THE HISTORY OF SADAWA
Sadawa was established in 1992 by Ockie and Dalene Vermeulen. Their mission was to develop a private game reserve in a responsible and scientific way and to manage it according to international acceptable standards. Sadawa aims to protect the Ceres Karoo eco-system by creating a wilderness area of optimal size (8 500 ha) where plant and animal can reproduce in a natural way without any outside influence. This can serve to protect the natural heritage of the Ceres Karoo for future generations.
Sadawa originally consisted of a few tents and a main lodge. Many larger groups and conferences were hosted here and Dalene spent many hours cooking and tending to her guests’ every need, whilst Ockie entertained them with stories of the veld and its history.
Construction of the first chalet and kitchen started in 1993. This was quickly followed by the main lodge in 1994 and the braai-lapa. Another four chalets were built in 1995. The restaurant as it stands here today, was an open air conference room back in the day. Construction of the last few chalets and swimming pool was completed in 1997.
During this time, Ockie started to establish more game on the farm, starting with a few Bles buck. New game was brought in every year from 1992 until 1998. This included Oryx, Eland, Spingbuck, some Zebra, Ostrich and Blue Wildebeest.
After a tragic fire in 2000 they lost the main lodge, kitchen and bar. This all had to be rebuilt within a matter of two weeks to accommodate large bookings made months earlier.
Nearing 2005, Ockie and Dalene decided to leave the hospitality industry and pursue their other interests, so Sadawa closed its doors for nearly 7 years.
It was reopened in 2012 by their three children André, Trudie and Ockie with the support and guiding hand of their parents. Since then many changes have taken place at Sadawa.
Repairing damages to the property, upgrading the accommodation, increasing game numbers, restabilising the eco-system and establishing an extensive agricultural division has taken Sadawa to where it is today.
Sadawa now consists of a main lodge and bar, dining area for groups, 7 self-catering chalets and camping grounds. Many hours of work was put into remaking Sadawa into its former glory and even better!
At the end of 2016, Trudie left Sadawa to pursue a career in teaching and was replaced by André’s wife, Mariechen. They now run the lodge together in a manner reminiscent of Ockie and Dalene’s vision many years ago.