As always, winter time has provided our guests with great game viewing. There have been leopards in and around camp, lions on the airstrip, elephants feeding all around camp, wild dogs, buffalo… You name the species and it spent time around the lodge. We’ve been doing very well and were quite busy the last month, which is always great as it keeps us on our toes and out of mischief! In the eight years that I have been working here, there has only been a total of ten days that we had no guests in camp. Floods had been responsible for most of the days that we had to close our doors. Having guests in camp every day keeps the place alive and filled with energy. Having no guests feels quite terrible. You start to feel lost and routine falls a bit to the wayside. Luckily we’ve never been closed for more than two days at a time. The Sabi Sand has started work on the low water bridge on the fence line and I hope that this will make a big difference to the condition of our access road when the rainy season sets in again later in the year.
There have been some wicked cold fronts that have come through the Lowveld this month with the temperatures being quite cold at times. Even when we were in Durban we experienced cold weather. It was a bit disappointing as there was still a thought in the back of my mind to go and have a swim in the sea. I did not even make it onto the beach as it was so cold.
As mentioned in the last news letter, Etienne, Marlet, Tersia and I went down to Durban for the yearly tourism Indaba. Concerning the success of the show, I would go as far to say that it was the best Indaba I have attended. The first day it rained nonstop and I felt sorry for the guys that had outside displays, but we still had a good amount of agents that came to visit our stand. We were greeted by sunshine on the Sunday morning and saw agents and different role players in the industry for most of the day. Monday was a very productive day with more meetings, keeping us busy the whole day long. Although most agents return home on Monday afternoon, we still saw a fair amount of role players on Tuesday morning. All in all, we are very happy with the results. We got to say hi to some of our old agents, who have been supporting us through the years and at the same time we must have seen a good 15 new agents who are very excited about our product and would like to start using our lodge from now on. From our side, we would like to thank everyone who came to see us at our stand. We are looking forward to working with all of you for many more years to come.
Back at the lodge the one morning was full of excitement when Salayexe decided to take her bush buck kill up a tree right in front of Leopard Suite. How funny is that? A leopard with a kill at the Leopard Suite! Later in the day she went and fetched her cub to come and enjoy the meal that she had caught for her. The kill was unfortunately dropped and she relocated it just a bit more east into one of the other trees. Exciting times indeed! In camp itself, we’ve had a lot of animals that over the years have become very relaxed with people walking around camp. With the movement of people, strange smells and buildings, most predators will not want to come into camp. The resident bushbuck, nyala and even the odd impala all enjoy the safety of the lodge grounds. Except when Salayexe is around, that is.
We have been building a new laundry for the past few months. Being out in the African bush, things tend to take a little longer then what they normally would in the city. But I am very happy to say that the new laundry is now 100% complete and working like a dream. It is double the size of the original laundry and we are very happy with the end product!
We have been placing our snap cam up next to roads the past two months, now you would think that setting the camera up at a water hole would get the most action, but not necessarily. We got quite a number of great pictures of many different animals moving on the roads. We will share two photos with you this month. The one is of an elephant bull walking down the road. The other is of Salayexe surprising Dawie and Louis with a visit, just after they mounted the snap cam! Any animal that is territorial would walk the roads and sent mark their territory. Other animals enjoy walking the roads as there is no vegetation to try and squeeze through, no grass in the eyes, no stepping on thorns. Last month we got the picture of Salayexe and her cub along with plenty of hyenas moving up and down the road. This month we tried to set the camera up looking down the road as opposed to be on the side of the road.
To all our guests who celebrated their birthdays this month, we hope you had a fantastic day filled with love and laughter. May your future hold many more happy and joyful days! We had a small handful of staff that celebrated their birthdays this month. On the 3rd Tersia celebrated her birthday. Tersia is the friendly lady in charge of reservations. So when you contact the lodge, you will usually be communicating with her. I must say, to keep track of all the bookings that she receives and to keep them all in order and updated is very impressive. Then on the 4th Oom Etienne celebrated his birthday. We don’t get to see him much, but do hope that he had a great day. Last but not least for the month is Phillip who celebrated his special day on the 5th. He is one of the guys who make sure the gardens stay in pristine condition. The rest of his day is normally spent fishing with little Etienne. I do hope that everyone had a very special day and I hope that you all have many more happy days to come.
I now hand you over to our Head Chef, Linda Van Heerden, for the delicious recipe of the month. For all of you that love cakes, well, you’re in for a treat with this one.
