Drilling for water

Locating water, we learnt, is hit and miss, that is when you finally manage to get someone up the mountain to even start drilling. There are two events on a game farm that can cause a huge amount of stress. The first is game capture and the second is drilling for water!


Water diviners…hmmmm

Dressed in a long black trenchcoat, a water bottle held above his shoulder, our water diviner from the local village went walkabout. An hour later we had three potential drilling sites and a lot of faith.

Mountain, what mountain?

Six months later, after many phone calls, which ended with “sorry, we won’t come up the mountain”, we finally found a rig that was willing. Two very big vehicles, one with the drilling rig and one compressor truck made the journey up and numerous trips backwards and forwards with our tractor brought in the remaining equipment. We were set to go…

Day 1 – this isn’t so bad

The setup meant clearing a large area of trees and bush to get the rig in place. The first spot, which came to be known as ‘Gerhard’s se gat’, was near our house and slightly up from where the ‘Trenchcoat’ had put his mark. We were confident…

First lesson – never be too confident!

Day 2 – May the drilling begin

40m, a little water and hopes are running high

60m, no change

70m, still nothing and the rock starts getting harder

76m, rock, rock and more rock! We give up on this hole and decide to move on

Day 3 – To divine or not to divine

Peter lovingly cut a forked stick from a Raisin Bush – Grewia monticola and set off to find if he had divining powers. Walking backwards and forwards, he eventually chose the second site. He marked the spot and down went the drill on hole number 2 – “Peter se gat”

Day 4 – Call in the experts

John flew in and requested advice from our guests at the lodge. There is a hydrologist and expert on water who offered his kind assistance. Google maps identifying fault lines arrived in my mailbox and off we went to Holes no 3 and 4 – ‘John’s se gate’

Day 4 to 11 – To drill or not to drill…need I say more

Day 12 – Well well

Hole no 5 dry as a bone – ‘ Gat vol!’

Hole no 6 – Hallelujah! Finally a hole with water in Hamasha valley. Not a gushing aquifer but good enough to supply the camp. The relief is palpable.

Day 13 to 15 – Back to the beginning

Back to hole number 1

120m – we hit water.

Low volume but we call it a day!


Only the earth knows where her secret rivers lie. For all of us above ground, it’s less stressful to go gambling.