BIVACK GAME RANCH
Size and Location
The ranch is 2500 Ha (6250 acres) in extent and its location is the main reason for its exclusivity, being in the corner between the mighty Limpopo and the Mogalakwena Rivers, in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.
Bivack lies on the border of South Africa with Botswana’s Tuli Block, approximately 38 km north-west of the town of Alldays. The Lodge’s distance from Pretoria is 440 km. There is a runway on the property and to fly there from Gauteng takes 1 hour and twenty minutes.
The runway coordinates are:
S 22 28 48
E 028 54 07
Rivers all around
Bivack has 14 km of river frontage (7.5 km of Limpopo and 6.5 km of Mogalakwena Rivers) The banks of both these rivers have massive trees, amongst others Jackalberry, Sycamore Figs, Leadwood and Weeping Boerbean trees. The area is that of total serenity, with the occasional fish eagle call reminding you that this is Africa at its wildest. The ranch itself is game fenced (2.5m, 22 wires) and keeps a variety of plains game including giraffe, gemsbuck, blue wildebeest, impala, waterbuck and kudu. The riverine area along the Limpopo is however not fenced in and it is here that the elephants, lion and huge quantities of kudu, impala, waterbuck and other game spill over from the Tuli Block.
The buildings on Bivack
The Main Camp
The main camp consists of 4 free standing chalets (all with en-suite bathrooms) and one double story 3-bedroomed chalet with two and a half bathrooms. All are fully furnished, air-conditioned and equipped with a radio for internal communication systems (room service). The lapa consists of a fully equipped kitchen (inclusive of a fan extractor, two fridges, one freezer, two stoves and a coke fridge), a public toilet (with shower) as well as an air-conditioned dining room area, which can be converted into a conference facility for up to 25 people. This facility boasts full digital and conventional multimedia standards (including a LAN cable for internet access).
From the lapa, a wooden deck extends to the Hippo bar lounge (Bivack is fully licensed for liquor), Mopane-shaped pool and the Jacuzzi. The lounge also includes a bar fridge, large volume ice machine, TV, music system, DVD player and DSTV. The more than 10 000 sq m gardens are irrigated from the Mogalakwena River through a sprinkler system, while the main camp is supplied with water from a mineral source (there are 4 boreholes in total on the ranch).
Other buildings in the main camp include 2 chalets: one is used for laundry services and storage facilities (2 industrial washing machines, a clothes dryer as well as an additional freezer) and the other is used as an office/reception area, which includes a library, a laptop with 24-hour high-speed internet and a walk-in safe.
The main camp has a 4-star rating from the SA Tourism Grading Council and has received accreditation from the Department of Economic Affairs and Tourism in Limpopo to receive international clients. It is situated on the banks of the Mogalakwena River under huge Mopane, African Sausage and Purple pod Trees. Often hippos graze on the lawn around the chalets. Both the rivers contain a variety of game fish; yellow fish, mackerel, thalapia, catfish and miniature tiger fish can be found in the warm waters of the rivers. Crocodile sunbathe on the banks.
For those interested in hunting, Bivack has year-through hunting exemption as well as top reviews on international hunting websites (http://forums.accuratereloading.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/6321043/m/954104396).
Also with non-hunters, the lodge carries a 100% satisfaction rating with “Safari Now”, a popular accommodation website. (http://www.safarinow.com/lib/hbef/reviews/AllReviews.aspx?spid=148615).
Next to the main camp, stands the manor house (also on the banks of the Mogalakwena River). This three-bedroom, three-bathroom house with a separate lounge, dining room and office area, is currently used by management as a living and office area (as the two back bedrooms are self-contained, they are used as additional accommodation for the main camp if need be). All bedrooms are air-conditioned, as well as the lounge and office area. This house also has its own separate fireplace.
The office area is further equipped with high speed satellite Internet and a GSM cell phone repeater.
There is an additional chalet behind this house that is currently being used for storage facilities (this chalet has its own air-conditioner).
The original farmhouse, situated approximately 7km away from the main camp has been recently renovated. This 3-bedroomed house (two bedrooms have air-conditioners) with its own swimming pool and fireplace is situated on the banks of the Limpopo River and is flanked by enormous Jackalberry trees.
The farmhouse is currently being used as staff accommodation. It is also fitted with DSTV and is fully furnished.
Next to the farmhouse can also be found Bivack’s animal processing facilities (includes a large walk-in 65 cubic metre cold room and fully equipped meat processing facility) as well as a storage warehouse, where most of the general farm maintenance equipment is kept (including a generator, sludge pump, welder, compressor, gas cutting equipment and air--conditioning and refrigeration maintenance equipment).