Mix the dry ingredients and then mix the wet ingredients separately. Combine the 2 mixtures. Line muffin trays with cupcake cups, spoon the batter into these and bake until the cupcakes are done. It will take approximately 15-20mins.
Cream the softened butter, add the icing sugar and mix, add the cooled coffee. Continue beating until the mixture is pale and fluffy looking. Spoon the icing into a piping bag and pipe onto the cooled cupcakes. Garnish with the pecan nuts and some edible glitter. Serve and enjoy!
Well, that’s all from my side this month. Have a good one!
It’s raining again, but this time it’s raining leaves! Summer is slowly disappearing, as autumn starts to take command. The vegetation is now taking on a whole new colour. No more bright greens can be seen, just yellows and browns, with some of the leaves also turning red. What a beautiful sight! With autumn comes the colder mornings and evenings, but being in the Lowveld, the temperatures are nothing compared to some other places in South Africa. In our area, the temperature mainly drops to around 3-5°C. The late morning temperatures rise again to between 18-25°C. So the temperatures are still comfortable in winter time. Our guests have been treated to some great game viewing this past month. It’s not just the guests that endure getting up for the early morning game drives that get rewarded with great sightings, though. Sometimes guests that decide to sleep in are also spoiled with great sightings right on their doorstep. Twice this past month we had wild dogs chasing bushbuck around the open area in front of the Luxury Suites. Then the other morning we had hyenas making a kill on the flood plain, right in front of Zebra Suite. Whilst enjoying our lunch the other day, we were all entertained by a massive bull elephant playing around in the riverbed. Even though having a meal at the coast whilst staring at the deep blue sea is great, nothing beats lunches in the bush with wild animals coming to drink water, grazing lazily or even chasing each other around. Seeing all the day to day wonders that nature has to offer is what roots you to the bush. What a blessing!
Please remember to share your photographs of your EP holiday with us. You can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
A lot of readers that follow our weekly sightings have asked for a map to indicate our traversing area in order to better understand the movements of the animals. We have loaded a map of our western traversing area onto the website and as soon as a map of the eastern area becomes available, we will also supply this. This map includes the following properties: Elephant Plains, Simbambili, Arathusa Safari and Arathusa Private. You can view the map at the bottom of our Game Drives and Bush Walks page.
Once again it has come to that time of the year when Etienne, Marlet, Tersia and I, make the long journey down to Durban. You might ask why? Well, it is Indaba Tourism Show time again. Can you believe it? It doesn’t feel as if a year has passed since the previous one. We are all very excited to get down there and get the ball rolling. I know I’ve mentioned this on previous reports, but for those of you who are not sure what Indaba is I’ll briefly explain. It’s Africa’s biggest tourism marketing expo, where all the role players in the industry come together under one roof to market their products. Anything from accommodation, tour operators, tourism service providers etc. exhibit at the show. It’s amazing to see the amount of work that goes into building the stalls. Some of them are double storey, or have amazing artwork done to them. Some lodges even go as far as setting up their stands to replicate the actual lodge. For most of the year, we are in contact with our agents over the phone and via e-mails. Indaba gives us the opportunity to meet with them in person, discuss new opportunities and to make new plans for the future. We also get to meet new, upcoming agents and explore different travelling markets. It is exciting to have the opportunity to be part of this. For our agents receiving this newsletter, our stand will be situated in the DEC building, number B07. Please drop in and say hello if we do not already have an appointment scheduled with you.
We have been waiting a long time to get Wi-Fi activated at the lodge. Over the last few years, we have tried installing it on a number of occasions. But on most attempts we always used to hit a glitch somewhere in the system. John Oliver, the same gentleman that got Africam at the lodge going, was staying at the lodge for over a week. He worked the whole day and late into every night, in order to make sure that all the settings and connections were correct. After all this hard work, we were able to pull it off. With all the ups and downs I am now glad to report that at long last, we have Wi-Fi hotspots around the lodge. Being out in the bush makes it difficult to have technology on your doorstep. But we’ve managed to overcome those problems and I am sure all our guests would be super excited with this new addition.
The search for a new Spa therapist proved to be quite a challenge, but after a fair amount of interviews, I am glad to say that we’ve found the perfect lady! Her name is Evelyn Viet. She is from the Cape and has a very bubbly personality. Another plus is that she can actually speak French, something that comes in very handy in the lodge industry. Her first day kicked off with a bang and she was fully booked in a matter of minutes. As the saying goes, throw them in at the deep end! By the end of the day she knew her new workplace inside out. The Spa has had its busiest month since we opened its doors and we are looking forward to Eve enjoying a long and happy career at Elephant Plains!
