Griffons Bush Camp, an immersive self-catering experience in the Waterberg.

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"This area is probably home to the largest colony of endangered Cape vultures (more than 800 breeding pairs) in the world, have settled here at Marakele National Park".

 

 

 

Griffons Bush Camp is unlike many of the self-catering camps that we have visited over the years. Why? Pull up a bench, sit yourself down and I will regale you with some of the experiences that my wife and I recently enjoyed there. Remember, this is a non-fenced, self-catering camp situated at the top of a road that the local government department has been promising to upgrade for the longest time. You do NOT need a 4×4 to access the property, but a low slung sedan might have issues making it through the toughest 8 km section. Also, DO call ahead when you leave Thabazimbi so that there is a staff member at the gate to let you in on your arrival. The signal at the gate is not great and short of retracing your steps until you find connectivity, a bit of forward planning goes a long way.

 

 

The camp is set at the base of this spectacular portion of the Waterberg Mountain Range. Guests have access to over 1000 hectares of Waterberg bushveld that can be covered either on foot or in a vehicle. Or you can sit and watch the mountain change colour during the course of the day. As there are no timed activities, we were free to do what we wanted when we were ready. Makes this a real holiday as we were able to sleep in and NOT have to get up at the crack of dawn to head off on a game drive.

 

 

The accommodation, although it might look basic, was more than sufficient for our needs, Be aware that you will need to bring power banks to charge your electronic devices. There is a gas hob to heat a kettle for tea or coffee as well as a selection of biscuits.

 

 

The shower and toilet are outside of the bedroom, accessed by a lockable door from the main room and hidden from prying eyesbehind a reed screen. The water for the shower is heated by a gas geyser that gives instant hot water. If you are worried about cold weather showering, then shower in the middle of the day! It is part of the charm of the camp that you might need to change your regular routine just a bit.

 

 

Alois, the camp manager. When my wife saw the outdoor pool was empty, she enquired if it could be filled and in a flash, Alois lept into action and before long the pool was full and my wife leapt in to cool off.

 

 

When you want to put out a salt lick for the various antelope species that wander through the property and only the BEST Himalayan Rock Salt will do!

 

 

The Waterberg is well known for its archaeological finds dating back to the Stone Age as well as evolutionary finds related to the origin of humans in this region.

Geologically, the oldest rock stratum is over 850 million years old and dinosaurs tracks were left here some 200 million years ago.

 

 

A Fork-tailed Drongo takes flight…

 

 

Two Black-capped Bulbuls enjoy time in the sun. The camp is home to a plethora of feathered species and is a birders dream destination.

 

 

I was reliably informed by the owner of the property that the camp sits on an old wagon route and going by the number of bullet casings that I discovered in a very small area, it might have also been where the wagons overnighted. Perhaps they were even able to hunt to replenish their food supplies before moving on?

 

 

Lots of exquisite pottery was readily found. The quality of the designs on the pieces that I came across led me to believe that these early travellers were using good crockery.

 

 

The area is a Tree and Shrub Savannah Biome and the vegetation is Northern Kalahari, Thornbush Shrubland. It is also a transitional zone between the dry western and the more moist eastern regions of South Africa.

 

 

Griffons Bush Camp lies within Marakele ( A Tswana name meaning ‘place of sanctuary’) National Park in the heart of the Waterberg Mountains. Contrasting majestic mountain landscapes, grass-clad hills and deep valleys characterize the park.

 

 

Bush TV to lull us to sleep… don’t forget as a torch to get you back to your accommodation as the pathways are not lit. Once again, all part of the immersive experiences that my wife and I enjoyed. We both highly recommend this camp and hope to be back again next year.

 

 

To find out what the camp offers, click on the logo above to go directly to their website.

 

 

 

 

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