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How to make a lodge in two months – the new Galago is open!

Today, 2nd of April 2012, Galago Camp has re-opened on our own land, right alongside Vuyatela! This has been no small accomplishment as the builders only moved onto site at the end of January, and have worked tirelessly with only one weekend off since then. Jurie and I imagined what our new lodge would look like, but were met with some skepticism from many that we tried to impart our vision towards. Even our staff thought we were losing it, but after all these years, and several lodges later, stood by us and supported what we had in mind. Over the past weeks we have brought future guests over to have a look – painting a visual picture for them over the construction site – their comments were guarded to say the least!
The crunch started last Wednesday when we had expected the builders to be finished, but no, this was not appearing to be the plan. By Friday, we still did not have a front door, a basin fell off the bathroom wall and a loo sprung a leak! I was already working on “Plan B” – ask Buffelshoek if we could stay on at the “old” Galago for a couple more days while we sorted our lives out. I put a rather emotional call through to site manager, Shaun Petzer, expressing my dismay. He assured me that all was going to plan and he promised that the lodge would open as expected on the Monday. Shaun, apologies for not believing you! Shaun was there right up to the end, hanging curtains, blinds and pictures, adjusting plumbing and correcting electrical problems.
That was all good and well, but we still had guests in the old Galago Camp yesterday. As soon as they had checked out, we arrived in three Land Cruisers, a Jeep, a Hilux Bakkie, and a VW bus, and moved all the stuff we had accumulated over the last 13 years. The pot plants took another two vehicles and six very strong men to move the plants into their new positions. The cherry on the top most certainly happened last night when Jurie and I went over to unpack a couple more boxes of kitchen equipment so that today would be easier to manage. I was walking out the front door to remove some containers, to be met by Karula, the female leopard, who must have been watching us through the glass door. When she realised she had been seen she lay down on the lawn (between us and the car) and carried on watching us. When we needed to leave, Jurie beat on two stainless steel metal bowls to get her to move off so that we could get to the Jeep. As we got into the car, there she was a again – not threatening in any way – just there! During the night she paid the lodge another visit, this time carrying off some of the soft furnishings into the bush. A leopard’s way of welcoming us? Who knows, but we will be taking extreme caution while moving around at night.
This morning was a hive of activity, with every spare hand, cleaning and putting the final touches in place. At 12h45 we were done, and ten minutes later our guests arrived. Several times over the last few days I have told Jurie that this is the last time I am “making” a lodge – but now that all is done, I think I could do it again…..
And finally, some thank you’s are in order. Firstly, thank you Buffelshoek for allowing us to use Galago for the last thirteen years. You have been the most patient and supportive landlords. Thank you as well for allowing us to keep the name “Galago”, the firm foundation for our self catered business. Thank you to Jurie for his never ending determination to change with the times and see the future in this highly competitive industry. Thank you to our staff for weathering the changes with us and sticking by our side through thick and thin…. again! Thank you to Zoe and Rebecca for being so grown up while mom and dad have been busy with the lodges, and helping when needed.

19 Responses to How to make a lodge in two months – the new Galago is open!

  1. Karen Dys April 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    WOW – where we can find info re prices; we visited the old Galago twice and are great fans!!!

    Karen xxx

  2. Anthony Corvelli April 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    That’s great news. Glad all has worked out in the end! Good luck on the new lodge!

  3. Jan Rombouts April 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    Congrats Pippa & Jurie. Must visit again soon to see all changes!

  4. Red Robin April 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    How beautiful, Jurie and Pippa. It is so inviting. You did a great job. Thanks for the pictures. I can’t help but wonder how you will keep the baboons at bay! And the visit from Karula is just to say “Hello and welcome home”. Now pause, take a deep breath and smile at your amazing accomplishments. Congratulations.

  5. Janet Bull April 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    Pips and Jur – looks too gorgeous and very inviting! Congratulations to you both and to all your helpers. We wish you long happiness with your new Galago. Karula was there to say welcome, though best not to go out to scratch her chin! Viva.

  6. REDTAIL April 2, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

    hi pippa
    I am so sorry i couldn’t c ouldnt get to see you and juri being so close and so far away , I am sorry i didnt get to see Carms placque
    Maybe another time we will finally meet

    Joe Rudolph aka redtail

  7. Penny Corcoran April 2, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    Absolutely gorgeous. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. Thanks for the update on Karula. I miss the drives desperately. Congratulations.

  8. jody morrison April 2, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    Well done Jurie, Pippa, staff, and friends. The pics are wonderful and all looks great. I am not surprised that Karula “blessed” you all with a visit. She is a wise one and knows well that things are changing for the better. Congratulations on your tremendous accomplishments

  9. Brian April 3, 2012 at 12:03 am #

    Congratulations to the whole team. What you’ve accomplished is incredible. New lodge and all the work preparing the site for it, the dam repairs, taking the time to cater to our little wants and needs also and still maintaining what goes into your own personal lives and your own family.
    Respect and admiration might seem such weak words to describe what a lot of us feel towards the Moolman family and the team that stands with them but their meaning is of no small measure.
    Well done!

  10. Sally aka xi-momo April 3, 2012 at 12:55 am #

    Congratulations, Pippa, Jurie, and everyone! It looks wonderful! And our queen, Karula! I miss seeing her on drives so much, and am happy to hear that she is well and visiting you!

  11. Traci April 3, 2012 at 4:14 am #

    Congrats on a absolutely beautiful looking lodge …. we wish you awesome moments and great adventures!

  12. The Finneys April 3, 2012 at 5:00 am #

    Inspirational courage and determination, well done all, it looks so inviting! May you be rewarded with an abundance of supremely satisfied guests 🙂

  13. BBE Richmond April 3, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    Congratulations Jurie and Pippa and all those who made your latest dream a reality. I wish you all the best in the new abode. Karula has always been inquisitive, likes ew clothes and soft toys – she gave Galagos her seal of approval 🙂

  14. Elaine April 3, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Hey there, Djuma..
    Congratulations on the swiftness of completing the new Galago…AND to the new damwall also.’s starting to feel like HOME again! Lodge looks comfy and inviting. Just the place that we all would love to be…..
    regards and love,

  15. Carol April 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    Nice Pippa I see your handy work there, love it. Your mosaics give it that personal touch. Thanks for sharing Djuma and all things Karula, with us. I do miss the drives.

  16. CM April 3, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    Beautiful! And so quickly. Best wishes with the new lodge. Thanks for the update and how wonderful to have a visit from karula!

    The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

    – Eleanor Roosevelt

  17. Arland and Julia Read April 9, 2012 at 7:01 pm #

    Well done and if its as good as the old Galago we will be there another 6 times.
    Special place in a special place

  18. inge April 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    It looks amazing! I want to stay there! Well done Jurie & Pippa!

  19. shelley April 22, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    im ready to get on the plane!!!!

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