New ‘jewel’ added to Addo tourism

2016-09-01 06:00
=Owner of Addo Wildlife Danie Bouwer (left) with his wife Petro Bouwer and some of his family members, Chené Senekal (grand daughter), his daughter Chenelle Senekal and son Le Roux Bouwer (right) at the newest tourism venture in the Sundays River Valley.  Photo: HEILIE COMBRINCK

=Owner of Addo Wildlife Danie Bouwer (left) with his wife Petro Bouwer and some of his family members, Chené Senekal (grand daughter), his daughter Chenelle Senekal and son Le Roux Bouwer (right) at the newest tourism venture in the Sundays River Valley. Photo: HEILIE COMBRINCK

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“The Valley has been good to me and my family. Therefore it is time for us to be good back.”

This is according to Danie Bouwer, a citrus farmer in the Sundays River Valley, who together with his closely-knitted family opened Addo Wildlife, a brand-new addition to the Addo tourism portfolio.

Addo Wildlife brings together the Sundays River Valley’s two iconic farming activities namely game and citrus. It offers a destination for the whole family with game-viewing, up-close animal interaction, aviary with raptors and parrots, touch farm, outdoor adventures, accommodation, restaurant, farm stall, wedding venue and forthcoming chef school.

“There is a lot of development in the valley. Within the next five years there will be an explosion of new ventures and future job opportunities in the citrus industry,” said Bouwer.

“I am a farmer not a restaurateur. So, the hospitality industry is new to me. We initially decided to have a coffee shop, but as it is with family, things tend to grow.”

Animals and especially birds are his passion. Bouwer owns the neighbouring farm and since the days the late Lourens van Straaten owned Addo Croc and Lion Ranch (as it was previously known) he was involved at the sanctuary as a friend and neighbour. When the property entered the market, the Bouwer family took the opportunity exploring the wildlife and farming hospitality industry through establishing the Addo Wildlife centre.

At the centre, the Tangelo Restaurant puts a spin on traditional South African fare, using local produce as far as possible. It extends into the Tangelo farm stall offering an array of hand-made down-to-earth food, treats and its own range of bottled fruit juices.

The restaurant and farm stall were developed by well-known executive chef Dean Dickinson.

Visitors can expect to find a variety of venison dishes, home-made pies, breads and pastries, signature chocolate truffles and a wide range of deli items.

According to Dickinson, a chef school will open its doors at Addo Wildlife during January 2017.

As part of Bouwer’s giving back to the Valley, he instructed managers to employ only people from the Valley, to have them properly trained and to offer them the opportunity to be part of the Addo Wildlife entity.

  • Addo Wildlife is situated 2km outside Addo town and 10km from the Addo Elephant National Park’s main gate. Day visitors are welcome 7 days a week from 08:00 to 17:00. For more information visit www.addowildlife.com or call 042 007 0079.

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