vans.

What ac­tiv­i­ties are there?

There’s 24 km of trails on the ranch for hik­ers and moun­tain bik­ers. You can also ride your own horse if you’ve brought one along – and there are fully equipped sta­bles to house the an­i­mal com­fort­ably. Bird­watch­ers will have fish ea­gles to look out for. You can also go on a game drive with your own ve­hi­cle. There are 25 species to tick off your list, in­clud­ing Cape buf­falo, ze­bra, kudu, gi­raffe, leop­ard, im­pala and brown hyena. Hunt­ing is also avail­able on re­quest.

Any ad­vice for first-timers?

Def­i­nitely take enough food and drink­ing wa­ter with you and fill up in Mokopane, es­pe­cially if you’re go­ing to do game drives, ex­plore the re­gion, and stay for an ex­tended pe­riod. It costs R250 per stand per night and R60 p.p.p.n. Also be sure to book well in ad­vance.

BACK TO BA­SICS. The fa­cil­i­ties may be bare-bones but they’re also neat and tidy. Show­er­ing re­quires a bit of plan­ning but it works well and it does make you appreciate the lux­u­ries of home.

BOMBS AWAY. The long-drop is light years re­moved from those filthy planks of old that cov­ered a smelly hole in the ground. These toi­lets are neat and hy­gienic. The shower cu­bi­cle has a broad shelf on which to pack your toi­letries.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.