Manager’s Report November 2017

Manager’s Report

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

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

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 during this month, there was never a dull moment. We also ended the month with a few very welcome cool days and rain. The forecast going into December shows some very hot days. If you are visiting us during the next few weeks, please be sure to pack your hat and sunscreen. Each year November, we have a “birding day” at the lodge where our staff members form a team to compete against our next-door neighbours, Arathusa Private Lodge. This has become a yearly tradition, with the winning team being awarded a birding trophy. This is always great fun! The competition does not have a lot of rules and the main goal is to identify as many different bird species as possible, between 05:00am and 07:00pm. So, between these hours, if you see or hear it, you can claim it! Last year, Elephant Plains won the competition. This year, we were unfortunately defeated by 4 species, but we accepted our second place with great pride. With the birding trophy displayed in our reception area, we are already looking forward to next year, when we can hopefully once again engrave our own name on the plaque, as the 2018 winners.
Male giraffe by Morné Fouché

Male giraffe by Morné Fouché

This month we started a big maintenance project at the lodge, behind the scenes and a few feet above the ground… We are giving our thatched roofs a little makeover. What does this all include, one would ask. Well, think of it as going to the hair salon for a cut, colour and blow-dry. As thatch roofs age over the years, the top layers of grass start to rot and they take on a pale, black appearance. Sometimes a roof can also develop a small leak, due to our resident vervet monkeys sometimes pulling out blades of grass, while playing on their self-discovered jungle gyms. Firstly, a special brush is used to remove all the rotten pieces and straighten the grass back into place. Just like brushing your hair. On some of the places, bundles of grass are also replaced where needed, to cover the thinning spots. Lastly, the edges are neatly pushed back into place, leaving the roof looking brand new. It is quite amazing to see the contractors in action. What a big difference a good brush can make! We are done with the main lodge area and the majority of the rooms. Just a few more strokes and all the roofs will be good as new again.
Trapcam photo

Trapcam photo

With the active hyena den on our property, it is hard to resist the temptation to spy on them. The trapcam was placed at the den and in a very short period of just 4 days, the memory card was completely filled up with 2700 pictures. We now have a very good idea of what their daily activities are: eat, play, sleep, repeat. This month we had only one birthday at the lodge. Helen celebrated her special day on the 29th. Helen is part of our lovely team of housekeepers, keeping our lodge in tip top condition. Happy birthday Helen, I am sure there will be many more to come! To all our readers who celebrated their birthdays during November, we hope you also had a fantastic day, filled with happiness and laughter! This month, sous chef Yolandi, shares a mouth-watering recipe. Red Velvet Cupcakes are perfect for that special afternoon tea with family and friends.
Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Ingredients

160 ml Cake flour 100 ml Castor sugar 1.25 ml Salt 5 ml Cocoa 1.25 ml Bicarbonate of Soda 100 ml Sunflower oil 60 ml Buttermilk 1 Egg 15 ml Red food colouring 1.25 ml White vinegar 1.25 ml Vanilla 

Icing

50 g Soft butter 60 g Cream cheese 250 ml Icing sugar 2.25 ml Lemon juice/ a little squeeze of a lemon to taste and/or 2.5ml vanilla

Method

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Prepare your muffin tin by lining each hollow with a paper case. In a bowl, sieve together the dry ingredients (flour, castor sugar, salt, cocoa and bicarb) and set aside. In another larger bowl, mix all the wet ingredients (oil, buttermilk, eggs, food colouring, vinegar and vanilla). Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine. Spoon into your cupcake cases, filling each to 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. In the meantime, prepare your icing by beating the butter and cream cheese together with a wooden spoon until well combined (about 3 minutes).   Gradually add the icing sugar, beating all the while, until it forms a smooth icing.  Adjust the consistency by adding a little more icing sugar if required. Then add the lemon juice and/or the vanilla to taste. Makes 6 Large Cupcakes. Serve and enjoy! As our next report will only be sent out in early January, I would like to wish each and every one of our readers a joyful Christmas and only the best for 2018. Whether you have a holiday planned, or are just relaxing at home with the family, do make the best of every second and travel safe! All the best till next month Tersia Fouché

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...

