The Garonga Diaries: All Change! Weather, Staff, Cables an All!

Cooler weather at Garonga Safari Camp

What a week it has been at Garonga Safari Camp!

Cooler Weather Sets In

The weather has definitely taken a turn for the worse across the whole country (see grey skies above!) We are lucky here in the Lowveld, even though it is still pretty bloody nippy. I can’t imagine what it is like in the hills and mountains around the Eastern Cape, Free State and Highveld. Snow on the mountains most definitely. Anyway, keep busy and you keep warm.

Cable changes

Our power cable running from the farmhouse to the main camp was damaged/cut, so no power in the farmhouse or lodge. The distance between the two is over 2 kms and so a call out to the electricians for magical gear that picks up where the causes are was in order. Luckily, they came out and managed to repair the faults in two different areas and ‘hey presto’, the lights are back on, but there was good news and bad news. The whole cable will need replacing with a much more durable and updated cable (our current one is over 23 years old now) which will take over a week and loads of spondoolies (which as you can imagine, there is not much of without income). It’s going to have to be done before reopening, whenever that is. I suppose these things are sent to try us. It works!

Team Changes

The teams have now changed roster and so fresh faces arrived and old faces departed. The old team did brilliantly and we will be sad to see them go and only be able to see them again in a few months. Still, new tricks to be taught to the new team and looking forward to seeing how they perform.

Maintenance Team

Albert and his team in Maintenance were of course involved with the cable story. We also managed to install the new water tanks and pump that our ‘Gentle Giants’ (the elephants) decided to trash. It is not unusual to have all these things constantly arising; little things here, there and everywhere. Constant maintenance.

Safari Team

On the safari side, with the new team coming in, we start again with training, including chainsaw training, vehicle maintenance, and photography, after of course their monthly stock counts. Bush clearing continues as well as game monitoring. Nothing exciting as yet regarding the game around the camps, although Sophie was blessed to see a leopard on her way back home the other day, but this time she was disarmed from her camera.

Safari Store Room at Garonga Safari Camp
New safari store room in progress

Now the Safari Team will have their own storeroom shed (a new wendy shed is being installed as we speak). This will be so much easier than having things crammed into an office or 3 kms away at the farmhouse stores. The installation team that came from Joburg were a day late, as being minus 10 degrees, the diesel in the vehicles was frozen, and so they couldn’t leave that day!

Admin & Bugs

Bukani at Garonga Safari Camp

Maritjie and Bukani are keeping very busy on the admin side – we still need to keep all the store rooms clean and tidy. Admin never stops of course. They are now on their own, as Elia, Sanle and Loraine are now on extended leave for a fair while. The very strong long-term sanitiser is being used to great effect as every 10 weeks we spray where needed and it keeps all bugs/germs/bacteria away for 90 days. Anything that states a time limit reduce by 1/3. So switches, handles, tables, PCs, surfaces and ablutions are all treated with this very powerful stuff. Amazing what they have come up with during this COVID-19.

Maritjie at Garonga Safari Camp

Cake Friday

Phumzile has handed over to Virginia now in the kitchen. The last cake was an amazing vanilla sponge cake. Keep it coming ladies. Friday is certainly ‘TGIF’ day! Kitchens and cold stores etc. need constant cleaning and so much is done on a weekly basis there.

Vanilla Sponge Cake for 'Cake Friday' at Garonga Safari Camp
Delicious vanilla sponge for ‘Cake Friday’

Well, that’s more than enough for now. See you next week!

Read more from our Garonga Safari Camp Diaries here

From Bernie and the Garonga Team

Author: Anna da Graca

Anna is the Digital Marketing Manager for Garonga Safari Camp at Wild Web - a digital marketing and web development agency.