Monday, 25 February 2013
Tuesday, 26 February 2013
Wednesday, 27 February 2013
Thursday, 28 February 2013
Friday, 01 March 2013
Saturday, 02 March 2013
Sunday, 03 March 2013
Today we are busting some of the most widely spread beauty myths.
Myth 1: Your skin will age just like your mom’s…
Fact: Even though the genetics form both your parents play a role in how you will age, it is your lifestyle choices and health that has the biggest impact. You can be blessed with the best genetics, but if you don’t look after your skin from a young age, it will show.
Myth 2: Getting a base tan will prevent you from getting sunburned…
Fact: Any colour darker than your natural skin tone indicates that your skin has been damaged – burned. Even though a base tan will improve the burning sensation, it does not prevent the damage done to your skin. The bad news for you sun lovers is that no tan is the best tan.
Myth 3: SPF tells you how much protection you are getting from the sun…
Fact: SPF is only part of the equation. Looking at damaging UV light it gets separated into two parts: UVA and UVB. SPF only shows the protection level against UVB as it was believed that only UVB is harmful to the skin. Today we know better and it is thus wise to use a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection, or to couple your sunscreen with an antioxidant to maximize protection.
Myth 4: I can fall asleep with my make-up on, no stress…
Fact: All cosmetic products used to provide colour and illusion leave a toxic film on the skin. Wearing make-up for long periods of time will cause irritation, inflammation, dehydration and clog up pores. Sleeping with your make-up on not only results in the irritation, inflammation etc. but also prevents your skin from healing itself as it has no time to rest and breathe.
Myth 5: Eating chocolates and oily food can cause pimples
Fact: Pimples are mainly caused by the change of hormones. The higher your hormone levels, the more likely it is you’ll get pimples. The reason why we associate the bad eating habits with pimples is because the high hormone levels causing the pimples are the same hormone levels that cause cravings.
Myth 6: You shouldn’t mix different skin-care products
Fact: As therapists we prefer that you use the same product range purely because they are designed to complement each other, giving you the best possible results. The fact of the matter is that you can mix any product ranges as long as you choose the right products to accomplish the right results. Have a look at the ingredients and you should be safe.
The Big 5 highlight was to see a female cheetah and her 3 tiny cubs who came into our area this week!
Monday, 18 February 2013
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Wednesday, 20 February 2013
Thursday, 21 February 2013
(28 ºC, 17mm rain)
Friday, 22 February 2013
Saturday, 23 February 2013
Sunday, 24 February 2013
The Big 5 highlight of the week was seeing a big breeding herd of about 400 buffaloes resting and feeding on Safari airstrip.
Monday, 11 February 2013
(31 ºC, 6mm rain)
Tuesday, 12 February 2013
(29 ºC, 5mm rain)
Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Thursday, 14 February 2013
Friday, 15 February 2013
Saturday, 16 February 2013
(32 ºC, 8mm rain)
Sunday, 17 February 2013
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!
It is so exciting to be writing my first report for the year 2013 and keeping you up to date with the highs and lows and everything else happening in the bush. This first month of 2013 was such a delight to be out in the bushveld. It was really full of action and just jam packed. We had some strange weather this month as well. We had really hot days, cold days, windy days and then, of course, also a lot of rain. The average maximum temperature for the month was 28°C, mainly because the rainy days brought the temperatures down. We had a total of 337mm rain for the month! With all these hot days the bush started to change color, from the lush green to a pale yellow color. After the first two spells of rain the bush changed back to the dark and lush green color almost overnight. The bush was crawling with life and we welcomed all the frog species like the African bull frogs, rain frogs, Foam nesting frogs and a lot more. When driving past the waterholes and puddles next to the road the first thing you see is thousands of frog eggs floating in the water, little tadpoles and also the foam nesting frog nests hanging in the trees over the water. It is so beautiful at night when the sounds of the frogs and crickets fill the air and it sounds like a well-trained symphony. Before you know it you and your guests have been sitting there in silence, just listening to the bush choir. Game viewing was again really good as we had two different packs of wild dogs in our area. We were very spoiled with the wild dog sightings this month. We had saw wonderful general game like wildebeest, zebra, warthog, giraffe and much more.
The leopard sightings were just phenomenal this month. Salayexe and her little one, who I love very much, are looking really good and very healthy. The little one is growing up really fast. She’s got a wonderful personality and is full of surprises. It is such a treat to watch her playing around without a worry in the world. The other day Salayexe and the cub were resting, when two big buffalo bulls came out from behind a bush. The little one stood up and started staking these big heavy weights… She’s really adventurous and growing in confidence. Shadow was awesome this month and we saw her a few times with the little cubs at her den and moving around. Although her two cubs are still very small, we can already see that there is a shy cub and an adventurous one. In almost every litter of cubs that is born, this will be the case.
