The farm is situated in the Voel river basin approximately 40 km SW of Somerset East.
Comprised of a single title, the farm measures a shade over 836 h in extent.
I am by no means alone as an unrepentant fan of this whole Voel River Valley. It is big country, with some of the most spectacular vistas and dramatic topography one can encounter, all with little or no evidence of the normal footprints our species tends to leave on virgin country. What to me makes it even more attractive though, is that it has to rate amongst the safest spots in the country. This is a fact born true by the lack of locks on farm gates and farm houses, 20 year old solar panels standing next to roads and the head scratching incomprehension of locals when asked about stock theft etc. If this is true of the region, so much more so of this property being the end user on a remote turnoff from a very remote road.
The property is dominated by a massive horse shoe bend in the Voel river, all of which falls within the borders of the property meaning the boundary fence only crosses twice at 90 deg. Owning both sides of a river not only boosts the aesthetics of the farm, but also simplifies fencing and fence maintenance, especially on the Voel which can get quite feisty when it floods. The river banks alternate between towering, sheer, 90 m cliffs and open grassy floodplains where the annual inundations feed a vibrant belt of green in an otherwise Karoo like setting. One would be hard pressed anywhere to find a property more picturesque and I would find it hard to believe there is another that combines this with un paralleled safety and privacy.
The bulk of the basin floor is classic Karoo. A carpet of edible succulents is dotted with the usual Jacket plums, Boscias and Scotias that so often characterize this biome. Grass species here is largely limited to the aristida genus.
The river margins and flood plains have a dense riverine forest of towering Acacias Karoo, and Karee, both of which provide excellent cover and browse. The grass cover here is excellent. Species include Pannicum Maxima, Cenchrus, Eragrostis Curvula and Digitaria Smutsii. As described earlier, where the river widens through gentle bends, annual flooding deposits silt layers that remain vibrant green for many months after the river has subsided.
The North facing slopes and elevated ground have a dense covering of spekboom while the interspersed drainage lines are heavily wooded with valley bushveld. Grass species found here included small patches of cynodon, probably where stock was once concentrated, as well as reasonable stands of Themeda, Sporobolus and hetrapogon.
All in all, the farm has excellent diversity and as such, easily supports the impressive species count already resident. Cognoscents must be taken however of the fact that this is dry country and strict adherence to a calculated stocking ratio will be vital to maintain the current good health of the veld.
Rainfall / Water
The farm falls in a summer rainfall area with an annual average of around 280 – 300 mm. There is currently one borehole equipped with a solar panel that supplies the house with water and a second borehole was also recently equipped as a backup. The extensive spread of the Voel River throughout the property insures game does not have to move far to get water. While the Voel is not considered perennial, it flows every year, often for all 12 months and creates permanent pools that are more than adequate for game.
The farm currently has healthy breeding populations of Impala, Kudu, Eland, Springbuck and Mountain Reedbuck. The recent drought has unfortunately had an impact on the Blue Wildebeest population plus the Red Hartebeest and Zebra numbers and as such the owner has committed to introducing more of these 3 species to the property. There are also numerous Warthog, Bushpig, Duiker and Steenbok. Fallow Deer are also occasionally spotted on the farm. Nyala and Waterbuck would do exceptionally well in the riverine veld as has been proved on other adjacent Voel River properties, and I believe both would be excellent additions to the property.
The farm is full game fenced and has a current CAE. The house is a small, but more than adequate 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom unit. It has been beautifully restored, with modern bathrooms, a beautiful kitchen and comfortable lounge with fireplace that will definitely be most welcome on winter nights.
Power for the house comes from a combination solar / wind charger setup with a 48 volt battery and inverter system. As mentioned, the borehole runs of an independent Solar unit that lifts water to a 5000 L header tank.
There is a single outbuilding that incorporates a garage, workshop and meat processing room.
The property has a comprehensive road network allowing access to all corners of the farm. While most of it is easily traversable by 2 wheel drive, 4 x 4 is necessary to reach both the Southern and Northern high ground.
This will always be a lifestyle game farm, making no pretense at economic viability. As lifestyle investments go though, I would challenge anyone to find one that is more private, safer and as aesthetically appealing and diverse. If you are wanting somewhere to literally get away from it all, you would be hard pressed to find a better option