About three kilometers off the nearest tar road one comes to Lapolosa's beautiful main gate made of stone and wood. A gate guard mans this gate 24/7 and is stationed in a Wendy style hut just inside it. Once inside the Main Gate, over the course of the next several kilometers, the Main Road winds uphill 300 meters in elevation to a broad plain. A northward drive of 17 kilometers along the Main Road takes you to the Main Voluntourism camp. Many of the existing facilities on Lapolosa Wilderness are in and around the Main Voluntourism Camp which serves as the center of volunteer activities. Be sure to refer to the map on the Google Map Page and zoom in until you can see all of the facilities and their locations.

The Main Volunteer House has a kitchen, Living and dining areas, two bedrooms, bathroom and a full basement, and is adjoined by two volunteer dorm rooms and a second bathroom. Just across the car park and adjacent to a broad lawn lies a large, stone education centre, used as a gathering place by visitors. Behind the Education Centre there is a six-stall horse stable, paddock and training ring. One of the many boreholes on Lapolosa is immediately next to the stables.

Another 50 meters beyond the lawn, overlooking a beautiful valley, with watercourses burbling down both sides, is Lion Chalet, the first of five stone chalets available to volunteers and guests. The chalets all have thatched roofs, tile floors, ensuite tubs and sinks, instant gas water heaters and outdoor showers. Couples, families or volunteers who simply want a bit of luxury instead of a bed in a dorm room contribute more to stay in a chalet. Situated to provide privacy and the chalets are built on the edge of a ridgeline providing dramatic views of the valley below from double-wide glass doorways and wide concrete decks. The other four chalets are uphill from the Main Volunteer House across a broad, stone bridge, which dams the adjacent creek into a pretty pond.

A large stone lodge is also under construction along the same ridge as the chalets and shares the same spectacular view down the valley to the rising sun. The foundation is complete and the walls and fireplace are under construction.

Continuing further uphill on Lion Camp Road about a kilometer and then left on Compound Road for a few hundred meters one comes to a beautifully shaded site of an old farm house called "the Compound." There a second voluntourism camp of four stone chalets a dining/lounge facility and separate bath facility is under construction and nearly complete. The chalets at the Compound are somewhat smaller than those in the Main Voluntourism Camp and without ensuite baths. A separate common bath facility serves all these chalets.

About 3 kilometers south of the Main Volunteerism Camp, alongside Bass Dam Creek (which is fed by another year-round spring), lies a newly-built 6BR stone staff dormitory and bath facility.

Also about 3 kilometers from the Main Volunteerism Camp but to the southwest along 4X4 Road lies the "New House." The New House is a newly-built 3BR timber-framed structure with wide decks and a marvelous view across a broad plain towards to mountains and valleys off the property. The general manager currently occupies the New House.

Uphill from the New House along Suicherbos Road about 500 meters lies the Ranger Camp. The Ranger Camp includes an ensuite 1BR concrete farmhouse, 4 Wendy-style wooden huts used for sleeping, storage of tools and maintenance supplies, and a larger wendy-syle wooden dining/lounge building. Some quads, the tractor, trailers, Caterpillar tractor-loader-backhoe, road-grading blades, cement mixer, slashers and many other tools, and maintenance items are kept and maintained at this location.

A decade ago Lapolosa had its own 1000 meter dirt airstrip. The strip was ideally sited on a virtually flat and erosion free section of land bridging July Road (see notation on Topo Map Page). The airstrip was only used once. As a result it was not maintained and is now overgrown with grass. The filling of a few warthog burrows and relatively little work with the tractor and road-grading blade could restore the strip to functionality in a matter of days.

Of course, one of the biggest "facilities" in a reserve the size of Lapolosa is its game fencing. With the exception of sections protected by sheer cliffs, Lapolosa's perimeter is game fenced with 40 kilometers of relatively new (all construction over the last 10 years) steel of regulation height and 21 horizontal strands with decades of remaining useful life.

At some distance from the Main Voluntourism Camp in the northwest corner of Lapolosa, accessible by quad and by foot, lies Suicherbos Camp. Suikerbos is a 3BR stone facility with braii and a separate bath that was used by visitors on long hikes as an overnight camp. Unfortunately, the thatched roofs of this facility burned in a brush fire. The stone structure still stands ready for a complete roof rebuild.


South African Office

P.O. Box 1197, Lydenburg 1120, South Africa

US Office

4111 East Madison Street, Suite 76
Seattle, WA 98112, USA
tel: +1.206.604.2664, fax: +1.310.359.0269