Gerbrandt Grobler caught the second-last flight out from the UK in March and has spent lockdown on his farm in Limpopo defending his land.
The 28-year-old former Western Province lock has shared how he lives off the land shooting kudu and an impala for meat to make biltong, sausages and steaks and bartering with his neighbours for vegetables.
Now on the books of Gloucester but uncertain of when he will return, Grobler is making do disconnected from his normal life with only three pairs of underpants and two pairs of shorts.
‘I caught the second-last flight out of the UK in March with some hand luggage – three pairs of underwear, two pairs of shorts – and I haven’t left since. The nearest place you can do proper food shopping is about 40 miles away but I’ve not been there for three weeks. You live off the land,’ he told the British Daily Mail.
The farm covers some 1,900 hectares and the burly forward admits than being on his own has left him scared at times.
‘Most of the time I’ve been on my own, living off the land. It has been pretty raw, pretty cool and, at times, pretty f*****g scary. It used to be a cattle ranch but there were too many leopards so they never made a success of it.
‘It’s nature at its finest.’
He also shares how he has been woken up late at night with intruders on his farm.
‘There are guys illegally poaching for bushmeat and selling it on for a lot of money. It normally happens once or twice a year but it’s becoming a regular thing. The other night, at around 12:30pm, I heard this commotion outside. Voices, dogs barking and a pig squealing. Sound travels clearly here, so it was pretty scary. I put my shoes on and went out with my pistol. There’s three guys with spears trying to slaughter this animal. I ran at them and fired a few warning shots into the air.
‘That was it. They dropped their s**t and ran. I went back in the morning and you could see their foot tracks in the dirt … one of them was wearing six-stud Kaiser football boots.’
Beyond the drama, Grobler has been kept busy trying to reintroduce three meerkats to the wild.
‘They got lost from their family so I picked them up and I’ve been trying to reintroduce them to the wild. They follow me around wherever I go. As soon as the sun comes up, they’re waiting for me. They’re learning how to feed themselves. One ran into the house with a scorpion in his mouth, so they’re getting there.’
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