Charles Williamson, born from Scottish ancestry, travelled the Karoo extensively in search of the perfect venue to set up a lodge that captures the essence of the Karoo landscape.
Given the rich historical heritage of the Bethulie, Norvalspont region, the confluence of stretched out Karoo planes and massive water expanse, as well as the unique combination of fauna and flora that the surroundings have on offer, the land was procured in the late nineties and Raptor Ridge was established.
The property borders the Xhariep Nature Reserve and is set on an open plain with a unique sense of space, freedom and unity with nature. To put it in the words of Dr Ledger as published in "African Pilot" - "A Raptor Roost for Gariep Pilots... The sky here seems endless, cloud formations stretch from horizon to horizon and the sun gives more often than not spectacular shows."
The founder of Raptor Ridge saw this as the perfect setting for a stopover for the motorist en-route on the N1 highway between Gauteng and Cape Town as well as for family breakaways, nature enthusiasts and tourists. Its excellent location and proximity to the Gariep Air Field as well as the tranquil surroundings also makes it the perfect choice for pilots and gliders, taking part in local, world renowned, gliding activities at the Gariep Dam.
The mountain ridges on the northern side are used by many species of raptors to ride the updrafts and soar to great heights. Black eagles patrol the highest peak called Aasvoëlkop, and the fish eagles that breed close to the water are spotted occasionally from the lodge, calling loudly.