Manager’s Report

February 2018
Wild photo of the month - Salayexe and cub by Paul, Sue and Mark Johnstone

Wild photo of the month - leopard silhouette by Morné Fouché

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 days, some warm, windy days and ended the month with some cloudy days. It is noticeable during the evenings that the season is now slowly changing. The warm, humid nights are slowly being replaced by cooler, breezier temperatures. We can also notice the sunrise and sunset times changing a little more every day, as we slowly move towards autumn.
Male giraffe by Morné Fouché

Young elephant bull playing in the mud by Morné Fouché

We received a very welcome downpour of rain around the 18th. On the morning of 19th of February we were welcomed by the all too familiar sound of flowing water. Yes, the magical Manyeleti river was flowing! Luckily, the majority of water from the catchment area came down through the night and we were not stuck on an island. After the lovely rain, the bush took on a lush green canvas. It is amazing what a huge influence rain has on the bush. We all know the expression ” the grass is always greener on the other side” Now, in our case, the grass is not only greener, but also much, much longer and the bush was bursting out of its seams! The herbivores are all in top shape with the abundance of food available and the animal sightings have been amazing. With the grass and trees growing so fast, our maintenance team, rangers and trackers spent some time keeping our roads clean from overhanging branches and grass. The rangers and trackers are out and about on the roads on game drive, so they know which roads need the most attention and where it is turning into a forest. It is essential to keep roads clear from overgrowth, in order to ensure a comfortable game drive for our guests. The last thing you would want to do when admiring the beauty of the African bush, is to duck and dive for branches along the road. Our maintenance team is also doing a great job maintaining our airstrip, clearing away any unwanted vegetation, which could prevent a smooth landing.
Trapcam photo

Trapcam photo

Out trapcam picture this month is kind of a family portrait. This picture shows a mother elephant with her two youngsters. Elephants are some of most social mammals. Older siblings will assist mom to raise younger brothers and sisters. The age gap between siblings are between four and six years and the females will stay together for life. During February the marula trees were dropping thousands of fruits, which was an absolute delight for these gentle giants.
Male giraffe by Morné Fouché

Wild dog by Morné Fouché

February is a very busy birthday month at the lodge. Five of our staff members celebrated their birthdays this month. We started the month with our head ranger, Morné, who celebrated his birthday on the 1st.  I am sure all of you are already familiar with him, reading his monthly Ranger’s Reports. On the 2nd, our trusty tracker, Derrick, celebrated his birthday. Derrick has been part of our team for a few years now and he enjoys sharing stories of his childhood with us. Another gentleman who celebrated his birthday was Dion, on the 4th.  Dion is also one or our trusty trackers, who always has a smile on his face! The fourth gentleman for the month was another of our trusted trackers, Chriswell, whose birthday was on the 14th. Marlet celebrated her birthday on the 24th. Although we do not see her every day as we used to, now that she is based in Nelspruit with the children, she still visits the lodge as often as she can and is still very involved with the day to day running of the lodge. Happy birthday to all of you! To all our readers who celebrated their birthdays during February, we hope you had a fantastic day, filled with happiness and laughter!

Each month our chefs spoil us with delicious new recipes from the EP kitchen. This month is no exception, with a delicious Camembert Phyllo pocket by head chef, Yolandi. The camembert can also be replaced with mozzarella cheese, if you prefer. These cheesy parcels are wonderful as a starter, or even an afternoon lunch snack.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Camembert Phyllo Parcels

Ingredients

3 Camembert Rounds
2 Phyllo Pastry Sheets
Melted Butter

Sauce

100ml Orange Juice
1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
1/4 cup Sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Cut the camembert round into halves.
Divide the phyllo pastry sheets into strips, a little wider than the cheese portions.
Place the camembert on the sheet and roll it, brushing it with butter at the end.
Place on a baking tray and brush with butter.
Bake for about 10min, or until golden brown.

For the sauce:

Add all ingredients together in a pot and boil until it thickens to a syrup type of sauce.
Serve your camembert parcels hot, smothered in sticky cranberry sauce.

Serve and enjoy!

All the best till next month,
Tersia Fouché

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