Manager’s Report October 2017

Wow! What happened to the year!? It feels like 2017 started yesterday and now we only have two months to go before the end of the year. I guess you can say that “time flies when you’re having fun!” There is always lots of fun to be had in the bush. We had a little bit...

Manager’s Report September 2017

Spring is in the air!  Birds are singing, trees are blooming and the bush is a slowly turning into a painted canvas of green delight!  It seems as if everything almost transformed overnight, after we received an extremely welcome shower of rain just before the last...

Manager’s Report August 2017

August is the month of leaves!  At first, we thought that we welcomed the beginning of spring a bit earlier this year. But just as we got comfortable with the idea of the pleasant spring days, we were surprised by some very chilly winds during the last few days of the...

Manager’s Report June 2017

Note from the webmaster: We've been working on upgrading the Big 5 Blog the past few months, and for this reason we have not been able to publish our regular manager- and ranger reports. We apologise for this but hope that you will enjoy the flood of news that has...

Manager’s Report May 2017

Winter has arrived and the bush is wearing its winter attire 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 anymore, which gives you a better view of all...

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 the...

Rangers Report October 2017

What an awesome time out in the bush. The temperatures were pleasant most of the time, but the month ended with a heat wave of note! The average maximum temperature for October was a wonderful 32°C. We were once again on the tip of our seats, with all the amazing...

Rangers Report September 2017

Spring is finally here and with it, came some wonderful rain and temperatures. With 18mm of rain, the bush received a total facelift in the form of wonderfully bright, green colours. The average maximum temperature for this month was 32°C. All the browsers in the area...

Rangers Report August 2017

It is strange how the unexpected can happen at any time and any place. The month started off with a bang and everything was out and about, going really well, until that one day. As most of you know by now Salayexe, our resident female leopard, passed away on the 18th...

Rangers Report June 2017

It is hard to imagine that we are half way through the year, when it still feels like we celebrated new year’s yesterday. I now know why people always say that time flies when you are having fun! The winter is finally here and we had a few very crisp mornings and some...

Rangers Report May 2017

With the impala rutting season in full swing, there is no shortage in the action department. Broken horns, bloody faces and puncture wounds on their bodies are only a few signs of the fights this month. These bloody battles can even be heard late at night, as the...

Big 5 Sightings 05 to 11 February

Monday, 5 February 2018 (34ºC) Pack of ten Wilddogs running south of Mhisi Mati Sibuye the female leopard resting on Hofmans Wessels cutline Six Buffalo bulls walking on Ekiso Road One Elephant bull at Safari Open Area Hosana the young male Leopard drinking water...

Big five sightings 29 January to 4 February

Monday, 29 January 2018 (38ºC) The Styx lion pride resting on Grass Cut Road A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Kudu Drift Six buffalo bulls resting on Milkberry Road Another breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on EP open area Ten buffalo...

Big 5 Sightings 15 to 21 January 2018

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see the Hukumuri male leopard   Monday, 15 January 2018 (35ºC) Hukumuri, the male leopard scent marking on Xidulu Road Six buffalo bulls resting in the water at Kraaines Pan A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on...

Big 5 Sightings 1 to 7 January 2018

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see one of the Birmingham male lions drinking water at Rhulani mud wallow Monday, 1 January 2018 (25ºC) The Styx lion pride resting on Airport Link Tiyani, the female leopard, feeding on her kudu kill at Kimbeans crossing The...

Big 5 Sightings 25 to 31 December 2017

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see the Styx lion pride resting on Little Gowrie/Wessels cutline Monday, 25 December 2017 (23ºC) The Hukumuri male leopard moving south from Shinzele road The Xidulu female leopard moving west on Rhulani Two Lionesses from the...

Big 5 Sightings 18 to 24 December 2017

The Big 5 highlight of the week was Xidulu female leopard, resting on termite mound at Simbambili firebreak Monday, 18 December 2017 (42ºC) A bachelor group of buffalo bulls resting on Rhino Ring East Tiyani, the female leopard resting on EP airstrip A breeding herd...

