Thabaphaswa is open for business as long as we can stay open
Many booking platforms have sent messages indicating that they expect cancellations in significant numbers because of the threat of the Covid-19.
We also expected cancellations but so far we have experienced the opposite.
We received a bookings from people who said, with offices and schools closed, they want to get aways from crowded cities and seek safety in open nature. They also book for longer periods of up to a week at the time.
We received only one cancellation and that is from a visitor from overseas that are no longer allowed to enter SA. One other overseas visitor moved their booking to next year.
A number of guests that have already booked have sent messages expressing satisfaction that we will not close down yet. The fact that they will be in the bush where there is ample space between camp sites and also between the different accommodation, means that they feel safer with us than at home.
The normal heavy travel over the Easter weekend will not manifest because church meetings such as that of Zion City Moria will now only take place later this year.
Thabaphaswa have conducted information and orientation training sessions with our excellent staff. We encouraged them to also give feedback to their families and communities. We assist them with the provision of masks and sanitizing products to use at home. We are now also providing providing supplements to our staff to enhance their resistance to the virus.
At Thabaphaswa, staff on duty will be wearing masks and intensive sanitation actions will take place daily, at reception, and in all washing and ablution facilities. Hand washing facilities will be available at all toilets.
We look forward to receive many of our old friends to help them escape from all the stress and enjoy wellness and good health with us.
2019 lies on its back and we are thankful
We again had a three-year-long drought period but, fortunately, normal summer rains began to fall during November. The flora of the bushveld is so well adapted to regular droughts that it responds very quickly when the first rain starts to fall.
Thabahaswa’s friend and family member, Adri Knoetze, posted these before and after photos on her Facebook profile. These photos were taken 3 weeks apart and are a good illustration of the quick response of the veld.
We now receive rain on a regular basis and hopefully, the mountain stream will start running soon to start filling all our dams.
One dam is presently 40% full and fine for fishing and swimming.
However, it will take much more rain and time for the water table to return to normal.
From bookings received up to now, we expect that our accommodation will be rather fully booked soon.
We also had many bookings for camping, but still have many campsites available. There are now three camping areas with a total of 30 sites.
These sites are spread out in the bush and are quite private. We do not want to be experienced as a holiday resort of masses of people crowded in one camping ground with TV’s and radios set on the highest volume.
Dogs can also escape here from the noise and fireworks in towns and cities over New Year
We have experienced steady growth in overland visitors. The main reason is our locality in the fork of the N1 and N11, two main routes for travellers to countries in Southern Africa, as well as the north of the Limpopo Province and the Kruger National Park.
Our efforts in maintaining a high standard of hospitality, and appropriate accommodation and campsites, underpinned this growth.
Visitors from Holland and Belgium form a high percentage of our visitors. Two excellent tour operators chose us as the preferred overnight stop for their clients on their way to Botswana.
Marianne and Jan are living in Maun in Botswana and are the owners of the Khuduga Botswana Self Drives. They are a lovely couple and we became good friends over time. Paul Pieterjouw, lives in Holland and is the owner of Bush Call Safaris. He and his sister also became good friends of Thabaphaswa. I am highly impressed with the care these two tour operators take to do their homework and plan the itineraries of their clients.
We are grateful for the fact that more and more overlanders who plan their own trips, started to discover us.
To illustrate the point I want to refer to the following persons that visited us since the beginning of November, this year:
Joachim and Annette from Germany are professional safari guides that make use of Landrover Defenders.
Helmut and Anette lives in the Tyrol part of the Alps in Austria. They run a physiotherapy practice as well as a Lodge. Helmuth is also a guide for rock climbing, hiking and skiing trips. They plan to visit us again during 2020 to bolt difficult new climbs on Thabaphaswa mountain. They store their 4×4 vehicle at a lodge in Midrand because they visit Southern Africa every year.
Ed White and his wife are on a mission to navigate the globe. Ed planned to stay for one night but stayed for three. They drive a Landcruiser Camper that was specially built in Germany. Its dimensions are specific to fit into a container to be shipped to any place in the world. Earlier this year they visited Nepal and crossed the Himalayan Mountains over extremely high passes.
Overlanders from South Africa are also very welcome at Thabaphaswa and we see more and more of them.
It was brought to my attention that many overlanders use the iOverlander App. It can be downloaded for free on your cell phone. It is very useful for travellers in most parts of the globe.
International visitors often book for a Traditional Braai with us. It starts off with a taste of Mopani worms and sorghum beer. The meat includes what is typically South African, sosaties and boerewors. Then there are dishes of the local rural communities such as marogo [African spinach]; run-aways [ Chichen legs], etc. The dessert is melktert
Visitors to Thabaphaswa can undertake a variety of excursions.
One of these is a trip to a rural village, Mashashane, where most of our employees and their families stay. The excursions provide an opportunity for our guests to meet local people and experience how they live.
Katrin Schmallenbach and her family, as well as some of their friends, visited us earlier this year. They are from the Ruhrgebiedt in Germany. They also visited Mashashane seven years ago during a previous visit to us. Their son, Fritzie, was then 7 years old. During a visit to the local school, he took a soccer ball and had a great time playing with the learners.
They again visited the school recently and were well received by the Principal and teachers. When the learners discovered that Fritzie again brought a few balls, they all piled out of the classrooms and started playing with the four German children. This lasted for nearly 2 hours and it was the end of school for the day.
The Schmallenbachs also visited the family and house of John Teffo. Teffo has been working at Thabaphaswa for 22 years. During their visit 7 years ago they visited the house of Moses in the same village.
Here are photos taken during the two visits.
Deon would like to thank Therapy Top Dogs for visiting him in hospital.
These people (and dogs) provide an incredible service! Touch Our Pets Therapy Dogs (TOP Dogs) take dogs to hospitals and other venues to make people’s lives easier and to promote recovery.
Top Dogs – Therapy Dogs dogs, Deon wants you to know that you are great dogs and great people and he appreciates your work!
Please help us promote their work
Steeped in myths and legends regarding magical powers, hermaphroditism and black magic, and more recently cast as villains by Disney, the hyena family undoubtedly suffers from a bad reputation. With their gentle, social interactions and strong kin bonds rarely witnessed, and their reputation amongst farmers as a livestock predator, the misunderstood and secretive brown hyena currently faces a battle for survival.
The Magaliesberg Section of the SA Mountain Club has again booked at Thabaphaswa for the weekend 26-28 July.
Climbing will take place at Wellington Rock, which is nearby, and at Thabaphaswa.
An important project has now started to bolt 4 new climbs and to rebolt 7 existing climbs at Thabaphaswa. Neil Margetts of the SA Climbing Academy will execute this project.
A new trail, leading to the summit of Thabaphaswa mountain, is presently being cleared. It starts at the Mountain Fig Camp. The three crags of the Thabaphaswa Mountain holds a big potential to develop many new climbs. This new trail will be also used for this purpose.
Thabaphaswa Mountain is the highest in the area and provides wonderful views from the summit. Therefor hikers can also enjoy this new trail.Book now