It is a stunning crisp winter morning, and we set off before sunrise from our home in Johannesburg to view Site 36 with Billy, the agent from Wiltinnet Properties. On our arrival, we are picked up from Main Gate by Bradley, a Nature Conservation Student at Welgevonden, who is currently busy with his practical training at the reserve. Excitement mounts as we drive from Main Gate to the Sterkstroom valley and Site 36. Sitting on the back of the game viewer I am aware of some activity on the radio and then Bradley turns to us and says; “if you are not in too much of a hurry we can stop off at a pangolin sighting”. Unanimously the answer comes; "No rush!" We are treated to the very rare sighting of a pangolin in broad daylight. Can it get any better than this?
After this amazing encounter we head for Site 36. It is a near perfect piece of heaven on earth. Nestled in a horseshoe bend of the Sterkstroom river, it offers views of a natural waterhole used by plains game, the river and a magnificent cliff face that stands guard over the crystal clear Sterkstroom. We have not even drafted an offer to purchase and already Henriette and I are planning the lodge layout.
With our first view of Site 36 fresh in our minds, we set off on a game drive back to Main Gate. I am not sure if this was intentionally planned by Billy, as a sales pitch, but if there was any doubt in our minds about the purchase, the game drive settled that. On the way back we see elephant, eland, klipspringers, waterbuck and to crown it all, a female cheetah with five cubs.
What a day and what an introduction to Site 36!