Continuing our journey from Madikwe towards the Kgalagadi Trandfrontier Park, the nights of Sunday 27th and Monday 28th January are spent at an oasis in the Northern Cape desert! Martiens Place is an air bnb cottage, on Martien’s family land, Bezalel Wine & Brandy Estate, Upington. A delightfully restored gabled cottage nestles near a bird-filled dam,
a swimmable place…the estate dam
surrounded by vineyards,
with confiding Cape Sparrows nesting on the beams of the cottage verandah. A stack of aromatic vine wood nestles ready for a braai!
vinewood makes the best fires to cosy up to…
As a bonus there is a garden restaurant attached to the winery, and homemade delicacies flow therefrom…no garden is complete with dwarves, a child’s delight! and more Cape sparrows nest in the phoenix palm..
bezalel estate garden
Walking in the vineyards, and a lovely breakfast to start the day on Monday, then we visit Augrabies Falls and buy golden sultanas. Plump and yummy. We then buy the actual sultana grapes from Martiens – sun-warmed ultra sweet and fresh-cut from the vines, to travel into the Kgalagadi with. Have a delicious tasting of Tawny Port and Mampoer, pilotage and Pinot noir wines and homemade food at the Bezalel Estate.
sultana grapes and port
Buy homemade fig jam and onion marmalade. Admire the vintage barrels…Clive’s well-travelled hat is right at home…
wine barrels and clives hat
Visit the Augrabies Falls,
surrounded by spectacular Quiver trees,
I have to paint these guys! and buy some babies from an accredited nursery to take back to my bush house…
I can not get enough of these sculptural natural masterpieces
This arid landscape is just the beginning, preparing us for the arid heat we will soon experience further away into the desert from the cool green orange River!
as soon as you move away from the Orange River valley…
a wonderful arid landscape awaits us in the Kgalagadi…so be sure to follow the next posting to catch up with our further Kgalagadi Safari adventures…..
The Save Valley Conservancy stretches along the upper reaches of the great Save River in the south east of Zimbabwe. The Gonarezhou National Park laps against the southern banks of the Save River and between these two nestles the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. These three celebrated wildlife areas form part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area, (GLTFCA)- a unique wilderness jewel which is home to the “Big Five” (endangered Black and White rhinos, elephants, buffalo, lion, leopard) and the ”Little Six” (Klipspringer, Suni, Duiker, Steenbok, Sharpe's Grysbok and Oribi). Endangered African wild dogs, Cheetah, Brown hyena, Bat-eared foxes and a host of special birds and plants contribute to the immense variety of this ecosystem. Communities around the GLTFCA contribute to innovative partnerships with National Parks and the private sector, forming a sound base on which to manage social, economic and environmental issues.
This is home to artist and writer Lin Barrie and her life partner, conservationist Clive Stockil.
Expressing her hopes, fears and love for this special ecosystem with oil paints on canvas, Lin Barrie believes that the essence of a landscape, person or animal, can only truly be captured by direct observation.
Lin Barrie states: “Through my art, and my writing, I feel an intimate connection with the natural world, and from my extensive field sketches of wild animals, people and landscapes, I create larger works on canvas.
Lin's work is in various public and private collections in South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Australia, England, Canada, Sweden and the United States of America. She is represented by galleries in South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, Kenya and Florida, USA.
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