The Schanskraal Estate as it has evolved today was conceived by its owner Roger Beach.

It was during one of his many visits to South Africa in the 1990’s, when he met a leading wing shooting expert who alerted him to a Farm for sale in the High Karoo. He subsequently bought it together with the adjoining farm allowing him ownership of 13,000 hectares of the “Highlands of the Karoo”.

A lake on Schanskraal Estate

Following a well structured and time consuming project and with the help of local builders and craftsmen he refurbished derelict and hardly liveable dwellings on the Estate and in particular brought back to life two historic principal buildings, now known as The Country Manor and Burgersrust Lodge, the latter having been built in 1793 and named after President Thomas Burgers who lived there.

Schanskraal Country Manor before and after restoration

(The Country Manor before and after restoration)

He built a 1.3km x 1km long cross air strip on the property to accommodate most light aircraft as well as a number of staff houses where the staff employed on the Estate live with their growing families and are encouraged to learn special skills.

Together with the Farm and Estate Manager, who had an outstanding knowledge of land conservation and land management, they worked on an intensive programme to bring back the land which had suffered for so many years due to overgrazing and neglect.

More than 10 years later, with planned grazing, the introduction of cattle and the creation of 3 large dams, the land showed real evidence of good management and excellent growth. The Lake which was previously dry is now a large water mass and home to numerous species of birdlife.

Burgersrust Lake before and after restoration

(The lake at Burgersrust before and after restoration)

In addition to the farming of cattle and sheep, other developments have taken place over the years at Schanskraal including tourism and bird shooting as well as being home to the Welbech Arabian Stud, an internationally known breeder of fine endurance horses.

shooting_grey_wing.jpg Between April to July each year and under the watchful eye and guidance of one of South Africa's leading wing shooting experts, organised shooting parties come for the famous and sought after Grey Wing, found on the Estate and which breeds well at these altitudes. They are most careful to selectively cull from the coveys on a controlled basis. Accommodation is available to rent at the Country Manor for this purpose.
Established in 2003 by Roger Beach in conjunction with Leanne Wels, the breeder and trainer, Schanskraal is also home to an equestrian centre, The Welbech Stud, where Arab horses are bred for endurance and where the Schanskraal FEI Endurance Ride was held from 2005 to 2015.  The Stud is now recognised internationally as a leading breeder of endurance horses in South Africa. 2012_ride_best_horses.jpg


There is also archaeological evidence and San Rock art on Schanskraal to show that the Khoikhoi and San (Bushmen) co-existed there. 

The story of Schanskraal is certainly an extraordinary one - and one which the owners hope will continue to develop in interest and adventure.

 

the story so far at schanskraal

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