Our self catering camp has an interesting history. Planters started as a pineapple packing shed back in 1946. A mysterious character known as Johannes Gaisford arrived in the district in a battered old truck apparently driven to South Africa from Tobruk at the end of the war. Gaisford set up a rag tag structure under a copse of trees and set about experimenting with vegetables and pineapples as well as a poaching local game along the Hluhluwe river and the newly proclaimed nature reserve called False Bay. Gaisford also built a distillery and sold his strong ‘blitz’ to the local inhabitants. Little more is known of Johannes apart from the fact that he left the district for Eshowe where he married the daughter of a local chief Bepambuzi. Rumour has it that his farming efforts were a cover for his poaching and liquor business.
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The self catering kitchen at Planters Camp stands on the original concrete foundation of Gaisfords packing shed and distillery. It has been reported that Johannes’s drunken laughter can still be heard when the north easterly wind blows through the beautiful shaded trees and the Natal Mahogany that he planted there. Today it’s a wonderful and peaceful spot that retains the relaxed and informal spirit of it’s original beginnings. It has a great swimming pool built out of the old water tank and 3 rooms. Two of the rooms have been recently altered to be inter-leading so as to cater for a family with children whilst the other is a separate unit. It is private and is inexpensive at R1200. 00 for the sole use of the camp per night. If you are lucky and you listen carefully you might hear Johannes laughing, previous guests have reported that this is usually after a bottle of red wine and maybe a rum and coke or two.