With winter setting in and the temperatures dropping I felt the need to find somewhere with a warmer climate for a few days of relaxation.
The obvious choice was to go inland to a place where the daytime temperature was still in the mid-twenties - the Great Karoo.
Roam Private Game Reserve and wildlife sanctuary sounded like the perfect location.
Located on 5300 hectares of scrubveld in the Great Karoo, Roam is a 6 hour drive from Cape Town on the N1.
The magnificent Swartberg mountain range dominates the horizon of Roam. The typical Groot Karoo landscape of flat-topped koppies, valleys and acacia scrub dotted the horizon.
The area is home to fauna and flora that have had to adapt to survive the harsh desert conditions.
Our host and guide for the two days was Donovan - who has a masters degree in Nature Conservation. His knowledge of the fauna and flora was astounding and the amount of knowledge that he shared with us on the two daily game drives was incredibly insightful.
Although there is no San art from the original inhabitants at Roam, there are remains of Round houses - stone houses built by the first Boer settlers in the area. They built semi-permanent seasonal homes close to fresh water springs as they moved their cattle in search of water and new grazing lands.
In the late 1990’s the farm became a hunting lodge for local and international hunters. Two years ago a Cape Town businessman who is passionate about conservation bought the farm, re-named it Roam and began the task of creating an eco-tourism reserve set between neighbouring sheep and hunting farms.
By introducing game from non hunting reserves the existing herds, who were initially shy of humans, associating the sounds of vehicles and humans with hunting, have slowly become accustomed to humans and are no longer threatened by them.
Talking about wildlife - Roam is home to 13 species of antelope, zebra, giraffe, buffalo and has recently introduced cheetahs.
There are three accommodation options to choose from, each catering for a different type of guest; Roam Manor House, Roam Safari Lodge and Roam Explorer tented camp,
Roam Manor House:
The three bedroomed manor house is a self-catering luxury villa situated on 300 hectares of fenced land. What makes the manor house unique is that as there is no game kept in this section of the reserve, it’s perfect for families with young children - and it’s dog friendly - so your best friend can join the family holiday.
Roam Safari Lodge:
The lodge has panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. We stayed in the lodge - which was the original accomodation for the hunting lodge, so it is comfortable but quite basic.
The lodge consists of 5 thatched-roof twin rooms, all opening onto the large communal courtyard which leads down to the swimming pool and small waterhole for game viewing. The lounge and dining area of the lodge are comfortable and homely, the perfect place to relax after a day of game-viewing.
Accomodation at the lodge includes all meals and there is a fully stocked wine cellar.
Tented Explorer Camp:
Roam Tented Explorer Camp is a permanent tented camp of six canvas dome tents on raised wooden platforms. The camp is set up in a dry riverbed with spectacular views of the surrounding wilderness - offering guests the opportunity to become immersed in nature.
There is a communal area housing the fire pit and an awning with a dining and seating area.
Roam is testament to a small team of individuals whose dedication and passion to conservation has transformed a little piece of Africa back to its natural state.
For more information: www.roam-karoo.co.za or call 021 7125284