The Journal

Opening of Sable Valley Lodge

The Opening of Sable – Circle of life’s deepest roots. We doubt there is a more compelling story of family ties and roots than right here.

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Imagine the years of the 1870’s and what the Dete Vlei and Hwange National Park looked like? It is here that Cornelius Van Rooyan explored, hunted, camped and captured wildlife. Confirmed reports of his illustrious journey hunting these pride lands with Fredrick Courtney Selous are written in the history books of Gary Haynes “The Forest with a Desert Heart”.Cornelious’s camp at Linkusasi (commonly known now as Linkwasha) was home for the months of August 1875 to 1877, tracking big game on horseback to shoot elephant and buffalo between here and the Dete Vlei.These antics got him journaled as being “utterly ignorant of every thing belonging to the civilised world.” Together with Selous and other hunters, the best guess is that they killed over 5000 elephants during the mid 1800’s and almost wiped out the population. Selous called this ivory-hunting country “one of the dreariest wildernesses in the world.” Only a few short years earlier, it was the “most fearfully thick” bush and had been a “grand place for elephants.”

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This is the story of Cornelius van Rooyan, Great Grandfather to owner Cedric Wilde, father to Linda and Sharon whom, 4 generations later, together with their husbands, have changed the face of this region to realign conservation to a more robust modern model. Where these hunters and explorers roamed over 150 years ago, in today’s Dete Vlei, Sable Valley’s guests spend hours in our underground hide and treetop platform watching the massive herds of elephants frequent this area once again.The journey has come full circle – Sable Valley is open and we welcome you to join us in protecting a pristine and vibrant valley, one with unique and fragile bio-systems, and one that will enthral the wildlife photographer and delight the nature purist.

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Source: Sable Valley Lodge