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Rangers Report November 2017

Rangers Report

November 2017

 

Nkuhuma cubs - Morné Fouché

Nkuhuma cubs - Morné Fouché

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 the animals will normally give birth during the wet season, when water and food is more abundant. The vegetation is getting really dense and searching for food is a thing of the past. The average maximum temperature was 30°C and we received a very welcome 74mm of rain. Game viewing was absolutely incredible. We were spoiled, not only with the quality of different sightings, but also with quantity. This month we had two different pangolins on our traversing area. This was once again so amazing to see, as the one pangolin was spotted a few hundred meters from our lodge. The wild dogs were also out in their numbers and they made sure we got some great sightings. The Elephant Plains hyena den have a brand-new puppy! What an amazing little creature. We are really spoiled with this hyena den on our property, especially due to this fact that it has been very active for more than a year now.

Leopard

There is still a lot of uncertainty with regards to the territory of the late Salayexe. Both Tiyani and the young Ingrid Dam female are still occupying the same area and they still scent mark the same areas as well. Both these females are fairly young and have a lot of life lessons to learn. It will be nice if both of them can share this available territory.

Tiyani is still getting bigger and she is showing some strong features. She also looks very healthy and this is definitely due to her successful hunting routine. It is always a treat to see this young cat. She was often spotted, moving through the area and scent marking as she went along. The area that Tiyani is scent marking and claiming is quite big for a young female. The possibility is evident that she might need to downscale a little to something smaller.

The young Ingrid’s Dam female was also seen a few times this month. This young female is a little older than Tiyani, but they are similar in size. Both of them can hear the distinct territorial call of the other, but chooses not to engage in any territorial disputes. Unfortunately, a territorial dispute is bound to happen somewhere in the near future.

Nsele was not seen too often this month. When we did see her, she had a belly that almost dragged on the ground. It would be so awesome if she is pregnant and we could see new bundles of fluff soon. This is not impossible, as her daughter from her previous litter is almost two years old now. We saw her older daughter a few times as well this month and she is a really stunning cat.

The young Hosana is growing up really fast and he is becoming a beautiful and bulky leopard, due to his excellent hunting skills. He still has no urge to move away, in search of his own little territory. Unfortunately, there will come a time when he would have to leave, as he will be forced out. But for now, he is still loving life around the area.

There is a new male on the block and he is moving around in the south-eastern corner of Tingana’s territory. He looks like a confident, focused and strong male, who wants to make his mark in the area. He is not that relaxed with the vehicles, but he will get there. At this stage he is smack bang in the middle, between Tingana and Anderson. Talk about being between stuck in between a rock and a hard place!

Mvula was also seen this month and he is still looking good. Mvula is still moving all over the show, as he has Tingana to the east and then Anderson to the south of him. So far it is still looking good and he is avoiding the younger, stronger males. The big question is just for how long he would be able to keep up this Houdini act.

Anderson was very low on the radar this month. During the times we did see him, he was still on a mission, patrolling his territory. He is spending a lot of his time in the southern and western parts of his territory. It might be because there is some new competition coming into the area, or he might just be busy expanding his territory.

Male giraffe by Morné Fouché

Elephants and a leopard drinking water by Morné Fouché

 

Lion

The lion sightings were absolutely brilliant this month. We were very fortunate with the different lion prides in the area. There was also a lot of excitement with these beautiful cats.

The Nkuhuma pride stole the spotlight during November. The Amber eyes female has suckle marks. It is still unclear how many cubs she has, as she was only spotted in a thick dry riverbed. It will be so awesome if we could see the cubs and find out how many there are. The young female with the two older cubs is spending a lot of time with the Amber eyes female at the den site. Fingers crossed that she will keep the new babies safe for the next few months or so, before she re-joins the pride. The young female with the two older cubs are also doing well. The two cubs are growing up really fast and they are keeping their mother on her toes. The other females with the bigger cubs are also looking good and they are eating really well. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for this pride.