To all our guests who celebrated their birthdays this month, we hope you had a fantastic day filled with love and laughter. May your future hold many more joyful days to come! This month we had a lot of birthdays at the lodge. Simon was the first to celebrate his birthday on the 3rd. He is the guy who looks after the gardens around the Rondavels. He takes a lot of pride in his job and you will usually find him working the ground with a smile on his face. Mohamed also celebrated his birthday on the 3rd. He is the friendly face that you will see around the main area. He doubles up as a barman / waiter and his friendly chatter entertains all our guests. Then Etienne celebrated his big day on the 13th. Etienne has taken Elephant Plains under his wing for the past 15 years and made it grow into the wonderful lodge it is today. On the 18th Janine had her birthday. Janine is one of the ladies you will meet first when arriving at lodge, as she works the front desk. So, on your next trip to Elephant Plains, the lady who welcomes you with an ice cold welcome drink and a big smile would be Janine. She treated us all with a lovely birthday cake – one of the big reasons we all get excited when her birthday is around the corner. On the 30th Joyce, one of our cleaning ladies, celebrated her birthday. Joyce also loves babysitting our younger guests, so many of you will know her personally as she often looks after the babies when their parents go on game drive. I trust that you all had very good birthdays, and hope you will spent many more here at EP!
I now hand you over to our head chef, Linda Van Heerden, for the very delicious recipe of the month. For those of you with a serious sweet tooth, you’ll be in for a treat with her Millionaire’s Squares.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Mix the flour and sugar. Add the melted butter, until it starts coming together. Press into a greased baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes. Spread the caramelized condensed milk over the biscuit and bake for another +- 10 minutes, until the caramel has bubbled up a bit. Allow to cool. Cut into slices and set aside. Melt the chocolate and allow it to cool slightly, spread thinly over the caramelized layer. Serve and enjoy!
Well, that’s all from my side this month. Have a good one!
I think I can safely say that the summer’s heat is over and that autumn is arriving. It’s strange how it never feels as though the seasons are changing, until one day you realize that it’s already dark by six o’clock in the evening. On drive in the mornings, the rangers always wear short sleeves during summertime and then out of the blue one morning, it’s pretty cold. The vegetation is still green though and we’ve had loads of wonderful sightings. We are already seeing a lot more elephants drinking in front of camp as all the pools of water in the bush have dried up, forcing the animals to use the waterholes now. So life is just that little bit easier, as on game drive the rangers often find animals at, or at least close, to the waterholes. With the cats, however, there is still a lot of tracking involved, because on most days the big cats enjoy resting in very dense vegetation. The art of tracking is amazing. There have been times when I tracked with our trackers and I truly got blown away by the manner in which they are able to continue following tracks, especially if they go through thick vegetation or over very hard ground. For the untrained eye it’s very hard to spot the track, but as for our guys, well it’s another story. You see them take their foot and mark the back of the track and move on, until you start thinking there is no way we are going to find this animal… All of a sudden you’ll get the hand signal to stop, and right there in front of your eyes would be the animal you have been following. Mind blowing indeed!
A lot of guests always ask what time of the year is not too busy for us. To tell you the truth, we don’t really have a low season. We are always running at a fairly high occupancy, regardless of it being summer or winter. Being a 24 bed camp is a very comfortable number of guests to have. Having such a small amount of people, you get to interact with everyone. Guests are not just a number that come and go and are forgotten. We’ve had guests that have returned from last being with us in 2005 and I still remember them. That’s what makes a small camp great! All the guests were very happy with the sightings that they got to view this month. Salayexe and her cub had a few kills right next door to the camp. The one Breakaway Tsalala lioness has been seen moving around the front of the rooms in the dry river bed. We suspect that she is hiding her newborn cub in the lush thickets of the dry river bed. So our guests are spending a lot of time on their viewing decks, trying to get a glimpse of them.
