+27 (0)82 4000 470 rob@robcaskie.com

The past week has been busy and wonderful. GIBS (Gordon Institute Business School) in Johannesburg contacted me with 36 hours notice, requesting a presentation. Sadly, given other travel commitments, driving to Illovo was out of the question, so we shared the 90 minute session via Zoom. It was very well received indeed. Isandlwana never fails to move and intrigue audiences.
The following day, I had a group of 37 Pietermaritzburg Homeschoolers on the Anglo-Zulu War Battlefields. The early morning mist burnt off quickly, turning into a hot day.
It was a fantastic day out. Confident children stood/sat very close to me going around the hospital at Rorke’s Drift – I felt a bit like the Pied Piper. This tour came about on the success of last year’s Homeschooling Tours, and I hope they continue.

We then drove to Johannesburg to visit family, particularly Karen’s 95 year-old mother.
Grandson Luke aged 4 loves being shown around a vehicle’s engine, and when I had done so I tried to close the bonnet. Luke frantically waved his little hands above his head, saying “No, no, no, no!” Clearly the engine session was not yet over for him.
We waved family goodbye, and set off southwards on our much anticipated road trip. First stop being Karoo Ridge Conservancy, owned by Pete and Helen Wenham, north of Schoombee. Now 7500 hectares running up onto the Suurberg, a quite exquisite property. Experienced, devoted conservationists, they have created a haven for Nguni and Ankole cattle alongside wildlife. The addition of two accommodation units (sleeping 8 and 4 guests respectively), makes Karoo Ridge the most desirable destination in this magnificent, diverse countryside. We have known the Wenham’s for 20 years now, a very special family indeed. Pete has the most infectious, unforgettable laugh and finds humour in everything. A special trait. I conducted informal interviews with both Pete and Helen to add variety and interest to my Patreon platform. I asked Pete to smile at the camera and say Hello, which he felt was very offside. info@karoowildlifeestates.co.za and website is www.karooridgeconservancy.com

The Karoo is right now experiencing massive swarms of locusts, including Karoo Ridge.
Despite our prejudices regarding locusts, the damage appeared minimal, and largely on vegetation which is ignored by other creatures? Even the Lucerne fields were scarcely touched. Pete is investigating the supposed damage around their area – perhaps we need to review our thoughts on locusts? We crawled along the gravel roads in our vehicle, but the locusts attached to the grills after the drive to Graaf-Reinet were astounding.
Rather like windmills in the Karoo, the traffic cops are ubiquitous. One jumped out of a culvert, to pull me over. As before we failed to agree on the speed, so I requested the calibration certificate for his radar gun not more than 3 months old. He failed to produce it, so I had the stated speed reduced by 10km/hr and received a much lower fine. The other very well-fed cop was sitting in the car, on her cell phone, with engine idling and A/C on… What is the job satisfaction of being a traffic cop?!

Route 62 is always such a pleasure to drive. Montague remains a beautiful, clean town.
It never ceases to amaze us what these soils can produce given irrigation. Driving past vineyards with names we recognise is special, alongside smaller, unknown places trying to establish themselves in a difficult marketplace.
The locusts and dust on the car required serious attention at our overnight stop with a dear friend in Robertson. Now in Pringle Bay, seeing the Cape family, where the wind is such that hens would lay the same egg three times!
Fourteen blissful days, including 4 talks lie before us. What a privilege.

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