In some parts of the Central Karoo mouths water when a “pofadder” is mentioned. It is a sausage made from liver, kidneys, and selected offal, minced with fat and flavoured with special spices. Instead of a sausage skin, it is stuffed into an intestine for braaiing or pan-frying. The Country Hotel at Leeu Gamka recently wished to advertise its butchery to tourists and included “pofadder” as one of its specialties. The advert was written in Afrikaans and translated into English by the magazine’s staff who, of course, had never heard of this treat, so there with Karoo lamb is an item “Puff adder (large venomous African viper)”. The hotel reports that no tourist has yet been tempted to place an order. They are not sure how they’ll handle any that arrive asking for a viper,” said Iona Bothma.
CALLING ALL TREE PLANTERS
The Laingsburg Publicity Association, in co-operation with the local Gardening Club is planning to celebrate National Arbour Day by joining to planting several trees throughout the town. They plan to include the entire community in this project. Arrangements are also being made with the planters to care for the trees. At the same time the entrances to the town will be brightened up in the interests of tourism
NOTE: National Arbour Day falls on August 13 this year and the tree of the year for 1993 is the Huilboerboon (Scotia brachypetala). This tree is said to “cry” when the nectar drips from; its flowers. It is normally found in the eastern reaches of the country, i.e. Transkei, Natal and in the Transvaal Lowveld. But, remember, there is also a Karoo Boerboon, and a series of other indigenous trees, like the karee or sweet thorn that can be planted in the Karoo region, say officials from the Department of Forestry Also interesting about these “boerboon” tree species is that the “beans” were used as fodder in earlier years. “Remember, however, any type of tree can be planted.” says Publicity Association chairman, Keith van der Schyff.
SEARCH FOR THE STARS
Historically only the formal hotel sector has been associated with a star grading system. Now, with the introduction of the new voluntary grading and classification schemes, many owners of accommodation facilities are wondering how to qualify for grading and what the benefits will be. To assist them, Richard Upton, a specialist consultant from Satour, visited the overnight rooms in Beaufort West and some of the farms in the district to discuss the rules and regulations. Lists detailing exact requirements for grading will be mailed to those wishing to have further details. These will enable owners to more easily evaluate qualification requirements. If you require a copy of the grading and classification system, please let the tourism office know.
Because of the drought fewer farmers are allowing hunting this year. Anyone who wants to hunt and is still seeking an opportunity to do so can call Gielie Herholdt, Werner Koster, George Van Wyk, Nicola van der Westhuizen or Ronald Jackson. Telephone numbers are obtainable from the tourism office.
HISTORIC SURVEY FOR BEAUFORT WEST
Two members of the National Monuments Council in Cape Town will spend a week in Beaufort West preparing a survey on the town’s conservation area. They are Joanna Marx and Penny Pistorius. All buildings which are conservation worthy, as well as those which are potential National Monuments, will be photographed and described in detail. A complete survey report will be published later this year. Accommodation, food and refreshments for this research team are being provided by several sponsors. These include Safari Rooms, Young’s Halfway House, The Royal Hotel, Ye Old Thatch, The Snack Bar and the Regional Services Council.
ADVERTISEMENTS ON NATIONAL ROUTES
Advertisements along the national routes at times create problems. Many of these advertisements are made and erected at great cost, but sadly, because they do not comply with the rules and regulations of the Department of Transport, they have to be taken down. The Department of Transport has recently published relevant sections from the Government Gazette which clearly spells out their policy on advertisements and farm names along national routes and sent a copy of this document to all tourism offices. This information will ensure that the correct style of advertising is used and that unnecessary expenditure is eliminated. Those who require copies of this document, should contact the tourism office.
