Environmental Impact

Oudrif-102The cottages and boma were designed to blend into the landscape using straw bales construction for walls and roofing material. They provide great insulation and low visual impact. The building materials were all sourced locally; eucalyptus timber poles cut at a nearby site in an alien clearing program; local rock for paving and natural materials on the property were used to enhance the cottages. The doors, window frames and fittings were rehabilitated from demolished buildings, providing an interesting history themselves.

The building sites used were badly eroded; all levelled by hand and no heavy machinery was brought onto site. The buildings are north facing maximizing the use of the sun in winter to keep the buildings warm.

Solar power is used to light the buildings at night, for the fridges and to pump water from the river. We are totally independent of the municipal electricity and water grids; this reduces our demand on these resources and minimizes our carbon footprint.

The bathroom outlets are treated with micro-organisms in septic tank systems which feed into a French drain. We recycle all, glass, tin and plastic and the organic waste from the kitchen is composted which provides food for our organic garden where we grow in season salad and vegetables.

The area was once badly over-grazed by goats their lasting effect is being dealt with on an on-going basis. To combat the erosion we are removing and using the pioneer plants to stabilize the soil. These areas are then self-seeded with indigenous plants. The pioneer plants protect the seedlings from the harsh environment and trap water for them. Oudrif is busy with on-going efforts to rid the river banks of invasive alien trees, oleander, Port Jackson and Honey Mesquite, It is a long term project with lasting effects.

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What our guests and the press say…

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Oudrif opened it's doors to guests 20 years ago today, a dream to show people it was possible to be comfortable while having minimal impact on the environment. The lodge was built with no heavy machinery brought on site, sites leveled by hand, locally sourced supplies, fittings from demolished buildings, wood self cut from local alien trees cleared near by and solar powered. Completely disconnected from the grid. 20 years ago this was a adventurous project to start, now it is still a place where guest visit to realx and unwind in nature. Thank you to you all that have visited Oudrif for your support. We look forward to seeing you soon ... See MoreSee Less

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Peace and quiet awaits, a digital detox, no wifi, no mobile phone reception only nature. A real treat in the rushed life of today. ... See MoreSee Less

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Kukumakranka flowering at Oudrif. It only flowers for a couple of days. Gethyllis is a very rare bulb plant endemic to South Africa and some parts of Namibia, with the highest concentration of them found bordering Western and Northern Cape provincial regions in South Africa. Gethyllis is the only bulb in the world to produce a delicious fruit from below ground, and is the only bulb flower to be active in three different seasons. Waiting for fruits in May for infusing gin :) ... See MoreSee Less

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Its has been a while since we have seen one of these beauties. One of the small 5 at Oudrif the Antlion named for the predatory nature of the larva which trap ants and other small insects in pits dug into the ground. This picture is of an adult antlion- we usually see the smaller variety at night around lights, this one is not common here. ... See MoreSee Less

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Oudrif chilllie harvest, lots of fresh homegrown organic chillies and limes ... See MoreSee Less

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Beautiful Caterpillar of Death's-head Hawk-moth. Acherontia atropos, eating my basil plants. The caterpillars come in three colors—bright yellow, bright green, or a mottled brown—and have a tail horn that changes color and curves as the larvae mature. They feed on more than 100 plants, including nightshade, and grow up to 5 inches long. The adults emit a squeak when alarmed, made by expelling air through its proboscis (tongue), which has a structure that vibrates like the reed of a wind instrument ... See MoreSee Less

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When it's hot the cool, clean Doring river and a big chill awaits you at Oudrif ... See MoreSee Less

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