Elephant Plains Game Lodge

Manager’s Report November 2012

WILD PHOTO OF THE MONTH

by Hélène van Dijk, The Netherlands (Elephant Plains Guest)

by Hélène van Dijk, The Netherlands (Elephant Plains Guest)

What a month we had! The game viewing was once again brilliant with wild dogs fighting hyenas and leopards, as well as wild dogs killing three juvenile impala in one sighting. As mentioned last month, the juvenile impalas were on their way with the female impalas walking around with huge tummies. Well, they have finally arrived and the predators are not missing out on the opportunity to grab an easy meal! It is sad to see a youngster get caught, but that is the way it goes in the African bush. Guests have been returning from their game drives all exited, with every drive revealing something new and exhilarating. As I always say, even though it is an early start in the mornings, one should never miss a game drive while here! It is an almost certain guarantee that you would regret having stayed behind to sleep in, once the vehicles return and guests start sharing their stories. The beauty of being in the Sabi Sand Wildtuin is that we are open to the Kruger National Park. This gives the animals free roaming between Kruger and us, giving us the opportunity to view a greater variety of animals on a daily basis.

Zebras and Giraffe

Zebras and Giraffe - by Louis Liversage

We had a huge storm the one day. It was one of those storms that took about three days to build up. The humidity was extremely high and the atmospheric pressure felt as if it could push you into the ground. With these storms comes lightning. And when I say lightning, I mean the kind of lightning where the skies light up every few seconds, with lightning bolts splitting into various different sections. Even once it started raining I found myself wet to the bone and staring at the sky, yet still enjoying the lightning show from the heavens. When one looks at the sort of power behind a lightning storm, it raises the hair on your arms. And only then do you realize how small you are in this world. Scientists say that one bolt of lightning can provide the whole of Johannesburg with enough electricity to last a year. They have tried on numerous occasions to capture this power from above. Unfortunately on all attempts the power is so great that it explodes any device that is man-made in an attempt to harness the electrical bolt. Maybe one day we will succeed in capturing and utilizing it. Otherwise it might just be one of nature’s powers that should not be tampered with.

This time every year, the lodge gets graded by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa in order to renew our membership with this prestigious grading body. They were once again very happy with our product and renewed our Four Star status for another year. They mentioned that we are a very high standard Four Star and that the whole lodge and facilities are really well maintained. Seeing that our aim is to be the best possible Four Star lodge, while still being affordable and not lose our laid back family feel, we are delighted with the feedback we received.

Trapcam photo of the month - Young buffalo bulls play-fighting

Trapcam photo of the month - Young buffalo bulls play-fighting

As time moves on, so do some people. We said goodbye to Franscois Rosslee this month. If you have been to the lodge in the last couple of weeks you might have had the opportunity to go on game drive with him. Franscois was one of our junior rangers. These guys have already finished their basic ranger qualifications, but still need to log hours for bushwalks and they also need to be 21 in order to get their PDP’s. While working at the lodge they gain experience on the day to day running of the lodge and also have the opportunity to join our qualified rangers on drives and bushwalks in order to gain more knowledge and expertise. Once qualified, they can either choose to stay on at the lodge and if a ranger’s position opens up they will be considered. They could also apply for a permanent position with another lodge. Franscois decided to do some more courses with a reputable safari company and then to work for them for two years. We wish him all the best with his future as we are sure that he would make a great ranger! Moving up in the ranks at EP is another Junior Ranger, Dawie Jacobs. Since middle November Dawie had the chance to also start driving guests and he grabbed the opportunity firmly with both hands, not only impressing guests with his knowledge and skill, but also making a good impression on us. May he enjoy many more game drives as a guide at EP!

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 two staff members who celebrated their birthdays this month. On the 15th Alfred celebrated his birthday. He is one of our cooks in the kitchen. He is a kind old soul that always has a friendly word. No matter what you ask him, he will do the task with a big smile on his face. Feitah celebrated her birthday on the 23rd of the month. She is the lady who looks after little Etienne. She is a very hard worker who has her hands full with the very energetic man she is looking after. It’s always a laugh when you see the little man running around, with Feitah hot on his heels.

I now hand you over to our Head Chef Linda Van Heerden, for the delicious recipe of the month. This dish is for anyone who loves fish. It’s an Alfresco Line Fish (King Clip). I’m not a big fish eater myself and still, I love this dish every time I have it.

Al Fresco Line Fish (Serves 4)

Al Fresco Line Fish

Al Fresco Line Fish

Ingredients

Four portions Line Fish of your choice

Sauce

  • 100ml melted Butter
  • 75ml Flour
  • 500ml Milk
  • ½ packet Tomato Soup Powder
  • 20ml Tomato Puree
  • 15ml Dried Parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Topping

  • 2 diced Spring Onions
  • 3 cubed slices of Bread

Whisk melted butter and flour together, on medium heat.
Add milk and tomato soup powder.
Cook until flour taste is no longer present.
Add Parsley and seasoning to sauce.
Place fish in an oven dish and cover with sauce.
Sprinkle spring onion and bread on top.
Bake in the oven at 180°C for 30 min.

Serve and enjoy!

Our December report will only be sent out in January. Therefore I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May you have a joyful festive season!

Well, that’s all from my side this month. Have a good one!

Wayne Dovey

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