YOUR HOLIDAY STARTS AT THE GATE
At Hillandale, the farm of Jim and Hazel Steven Jennings, north of Beaufort west, in the Nuweveld Mountains, your holiday starts at the main gate. You are immediately surrounded by picturesque mountains, typical Karoo veld, sheep and a flock or two of angora goats. The drive from the top gate to the homestead is about 6 km long and just to enhance the rural mood, there are several gates to open and close en-route to the historic homestead surrounded by ancient stone buildings, trees and a pleasant garden. The first house on the farm, initially called Esterhoutville, was built over 100 years ago. Later when the farm name was shortened to Esterville, a second house was built right next to the first. In time the two houses were joined. When the Steven Jennings’s arrived 40 years ago they fell in love with this huge, rambling house, They changed the farm name to Hillandale which suits the farm’s many hills and valleys much better. A holiday here offers perfect solitude, beautiful views, rest, relaxation, walks, fallow deer viewing, and for the more energetic, swimming and tennis.
TRAVALIA IS BEING UPGRADED
Callie and Marieka Heroldt, owners of the popular Travalia Guest Farm at Three Sisters are currently busy upgrading their overnight tourist accommodation. Several more en-suite bathrooms are being built and this year they plan to add luxury suites to their accommodation mix. Every room at Travalia has a heater, and to ensure that all guests are protected against the Karoo’s cold winters, there are also electric blankets and duvets.
HOLIDAY AND HUNT AT HILLCREST
At Hillcrest, the lovely mountain farm of Monty and Wilma Truter, guests can enjoy a break that will leave them refreshed, relaxed and invigorated. The fresh, bracing mountain air is a total tonic and guests can either hunt springbok, fallow deer and other small game or simply enjoy the friendly hospitality and good farm food that awaits them in the spacious, fully equipped and serviced modern home. This is genuine Karoo hospitality at its best and those seeking a break can truly unwind and experiencer the tranquility of the farm and its surrounds. Other activities offered include horse riding, fishing, swimming, game viewing, bird watching and several walks to see Bushman paintings.
PUBLICITY MAN AND FARMER ON A MISSION TOUR
Pieter Theron, a member of the Laingsburg Publicity Association and local farmer is one to the members of a group of mission workers that have set off on a trip to Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. During this mission the film Jesus will be shown to people in their own languages, Bibles will be handed out and discussions on religion will be undertaken with a variety of leaders. Rubber boats will be used to reach far outlying and isolated places. According to Pieter it is now the ideal time to visit Zambia because good rains in places have stretched the rivers to 40 m wide and the far-flung places can be more easily reached than on previous missions.
The pattern of visitors to the Fransie Pienaar Museum in Prince Albert is showing a steady increase. This is attributed to an active marketing campaigns for the museum, the town and its surrounds, as well as to the fact that a concerted effort is being made to provide additional information on surrounding areas. In December 275 people visited the museum, in January 79, in February, 95, in March 150, in April 201 and in May, well over 300. These figures include visitors to the highly successful Swartberg Olive Festival. The majority of visitors come from the Plettenberg Bay, George, Knysna, and Mossel Bay areas, the second the largest group includes local inhabitants with visitors and previous residents, while the third group comprises those seeking to buy property in a town now called “The Prince Charming of the Karoo”.
NEW OVERNIGHT FACILITIES IN LAINGSBURG
New overnight facilities will soon be opened in Laingsburg. This is because the town is becoming more and more popular as a stopover on the busy N1 north/south route. Behind the bright idea of creating new facilities is Chris Serfontein, manager of the local Shell Ultra City. Watch this space for further details.
SHOW QUEENS AT LA DE DA
Three show queens with a difference visited La De Da last week. They were Royal Smile, Yoko and Royal Sunshine. This “Royal” party was accompanied by other champion stock from the Schoongezicht Jersey Stud in Stellenbosch. The total stop over booking was for the three show cows, six heifers and two bulls, accompanied by some stable staff, the manager and stud master, Peter Fear and his wife, Janette. This entourage, one of the most unusual to make a booking and break their journey at La De Da, was on its way to the National Jersey Sale in Bloemfontein.
EYE CARE UNIT VISITS THE CENTRAL KAROO
The order of St John’s Eye Care Unit and a private welfare organization, The Bureau For The Prevention Of Blindness, is visiting the Central Karoo in June. They will offer eye-tests for the minimal fee of R5 per patient and spectacles for R35 per pair. The team of four ophthalmic nurses will be at the RSC Clinics in the following towns – Lainsgsburg (23/6) Leeu Gamka (24/6) and Merweville (30/6) The team will be at Beaufort West Day Hospital from June 29 to July l. Any necessary operations will be carried out in the local hospital by a top Cape surgeon, said Sister Lydia Mynhardt.