The Styx pride was also seen a few times during the month. They are looking great and all the cubs are very healthy. It is always great to see this pride. As they are the oldest pride in the Sabi Sand, I will always have a soft spot for them. They’ve had a really tough time the last couple of years, as they were not able to raise a single cub to adulthood. So far, the three adult lionesses are doing really well for themselves. As long as they can eat well, they will stay healthy. It is good for the pride to have one, or even all four, of the Birmingham males accompanying them, to keep them safe.

The Tsalala pride was also seen a few times this month. Unfortunately, this pride still doesn’t have any pride males to keep them safe from other males. The responsibility all comes down to the adult females to keep the rest of the pride safe. It looks like the two fifteen-year-old sisters are back together, but there are a few pride members missing. The one young female of the Tsalala pride was mating with one of the Birmingham males this month. It is great to see that this young female is mating with the Birmingham male. All that needs to happen now is for the Birmingham boys to expand their empire more south, into the Tsalala prides territory. This is most probably what will happen within the next year.

The four Birmingham males are also looking very healthy. They have really turned into beautiful big male lions. They are getting more and more confident and moving further and further south, while scent marking and roaring. With the aging Majingi males to the west, it will not be too long before the Birmingham males will expand their territory further west.

Young Ingrid's dam female by Morné Fouché

Young Ingrid's dam female by Morné Fouché

 

Buffalo

More and more bachelor herds are making their way back to our area. This has a lot to do with the awesome rain we’ve received during the month. It is great to see the waterholes that were bone dry a month ago, finally three quarters full again. Mud wallows are an essential part of the day to day living of a buffalo’s life during the summer months. The buffalo bulls love to roll in the mud, as it is cool and soothing and also helps them to get rid of some of the parasites that might be stuck on them. We are still hopeful that the females and their calves are not too far away. Hopefully they would soon make their way into our area as well. This time of the year there should already be a few females with very small calves. Buffalo cows have a gestation period of between eleven and twelve months. This is the longest gestation period in the bovine family. Despite a long gestation and the ability of the calve to be able to stand within the first ten minutes after birth, they can’t keep up with the rest of the herd. Mothers that give birth within the herds rest period, are usually left behind by the herd when they move on to feed. This will force the mother to go into hiding with the calve, until it is strong enough to move along with the herd.

Tiyani the female leopard by Morné Fouché

Tiyani the female leopard by Morné Fouché

 

Elephant

The elephant sightings were just incredible this month. Normally the elephants will embark on their yearly journey to the Kruger National Park this time of the year. This year it was different and we had so many elephant herds moving through the area. One noticeable thing is that there are a lot more family units than in previous years. This certainly has to do with the amount of rain we’ve recently had, which totally transformed the bush. These family units will normally consist of an old female and her offspring, as well as their offspring. These herds consist of only about ten to fifteen animals. These family units will again join forces with the rest of their family during the winter, when they rely on the matriarch of the herd to find food for them. Leadership and experience play such a crucial role in the social structure of elephants.

Special sighting

The special sighting this month was to see a new, tiny hyena cub at the hyena den. He was so small that he had a hard time getting up to the entrance of the den. His mother was very relaxed with us being there and her focus was only on the little cub. Mum was lying on the slope just next to the entrance of the den and the cub walked with very wobbly legs towards mum. The slope turned out to be quite a challenge for the inexperienced walker, as he tripped and rolled down the slope, all the way to the bottom. Mum just looked on in shocked disbelieve at his clumsiness, as baby ended up all the way at the bottom of the mound.

Did you know?

Spotted hyena cubs are born with their eyes open.

See you out on the game drive soon.

Morné Fouché

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 the...

Rangers Report October 2017

What an awesome time out in the bush. The temperatures were pleasant most of the time, but the month ended with a heat wave of note! The average maximum temperature for October was a wonderful 32°C. We were once again on the tip of our seats, with all the amazing...

Rangers Report September 2017

Spring is finally here and with it, came some wonderful rain and temperatures. With 18mm of rain, the bush received a total facelift in the form of wonderfully bright, green colours. The average maximum temperature for this month was 32°C. All the browsers in the area...

Rangers Report August 2017

It is strange how the unexpected can happen at any time and any place. The month started off with a bang and everything was out and about, going really well, until that one day. As most of you know by now Salayexe, our resident female leopard, passed away on the 18th...