We’ve welcomed Devon Becker as our new ranger this month. He is doing very well and has quickly learned all the game drive roads in our traversing area. The truth is that learning the roads in our traversing area can be quite tricky. There are no high mountains to use as a land marks. But after a few drives you start getting used to some of the main roads in the reserve. A ranger needs at least 20 drives to get used to the roads, so you can’t just give a ranger a map and guests and say “enjoy!” What also helps is the fact that our trackers know the roads very well, so even if a new ranger still forgets the name of a certain road, his tracker would be able to help him out. A funny story a few years ago with one of the other lodges in the north, was that the new ranger drove together with a new tracker so they were still unsure of all the roads. They found a leopard on their first game drive, and it was indeed the first leopard that this ranger ever saw in the wild. Being super excited seeing his first leopard and being the one who found it, he screamed over the radio that he had found a leopard. We all thought this to be great news and asked if we could join his leopard sighting. Well! He had absolutely no idea where he was, so this made life a little interesting. We all had a good chuckle and went out not to find animals, but to find the lost ranger with his amazing leopard sighting. We did find him after a short time later and enjoyed a great sighting. The best part of it all was that the ranger did not feel embarrassed about his situation, he was just very proud as he found one of Africa’s most beautiful cats. I sat and watched his excitement and it reminded all of us in the sighting why we love being in the bush so much.
Dawie is now doing game drives permanently at Elephant Plains and he has already received a lot of compliments. Dawie has been with us for just over two and a half years now, and in that time he went on game drives with the other rangers, plus did a lot of work on the roads. Doing road maintenance means that you literally get to know the roads like the back of your hand. Mostly when we are doing road clearing, it involves cutting overhanging branches that end up brushing up against the side of the vehicle. You walk up and down all the roads for days on end. So by the time you are finished with the maintenance, you know exactly where every rock and special tree on that road is.
Some of our rangers did their Advanced Rifle Shooting this month. The entire exercise is very nerve racking, yet exciting at the same time. It consists of having to load your rifle with five rounds then unload the rifle, blind folded. You then shoot a target on your own time at fifteen meters. The following drill is to shoot one shot in the bull’s eye at fifteen meters, then ten and lastly at five meters. Then it starts to get difficult, you do a whole lot of speed shooting. The shooting part is fine; it’s remembering the whole sequence that you need to perform that makes it tricky. Then the last shoot is a picture of a life sized lion dragged on wheels to simulate a real charge down by a lion. It is very difficult, but as long as you think through the whole charge quickly in your head you should do fine. It is important to be confident with your shooting, as you might need this skill anytime when out in the bush.
On the 27th of this month we had the privilege to be part of the Sabi Sand Wildtuin’s anti-poaching initiative. The Sabi Sand, in an effort to fight the high incidence rate of rhino poaching in South Africa, has decided to make use of the services of the Rhino Rescue Project. The rhino’s horn is treated by infusing it with a compound made up of depot ectoparasiticides and inedible dye. This contaminates the horn and makes it useless for ornamental and medicinal use. The treatment, however, has no adverse effects on the rhino itself. The rhino was treated on Elephant Plains and we got to witness the process, which was an amazing experience. Etienne and Marlet Swart have decided to sponsor another treatment as these are entirely dependent on fundraising. The Elephant Plains rangers have also decided to take initiative in holding a fund raiser between themselves and other rangers in our area, in order to sponsor another rhino. This is a project very close to our hearts and we would like to do everything in our power to ensure the future of our beautiful rhinos. If any of our readers are interested to join the initiative by sponsoring funds for the future of rhinos at Elephant Plains Game Lodge, as well as the rest of the Sabi Sand, please feel free to contact Marlet Swart for more information: email@example.com.
To all our guests that celebrated their birthdays this month, we hope you had a fantastic day filled with love and laughter. May your future hold many more joyful days! We had a busy month with all the birthdays at lodge. Yoldah celebrated her big day on the 6th. You will rarely see Yoldah as she is hard at work in the laundry. She manages the laundry, with the help of her four best friends, the Speed Queen machines. She is a very delightful person that always has a smile on her face. I take my hat off to her for the amount of laundry she does on a daily basis. Sidness had her birthday on the 23rd. She works at Etienne and Marlet’s house and also helps look after the very energetic little man, Etienne junior. Clement, one of our trackers, also celebrated his birthday on the 23rd. Just goes to show you how time flies, Etienne junior turned five on the 26th. The little man is starting to grow up very fast indeed. Last but not least Louis celebrated his birthday on the 28th of this month. I am very proud of Louis. He started at the lodge as a junior ranger and five years later he is our new assistant Head Ranger. He has come a very long way in the past few years. Well done Louis! Just shows you what hard work and determination can achieve.
I now hand you over to our Head Chef Linda Van Heerden, for the delicious recipe of the month.
