I was recently privileged to visit the Game Ranch called Egerton, near the town of Hopetown in the Northern Cape. Hopetown, of course, is a little-known town, but it is a fact that the very first Diamond found in South Africa was discovered here in 1852. Of course the town of Kimberly, better known as the main source of South African diamonds, is only a mere 90 or so miles North of Hopetown.
Nothing could have prepared me for the stunning beauty of the place. I was quite overwhelmed. Set on the banks of the mighty Orange (now being changed to "Gariep", a San name) River, this magnificent piece of Africa was captivating from the first moment I arrived. My hosts were Peter and Linda Roux, the owners of the Ranch, and I could not have been in better hands. From the moment of my first welcome drink, I was made to feel completely at home; very soon Peter took me on an orientation drive around the property, and a sizable one it is!
Extending for some 7,400 acres, it has nearly 6 miles of Orange River frontage. In addition, this part of the river has the only "White Water" for about 50 miles in any direction, with rapids that are quite a challenge. In fact, Egerton has been home to the first South African Rafting Championships and Kayak Rodeo.
A rustic Guest Camp is located on the river bank, at set of the rapids. This camp is, in true African style, an open-air one, with meals being taken around the fire in the evenings, and with accommodation sleeping 25 in 5 large en-suite chalets. The ambience and peacefulness of this camp have to be experienced to be believed.
What about the Wild African Game? Of course, a visit to an African Game Ranch would not be complete without the African Game. Here Egerton does not disappoint; With 12 different species, including African Oryx (Gemsbuck), Red Hartebeest, Burchell's Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Springbuck, Impala, Mountain Reedbuck, Steenbuck, Gray Duiker, Warthog, Kudu, and of course the Magnificent African Buffalo.
Egerton is home to a highly successful Buffalo Breeding Project. In fact, there is a dedicated 750 acre breeding camp situated in the middle of property providing a secluded and interference free breeding area for these high value animals. Surplus Buffalos are captured on a yearly basis for selling and relocation to other game farms.
Naturally, no African Game Ranch would be complete without the Trophy Hunting. Egerton is no exception, and has become well-known for producing hunting trophies of the highest quality, and the property is registered with a certificate of adequate fencing, entitling year round trophy hunting.
This visit will remain in my memory for many years to come, and if I had the necessary wherewithal, I would not hesitate to buy this gem of the African bush. If anyone out there is considering a property in South Africa, and has any sort of yearning for nature and natural places, please don't wait. Give Peter a call, or better still drop him an email (the contact details are on the Website at www.egertongameranch.co.za ) and I'm sure he would be delighted to talk to you. As I've said before, you could do worse.
Credit To John Mccarter