Elephant Plains Game Lodge
Currently Browsing: Weekly Big 5 Sightings

Big 5 Sightings 14 to 20 April 2014

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see all four Majingilane male lions resting on Ingwe open area.

 

Matimba male lion - Dawie Jacobs

Matimba male lion – Dawie Jacobs

Monday, 14 April 2014

(30ºC)

  •  A breeding herd of about thirty elephants feeding on A-main
  • Four elephant bulls feeding at Knobthorn pan
  • Another breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Ncombe Road
  • One buffalo bull resting on Kudu Drift
  • The Styx lion pride resting close to Wessel’s camp
  • Wabayiza, the young male leopard resting on Treehouse Pan open area

 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

(31ºC)

  •  A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Konkoni Road
  • Three buffalo bulls resting in Grissly Bear Crossing
  • Lamula, the male leopard, scent marking around Big Dam
  • Tingana, the male leopard, scent marking on Tamboti open area

 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

(27ºC)

  •  One Matimba male lion resting south of Lucas open area
  • Two young male leopards having a standoff south of Lucas open area
  • Wabayiza, the young male leopard had a run in with the Styx lion pride on Little Gowrie/Hoffmans cutline. He sustained serious injuries resulting in him passing away that evening.
  • One elephant bull feeding on EP open area
  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding around Big Dam
  • Seven buffalo bulls feeding close to Eagle Owl Crossing
Thandi, the female leopard - Devon Becker

Thandi, the female leopard – Devon Becker

Thursday, 17 April 2014

(24ºC)

  •  A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Sixes Road
  • One buffalo bull resting in the mud on Bushcamp East
  • One buffalo bull resting in the water north of Leeukuil
  • One elephant bull feeding on Ellie Alley
  • Lamula, the male leopard, scent marking on Saseka Road

Friday, 18 April 2014

(28ºC)

  •  A pack of twelve wild dogs hunting impalas on EP airstrip
  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on Marula Bult Central
  • The Styx lion pride resting east of Ingwe Pan
  • Another breeding herd of about forty elephants feeding at Treehouse Pan
  • Mvula, the male leopard and Thandi, the female leopard, mating on Gowrie Main
  • Tingana, the male leopard, resting on Josie’s Road

 

Saturday, 19 April 2014

(28ºC)

  •  The Styx lion pride resting at Mhisi Mati
  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding north of Mhisi Mati
  • Two buffalo bulls resting on MMM North
  • Anderson, the male leopard, resting on Puff adder Road

 

Wild dogs in morning light - Morne Fouche

Wild dogs in morning light – Morné Fouché

Sunday, 20 April 2014

(30ºC)

  •  Four Majingilane male lions, resting on Ingwe open area
  • The Breakaway lion pride resting on Mamba Road
  • Salayexe, the female leopard with a grey duiker kill on Robson’s boundary
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Ekiso Road
  • Another breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on A-main
  • Three sub adult lions from the Styx lion pride resting at Boundary Pan
  • Two buffalo bulls feeding on A-main

 


Manager’s Report March 2014

Wild Photo of the Month

Wild photo of the month

Wild photo of the month – by Paul, Sue, Mark, and Kirsty Johnstone, Brisbane, Australia

Well!! It happened for the fourth time in a row. But with the exception of this year not taking place during January, but March instead! I am sure you must know what I am about to say? Yes, you are right… It flooded once again! We sat around the breakfast table a while back and commented that at least it did not flood this year… Well, me and my big mouth! Less than a week later the heavens opened, thumping tons of water down on us. It started to rain the night of the 4th until six the following morning. Peter and I went to go have a look at 23:30 to see what the level of the river would be like at the fence line. Only raining for a few hours, I thought we would be looking at something not too serious, but as we turned off the driveway I had that familiar “once a year feeling” in the pit of my stomach and I knew what to expect. There, without disappointment, it was! The dry Manyeleti riverbed was indeed a raging monster and at its widest, it was estimated to be about 250m at one stage. Something we were very grateful for was that no serious damage was done to the lodge by the floodwaters, even though the open area in front of the lodge was completely flooded and resembled an ocean – quite a beautiful sight indeed! Guests that needed to urgently leave the camp were evacuated with a helicopter and others chose to stay a day or two longer. Thank you for everyone’s patience in this regard. Natural disasters are something completely beyond our control!

