I have been asked several times as to when I was going to send out another newsletter. I did not think this was a good idea under the circumstances, as what was there to report? 2020 was a bad year for most people. Then I got thinking. We still have a lot to be thankful for. We started off the year with some good rains to break the terrible ongoing drought. The grasses came back immediately which was a good surprise for us. This was a very positive thing for us. We really thought that after so many years of drought that we would have lost most of the seed bank. Our dams filled up and Lynda even managed to pump water out of the house dam till mid-October to water her garden!

House waterhole on 5 January 2021

We had lost many animals during the severe drought in 2019, so this last year has given us the quiet time to recover. It is always a joy to see calves feeding on the fresh grasses. We took delivery of a breeding herd of blue wildebeest and waterbuck mid-year and we were really happy to see a new-born little blue wildebeest calf when we did a game drive this last Sunday.

We have had to reduce our staff, and the ladies now only work half day, and the lads have taken a reduction in their salaries. Even though we did not have guests for a year, we still have to maintain things on Byseewah. At least we did not have as much damage from elephant this last year as we had in 2019. The lads spent these last months replacing damaged and old fencing. It takes a lot of work to maintain 100 km of fencing! The girls sanded and varnished any piece of wood furniture that stood still and spring cleaned everything within an inch of its life!

There were 22 baby ostriches running down the road!

We have a new project – to build a camp on top of Griet’s Mountain! First we have to build the road before we can start on the camp itself, as many of you know just how that road looks like that goes over the mountain! Need a decent road to take the supplies over and up the mountain. It’s a project to get excited about as it means another place for our clients to experience.

The rains started last week with a very heavy downpour at the lodge. We got to watch the river come down and actually fill up the house dam, something which brought us a tremendous amount of joy. Went to check on Freedom Dm, and although not full yet, it still had a nice lot of water in it.

2021 will certainly be a different year for us. As many of you know we suffered a great loss with the passing of Naftal. He will always be remembered by his ready smile and happy disposition.

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