Roam the Karoo

‘Oscar, our Dutch intern, had the amazing opportunity to experience a special journey at ROAM for a short weekend; a private game reserve for those with a deeper and more profound connection to nature. This game reserve has been set-up to create a safe haven for wildlife to enjoy the open space of the Karoo. In this blog, he will take you briefly through his journey including the hotspots of a weekend ROAM.’

Roam the Karoo

2018-05-28

16 March, Friday morning, 10:00 AM- Me, my friends, and the rest of the squad were ready to start our trip to ROAM, a private game reserve. A 5-hour car journey towards the dusty terrain of the Karoo plains. With 18 people fully packed into two vans- 15 persons were the limit- we knew this was going to be an epic trip.

Time flew by and around 15:30 pm we got to our destination. In no time, every person had found a suitable tent and bed to keep his/herself warm during the cold, Karoo nights. After everything was set-up, we gathered around the bonfire to discuss the planning for the upcoming weekend and opened our first cold beverage to keep us going.

Our sleeping place at ROAM.

The first evening was pretty, and by pretty, I mean one of the best stargazing spots you will encounter during your life. Chilling and bonfire sipping was the scene for the Friday evening, which after a long, exhausting day, nobody found a weird decision.

At Saturday morning, we woke up at 7;30 am to enjoy a light breakfast with some warm tea and coffee. After this, the group was split into two separate ones; the first group went animal and poacher tracking and the second group started off with the shooting. I’m really interested in everything that has to do with weapons, so I was glad I ended up in the second group, meaning that I could shoot my morning mood out as quickly as possible.

After a thirty-minute Jeep ride, we reached the outside shooting area. In the next few hours, we were being taught how to handle and shoot a 9MM as well as a real AK-47 (which felt like a dream come true). After a brief introduction about safety and risk, we were divided into duos to determine the position of shooting. Together with a friend, we volunteered to shoot first with every single round. We started off shooting 5 slow rounds with the 9MM Glock, followed by 10 slow rounds, 5 fast rounds and we ended with the most fun one, the ‘Gangster’ shooting. The mission was to hit as many of the assigned targets on respectively five and ten meters away. After the 9MM Glock rounds were over, we switched to the real deal, the AK-47. The concept stayed the same when it came to the targets, but the meters distance changed with respectively ten and fifteen meters, making the shooting distances somewhere around fifteen and twenty-five meters.

Shooting range at ROAM.

After the shooting, we went on with the second activity of the day; Animal & Poacher tracking. I was amazed by the knowledge of our guides and the staff of ROAM. We learned to track giraffes as well as springboks and scorpions. I can now say I know the basics of poacher tracking, which is definitely not that simple as you might think. Sadly, poachers are the reason that the northern white rhinos are ‘functionally extinct’ as of 19 March 2018.

Switching back to the fun, our group got the amazing opportunity to release 20 buffalos on the plains of the Karoo. I was surprised by the speed of these animals as we watched them hunting down the horizon during sundown. I’m still thinking about the staff who shed a tear during this special occasion. Eventually, the evening fell, and we retreated back to our comfy bonfire under the stars.

The next morning, we packed our stuff and proceeded to our next and last adventure, the game drive. Once again, the group was split into 2 separate ones which both would follow a different route across the game reserve. As we reached the thirty-minute mark, I saw the first Springbok of the day, and after that moment, things changed rapidly. We were able to see multiple antelopes, predatory birds and the special giraffe family including three babies’. Unfortunately for the other group, we were the only ones who saw the giraffes as we, as I mentioned earlier, took another route through the game reserve. After the game drive, we headed back to the main entrance where the others were waiting and told them about our lucky route.

Every fairytale must come to an end. Yet, I’m blessed that I have been giving the opportunity to experience such an awesome weekend full of special moments. Therefore, I would like to give a special thank you to the ROAM staff for making this awesome adventure possible.

PS: What do you think of this cute animal?

I can't think of a good name for my little friend.

Thank you for visiting this blog, if you would like to read more blogs like this one, click here: www.once.travel/blog

If you would like more information about the private game reserve Oscar visited, click here: https://www.roam-karoo.co.za/

Speak to you soon!

Cheers, Oscar