The other day I was contacted on my blog's contact form by locally living foreigner in Georgia originally coming from South Africa. It turned out Afrikaner guy (Johann Kritzinger)  is a manager of South African owned fish farms here in Georgia. 

Since I'm open to almost anything new and unknown for me, I asked is it possible to arrange some sightseeing tour in his properties.

I'm a complete noob in a fishery, fish farms e.t.c. I could barely find any difference between a carp and a salmon, so it's always interesting to learn new things.

My new friend agreed to showcase fish farms in Sartichala and Sagarejo (both located in Georgian province of Kakheti).

On a lovely Tuesday afternoon he picked me up in Tbilisi and story can be told now:

Fish Farm in Sartichala

Fish Farm in Sartichala

If honestly I have no idea what devices are in this picture, I believe I was told of them, but as I said, I'm a complete noob in fishery

Fish Farm in Sartichala

Fish Farm in Sartichala

Fish farm ravines in Sartichala

Fish farm ravines in Sartichala

Fish farm located inside this greenhouse

Fish farm located inside this greenhouse

House dog

House dog

Street in Sartichala

Street in Sartichala

A stop for coffee break

A stop for a coffee break

Looks like a Mini Canyon for me

Looks like a Mini Canyon for me

Scenic views near Sagarejo

Scenic views near Sagarejo

Scenic views near Sagarejo

Scenic views near Sagarejo

View from a Dam building near Sagarajo

View from a Dam building near Sagarajo

Waterfall on Iori river, Georgia

Waterfall on Iori river, Georgia

Beauty of Georgia

Beauty of Georgia

Fish pools near Sagarejo

Fish pools near Sagarejo

Fish pools near Sagarejo

Fish pools near Sagarejo

Parking lot near fish ponds

Parking lot near fish ponds

Old Soviet car - VAZ

Old Soviet car - VAZ

Sheep's looking for food on a valley

Sheep's looking for food on a valley

Vasiliy preparing to catch a fish

Vasiliy and Rocky preparing to catch a fish

I got as a present two huge fishes

I got as a present two huge fishes

I would like to say a HUGE thanks to Johann Kritzinger for contacting me and given me such a great opportunity, not only to learn something new of fish farming, but also he explained me many interesting things of his native South Africa. Did you new, there is 11 official languages and 4 capitals in South Africa? 

Johann with smile pointed out, that Charlize Theron not Scarlett Johansson is a South African actress (as I mistakenly thought), but he agreed both of them are very beautiful actress

Again, Johann, thank you for being such a great story teller, I hope we will make some more trips in Georgia (and not only) together.

About Afrikaner Farmers migrating to Georgia

I did a quick search and found some interesting information about many Afrikaners emigrating away from South Africa, and seems Georgia is trying to attract some of them.  I will republish one of them: (You can read original here)

by James Brooke September 14, 2011 8:00 PM

A South African court on September 12 convicted Julius Malema, president of the African National Congress Youth League, of hate speech for singing "shoot the Boer, kill the Boer" at a rally last year. But some Boers (white South African farmers) say they have had enough of violence and racial tension in South Africa and are planning to move out. VOA's James Brooke visited one Afrikaner who started farming this year in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.

Piet Kemp's family farmed in southern Africa for three centuries. But now at age 66, this Afrikaner farmer has traded South Africa's Eastern Transvaal for Eastern Georgia. Here, he is reviving wheat and corn production on what was once a Soviet collective farm. Kemp says he has no regrets.

"I have a new life here," he explained. "I try to make friends with all the people in Georgia, learning their culture. I have been here since 3rd of March, and I have not heard of one murder in Georgia in this time. I didn't hear about any bank robbery. I didn't hear about any one hijacking."

It was not just high crime rates that prompted Kemp to leave South Africa.  

"There is no security of land, absolutely no security of land in South Africa," he stressed.

Kemp said that over the last decade he successfully helped hundreds of white farmers hold on to their farmland in face of legal challenges from black farm workers and squatters.  But now, he says white farmers face threats of farm seizures by ANC Youth League President Julius Malema and other politicians.

"With a youth leader like Malema, he can go up and stand and say to anyone I want this land for South Africa, for the future of South Africa," noted Kemp. "He can take just what he wants. For me, I just say no."

The Bill of Rights in South Africa’s 1996 post-apartheid constitution protects land ownership rights, stipulating restitution for land that is redistributed.  This law, defenders say, has limited land expropriations.  A two-thirds vote in parliament is needed to change the constitution, a majority the ruling ANC does not have.

Georgia is playing on these insecurities, actively recruiting Afrikaner farmers to help revive the nation's moribund agriculture. In the 20 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, half of Georgia's farmland has gone out of production.

"They have done exceptionally great job over the years in South Africa, and to give them an opportunity to do the same thing here and for Georgian farmers to learn from the experience they will receive from their new neighbors, from the South African farmers," said Georgia's Canada-educated Economy Minister, Vera Kobalia.

Kobalia praises Sandra Roelofs, the Dutch-born wife of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, for promoting the program.  Dutch is the mother language of Afrikaans.

"It helped in terms of making them feel more secure in Georgia," Kobalia noted.  "There is definitely that connection, the Holland connection in Georgia."

Kemp says that Georgia's Dutch-speaking first lady impressed a visiting group of Afrikaner farmers last year.

"Sandra, she was touring a week with us," said Kemp.  "We pick[ed] grapes together. We spoke Netherlands."

Kemp is a devout Protestant and feels a strong connection to Georgia's overwhelmingly Christian Orthodox population.

"We believe in the same thing, believe in the same God," said Kemp.

Kemp says he and other Afrikaner pioneers feel welcome. But Mariam Jorjadze, who runs a farmers' aid organization, worries that the 10 Afrikaner families here now could lead to a big influx of foreign farm directors. As in the Soviet days, Georgian farmers could again be reduced to laborers on big industrial farms.

"If the trend will be many South Africa farmers coming and there will tendency to convert people in rural areas again into labor force for foreign investors, I don't think that this system is viable. It resembles the former Soviet system," said Jorjadze.

Kemp believes that Afrikaners will help jump start Georgian agriculture. But he cautions that they must integrate into Georgian society.

"We must go into Georgia as Georgians - in Georgian culture, in Georgian language - so that they see us as Georgians, not as South Africans coming to Georgia," Kemp explained.

Kemp adds that he does not want his new life in Georgia to be like his old life in South Africa, where he was part of a successful minority envied by the majority population.