This month’s recipe is an Herbed Cucumber Salad, a fresh addition to any meal.
Makes 8 side servings
Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, sugar, salt, pepper, garlic and herbs. Combine the cucumber and onion, drizzle with the yogurt mixture. Toss to coat. Arrange on a serving platter and serve cold.
Well, that’s all from my side this month. Have a good one!
The month was a very short, but productive one, with the lodge being very busy and game viewing being out of this world! The guys saw the wild dogs on our open area a few times and also had a lot of lion sightings. The Tsalala Breakaway Pride has been moving around the airstrip and the driveway on a regular basis. Hearing the lions calling at night close to camp has been great. People always think that it’s a sound you get used to after living in the bush for a while, but that is not true at all. Every time I hear the deep roar of a male lion, it gives me goose bumps. Hearing the sounds of the African bush is what keeps reminding you why you are here and not out there in the concrete jungle with cars and sirens, continually buzzing in your ears. Sometimes you might hear people talking about the three ultimate sounds of the African bush. Well, of course it’s the male lion at the top of the list, second would have to be the African Fish Eagle and thirdly the hippopotamus. Another amazing sound to hear at night is the spotted hyena, especially when they are feeding, giving off laughing sounds that pierce through the African night. Also don’t forget the low grunts that remind you a leopard is walking past nearby. One interesting sound that one can hear during the heat of the day is the very loud buzzing sound of a Cicada. As the heat of the day intensifies, so does the volume of the male Cicada.
The main entrance to the lodge is now looking very impressive as the area around the entrance and fountain is now a beautiful circularly paved area. There is now proper drainage for water racing down from the airstrip’s side and we believe that this project has been a great addition to the lodge.
This is the last month of working at EP for Richard, as he will be joining Roxanne in Dullstroom to run their new restaurant. We wish him all the best and hope it will be a great success. We have been very busy doing interviews and searching for the right candidates to replace the two ranger’s positions, as well as the spa therapist. One of our new rangers will be Devon Becker. For the past couple of years he has been working as a trails guide for Eco Training. We are looking forward to welcoming him onto the team. We have decided to offer the other rangers position to Dawie Jacobs. For the past two years Dawie has been working as a junior ranger at EP, learning the ins and outs of the industry. We believe that through hard work and determination, he has proven himself to be a valuable staff member and we are looking forward to watching his career as a fulltime ranger unfold at Elephant Plains.
To all our guests who celebrated their birthdays this month, we hope you had a fantastic day filled with love and laughter. May your future hold many more happy and joyful days! At lodge itself, we had a number of people celebrating their birthdays. Morné celebrated his birthday on the 1st. Morné is our Head Ranger. You should all know him as he writes all the Rangers Reports. I have been teased by the staff for the past three years after turning 30. Well, now I am glad to say, we have a new member in the 30 + club. I would like to be the first to welcome Morné Fouché to our elite group! Derrick celebrated his birthday on the 2nd. Derrick is Morné’s tracker. He is one of the old school trackers as his whole life has been spent tracking animals. As a youngster he had to follow his father’s cattle around. Some days whilst the cattle were feeding, one would go missing. He then would have to go and track the cow until he found it. If he was to return home with one cow missing, he would be in serious trouble. Therefore his skill is immaculate and we celebrate him for this. On the 24th Marlet celebrated her birthday. Marlet is one of the owners who is very involved in the day to day running of the lodge. If you read all the replies to TripAdvisor and posts on Facebook, you will see her name appear a lot.
I now hand you over to our head chef, Linda Van Heerden, for the recipe of the month. Her Cranberry Muffins are delicious and they will compliment any occasion: breakfast, high tea, low tea… any tea of the day!
( Makes 12)
Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together, add the sugar and dried cranberries to the flour mix. Mix the oil, egg and yogurt together. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, being sure not to over mix the dough. Spoon the mixture into greased muffin pans and bake for +- 20 minutes at 180 °C until a testing needle inserted comes out clean.
Well, that is all from my side this month. Have a good one!
