Welgevonden Reserve is committed to ensuring that any new lodge development is done in a manner that limits its impact. This includes both the impact on the environment and on other members of the reserve.
Today we are conducting visibility tests with the reserve management to ensure that Inzalo Safari Lodge will not be visible from any other lodge and that the intended development will not be unduly visible from the Sterkstroom Valley Road.
The process started with a Jonathan Swart from Welgevonden producing a computer simulated view-shed based on the Inzalo Safari Lodge conceptual design. The view-shed shows the areas from which rooftops might be visible where rooftops are respectively six, eight and twelve meters high.
The view-shed simulating possible areas form which Inzalo Safari Lodge might be visible
We set up a twelve-meter high flag pole at the centre point where the main lodge is planned. Jonathan Swart (Research Ecologist - Welgevonden) and Andre Burger (Chief Operating Officer - Welgevonden) drive along the Strekstroom and physically check the visibility of the flag along the route.
They also request us to move a six-meter flag from tent site to tent site as a visibility test for the lower tents.
Henriette and I are on the site bright and early to set up the flags. This is a big day for us as our planned development is dependent on the outcome of the visibility tests. Raising the twelve-meter flag presents a bit of a challenge but with some assistance from a Burkea africana we have the flags up and ready by the time Andre and Jonathan arrive.
I first run Andre and Jonathan through the layout plan and intended lodge design for Inzalo Safari Lodge. We then walk the site and check the placement of each tent and the main lodge.
Andre and Jonathan then set off on their “road trip” and radio us with regularity to move the six-meter flag from one tent site to another. They take pictures of the flags from various vantage points to demonstrate possible visibility.
On their return we reviewed the results and possible mitigation requirements. This raises our expectations that we will be able to execute on the planned development. Their next step is to produce a report that will be submitted to the building committee together with our layout plan for approval.