Steenbokkie – A Karoo Oasis

Meet Steenbokkie, a little oasis in the Karoo. A most lovable stay on a working game farm.

Steenbokkie

 

Over the years, we as a family have camped at so many different places and some of us have slept in caves and even in a tree or two. Some of our worst travel experiences were at little Karoo dorpies where the only camping available was on barren soil, infested with mosquito’s and with the awful noise of big trucks accelerating or using those noisy Jacobs engine brakes.

Sometimes, when making a reservation, one does so with hesitation. Apprehension, even. When booking our stay at Steenbokkie just outside Beaufort West in November 2016, we did not know what to expect.

We arrived at night and were received in a most welcoming way by owner Dries Potgieter. We found our 2-bedroom chalet to be fully equipped and even air-conditioned, with mosquito repellent mats and burners ready. Our accommodation was generous and especially neat and tidy. As Steenbokkie is a working farm, after all, we did not expect this guest house standard of presentation.

Soon, we learned that Steenbokkie is some kind of safe house to a zebra, a limping Thomson’s gazelle, a zebra and a blind fallow deer. All be cared for in a most loving way. In the same vein, their are horses and donkeys that were saved from becoming pet food.

Early the next morning, we put on our hiking boots, grabbed our camera and set off to take a few pictures while exploring the farmstead and surrounding area. We were almost overwhelmed to find an extensive farmstead with some four or five more overnight rooms, plus two more chalets. Dries and his wife Rene can accommodate a small army and various church-, social- and school groups visited during our four day stay. The big attraction is the campsite with some fourteen stands, with electricity, neat, adequate ablutions facilities and, wait for it, lush green lawns under shady trees!  Farm animals and a zebra roamed the extensive garden and Zebbie can even be petted!  There are many farm animals but we found no bad odour, despite a few porkers in neat camps. Our luck was in and I managed to shoot three gnu and stalk twelve fallow deer within a few yards of the farm gate.   There are hiking trails which leave the oasis-like farmyard behind in exchange for a real desert-like experience. Hiking across that arid land is an experience of a lifetime as we saw a few herds of three different kinds of Thomson’s Gazelle (springbok), more fallow deer, the few wildebeest as well as rock hyrax otherwise known as dassies.

Steenbokkie stole our hearts and it is just 8km north of Beaufort West, just before you get to the little airport when heading north.

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