Rangers Report June 2017

It is hard to imagine that we are half way through the year, when it still feels like we celebrated new year’s yesterday. I now know why people always say that time flies when you are having fun! The winter is finally here and we had a few very crisp mornings and some...

Rangers Report May 2017

With the impala rutting season in full swing, there is no shortage in the action department. Broken horns, bloody faces and puncture wounds on their bodies are only a few signs of the fights this month. These bloody battles can even be heard late at night, as the...

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...

Manager’s Report October 2017

Wow! What happened to the year!? It feels like 2017 started yesterday and now we only have two months to go before the end of the year. I guess you can say that “time flies when you’re having fun!” There is always lots of fun to be had in the bush. We had a little bit...

Manager’s Report September 2017

Spring is in the air!  Birds are singing, trees are blooming and the bush is a slowly turning into a painted canvas of green delight!  It seems as if everything almost transformed overnight, after we received an extremely welcome shower of rain just before the last...

Manager’s Report August 2017

August is the month of leaves!  At first, we thought that we welcomed the beginning of spring a bit earlier this year. But just as we got comfortable with the idea of the pleasant spring days, we were surprised by some very chilly winds during the last few days of the...

Manager’s Report June 2017

Note from the webmaster: We've been working on upgrading the Big 5 Blog the past few months, and for this reason we have not been able to publish our regular manager- and ranger reports. We apologise for this but hope that you will enjoy the flood of news that has...

Manager’s Report May 2017

Winter has arrived and the bush is wearing its winter attire 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 anymore, which gives you a better view of all...

Big 5 Sightings 05 to 11 February

Monday, 5 February 2018 (34ºC) Pack of ten Wilddogs running south of Mhisi Mati Sibuye the female leopard resting on Hofmans Wessels cutline Six Buffalo bulls walking on Ekiso Road One Elephant bull at Safari Open Area Hosana the young male Leopard drinking water...

Big five sightings 29 January to 4 February

Monday, 29 January 2018 (38ºC) The Styx lion pride resting on Grass Cut Road A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Kudu Drift Six buffalo bulls resting on Milkberry Road Another breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on EP open area Ten buffalo...

Big 5 Sightings 15 to 21 January 2018

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see the Hukumuri male leopard   Monday, 15 January 2018 (35ºC) Hukumuri, the male leopard scent marking on Xidulu Road Six buffalo bulls resting in the water at Kraaines Pan A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on...

Big 5 Sightings 1 to 7 January 2018

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see one of the Birmingham male lions drinking water at Rhulani mud wallow Monday, 1 January 2018 (25ºC) The Styx lion pride resting on Airport Link Tiyani, the female leopard, feeding on her kudu kill at Kimbeans crossing The...

Big 5 Sightings 25 to 31 December 2017

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see the Styx lion pride resting on Little Gowrie/Wessels cutline Monday, 25 December 2017 (23ºC) The Hukumuri male leopard moving south from Shinzele road The Xidulu female leopard moving west on Rhulani Two Lionesses from the...

Big 5 Sightings 18 to 24 December 2017

The Big 5 highlight of the week was Xidulu female leopard, resting on termite mound at Simbambili firebreak Monday, 18 December 2017 (42ºC) A bachelor group of buffalo bulls resting on Rhino Ring East Tiyani, the female leopard resting on EP airstrip A breeding herd...

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Manager’s Report October 2017

Manager’s Report

October 2017
Wild photo of the month by Rogier, Melissa en Tuur Nieuwendijk, Mortsel, Antwerp, Belgium

Wild photo of the month by Rogier, Melissa en Tuur Nieuwendijk, Mortsel, Antwerp, Belgium

Wow! What happened to the year!? It feels like 2017 started yesterday and now we only have two months to go before the end of the year. I guess you can say that “time flies when you’re having fun!” There is always lots of fun to be had in the bush.

We had a little bit of rain during the month and the bush has now transformed to its summer colours. Bright flowers are also starting to bloom on some of the trees. We had some very hot days during October and more rain will be very welcome, as it is almost time for baby season in the bush. During the next month, we will start seeing new born impala, wildebeest and zebra around every corner, as there are loads of expecting females, just waiting for the perfect time to introduce their precious little miracles to the African bush.

