Adrenalin Adventures and outreaches with Bush Babes

South Africa

Bush Babes Adventure and Safari Club

Moolmanshoek - Free State

A few years back I’d won a weekend away for ladies only to Master 4x4 off-road skills. As a result of that I joined a woman’s organization, the Bush Babes initiated and run by Leilani Basson.

 

The plateau overlooking Moolmanshoek valley

The plateau overlooking Moolmanshoek valley

 

Bush Babes? Who dat?

Most of you might have heard of the cute, cuddly primates that pounce around in a forest. These are a different ‘species’. The Bush Babes I’m talking about is a group of spirited ladies who thrive on adventure and love to have fun. Leilani Basson, a photo journalist who previously worked for Leisure Wheels magazine, had the fantastic idea to initiate this organization.

 
Steep downhill descent on the Langesnek 4x4 trail at Moolmanshoek

Steep downhill descent on the Langesnek 4x4 trail at Moolmanshoek

 

We are independent and don’t mind roughing it, yet we certainly don’t object to some pampering. We love playing in the mud, learning off-road skills and being part of an adventure, especially with a spurt (or a deluge) of adrenaline thrown in. We conquer fears and make friends for life. Although it is not always possible to partake in every event, some of the things we’ve done is sand boarding, rap jumping, river rafting and sky diving.

Because many of us are mothers, we don’t want the little ones to miss out. There are ‘Bush Babies’ too – a club for children from 2 to 10 years of age so they can enjoy nature and the outdoors as a family.

 

 

 

To see what Bush Babes have done, click on the photo.

Bush Babes Core Values

The Bush Babes Adventure and Safari Club:
1. Thrives on positivity, “paying it forward” and personal growth. So bring along your good spirit and positive attitude and share it without reserve;
2. Is a “place” for like-minded women to get away from the stresses and complications of work and home life; so leave your stresses and complications at home (and we trust that you will be able to go back to resolve these);
3. Is a women’s club for like -minded women to enjoy the outdoors, experience adventures and make new female friends while getting to grips with off-road driving;
4. Is in favour of balanced socialising, and, as such, we call on all participants/members to respect and exert the wholesome image that Bush Babes strive to portray.
— Courtesy of Bush Babes Adventure & Safari Club

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Bush Babes make a difference

Our organization is not just about having fun. As you can see from our name, we love animals and adore helping them when required, from guarding rhinos to zip-lining while raising funds for animals in need. Once we have set our minds on something, we won’t give up until it is done even if the weather doesn’t play long. With a bit of mud painted on our faces and some dirt under our perfectly manicured nails, we arm ourselves with wellington boots and any other tools we require and head for the hills…or some needy charity.

 
Bush Babes making a difference by digging trenches

Bush Babes making a difference by digging trenches

Isuzu & Bush Babes delivering

Isuzu & Bush Babes delivering

Our convoy usually consists of about ten vehicles and we were sponsored by Isuzu in the past. They provided us with vehicles, fuel and a representative, Marius van Vuuren.

We usually fill those vehicles to the brim with equipment and food for the charity we have chosen for that time.

 

Thunderstorm over Moolmanshoek

Thunderstorm over Moolmanshoek

Ladies only…except for this weekend.

Moolmanshoek

Periodically we allow our partners and children to join us for some fun. Going to Moolmanshoek was one such occasion.

Moolmanshoek

Moolmanshoek

Beautiful vistas at Moolmanshoek

Beautiful vistas at Moolmanshoek

 

The area where the animals gather is affectionately known as the miniature Serengeti.  Herds of springbok, wildebeest, eland, gemsbok, zebra and blesbok gather on the plains.  A few months before our visit a fire spread over the mountains and burnt much of the vegetation. Such a tragedy but fortunately the buildings were saved and there was some green grass for grazing.

 
 
Beautiful colours in the late afternoon

Beautiful colours in the late afternoon

 

The weekend was spent driving on the off-road trails, horse riding or walking and relaxing. Our 12 vehicles were guided through the Langesnek 4x4 trail trail for 5 hours by the expert guidance of Marius, some of the staff of Moolmanshoek on horseback and the boundless capabilities of the Isuzus. Our reward was experiencing the impressive scenery.

 
It’s an uphill battle on the 4x4 trail at Moolmanshoek

It’s an uphill battle on the 4x4 trail at Moolmanshoek

Isuzus in line on Langesnek 4x4 trail

Isuzus in line on Langesnek 4x4 trail

Marius guiding a driver down a steep slope

Marius guiding a driver down a steep slope

Marius van Vuuren guiding Isuzus Moolmanshoek
Interesting overhangs and topographical features in the sandstone

Interesting overhangs and topographical features in the sandstone

Impressive hills formed in sandstone

Impressive hills formed in sandstone

Climbing those steep hills on the off-road track

Climbing those steep hills on the off-road track

A beautiful rainbow over the valley

A beautiful rainbow over the valley

View from the main building at Moolmanshoek

View from the main building at Moolmanshoek

 

As you can see, with Bush Babes there is no shortage of adventurous ventures.

 

What’s in a name?

You might have noticed the names on the sleeves of the Bush Babe’s t-shirts. Each ‘Babe’ is given a nickname - an alter ego - just for some added entertainment. It usually relates to something about them.  No need to ask what mine is.

 

Pup held at Romi Husky Reitz
Information and natural heritage of Moolmanshoek:

The 3 300 hectares of Moolmanshoek Private Nature Reserve lies in the Witteberg mountain range between Ficksburg and Bethlehem in the eastern parts of the Free State of South Africa.

The upper parts of these mountains (above 2000 meters) consist of Drakensberg basalt, a volcanic rock. The basalt is clearly visible where cliffs were formed on the higher peaks, notably on Visierskerf, at 2407meter, the highest peak in the mountain range.

Below the basalt lies the Clarens Sandstone, a relatively soft rock formation. This was deposited before the basalt outflow as sand dunes during a very dry period in the earth’s history. The sandstone forms interesting and beautiful topographical features like caves, deep ravines, waterfalls, rock pools and strange shapes.

More than 300 horses make Moolmanshoek their home.

Moolmanshoek was declared a Natural Heritage Site (No 199) in 1994, mainly because of the rare Mountain Bamboo that grows in the valley. This basin is home to a variety of game that include Springbuck, Black Wildebeest, Blesbok, Zebra, Eland, Gemsbok. More than 230 bird species can be seen in the reserve, while a wide variety of plants grow on the mountain slopes and in the beautiful wooded ravines.

— Courtesy of Moolmanshoek