The making of Ndlopfu
The farm Ndlopfu as it is known today was originally part of the farm, Rietvlei.
It was owned by Herman de Jager and his wife and was utilized as a cattle farm in the 1950s. Mrs de Jager planted and marketed tomatoes on the open area below the farm manager’s house/ clubhouse area. At that stage the dwellings consisted only of two rondavels linked by a verandah. (The current upgraded guest cottages)
In 1984, Mr John Jacobs purchased 843 hectares from the then owner Mrs Amanda van der Westhuizen, a daughter of the de Jagers. John decided to develop the farm as a game farm and as a Shareblock. Originally is was envisaged that 50 stands would be made available for sale, however it was later decided by John and the first owners to decrease that number to 20.
John Jacobs during the construction of the clubhouse
Those first buyers were Jan & Nettie Mol, followed by the Edgerton’s. The Monks, Fullard’s and Kreher’s (Sven and Corinna Kreher still own their house at #50) were all to follow. Those early days of building way out in the bush could not have been easy. Cherisse Roux, daughter of John was just a young school girl at the time. She describes what those early days were like:
“My parents would pick us up from school at 2 o'clock, go home and collect the loaded trailer. In those days Hoedspruit had a petrol station, the army base and a small spaza shop. No bank, no Spar, no Wimpy, no hardware or any shops, simply put the place was in the sticks and Phalaborwa was also not much help! Every screw, door frame, loo and basin we had to drive down from Pretoria. One particular year we drove down 48 times out of the 52 weeks, I was the only one in school who had a tan in the winter!
When we moved into our house there was no running water, the water system had not been completed, so every day we had to drive down to the Club House and fill buckets with water and drive very, very slowly back to the house. My uncle, Hannes Fourie and my grandfather also helped out each weekend; they laid down the pipes and sunk a stronger water pump to provide the houses with water at the "Windpomp." I guess that is now called the Windmill dam area.”Cherisse Roux
An extra large swimming pool had to be built in compensation for not building a tennis court.
Clubhouse area in 1990
In 1992 the portion of the farm now known as Baobab was purchased from Dr. Reinold Joubert. This farm totalling 390Ha was consolidated with the original farm and the area then totalled 1233Ha. After negotiating with the National Parks Board, it was decided that the Umbabat, of which Ndlopfu formed part, would become a member of the Association of Private Nature Reserves together with the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve and the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve forming an area totalling 136 000 ha. In 1990 the fences between these three reserves and the Kruger National Park were removed allowing free migration of game throughout an area of more than 2 million hectares.
Waterbuck seen in those early years
In 2014 the opportunity arose for the members to buy a ½ portion of the farm Rievlei to the north of Ndlopfu’s northern border. The purchase of this land effectively doubled the size of Ndlopfu to 2 564ha. This newly acquired property has given members exciting new areas to explore and had added considerable value both financially and in viewing pleasure.