The open area in front of the lodge has transformed into an elephant sanctuary! It feels like every day, 10 minutes after we beat the drum for lunch, the herds in our area start making their way towards the waterhole in front of the lodge. Our guests have been overwhelmed with their peace and grace, as they move past. Some just stop for a quick drink, while others submerge themselves in the fresh water, in order to fight off the heat. With our resident hippo also in the water, there are some days where the two species do not get along very well, as Mr. Hippo is not very open to sharing his waterhole. I have seen him chasing zebra and impala all around the waterhole, before grumpily moving off into the bush.

Now that we had our first rains after the winter, our maintenance team has been spending some time on the roads. In order to keep them in a good condition, we have to give special attention to roads where erosion is prone to take place during the rainy season. After a few trips with the tractor and general maintenance, such as opening up mitre drains, the roads are once again in a good condition and ready for the rest of the rainy season. Those of you who have visited the lodge before, would remember the bumps in the road, leading to the lodge. These are not speed bumps, but act as barriers to prevent water flowing down the road, washing away the top soil, which in turn causes erosion. With these bumps in place the water runs up against them, redirecting it into the bush, away from the road.

Trapcam photo

Trapcam photo

This month we placed our Trapcam at Leeukuil Pan again.  After the luck we struck with the leopard last month, I thought that we could give it another bash.  The cam caught this lovely elephant, feeding around the water. Now, we just need a little more rain to fill up the pan and maybe next month we will have swimming elephants! 

We had three staff birthdays at the lodge this month. A big happy birthday goes out to Tannie Margie, who celebrated her birthday on the 6th of this month. The 10th day of the 10th month was a very special day for Hendrik, who celebrated his birthday on this day. Hendrik is our own DIY maintenance man, keeping the lodge and surrounds in tip-top condition. Then, just before the month came to an end, one of our Trackers, Life, celebrated his birthday. Life joined our little family during March this year but it feels like he has been with us for years.  With his warm, friendly personality he is a highlight on every game drive. I do hope that you all got spoiled on the day, and hope that you will celebrate many more joyful birthdays at Elephant Plains. To all our readers who celebrated their birthdays during October, we hope you also had a fantastic day, filled with happiness and laughter.

For the recipe of the month, head chef Mia is spoiling us with a very easy and delicious Strawberry Mousse recipe.  Enjoyed by young and old, you will not disappoint anyone with this easy recipe.

Strawberry Mousse

Strawberry Mousse

15 Fresh Strawberries
260gr White chocolate, broken into pieces, or white chocolate chips
500ml Whipping cream

Melt the white chocolate and 125 ml of the cream by using the double boiler method.
Be careful not to overcook the chocolate. Melt it to a smooth consistency. Allow it to cool down to room temperature.
Whisk the remaining cream till soft peaks are formed.
Gently fold in the whisked cream to the melted chocolate, in batches.
Puree the strawberries.
Gently mix the strawberry puree into the chocolate cream with a spatula.
Pour the chocolate cream mixture into individual serving bowls.
Chill for 2-3 hours, serve and enjoy!

Makes 4 Servings

All the best till next month.
Tersia Fouché

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...

Manager’s Report October 2017

Wow! What happened to the year!? It feels like 2017 started yesterday and now we only have two months to go before the end of the year. I guess you can say that “time flies when you’re having fun!” There is always lots of fun to be had in the bush. We had a little bit...

Manager’s Report September 2017

Spring is in the air!  Birds are singing, trees are blooming and the bush is a slowly turning into a painted canvas of green delight!  It seems as if everything almost transformed overnight, after we received an extremely welcome shower of rain just before the last...

Manager’s Report August 2017

August is the month of leaves!  At first, we thought that we welcomed the beginning of spring a bit earlier this year. But just as we got comfortable with the idea of the pleasant spring days, we were surprised by some very chilly winds during the last few days of the...