Shadow is also moving her den every so often to avoid unwelcome guests like lions or hyenas that will kill the little cubs if they get the opportunity. Kurula was very elusive this month and we didn’t see a lot of her. Ntima, the older lady, is doing very well and it looks like she might be pregnant again. It will be really nice if she can have another litter of cubs. We started to see a lot more of Nsele this month and it also looks like she might be pregnant as well, because her milk glands are swollen. Nsele is looking stunning and she grew up into a beautiful cat. She is not yet as big as her mother, or her aunt Nyeleti or even Ntima, but she will get more bulky in time. Tingana, our male leopard, is still looking good if not better than before. He is still holding on to his big territory but there is still a few challengers waiting and wanting to expand their territories and a new kid on the block looking for a place to call home. Mvula and Lamula have been keeping a very low profile this month.
The lion sightings this month was once again brilliant. We saw the three older Tsalala females a few times and once they were accompanied by the Black Maned Majingi male. There is something strange going on with him as he is always chasing the sub adult females of the Tsalala pride around. It seems like he doesn’t want them around at all. The one sub adult female got separated from the rest of the pride and to make things worse she’s got an injured back leg as well. We are unsure as to how she sustained the injury and where it happened. We saw the Tsalala pride the one night with the two sub adult females and then the next morning she was all alone with an injured leg. At this stage we keep our fingers crossed that the pride will reunite very soon. The four Breakaway Tsalala females are doing really well and one of the females are very far pregnant. Two of the other three females were also pregnant but it is unsure to what happened to the cubs and if there actually were any. I can’t wait for the day when this young pride has their first cubs and starts growing in numbers. These four ladies are still moving around in their mother’s territory, but they avoid each other as far as they possibly can. If the three older females just let these four ladies rejoin the pride they would benefit out of this and it will be good for the four youngsters to have some experience on their side. Chances are good that maybe one day when this older trio gets too old, the four breakaway females might be strong enough to push them out seeing that they use the same territory. As I always say, the stage is set and only time will tell. The Styx pride is also looking good. The four sub adults and the three young cubs are growing up and looking really healthy. It looks like things are eventually looking up for the Styx pride and it looks like the cubs will survive.
What a treat, we were so spoiled this month with the buffalo sightings! The big breeding herds we were waiting for returned to our area this month and we had a herd of about 400! With all the lush green vegetation all over, the buffaloes don’t stay in one area very long. If you think about it this way, in a big herd you can get anywhere between 400 and 2000 individuals. When you have so many mouths to feed you can’t stay in one area for too long, because buffaloes are bulk grazers. They get driven by food and water supplies so they need to be on the move all the time in search of enough food for all of them. It was so nice to see all the small calves in the herd as this is also the time of the year where the females will have their babies. The old buffalo bulls are still out and about, spending their days lying in the water or mud wallows or just relaxing somewhere in the shade.
Elephant sightings were also very good this month and the reason for all the lovely sightings was the start of the marula season. All the herds had a field day with all this marula trees that’s full of fruits. The marula fruit is also very high in vitamin C, even more than oranges. When the fruiting season starts, elephants can be very destructive when it comes to getting the fruits. Here in the northern part of the Sabi Sand we have a lot of marula trees and this time of the year we have lots of elephant herds all over, walking from one marula tree to the next. As you drive around and past some of the marula trees, you might find that there are branches all over the road. The elephants will break the higher branches to get to the juicy marula fruits. Some of the bigger elephants will shake the trees for the fruits to fall to the ground and if they can’t reach they will even push over the whole tree.
The special sighting of the month was when Salayexe’s 7 month old cub played a very dangerous game with two big buffalo bulls. The little cub saw these two big animals feeding on the nice green grass and she saw an opportunity to practice her stalking skills. Things went really well until the wind direction changed and the buffalo got the upper hand. After the buffalo swung around and moved closer to the young leopard, mum knew that things could go wrong and she jumped up and drew the attention away from the cub, thereby leading the buffalo away. As soon as the buffalo turned and went for mom, the small cub couldn’t help herself and chased after the buffalo again. Luckily it all ended well and the buffaloes and leopards went their separate ways.
Did you know?
A giraffe is the biggest ruminant of all the land mammals.
I hope you enjoyed this month’s report. See you out on game drive soon!