Happy New Year to all! I know I already whished our readers a joyous 2013, but it sounds so good, I will say it again. Hope that everyone’s year will be a very prosperous one, filled with good fortune, happiness and excellent health. The year started off on a very hot note. We had temperatures ranging from 52 °C in the sun, to 45 °C in the shade. Because it was so hot and there were no clouds around whatsoever, we knew that we were in desperate need of some rain. We all heard that we were going to have a massive drought this year as we had been receiving very good rains for the past five years. Then on the morning of the 19th it started raining and it did not stop until the morning of the 21st! We had a re-enactment of last year all over again, but this time, it was not as bad. Last year a cyclone caused the vast amounts of rain, but this year it was only a low pressure system that moved down from the north. With the water table still high from last year, the seepage started quick and we are still seeing water flowing from the ground. The rivers came down with a speed. Normally after a few hours their levels drops quickly, but not this time. The level of the river continued to rise higher and higher and at six o’clock on the first afternoon the dry Manyeleti riverbed was a raging monster, flowing around seventy meters wide and in some places four to five meters deep.
With the water rising by the minute, we had to get four of our guests out. The water was too high for a normal vehicle to cross, so we had to make a plan. We sent our tractor with a trailer, driven by Braam and accompanied by Willie, through the crossing. All the guests sat on the trailer as if they were riding a horse into battle. With the massive weight of the tractor the current did not move it even an inch. Thankfully friends from Simbambili lodge were waiting on the other side to get our guests to the gate where a transfer was waiting for them. In the end, it all worked out. Our guests got to the airport in time to catch their flights back home and I am sure that they had quite a few exciting stories to share back home.
After a sigh of relief for getting the guests through the river safely, we thought everything would go smooth for the rest of the day. Before the guests went over in the tractor, I had sent Dawie and Richard to the Gowrie Gate to fetch the week’s deliveries as no trucks were allowed into the reserve with the roads already in a sensitive state. Going to the gate, the water was not high at all. But on their way back, the water was too high to cross back to EP. We sent them to leave the Land Cruiser they were driving at Simbambili lodge and get on the tractor to come back across as we had just used it to get the guests across. By the time all had been sorted it was too late – nothing was going to now get through the raging waters. Staring at one another on either side of the river, I felt quite helpless, now being 4 staff members short. I wanted to cry big old crocodile tears, but refused to add to the water level of the river. We had no choice but to send them to go wait it out at Simbambili lodge for a few hours till the river dropped. Well, it didn’t. The river was so big that we only managed to get the guys back to lodge the following afternoon and they had to spend the night at Simbambili lodge. I would like to thank Simbambili for their hospitality and looking after our guys. That’s what good neighbours are there for.
We were fortunate not to have any guests checking in or out on the Sunday. So we sat it out, hoping for the rain to stop and eventually it did. It always does. The river started to drop and things were looking good to get the next day’s guests out. But by late the afternoon it started to rain again and not long after this the river was back to its old self. The rain continued through the night. Monday morning our open area looked like a lake, with water everywhere. Luckily all our guests were fantastic, which made decisions very easy. In one hour they all agreed to fly out by helicopter and two hours later all seven guests were at their destinations. From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank you all for being so great and understanding.
Besides the few days of drama with the rain, the month was very a good one. We’ve been busy, which is always good as it keeps us all out of trouble. A bit of sad news is that Willie and Atasja Woest will be working their final month with us. We wish them all the best with their future. As they are planning to start a family in the near future, they have opted to move to a lodge that is situated closer to town and school. Good luck guys!
We have decided to change our entrance gate to the lodge. Because the area handles a lot of traffic, especially during check-out and check-ins, we have decided to add another gate and therefore have an entrance and exit area from the main lodge. I believe that this would relieve the congestion of vehicles on busy days. It will also add a new, fresh look to the reception area, which of course, is the first impression of Elephant Plains!
To all our guests who celebrated their birthdays this month, we hope you had a fantastic day filled with love and laughter. May your future hold many more happy and joyful days! This month we only had one staff member celebrating his birthday. Hemet celebrated his birthday on the 1st of January .He is our fill in guy, being a qualified tracker as well as a grounds man. If one of our trackers are sick or on extended leave, he joins the rangers on game drives. But most of the time you will find him creating artistic designs in the gardens around lodge.
I now hand you over to our head chef, Linda Van Heerden, for her mouth-watering Stuffed Trout recipe. This dish is served as a plated option at the lodge and is a definite must if you are given the option whist staying with us.
Cut the head, tail and fins off the trout so that you are left with the two fillets still joined. Set aside. Heat the butter in a pan, fry off the garlic and thyme. Add the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Fill the cavity of the fish with the bread mixture and bake for +- 15 mins in an oven preheated to 180°C.
For the sauce:
Mix all the ingredients together.
Add a lemon wedge, some Tartar Sauce.
Serve and enjoy!
Well, that is all from my side this month. Have a good one!