Sweet weekend behind us! Barbara and I were honoured to be invited by a friend and business associate to their ranch south of Keetmans. Hansie and his lovely wife, Laetitia, have what folks here refer to as a farm…a very large farm. Hansie grew up on this farm which was his after his father passed. The enormous range (14,826 acres) is home to cattle, sheep, goats and a few pigs and geese. We were lucky to tour the entire perimeter of the farm as Hansie checked the many miles of fencing and the animals as he does most weekends. (His fulltime work is in Keetmans running a wool and pelt business and an insurance brokerage.) Here is a brief video of Hansie introducing Barbara to the karakul ewes and lambs. (just google “karakul fashion” or Karakul hat” for more background) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf4WU8S_41U
With over 50 years on this farm Hansie is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to plants, animals, and working the land. He runs a horticultural camp once a year, teaching the learners the names and nature of almost every grass, plant and tree. We toured the farm and saw herds of springbok, impala, oryx and the cute little hyrax and a few big-eared fox. Most interesting, but too far away to photograph, was the large bird- the gompou (google “kori bustard”). They were an endangered species. In fact, the male kori bustard may be the heaviest living animal capable of flight.
We saw old graves of German soldiers and/or Nama warriors from early 1900’s. The Esterhuyse farmhouse dates from 1915 and now has all the modern conveniences. Our host and hostess were perfectly suited to the task and we gained a kilo each!
[ click a pic to enlarge ]