“We’ve got pop-up fridges in the front, that you’ve got for your champagne, A/C, heaters, cooled seats and hot water on board,” said Steve Blatherwick, founder and owner of Electric Safari Vehicles and EPVA. He is not talking about rock-star limousines. He is talking about the ultra-luxury state-of-the-art battery-operated electric safari vehicles he has created for The Homestead. “I’ve kept The Homestead on the same Land Rover 2008 model which is a safari favorite,” he continued. This also means that it will be easy to source and replace parts as needed.
With fifteen years of experience behind him, this mechanical genius is also a visionary eco-warrior. He has a family farm in Timbavati, in South Africa, and goes to relax and recharge his own batteries on land which has been untouched for a thousand years!
He spent time in London and there developed his passion for recycling vehicles. As time went on, he found that he could not ignore the African in him and returned to his beloved South Africa to expand his business there.
“There is nothing in my mind that is impossible,” he says. “If you can think about it, why can’t you do it?”
These are the kind of passionate and practical entrepreneurs that are helping us to create the luxury safari experiences at The Homestead. Our vision for The Homestead is to create “a world made measurably better by every interaction we have, and every choice we make.”
Steve is as passionate about conservation as we are, proclaiming “I am a conservationist at heart.”
He takes four-wheel drive fossil-fuel-burning vehicles, strips them down, and re-invents them as electric safari vehicles: state-of-the-art, environmentally sound, and super luxurious. These battery operated eco-friendly vehicles are so silent that the animals on a big five safari adventure will not be alarmed by them, and so luxurious that you might never want to get out! What is more, these electric vehicles can be driven for about 180 km before they have to be recharged.
They are economical as well as ecologically sound. Steve is also as committed to recycling as we are, saying “We’re not throwing away anything, which is great.” Even the batteries are recycled for use in our vehicles.
Like us, Steve Blatherwick believes in investing in South Africa and the local community. He is the only person in the market who can do what he does, but like us, he believes in creating win-win situations for all.
“At this stage, I’m not making much money, I’m doing it for love. Anyone that is coming into the market, I want to help them, because we want a good product at the end of the day. If I see something broken, I make it work.”
He is one of the many people who have joined forces with The Homestead to help us to create our vision of an ultra-luxury safari lodge that is not only one of the best resorts in Africa, one that provides unparalleled life-enhancing moments of adventure; but is also a sustainable and ecologically aware part of the natural environment that we cherish, and work hard to conserve.