Flooded open area by Dawie Jacobs

Flooded open area by Dawie Jacobs

We had a busy month trying to repair all the roads that were damaged by the floods and getting the lodge grounds back to gorgeous, but thanks to our wonderful team we managed to do this in record time. Hendrik, our new maintenance manager spent hours on the tractor, grading and fixing the roads. Luckily, because we do a lot of maintenance work on the roads on a regular basis, the damage was not too bad and we could fix it without too many hassles. Some of the roads are still too wet to work on and we will have to wait for the ground to dry out more before attempting to fix it. It is amazing to see how wet some of the roads still are, even a month after the rains. Rainwater is still seeping out of the ground, which just shows you how saturated it is. At least it is positive to know that our underwater reserves are full – especially going into the dry, winter months.

Elephant bull by Morné Fouché

Elephant bull by Morné Fouché

As mentioned last month, I was doing game drives for two weeks while Morné’s knee was mending. It was great to be out for a whole two weeks and to get to know all the new animal faces in the bush. There are days when the rangers come back from drive and talk about specific animals that I haven’t seen before, like for instance, a new leopard in the area. It was wonderful to see them all for myself. Driving in these wet conditions does keep us on our toes and sometimes off-roading is impossible in certain wet areas. But saying that, we still had amazing sightings during the month! This included male lions, females and cubs. The one morning we had the Breakaway pride on our airstrip with two kills, one being a small zebra and the other a giraffe. We had 11 wild dogs running around the lodge, plus mating leopards! All I can say is that it was out of this world!

Saddle-billed stork by Louis Liversage

Saddle-billed stork by Louis Liversage

While mentioning Morné, I am glad to report that all went well with his knee operation. He is able to walk without crutches now and will be back in the saddle for game drives from the 1st of April. It’s amazing what wonders modern technology can do these days. If you look at his knee, it only has two or three small cuts. Back in the day, he would have had a massive scar!

To all our guests who celebrated their birthdays this month, we hope that you had a fantastic day, filled with love and laughter. May your future hold many more happy and joyful days! We had three people at lodge who celebrated their birthdays. The first to celebrate her birthday on the 6th was Yoldah. She is one of the ladies that work very hard in the luxury chalets. She has been with us for many years and I hope that the lodge will be able to see her smiling face for many more years to come. On the 26th Etienne junior celebrated his big day. We still get to see the little man on weekends and school holidays, as he now stays in Nelspruit where he is attending school during the week. I do hope you had a great day with all your friends. Then on the 28th Louis celebrated his special day. If you have been here on safari, you will definitely know Louis. He is an amazing guide and no matter what side of the lodge you are, you can hear his loud laughter from a mile away. I hope all of you had fantastic birthdays!

Styx lions drinking by Dawie Jacobs

Styx lions drinking by Dawie Jacobs

This month we decided to place the web cam at Kraaines while the Breakaway pride had the two kills next to the airstrip, but instead of seeing lions coming to drink water, we were surprised by a blue wildebeest herd instead…

Styx female lions drinking water by Dawie Jacobs

Styx female lions drinking water by Dawie Jacobs

Now! I have said many goodbyes to staff members in the past and the time has come for me to say my own goodbyes to Elephant Plains and the people that were my family for nine years. As much as I love the bush and Elephant Plains, I have a lovely lady called Celeste and a beautiful son named Noah, who is waiting for me at home with arms wide open. As mentioned before, being in the industry for nearly 14 years has been nothing less than amazing, but the time has come for me to be closer to my family; those people who would love for me to be a part of their lives and to be with them every day. I would just like to thank Elephant Plains for all the years of good fun and laughter. I can at least leave here with a smile on my face, knowing that the staff members that remain behind will look after Elephant Plains, as if it is their own. Being part of a lodge that has been continuously growing and bettering itself, has left me with great work experience. I would like to thank Etienne and Marlet for the opportunity to run the lodge for nearly four years. I am confident that Tersia Fouché, who has been appointed as new manager, will have some fresh and exciting new ideas to take the lodge to an even higher standard. Elephant Plains, you will always hold a very special place in my heart. You are a special bunch of people that can make the impossible possible! It has been a pleasure working alongside every single one of you. I hope that you will have many more happy years here at Elephant Plains – you all rocked my world! I am very excited to take on a new chapter in my life and to be close to the two people that I love very much.

I now hand you over to our Head Chef, Linda van Heerden, for her mouth watering recipe of the month: Raisin Bread. It’s the best bread ever while fresh and steaming hot, served with lots and lots of butter.

Raisin and Seed Bread

Raisin and Seed Bread

Raisin and Seed Bread

1 cup warm water
¼ cup Sugar
2 ½ cups Flour 10g dry Yeast
1 tsp Cinnamon powder
½ tsp Coriander powder
½ tsp Nutmeg powder
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Raisins
3 tbsp mixed Poppy Seeds and Sesame Seeds
1 Egg yolk
1 tbsp Milk

Mix the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, spices and seeds and then add the warm water, adding a little more if the mixture is too dry. Knead until you have an elastic dough and allow to rise. Knock down, then shape into a log and place in the loaf pan. Allow to rise for 15 more minutes. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 25 – 30 minutes, until it sounds hollow when tapped.

