By Costa Mano
Far off the beaten track hidden in the rich wilderness of Save Valley Conservancy, is a gem that has not been that much explored.
Set on 23 000 acres of pristine and unspoilt wilderness, this is a reclusive bush camp exuding contemporary safari elegance with quality accommodation and fare.
Chishakwe Ranch is the bush retreat offering inspiring photographic safari.
Forming part of the world famed Save Valley Conservancy the business at Chishakwe is primarily one of conservation with programmes already running on conservation awareness to help the local community.
“We believe every animal is endangered and it is not about one particular animal that is why we are working on community education so as to build a reciprocal relationship, they help us we, help them,” said Lisa Jane Campbell, one of the directors.
Covering nearly one million acres, the Conservancy comprises a wide range of diverse habitat types, as well as harbouring an extraordinary variety of plant, mammal and bird species. Some of these species are indigenous to
The conservancy was formed after drought stricken farmers who had witnessed their cattle die due to famine decided to bring down their fences and bring in wildlife which was more suited to the environment. The Conservancy was also created to safeguard the unique ecosystem that surrounds the slow-flowing watercourse of
Run by a man who is passionate about conservation, Nick Greeff and his wife Sarah, Chishakwe is steeped in fertile history dating to pre-colonial days with the impressive two houses from the first European settlement still standing bold as ever.
The area also boasts of Bushman paintings as well as remains of tribal villages and graves.
Chishakwe is a unique ranch in that its vegetation is more varied than some of the Ranches in the conservancy. The northeastern corner, where a game drive gave us the opportunity to see a shy yet curious group of cheetah, is mopani woodland. The south west has the open acacia with mountain acacia to the west.
This has made the ranch a popular haven with diverse wildlife which includes Giraffe, warthogs, elephant, lion, buffalo, impala, water buck and kudu among a host of other species.
Apart from game drives the ranch has a spectacular dam reminiscent of the evocative serenity of
The air at Chishakwe is quite laid back and relaxing with time for siestas even. To top it off is a special outing to Moon Rock were you can see the moon rise and sunset while chewing on flavourful biltong or a picnic at The Big Tree which is said to be between 2 000 to 3 000 years old.
The Ranch’s camp is located on the bank of and overlooking the
The camp has 10 beds and full catering, Chishakwe still maintains a sophisticated ruggedness which is quite charming.
The five lodgings have two single beds with ensuite bathrooms crafted with reeds and ingenious light switches. The camp is themed around artistic, innovative décor and the Ranch’s souvenir shop gives the guest an opportunity to take home that which would have captured their imagination.
After a long day out and about the bush, relaxing around a bonfire and relating stories of the day is something to look forward to. The bonfire, sound of a flowing
“Beautiful and exclusive, Chishakwe offers a unique bush experience. The Big Five have their place here amongst an amazing variety of animal and plant life…whether you want an active and adventurous break from your routine or just a relaxing get away, Chishakwe offers it all,” said Nick.