Manager’s Report

December 2017
Wild photo of the month - Salayexe and cub by Paul, Sue and Mark Johnstone

Wild photo of the month - elephant mud bath by Paul, Sue and Mark Johnstone

December was a great month to end the year. We had lovely animal sightings, shared happiness and laughter over the festivities of Christmas and New Year and just before we said our last goodbyes to 2017, we received a heavy downpour of rain and hail.  Our New Year’s dinner was almost served on ice!

The rain we received was just enough to turn the dry Manyeleti river into a little trickle. Luckily, the weather cleared up just in time and the river did not pick up. We were definitely not looking forward to entering the new year with a flood.  After the rain, we were entertained by a choir of frogs singing the most amazing songs around the ponds and fountains. The sounds they make are so powerful that some of our guests were looking around for a radio playing the sounds.   We definitely had a fresh start to the new year.

During December I also travelled down to Cape Town for a short visit to Little Rock.  The guesthouse celebrated its first birthday during December and has truly transformed into a “house away from home”. Guests have been showering us with compliments on their stay.  Although the Cape area receive more seasonal travellers, we still often get enquiries for a relaxing stay during the quiet season.  If you are ever travelling on the garden route, be sure to visit the little piece of heaven next to the sea in Jongensfontein.  You will depart relaxed and refreshed; ready to take on the world.  For enquiries, contact Little Rock at res@littlerockguesthouse.com, or visit the website to make a booking online www.littlerockguesthouse.com.

Male giraffe by Morné Fouché

African Hawk Eagle by Morné Fouché

At the lodge things were buzzing as always.  Hendrik and the maintenance team are hard at work with a big bush clearing project.  They are spraying alien plants on our property, in order to prevent and control further spread during the wet season.  Our airstrip also received some TLC after the rain and is back in top condition, ready for the flights arriving with our guests.  After the baby boom last month, we have plenty of “oo’s” and “aa’s” and “it’s so cute” flying around camp.  The impala population has doubled and the little ones are truly super adorable when grouped together. It can almost pass as an impala day care centre around Elephant Plains.

On the 25th and 31st, our team did a wonderful job decorating the dining room for Christmas and New Year’s dinner.  The chefs once again went over the top with a wide selection of meats, salads and a heavenly dessert buffet. Thank you to each and every guest who chose our lodge to celebrate these specials days and a special thank you to each and every staff member who gave their 100% during the holiday season. We truly appreciate it!  For those of you who travelled during the festive season, near or far, I hope you had a wonderful time and a safe journey home. During December we also had a lot of children in camp.  Elephant Plains is one of only a few child friendly lodges in the Sabi Sand Wildtuin and we enjoy having the younger generation with us. If you would like to treat your family to an African bush experience in 2018, be sure to contact our reservations team for availability and rates at reservations@elephantplains.co.za.

Trapcam photo

Trapcam photo

Our trapcam caught a small dazzle of zebra moving along the road close to the resident hyena den.  The picture truly shows the positive effect the rain had. The bush is lush and green and the animals are in a great condition. Now who would have expected to find a zebra crossing in the middle of the bush…?!

This month we celebrated only one birthday at the lodge. Little Martin Swart celebrated his birthday on the 11th. Martin is a busy body, but can melt your heart with his friendly smile.  We trust he enjoyed his special day! To all our readers who celebrated their birthdays during December, we hope you also had a fantastic day, filled with happiness and laughter!

Our recipe of the month will definitely knock you off your feet! Thank you head chef Mia for sharing this amazing recipe with us.  This decadent piece of happiness was one of the items on our Christmas dinner menu. I cannot imagine a better dessert to end off a warm African day.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Christmas Meringues

Ingredients

150 g Egg whites
150 g Castor sugar
150 g Icing sugar
5 ml Cream of Tartar

Method

Preheat oven to 120°C.
Cover a baking tray with foil and spray with Spray and Cook.  Draw circles on the foil to use as a piping guideline.
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks.
Add the castor sugar to the egg mixture and continue to mix until the stiff peak stage. The mixture should have a glossy white colour.
Fold the icing sugar and cream of tartar into the egg mixture.
Pipe the mixture on the foil circles.
Bake in the oven for 25 min.  Switch off the oven but leave the meringues in the oven.  Do not open the door.  Leave in the closed oven for about 3 hours to gradually cool down.
Your meringues can now be filled with any topping of your choice.  We used a freshly whipped cream filling and topped with berries.
Makes 12 individual servings.

My wish for each and everyone for 2018 is a year full of peace and happiness. Let’s grab 2018 by the horns!