Serve with butter and enjoy!

Well! This is a final “that’s all from my side” at the beautiful Elephant Plains Game Lodge. Keep posted for next month’s report, from our new manager Tersia Fouché. From now on she will share all the amazing and wonderful adventures that still lie ahead for the lodge… Have a good one!

Wayne Dovey


Big 5 Sightings 07 to 13 April 2014

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see the 3 Styx lion pride cubs playing around in the rain.

 

Flap Necked Chameleon - Dawie Jacobs

Flap Necked Chameleon – Dawie Jacobs

Monday, 7 April 2014

(31ºC)

  •  Four sub-adult Styx lions resting on Seef’s Pan Road
  • One elephant bull feeding on Horseshoe open area
  • Two buffalo bulls resting on Simbambili Firebreak
  • Two Styx female lions and their three cubs resting east of Safari airstrip
  • One buffalo bull resting east of Safari airstrip
  • One elephant bull feeding on Simbambili Firebreak

 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

(29ºC)

  •  The Styx lion pride resting on Safari airstrip
  • Robson’s, the male leopard, moving east from Bushcamp East
  • One elephant bull feeding on Safari airstrip
  • Two buffalo bulls feeding on Pungwe open area

 

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

(28ºC)

  •  The Styx lion pride resting south of Lowveld Link
  • One buffalo bull resting south of Serengeti/Manyeleti Crossing
  • Lamula, the male leopard, scent marking on Seepline Road
  • Salayexe, the female leopard, scent marking on Drongo South

 

Karula's son - Dawie Jacobs

Karula’s son – Dawie Jacobs

Thursday, 10 April 2014

(27ºC, 11mm rain)

  •  The Styx lion pride resting on Ncombe Road
  • Three buffalo bulls feeding close to Serengeti/Manyeleti Crossing
  • Four buffalo bulls resting close to Land Cruiser Crossing

 

Friday, 11 April 2014

(25ºC)

  •  Two buffalo bulls feeding on EP open area
  • One buffalo bull resting north of EP/Manyeleti Crossing
  • Tingana, the male leopard, scent marking on Safari driveway
  • Wabayiza, the young male leopard, resting in a tree on Wessels old driveway
  • A breeding herd of about fifteen elephants feeding on Lucas open area
  • Another breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding around Baboon Pan

 

Saturday, 12 April 2014

(27ºC)

  •  Salayexe, the female leopard, resting in a marula tree on Eastern Bank Manyeleti Road
  • One buffalo bull feeding at 2nd Windmill Pan
  • One buffalo bull resting north of EP/Manyeleti Crossing
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding close to Treehouse Pan
  • Another breeding herd of about fourty elephants feeding on Road 47 open area

 

Styx female lion with her cubs - Dawie Jacobs

Styx female lioness with her cubs – Dawie Jacobs

Sunday, 13 April 2014

(28ºC)

  •  Tingana, the male leopard, resting around One Eye Pan
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Southern Fork Road
  • One buffalo bull resting on Grasscut Road
  • Another breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on Mafufunyana Road
  • One elephant bull feeding on Methlowani open area
  • One buffalo bull resting south of Serengeti/Manyeleti Crossing

 


Big 5 Sightings 31 March to 06 April 2014

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see the Styx lion pride drinking water north of 2nd Windmill Pan

 

The four Styx sub adults - Dawie Jacobs

The four Styx sub adults – Dawie Jacobs

Monday, 31 March 2014

(28ºC, 14mm rain)

  • The Styx lion pride resting north of 2nd Windmill Road
  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on Rhino Ring West
  • Solo, the male lion, resting on Horseshoe open area
  • Robson’s, the male leopard, moving south from Wetpatch Road
  • Tingana, the male leopard, moving west from EP/Shirley’s cutline
  • Another breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on Sixes Road

 

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

(32ºC)

  • Tingana, the male leopard, feeding on a juvenile zebra kill on Simbambili Firebreak
  • Salayexe, the female leopard, moving south on Madash Road
  • One elephant bull feeding on Simbambili Firebreak
  • The Styx lion pride resting on Simbambili/Safari cutline
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on A-main
  • Two buffalo bulls resting in the water at Serengeti Pan
  • Twelve wild dogs moving north from Safari Dam
  • Robson’s, the male leopard, moving south from Wetpatch Road
  • One buffalo bull resting on Kudu Drift

