In 1993, what was to become Hog Hollow Country Lodge, was an alien wattle plantation set in the semi wilds of a little known area called the Crags. While the farming community lived out their lives in pastoral bliss, unaware of the ecological disaster they were fomenting on their doorsteps, a young man, Andy Fermor, was forming an idea while on a six month holiday in South East Asia:- Tourism and South Africa. Not something that was greatly desirable in the face of world condemnation. But, with the unbanning of the liberation movements, the releasing of Nelson Mandela after 27 years in gaol, the shackles of apartheid began slipping from our beleaguered country. There was hope that South Africa would step from it's murky past into something brighter. What was needed were people who had dreams, ambition and backbone.
While the financial institutions cast dubious eyes over carefully thought-out business plans, and friends & family were coerced into short-term (and medium & long-term) loans, Hog Hollow began to become a reality. Wattle plantations were razed to the ground. Dust and mud were the constant companions to the dedicated team of builders. With not a blade of grass to be seen, but the four chalets up, the kitchen running, the candles lit and communal table built ~ 23 December 1993 ~ Hog Hollow opened it's doors to the world.
January 1994, the gardens were begun in earnest. Little stalks and cuttings, gifts from friends, discarded items on dumps, were planted in the once fertile soil. There was much mulching & nurturing and watering and fervent "flower-chats" to spur the plants on to a healthy quick growth. Nature is nothing if not forgiving (or maybe it was Andy's magic beans), as the gardens have grown and become lush. The garden has needed constant attention and without our groundsman, Elliott & his team, we'd still have dust and mud and the re-growth of the wattles!
One of Andy's strongest desires was to do something more for the community in the area and to make Hog Hollow a place which was not only a meaningful employer to that community, but part of it too. He took the decision to only employ local people and to train them in-house in the many varied fields of the hospitality trade.
2000, our now General Manger, Vuyani Namntu, joined us. An educated young man with a young family, many responsibilities, and a hunger to go further in life. Andy met him at the School Leavers Opportunity Training centre a life-skill organisation in Kwanokuthula and they just clicked. Vuyani started right on the first rung of the ladder here at Hog Hollow, and has worked his way right up to the top.
It was hard work on all sides, steep learning curves and intense debates as we hammered out our vision for the future ~ it is a future which belongs to all of us and we are making it happen.
Attractions nearby range from lazing at our long blue pool, or taking a refreshing sauna, to a magnificent walk from the Lodge through the ancient indigenous forests to either to Monkeyland primate sanctuary, the Birds of Eden or the Elephant Sanctuary. Other attractions include over 50 charted walks, horse riding, golf, canoeing, abseiling, bungy jumping (the world's highest -216m!!), boat-based whale and dolphin watching, a treetops canopy walk or a scenic glider flight around the bay. The list is endless...