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It is not all that easy to run a guest farm on the fringe of the Namib Desert. The main problems involve the following:
  • Electricity
  • Water
  • Communication and
  • Infrastructure
For those interested we have summed up the essence of our farm technology.
Electricity

WITHOUT electricity we are stuck. Spending every evening by candlelight is too much of a good thing for most, one doesn't crave a barbecue each and every night either, nobody wants lukewarm beer and - this is particularly important - perishable food stocks need to be kept frozen. Therefore a high performance supply of reliable, trouble-free voltage is indispensable.

Electricity simply comes from a socket at Rooisand, too, but we have to generate it ourselves.
Rooisand's supply is ensured by several sources: diesel generators, solar panels and batteries. The capacity of our inverter is 100 kW. The batteries are a special type which is normally used in submarines. Their working life is about 15 years and they have to be serviced regularly.
If the voltage of the battery system drops below a certain level, two generators and the solar panels are alternately activated to charge the batteries.

The two diesel generators produce 50 and 150 kW respectively, for which they use an average of 5000 litres of fuel per month. The generators are soundproofed so well that they practically cannot be heard in the farm's guest area.
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An inverter transforms the DC voltage of the battery system into 220 Volt/50Hz AC. The entire power supply system at Rooisand is computer-controlled and can also be operated and programmed from outside the farm via internet.

 
Water

No kidding - sometimes it even rains at Rooisand. The annual average of a rainy season is about 150 mm. Rainwater is dammed up in several reservoirs on the farm and apart from that there is no surface water on the edge of the desert.
Our water supplies are therefore pumped from ground water reserves (as sparingly as possible). As the water is extremely hard (water hardness 30-40°) and destroys pumps, gaskets and pipes within a very short time we operate three decalcification plants.

Without water our gardens would look desolate and we would not be able to offer our guests a refreshing dip in the pool either.
The continuous availability of water at Rooisand attracts a large variety of birds. Irrigation of the gardens can be programmed as needed and is computer-controlled as well.

In addition we maintain about 20 watering places for the game roaming the 12.000 ha grounds of the farm. The water is one of the reasons for the abundance of game at Rooisand. It is also pumped from the ground (which also requires electricity). Rooisand therefore boasts several dozen kilometres of subterraneous water pipes and power lines.
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Communication
A guest farm without the latest communication technology is quite unthinkable in this day and age. Guests at Rooisand have telephone (landline and mobile), fax and internet, including email, at their disposal. For mobile telephony we have our own repeater which transmits and amplifies signals from Gamsberg.
Infrastructur

On a guest farm there are always jobs that need to be done: repairs, minor building or alterations, and the roads on the farm have to be maintained. The Rooisand team and farm employees are taking care of these tasks themselves.

Larger construction projects or extensive repairs are referred to partners in Windhoek and Swakopmund.
And what is absolutely essential for a totally dry and hot location at the edge of a desert, three hours away from the closest fire station?

Right! a fire engine! It may seem ridiculously tiny, but with hydraulic pressure of almost 100 bar it puts out fire in a flash. This small fire engine is easy to transport and in the event of a bushfire can be deployed anywhere on the farm.


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