All the best till next month
Tersia Fouché

Manager’s Report September 2018

  Wild photo of the month - by Paul, Sue, and Mark Johnstone Spring is in the air and the landscape is slowly changing. Some of the trees around camp are showing off new small, green leaves and before we know, we will be surrounded with a fresh burst of green....

Manager’s Report May 2018

  We are at that time of the year again, winter has arrived! The bush is wearing its winter coat once again! We have the blankets and hot water bottles back on the game drive vehicles and game viewing has been spectacular! The trees and grass are not as lush...

Manager’s Report February 2018

The shortest month of the year came and went in the blink of an eye. We had loads of wonderful game drive sightings, had some maintenance projects and also celebrated many staff birthdays. We experienced some strange weather patterns as well. We had very hot, humid...

Manager’s Report January 2018

Like I always say: “Time flies, when you’re having fun!”   It feels like just a few days ago that we had our new year's dinner and we are already going into the second month of 2018. By now, I am sure that most people are back home after the festive season....

Manager’s Report December 2017

December was a great month to end the year. We had lovely animal sightings, shared happiness and laughter over the festivities of Christmas and New Year and just before we said our last goodbyes to 2017, we received a heavy downpour of rain and hail.  Our New...

Manager’s Report November 2017

The final countdown has arrived… just one more month until we welcome the new year. With the bush now once again wearing its bright summer colours, we are looking forward to an eventful summer! Game viewing has been amazing and with all the new babies that were born...

Rangers Report September 2018

  It’s spring time! What an awesome time to be out on safari. Migratory birds are returning and the trees are all in bloom with fresh, green leaves. Our temperatures jumped from the one extreme to the next. One day we were sweating in 43°C and the next day we had...

Rangers Report May 2018

This month was one for the record books. We had a great time with awesome weather and spectacular sightings. The day temperature was very pleasant, with only a few days where the temperature went as high as 33-34°C. The average maximum temperature for the month was...

Rangers Report February 2018

This month was very exciting, with incredible game viewing opportunities. The average maximum temperature for the month was 32°C, with a wonderful 86mm of rain. We had several wild dog sightings again this month. With our resident hyena clan, we are always guaranteed...

Rangers Report January 2018

We could not ask for a better way to kick off 2018. It was an absolute pleasure to be out in the bush this month. The sightings were phenomenal and there was never a dull moment. The weather was up and down, but the rain was a huge, welcome relieve. The average...

Rangers Report December 2017

And so all good things have to come to an end. It is hard to imagine that we’ve reached the end of 2017. Looking back on this year, one realizes once again just how fantastic the sightings were. December is normally a really hot and wet month. It was a little...

Rangers Report November 2017

  Finally, the long wait is over and the first babies of the season started arriving during November. The first impalas arrived between 10 and 13 November. November is the start of the rainy season and that directly translates into baby season. The majority of...

Big 5 sightings

Monday, 4th November2019 (24ºC) Tiyani the female leopard and her cub hunting and taking lessons around XimungweBreeding herd of about 20 Elephants feeding arounf EP openHyena den on Elephants Plains was very active with nine pups and three adults Tuesday, 5th...

Big Five Sightings 21-27 October 2019

The highlight of the week was one female cheetah resting east of Arathusa Airstrip Photo by Chade Gelderman Monday, 21 October 2019 (36ºC) Nine African wild dogs resting west of Treehouse panSeven Nkuhuma female lionesses and one Avoca male lion resting on Simbambili...

Big 5 Sightings 14-20 October 2019

The highlight of the week was one honey badger foraging on the Elephant Plains airstrip Photo by Chade Gelderman Monday, 14 October 2019 (23ºC) Tiyani, the female leopard and her cub on a duiker kill at Pungwe PanMoya, the female leopard resting on a termite mound...

Big 5 Sightings 07-13 October 2019

The highlight of the week was watching two cheetahs chase and catch a duiker along Jacobin Driveway Photo by Andrew Bartlet Monday, 07 October 2019 (37ºC) Tiyani, the female leopard and her cub drinking at Leeukuil panA breeding herd of about 40 elephants feeding...

Big 5 Sightings 30 September – 06 October 2019

The highlight of the week was seeing Sibuye, the female leopard and her two tiny, new cubs suckling at the den site on MalaMala Boundary  Photo by Andrew Bartlet Monday, 30 September 2019 (26ºC) Tiyani, the female leopard’s cub feeding on a duiker kill at Tamboti...

Big 5 Sightings – 23-29 September 2019

The highlight of the week was Hukumuri, the male leopard mating with Moya, the female leopard at Broken Dam Photo by Andrew Bartlet Monday, 23 September 2019 (21ºC) Saseka, the female leopard resting in a tree north of Seef’s PanXidulu, the female leopard feeding on...