Sunday, August 2, 2015

Heia Safari Ranch...a sad farewell


I first visited Heia Safari Ranch in 1976,
when the road from Johannesburg was still gravel.
Over the past 39 years, I have watched the property grow. 
 When my Blog started in 2010, one of the first postings that I published
 was about this property.
Since then,I have written more than 300 postings.


It is therefore with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to
Gaby (whom I have known since she was 15!) and

And Bianca,her daughter, who I have known since her birth.
Bianca was part of my team that climbed Kilimanjaro in 2014.
http://www.davidbatzofin.com/search/label/Kilimanjaro%202014
Mother and daughter are about to embark on their new journey.
All all of us who know and love them, wish them well.

Heia will continue under new ownership,
but those of us who have been guests, then friends
and finally family, Heia will never be the same.
I wish the new owners all the best with their vision


These are some of my favourite images from the property over the years
It took me years to get to photograph a lightning storm.
And it finally happened at Heia.


Probably THE most iconic image of the property.
The Zebra drinking from the pool, as they have done since day one.


The property is home to several species of Aloe


A great place to watch the sunset


The image that was the turning point of my Heia postings.


Zonkie...who shuffled off this mortal coil...eventually.
He had been at Heia for as long as I can remember


Lake Heritage and the Franz Richter Dam.
The largest hand build stone dam in Africa


The sound of mating Impala rams...
Sounds much like a predator if you have not heard the call before


There is a plethora of insect life as well.
Like this Monarch Butterfly


Or this stunning Red Dragonfly.


My all time favourite view of Lake Heritage.


Full moon in the bush.


The rondavels...iconic and specific to Africa.
Outside...


And inside...
A great weekend getaway!

This posting is also bitter sweet for another reason,

In 2007, shortly after my wife and I got married at Heia,
the owner and visionary behind the concept of this property,
 Franz Richter was murdered.

In 2013,the recently returned Paul Schulte, met a similar fate.
Both gave so much to the property, 
and ended up paying the ultimate price
RIP to you both.


         

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