At the entrance of Seweweekspoort is a turnoff to Bosluiskloof and the Gamkapoort Dam. Before the dam was built this road led to Prince Albert. The first bridge at Bosluiskloof was built in 1892 and, at that time it was the longest and highest in South Africa. Later it became a rail bridge. This place’s strange name comes from the thousands of “bosluis” (bush lice or tick) fossils in the rocks. They look almost like thousands of imprints made by rusty screws. The presence of these fossils here was researched last century by Dr Guyborne Atherstone and Thomas Bain, the famous road and pass builder. Both were keen geologists.
IT’S THAT GHOST AGAIN
THE Matjiesfontein “ghost” from the last issue of Round-up certainly got about. He appeared three times in Die Burger, once in Piet Spaarwater’s column “Van Alle Kante”, as well as in David Bigg’s column “The Wayfarer” in the Cape Argus and in other smaller newspapers, such as the Beaufort Wester. He also did the rounds in some of the radio programmes and news bulletins And, Fiona Barber of the MacGregor and Magersfontein Museums in Kimberley thought that he was an excellent idea. “This could become an excellent post for a retired piper,” she wrote. “He could work at any time and place and a specified numbers of hours. He could even earn extra overtime in busy tourist seasons. Also, he could choose the times of his appearances.’
A new organisation that will concentrate on the informal tourist accommodation section has just been established. It is known as the Guest House Network and for a small, one time, fee it will allow members to advertise their houses, flats, rooms and so on as part of its operation.
GEOLOGY TEAMS HARD AT WORK
There are currently several geology teams at work in the Central Karoo area which has fascinated such researchers for years. Eight geologists, including some international visitors, are concentrating on the Laingsburg area. They are Oscar van Antwerpen, from the University of Port Elizabeth, Susanne Cigler from the University of Vienna, Michael Booyens, from the University of the Orange Free State and David Albes, Rudolf Knuther, Jorg Zechner, Dirk Adelmann and Verstin Fiedler, from the University of Bonn. Their research covers, among other subjects, the Karoo Super Group of rocks, the Cape Folded Mountain Belt, marine and terrestrial fossils. Most members of this team are completing the fieldwork for their MSc degrees. Johan Loock, a geologist from the University of the Orange Free State, is also carrying out research into the sandstone layers on several farms in the Beaufort West area.
WINTER IS HIKING TIME
Winter in the Karoo is the ideal time to hike in the mountains. Karel Erasmus from the Department of Forestry says the Swartberg Mountain area is a delight at this time of year. There are ten different hiking routes, each offering something special for hikers, and there is a choice of a one to a five day routes. A colourful brochure “Hiking in the Swartberg” is available in English and Afrikaans and it gives hikers full details about the area and the routes. It also has a map of the routes, as well as information on the geology, fauna and flora, rock art, signage, accommodation and necessary registration procedures.
A MAN OF HIS WORD
Namibian farmer Coen Kühn of Neü-Onüs, in the Maltahoë area, has proved himself a man of his word. Eighteen years ago George van Wyk of the farm Kafferskraal, in the Loxton area, arranged to hunt 20 kudu bulls on Neü-Onüs. At the time the cost of hunting a kudu bull was R20.00 each and George paid in full. He shot 13 during that hunting season. He always meant to return, but somehow never got round to organizing a follow-up hunt. Eight years ago he bumped into Coen at the Golden Acre Shopping Centre in Cape Town, and as they briefly passed the time of day – both were in a hurry – Coen reminded George that he still had seven bulls to hunt. Again time passed. This year Coen phoned to remind George and he immediately arranged to complete his hunt in July. He could not believe his ears when he heard that Cowen was sticking to their initial agreed price of R20.00 per bull, as by now the cost of hunting a kudu has risen to R1 000 and over. Incredible and admirable, to say the least,” said George. “I was stunned when he agreed to stick to the price saying a deal is a deal’”.