I am always keen to try out new destinations and when those have a “Bush Lodge” feel; it makes me all the happier.
I was very interested when I discovered that Aloe Bush Game Lodge was having Fly In weekend from 16 to 18 February. Both one and two night packages were available for those who wanted to stay over and a “Boere Bushveld Breakfast” was available for those who were only able to fly in on the Saturday morning. I unfortunately fell into the latter category, so I set about the planning for flying an RV12 to the venue. I contacted my good friend Danie Heath to see if he was available and keen to go, and got an instantaneous yes reply on both accounts.
Aloe Bush Lodge is located about halfway between Groblersdal and Marble Hall. It’s an easy flight of less than an hour for most aircraft types from almost any airfield underneath the Jo’burg TMA.
The latest information given to me by the Lodge Management is that the runway is 980m long and 15m wide, well compacted gravel. There is a windsock at the centre of the runway with trees along both sides as well as at the ends of both ends of the runway. The alignment is 13/31. On days with light winds, it is probably advisable to plan land uphill on runway 31 towards the lodge, and to depart downhill on runway 13.
We arrived overhead the runway at about 08:30 AM and could see that there were at least 3 aircraft on the ground that had beaten us there. We positioned into the circuit behind an RV10 and we were soon joined by other aircraft of various types. About five or six aircraft ended up landing within a few minutes of each other which kept things interesting.
After securing the aircraft it was only a short walk past a few trees to get to the Lodge itself. We were greeted with sight of an open fire in the centre of a Boa. The fire was keeping the various pots containing the breakfast elements and coffee etc. warm and the food was ready to be dished up. The breakfast consisted of pork rashers, mince, pap, a spicy tomato relish and clever egg omelette slices which looked like pizza slices. All of this was really tasty and I fell in love with the homemade bread on offer. The coffee with condensed milk also proved quite popular.
The Lodge has a bar and swimming pool area adjacent to the breakfast seating area. We had a quick look around the rest of the Lodge and noted the Conference Area and Chapel as well as the various Chalets. These certainly made us feel that we would like to return soon, this time with our wives and hopefully stay over for a night or two.
By the time we were ready to depart, quite a few more aircraft had landed as well as a few helicopters thus completing a rather successful turnout in my opinion.
Big thank you to all the friendly staff at Aloe Bush Game Lodge for making us feel most welcome during our brief stay.
Aloe Bush Game Lodge definitely Is an "Airfield to Visit".
More information can be found on the website: www.aloebushgamelodge.co.za