Dear <<First Name>>
I hope you all are doing OK during these uncertain times.
We thought that we would give you an update of what is happening on our side of the world with this pandemic mess that has hit us all worldwide.
South African COVID-19 situation:
So far the infections are still relatively low and much less than anticipated. The lockdown and measures are thus proving to be successful. Sadly, “only” 194 people have passed away, and just about all deaths and infections have occurred in the bigger cities.
We are sorry to see that the US losses are huge, especially in the NY area. Come to think of it, it has now surpassed the number of men lost at Vietnam. It is simply terrible!
I do not want to go into too much detail but in short our lockdown “works” as follows:
- Our government has divided the lockdown into 5 levels of restriction.
- Since March 27 we were in level 5 which meant total lockdown.
- From May 1 we went into level 4 and thereafter it will be lowered pending the containment of the virus.
- Until we reach level 1 international travel will not be allowed. Who knows when this will be?
Some Harloo Safaris news:
All is well on Harloo but unfortunately it is very quiet – especially the cash register!
At least we are able to get out and do some work on the Reserve which is helping to get out of house and out of confinement - and keep us sane!
Our region had the best April rains in over 20 years, and this before we enter our dry season which is great! The buff are as fat as pigs and most Dugga bulls must be in the 1700 pound range right now wobbling along!
We haven’t been idling and have done some good maintenance and upgrades on the Reserve, roads, camps etc.
Some necessary culling had to be done after a good calving season, and our game butchery is helping to keep us going. Of course my boys Louis and Dick and Niel’s two daughters are having a ball taking care of this culling “job”. All on foot, proper hunting and only headshots allowed – and they are getting good at it!
On the Safari side we are staying optimistic, positive and patient (something us hunters can all do well!), but realistically we cannot see that the situation will change within the following month or two that will allow International travelling. The hunting and tourism industry in South Africa has been hit really hard with this virus – as it is seen as recreation, which is not allowed.
Most of our neighbours in the Tourism industry as well as outfitters here and across Africa have been forced to close down completely and retrench their staff with no pay or hardly any pay due to the loss of income during this time. Guides and PH’s are sitting at home with dire financial consequences which is very sad, as it is traditionally a “seasonal worker” industry. It is really tough out there.
Although we are digging deep financially, we have decided to keep all our staff during this time to insure that our anti-poaching efforts stays up to standard, and that all maintenance to the camps, roads and other farm work is done properly.
It is a blessing that the sugar and citrus sections are functioning normal at this time.
From the Harloo Team we want to wish you and your families all the best and we hope that the situation gets sorted soon.
Stay safe and look after yourself.