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Zuikerkop Country Game Lodge Fly-In

By Andre Venter

Zuikerkop Country Game Lodge is a hidden gem nestled in the mountains of the Eastern Free State an ideal venue for a week fly away and that's exactly what happened last weekend.

I, unfortunately, had to make the trip by road, which was rather pleasant until thirty kilometres before Clocolan, the potholes got rather hairy. When we arrived an RV10, a Tecnam and 3 Gyros had already flown in, and the crews were enjoying drinks on the wonderful deck.

Dale de Klerk arrived in the Orion Cub at 17.30 in the afternoon and as always this lovely locally designed and built aircraft attracted a lot of attention. Dale informed us that he was expecting Keaton Perkins to arrive the following morning in his immaculately restored Cvjetkovic Mini Ace CA-61, the oldest home-built aircraft in SA, originally built in Clocolan by "Toy" van Rensburg.

Keaton arrived the next morning at 7:30 he managed to leave before Gauteng was locked down by low cloud which kept many other aviators grounded at various airfields. While on his flight Keaton reached his 1000th flight hours, well done Young man. Despite the terrible weather up North twenty-eight aircraft arrived throughout Saturday morning, this included a few Gyros and a Trike.

Visitors were invited to join the game drives and bird-watching opportunities that allow one to see the local wildlife up close and in abundance. For the more energetic visitors, the famous Zuikerkop guided hiking trails were available, which take the hikers on a journey through nature, allowing them to explore and connect with the outdoors.

The Orion Cub crew were by far the most active flyers over the weekend with an almost constant queue of interested aviators eager to get a flight in this amazing aircraft. By lunchtime on Saturday Dale had already logged over twenty flights.

Sadly, as all good things always do, the weekend came to an end and it was time to greet everyone and make our way back to the “Big Smoke”. I will definitely be visiting Zuikerkop again as soon as possible.

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