Greetings once again from Royal Jozini Big 6.
The introduction of my last newsletter seemed to attract some benevolent criticism from certain acquaintances with words like Shakespeare and Wilbur Smith being bandied around the electronic airwaves – so this time in order to sidestep anymore good natured jibes – I have decided to suppress the flash of literary inspiration that got hold of me one winter’s afternoon and give you a more factual report on what’s been happening here on the estate.
Let’s start with the 2nd Tiger Fishing Spring Festival that took place at the end August for 3 days of committed fishing by a total number of 40+ fishermen on 10 boats. The low water levels combined with the dry conditions made for excellent game viewing while looking for the “big one”. Elephant, rhino, giraffe and all species of buck were abundant. Despite low water levels, the competitors took to the dam with great gusto in search of the winning bag. With some fierce winds and hot weather, no fishing weekend is complete without its share of casualties; ours included a fisherman who successfully hooked someone’s nasal area! No names mentioned, but our thoughts go out to the youngster who bore the brunt of an unskilled cast.
Congratulations must go to Mark Montgomery and his team for winning the biggest fish and biggest bag prize for the second year running.
Details as follows:
Total number of Tiger caught and released: 49
Biggest tiger 5.06kg: Andrew Muirhead
Heaviest Tiger bag 15.3kg: Joe Swart
Boat „‟Tigger‟‟ 39,21kg: skipper Mark Montgomery
Total weight of the Tigers: 88.96kg
Heaviest Barbel 5.9kg: Etienne
Number of Barbel caught and released: 3
Total weight of the Barbels: 11.24kg
Progress on the estate has been steady these past few months. We have successfully completed 2 concrete slipways at slipway 33 and the Marina and are in the process of further excavation and construction of a jetty / walkway system at the marina whilst the levels allow us to access that area. The floating jetty at slipway 33 is holding up well so far despite the recent storms and high winds, although it is not recommended to leave your craft there for extended periods due to the bad weather conditions prevalent at this time of year.
We have identified another borrow pit near link rd on the mountain side which will assist greatly in road maintenance with its proximity to problem areas reducing costs. We have also recently purchased a tractor drawn grader, are converting a 5000lt water tanker for grading purposes and are on the market for a reasonable 2nd hand roller to complete our road maintenance equipment.
Architectural plans for a lodge on plot 141 are close to approval and we expect this consortium to begin construction within the month whilst plans for plot 362 are very close to completion for submission to the Architectural Review Committee.
Furthermore I can confirm that 4 lodges are now fully solar which given the current price of diesel does seem to be the logical solution moving forward.
Dam levels still remain below average although some good recent rains have increased these levels by close to a metre and I have heard from DWA that the annual release this year will be half that of last year to assist in the recovery. Please contact me should you wish to receive more details on the release and hydrograph. To those investors who have recently pulled out gill nets, thank you for your efforts and please continue to do so. Their locations have been communicated to the necessary authorities – it all helps to reduce this illegal trade.
We have had no major incidents regarding our game stocks and there are a number of swollen bellies amongst our female species ready to give birth with the onslaught of the big summer rains. As ever I always hear the call for more game and given the positive news recently circulated by our chairman I can promise you that when the political impasse is resolved, our game permit applications will be on top of the paper pile waiting for the illusive ”stamp of approval”. We have missed this year‟s capture season, so in reality we must look forward to introductions from April 2013.
The original ”Browns Camp” has now been relocated to the Eastern side of the dam and is positioned on the waterfront slightly north of the Marina. Whilst retaining a lot of its rustic charm, upgrades have been made to the ablutions and it does offer a competitive accommodation option for those looking to blend with nature. The camp sleeps a total of 8 in 4 tents (2 singles in each) with rates being R250.00 p.p.p.n. (minimum 4 people), an opening 20% discount on all accommodation will run for the months of October / November. Please contact me should you wish to receive further information and pictures, email@example.com.
For other accommodation options, please visit www.royaljoziniaccommodation.co.za and speak to Lynda Van Niekerk.
Having already completed the first quarter, I am also pleased to say that we are well within the estate operating budget approved at the AGM. Please keep those levies coming in so we can continue to keep the estate running smoothly.
Let me end off by thanking Peter Ridl for his agreement to champion the community liaison, an integral component to the future success of Royal Jozini Big 6.
As ever, I am always contactable should you wish to discuss any issues relating to your investment here. I hope to see you up here soon.
Below are some snap shots taken over the past couple months…..