Communication on the ranch is through a mid band radio system (Bivack has a dedicated frequency for its private communication).
All the staff at Bivack live in comfortable brick-built homes and they all have hot and cold running water, private bathrooms, relaxation areas and DSTV. There are 5 permanent staff members working at the lodge and they are employed by the operations company.
Staff quarters are conveniently situated at the entrance of the ranch as well as behind the main camp.
Safety and Security
Bivack is situated in an extremely safe and secure area. There is no crime in the Alldays area and no land claims occur on Bivack or its neighbouring farms. Access into Bivack is furthermore through a pan handle road and a code-operated electric security gate.
In addition Bivack is bordered to the north by Botswana, a very stable and economically strong country.
Walk with giants
Lion, Leopard and Elephant regularly occur on the property. Bivack is wedged into the western corner of the Limpopo/Sashe Transfrontier Park. The park is a conservation initiative between South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. This area has been earmarked as a high priority natural game park area, with the Mapungubwe National Park and the rich cultural heritage of the Limpopo Valley an important centre of attraction.
Interestingly enough, a recent Heritage Impact Assessment study identified 5 sites with heritage potential on Bivack. These sites vary from Early (Middle) Iron Age sites to late colonial sites and have shown a high degree of correlation with the characteristics of Mapungubwe and K2 type sites.
An archaeology student from the University of Pretoria is currently basing his master’s thesis on the further investigation of these sites.
A large variety in geology and plant life
The ranch is made up of mixed Mopane Bushveld and granite kopjes. One of the kopjes called Eagles Rock boasts spectacular views over the Limpopo Valley and the Tuli Block. Bivack’s pair of Verreau’s (Black) eagles nests here.
A full list of the fauna and flora that occurs on Bivack can be obtained by following the link: http://www.bivack.com/sightings.asp
A bush maintenance programme has for the past 3 years being undertaken on Bivack, in order to improve the veld condition and increase the carrying capacity of the ranch.
Bivack has its own game viewer, a SABC approved 10-seater Land Cruiser, in mint condition (approximately 18 000 km).
A Tata 2 litre Telcoline pickup is also used for farm and town work (approximately
31 000 km).
There is also a Yamaha 250cc Timberwolf 4-wheeler and a Yamaha 200cc motorcycle that is used for general farm work.
Farm vehicles include a New Holland 4x4 tractor (model number 5630), non-motorised grader, two trailers, a mobile work station (includes welder, fire fighter and workbench) and a 3 tower valley pivot (the latter is currently used to irrigate a 14 hectare piece of land, water from the Mogalakwena).
Bivack is owned by Bivack (Pty) Ltd, which also owns the ranch’s water rights to irrigate 18 Ha from the Glen Alpine Water scheme. Through this scheme, water is released from the dam into the Mogalakwena River three times per year. The irrigation on Bivack is through the automated pivot referred to above and can be used to grow feed for the game in periods of drought.
It should be mentioned though that additional feed is seldom needed due to the excellent veld-management program that is followed on the ranch and currently the land is being rented out.
The business on the ranch is conducted by another company, namely Bivack Trading (Pty) Ltd. Also a Vat vendor and registered for diesel rebate, this company deals with all third parties (guests, suppliers, hunters and the like) and the day-to-day activities pertaining to the management of the ranch.
Bivack Trading is also responsible for employing all the staff working at the ranch as well as all the marketing. Bivack has its own website at http://www.bivack.com, has RCI affiliate membership and is also a member of the Limpopo Birding Route.
Although Bivack has been under current ownership since 1997, it has only really opened its doors to tourism since 2005. Nevertheless business is flourishing and each year sees more than a double in growth. The year 2007 has been particularly fruitful, most likely because of Bivack’s increased exposure on internet search engines, word of mouth, its RCI affiliate membership as well as membership of other accommodation sites such as Safari Now.
Bivack has also received favourable mention in the press (in this respect see http://www.bivack.com/downloads/article.pdf).
The hunting business conducted at Bivack has also been of great benefit, mainly because Bivack prides itself upon its high code of ethics and dealing only with a certain select group of experienced professional hunters.
The Development Opportunity: Two Rivers Limpopo
Bivack is in the process of inter alia rezoning 55 one-Ha stands along the Limpopo and Mogalakwena River banks. The plans for the development is already in an advanced stage and has been forecast to realize more than R200M in profits through the sale of the separate 1 Ha stands, fractional ownership titles in an exclusive lodge on the banks of the Limpopo and, as well as the building of lodges for the prospective lodge owners.
Documents available on request
More comprehensive information, whether it is with regards to the ranch or to the proposed development, can be made available to serious purchasers. Photos can be found at our gallery, http://www.bivack.com/imagegallery/gallery.asp .