Zandvlakte Moments

Guests, family, and friends share some memories of Zandvlakte and the Baviaanskloof.

January 02, 2021
Warm days with family around the swimming pool. The best part of summer.

January 2, 2021
Lazy afternoon hike in Zandvlakte kloof

January 03, 2021
Roelf Se Put
– A rare experience for most folks
Original visit December 05, 2015

A Story of Love.
Yesterday, we went to one of the most remote and inexplicable places on the farm. It is called ‘Roelf-se-put’ (Roelf’s well). Inexplicable, until you hear the story behind it.

The place is so remote, nobody in their right mind would ever suspect somebody had actually settled there and found a kind of peace that this kind of place can guarantee. That was more than a hundred years ago.

His name was Roelf. Roelf got lonely. He saddled up and went south, to the Langkloof, and found a wife. While travelling through the mountains they reached a point where she declared that this must be God’s idea of perdition. To which Roelf replied that heaven was just a little bit further!

They travelled another day through the rocky escarpments of the magic mountains, through thousands of colorful blotches on an immense canvas of flowers. Eventually they reached their destination. There was no water. And Roelf’s woman refused to stay. Without water there was no food, or clean clothes, she said.

But it was Spring, and love was in the air. Literary. The floral kingdom around them chased pheromone-filled pollen clouds into their hearts and minds. The bees were beyond enchanted. Love just kept on blooming. So much so, that Roelf pledge to his soulmate that he will find her water nearby and make her the happiest woman who ever graced this earth. He started digging. And digging. And digging. And stacking rocks. And digging again. And continued through solid rock with a chisel and a hammer. A one-man-band in the service of his Aphrodite.

Seventeen meters later, the water came and pushed up eleven meters deep in the well. Roelf’s Aphrodite stayed.

Now THAT my friends, is the story of real love and a man who believed that it can conquer anything! Moral of the story: Were you ever in your life willing to do this for someone you loved? Or are you one of those people who won’t ever do it, but expect other people to do it for you? Makes us think right?

Here is the photos to complete the ode.

December 2020
Leon & Yolanda Bekker left the city for a 4-day break at Zandvlakte. They used their time to explore the beautiful Baviaanskloof on their bikes while practising for the toughest 24-hour mountain bike race in the world that will take place in January 2021.

November 2020
What the motion cameras see when humans are not there …Zandvlakte Baviaanskloof Hartland Private Nature Reserve. Our motto: Serenity at its wildest.

October 2020
Zandvlakte welcomes the Baviaanskloof Wildlife Project on our land. Maya Beukes and her team are expanding the leopard project we have undertaken since 1990 to now study the complete fauna of the Baviaanskloof ecosystem. Amazing, exciting moments are captured by motion cameras. There are 35 motion cameras out in the veldt.

October 17, 2020
Smitskraal in the morning.

September 6, 2016
A few years ago, a dear friend, Gideon van Zyl, came to visit and tutored me on my new Nikon camera. We cruised around in the Baviaanskloof valley, looking for interesting moments to capture. He took this photo of a few curious Boerbokke on a neighboring farm, with his own much more professional camera to show me how the settings worked. A treasured reminder of the good moments in life. ©Photographer Gideon Van Zyl

November 29, 2020 Robert Blake
I’ve been keen on flying up the Baviaans for a while now, this morning Johan says his coming with so why not , lets go and have coffee with Pieter Kruger on his farm Zandvlakte.

Never stop dreaming: about those starry nights in the vast open spaces, around a camp fire, in the company of good friends. “World heritage site: immeasurably big, biodiverse, but above all, the jewel of the South African wilderness areas, the Baviaanskloof.” – Dave Pepler in ‘Groen’ on Kyknet.

The Winston Le Roux Cable Way – Bergplaas Baviaanskloof

Read the remarkable story of farmer Winston Le Roux and the cable way he designed and built on his remote farm in the Baviaanskloof.
His book, ‘Beautiful Baviaanskloof’ is available on Amazon.

At The time of construction in 1967.

     ” I was 33 years old and a full-time farmer. I designed and built the project to suit the existing topographical conditions and had to select the site by local inspection and with the help  of the aerial photographs, to scale, of the then Department of Agriculture.

      Of great importance was that I had already sourced the main components of major cost, like the two carrier cables as well as the haulage cables, these were available gratis from the EP Cement quaries at Lime Bank Loerie. They operated an 11 Km cable-way from the quarry at Lime Bank to Loerie station and replaced various components at certain time intervals, as part of their regular maintenance program.  After making enquiries  they offered to let me have whatever I needed from the discarded stock.

      If not for this most generous offer, the cost of cables alone, would have been so prohibitive as to render the project completely beyond my financial capabilities.

      The span across the gorge was, or is, 410 meters and

the depth 387 meters. The carrying capacity was 5 tons. For comparison I might mention that the Bloukranz bridge Which is the  highest in South Africa is built 216 meters above the river-bed with a span of 272 meters.  Lists the following bridges as highest in the world.

No other bridge in history has been more associated with being the “World’s Highest” than the Royal Gorge bridge, located in the U.S. state of Colorado. Constructed in 1929, the bridge was the highest suspension bridge in the world for nearly 75 years with a roadway 291 meters above the Arkansas river. In 2001,China opened an even higher gorge crossing in the form of the Liuguanghe bridge, a concrete beam span with a deck 297 meters high. Then in 2003, China opened the  366 meters high Beipanjiang River bridge,

      While the Royal Gorge Bridge no longer holds any world records, this Rocky Mountain wonder of wire and wood is still the highest bridge in the United States and one of the most popular destinations in the state of Colorado with more than 500,000 visitors a year. Since its construction, the Royal Gorge has become much more than a bridge but an entire park that includes more than a dozen attractions that can keep you busy for an entire day.

 The success of these two attractions eventually led to the 1969 installation of an aerial tram which glides 305 meters above the river. The 35 passenger cabins offer a spectacular view of the bridge on a 670 meter long trip across the canyon.

      I had to have close on 1200 meters of carrier cable available to drag the two strands through the gorge on ground surface, and have enough slack available to work with for straining etc. To bring the first high-strain steel wire manually through the gorge took more than six weeks. My usual farm workers assisted me with this almost impossible task, while I directed them with hand signals, aided by a pair of high-powered binoculars.” – Winston Le Roux.