 

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

(35ºC)

  • The Styx lion pride resting at Tshogoti Pan
  • One buffalo bull feeding on Simbambili Firebreak
  • Tingana, the male leopard, feeding on a zebra kill on Simbambili Firebreak
  • Twelve wild dogs hunting and killing an impala on Safari airstrip
  • Moya, the female leopard, moving east from Big Dam
  • Shadow, the female leopard, moving west from Safari driveway
  • Kurula, the female leopard, moving north from Baboon Pan
  • One buffalo bull resting at Tamboti open area
  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on Eastern Bank Manyeleti

 

Female hyena feeding - Dawie Jacobs

Female hyena feeding – Dawie Jacobs

Thursday, 3 April 2014

(34ºC)

  • Twelve wild dogs moving east on A-main
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Grasscut Road
  • One elephant bull feeding on Leopard Drift Road
  • Two Styx pride lionesses and three cubs resting close to Boerbean Pan
  • Bawuti, the male leopard, stalking waterbuck on Chitwa Chitwa open area
  • Another breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on Shirley’s open area

 

Friday, 4 April 2014

(27ºC)

  • Twelve wild dogs moving south from Treehouse Pan
  • Five elephant bulls feeding on MMM South
  • Two buffalo bulls feeding west of EP/Manyeleti Crossing
  • Kurula, the female leopard, and her two cubs feeding on a male bushbuck kill on Methlowani Road
  • The four sub-adult Styx lions resting on Ngala open area

 

Saturday, 5 April 2014

(25ºC)

  • Kurula, the female leopard, and her two sub-adult cubs moving east on Methlowani Road
  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on Methlowani Road
  • Two buffalo bulls resting on Simbambili Firebreak
  • Solo, the male lion, resting south of Baboon Pan
  • The four sub-adult Styx lions moving east from Scops Owl Crossing

 

Salayexe the female leopard - Dawie Jacobs

Salayexe the female leopard – Dawie Jacobs

Sunday, 6 April 2014

(27ºC)

  • A breeding herd of about thirty elephants feeding on EP open area
  • One buffalo bull resting in a mud wallow on Bushcamp East
  • Mvula, the male leopard, moving west from Little Gowrie/Hoffman cutline

Big 5 Sightings 24 to 30 March 2014

The Big 5 highlight of the week was too have Solo, the male lion, resting on our airstrip

 

Solo, the male lion - Dawie Jacobs

Solo, the male lion – Dawie Jacobs

Monday, 24 March 2014

(29 ºC)

  • Tingana, the male leopard, moving north from Wetpatch Road
  • Twelve wild dogs moving west from Wetpatch Road
  • The Styx lion pride moving south on Madash Road
  • One elephant bull feeding on Safari driveway

 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

(32 ºC)

  • The Styx lion pride resting on Madash Road
  • Two buffalo bulls resting in EP Flood Plains
  • One buffalo bull resting at Serengeti/Manyeleti Crossing

 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

(29 ºC)

  • The Breakaway female lion pride feeding on a juvenile zebra kill and a juvenile giraffe kill west of EP airstrip
  • Solo, the male lion, moving west from Little Gowrie driveway
  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on MMM-South
  • Two buffalo bulls resting on Zebra Drive Road

 

Giraffe - Dawie Jacobs

Giraffe and Zebra – Dawie Jacobs

Thursday, 27 March 2014

(29 ºC)

  • Solo, the male lion, resting on EP airstrip
  • A breeding herd of about thirty elephants feeding on MMM-South
  • One buffalo bull resting in the water at Serengeti Pan
  • The Styx lion pride resting north of 2nd Windmill Pan

 

Friday, 28 March 2014

(25 ºC)

  • Two buffalo bulls resting in the water at Serengeti Pan
  • Moya, the female leopard, resting on our Southern Boundary
  • Robsons, the male leopard, resting on Rhino Ring West
  • Solo, the male lion, resting at Serengeti open area

 

Saturday, 29 March 2014

(28 ºC)

  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on EP driveway
  • Two buffalo bulls resting in the water at Serengeti Pan
  • The Styx lion pride resting on Madash Road
  • Another breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding close to Serengeti Pan

 

Side Stripe Jackal - Dawie Jacobs

Side Stripe Jackal – Dawie Jacobs

Sunday, 30 March 2014

(31 ºC)

  • Anderson, the male leopard, moving west from EP Old driveway
  • Mvula, the male leopard, moving north on MMM South
  • One buffalo bull resting on MMM North
  • The Styx lion pride resting on Simbambili firebreak

« Previous Entries

Copyright 2011 © Elephant Plains | Powered by Dumel