Manager’s Report June 2017

Note from the webmaster: We've been working on upgrading the Big 5 Blog the past few months, and for this reason we have not been able to publish our regular manager- and ranger reports. We apologise for this but hope that you will enjoy the flood of news that has...

Manager’s Report May 2017

Winter has arrived and the bush is wearing its winter attire 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 anymore, which gives you a better view of all...

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 the...

Rangers Report October 2017

What an awesome time out in the bush. The temperatures were pleasant most of the time, but the month ended with a heat wave of note! The average maximum temperature for October was a wonderful 32°C. We were once again on the tip of our seats, with all the amazing...

Rangers Report September 2017

Spring is finally here and with it, came some wonderful rain and temperatures. With 18mm of rain, the bush received a total facelift in the form of wonderfully bright, green colours. The average maximum temperature for this month was 32°C. All the browsers in the area...

Rangers Report August 2017

It is strange how the unexpected can happen at any time and any place. The month started off with a bang and everything was out and about, going really well, until that one day. As most of you know by now Salayexe, our resident female leopard, passed away on the 18th...

Rangers Report June 2017

It is hard to imagine that we are half way through the year, when it still feels like we celebrated new year’s yesterday. I now know why people always say that time flies when you are having fun! The winter is finally here and we had a few very crisp mornings and some...

Rangers Report May 2017

With the impala rutting season in full swing, there is no shortage in the action department. Broken horns, bloody faces and puncture wounds on their bodies are only a few signs of the fights this month. These bloody battles can even be heard late at night, as the...

Big 5 Sightings 05 to 11 February

Monday, 5 February 2018 (34ºC) Pack of ten Wilddogs running south of Mhisi Mati Sibuye the female leopard resting on Hofmans Wessels cutline Six Buffalo bulls walking on Ekiso Road One Elephant bull at Safari Open Area Hosana the young male Leopard drinking water...

Big five sightings 29 January to 4 February

Monday, 29 January 2018 (38ºC) The Styx lion pride resting on Grass Cut Road A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Kudu Drift Six buffalo bulls resting on Milkberry Road Another breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on EP open area Ten buffalo...

Big 5 Sightings 15 to 21 January 2018

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see the Hukumuri male leopard   Monday, 15 January 2018 (35ºC) Hukumuri, the male leopard scent marking on Xidulu Road Six buffalo bulls resting in the water at Kraaines Pan A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on...

Big 5 Sightings 1 to 7 January 2018

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see one of the Birmingham male lions drinking water at Rhulani mud wallow Monday, 1 January 2018 (25ºC) The Styx lion pride resting on Airport Link Tiyani, the female leopard, feeding on her kudu kill at Kimbeans crossing The...

Big 5 Sightings 25 to 31 December 2017

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see the Styx lion pride resting on Little Gowrie/Wessels cutline Monday, 25 December 2017 (23ºC) The Hukumuri male leopard moving south from Shinzele road The Xidulu female leopard moving west on Rhulani Two Lionesses from the...

Big 5 Sightings 18 to 24 December 2017

The Big 5 highlight of the week was Xidulu female leopard, resting on termite mound at Simbambili firebreak Monday, 18 December 2017 (42ºC) A bachelor group of buffalo bulls resting on Rhino Ring East Tiyani, the female leopard resting on EP airstrip A breeding herd...

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Rangers Report October 2017

Rangers Report

October 2017
Birmingham male lion with the Nkuhuma pride by Morné Fouché

Birmingham male lion with the Nkuhuma pride by Morné Fouché

What an awesome time out in the bush. The temperatures were pleasant most of the time, but the month ended with a heat wave of note! The average maximum temperature for October was a wonderful 32°C. We were once again on the tip of our seats, with all the amazing sightings this month. Just when you think you saw something you cannot top; the next sighting takes your breath away again. We had another 30mm of rain during the month and this really forced the bush into 2nd gear. Finally, the last trees got their lush green leaves. We were very lucky with the wild dog sightings again this month, as we had several packs moving through the area. The one afternoon we had two different packs on our property at the same time, moving into opposite directions. That was not where our luck stopped, as we were also privileged to see cheetah this month.

Leopard

Changes are still taking place amongst the leopards. Tiyani, the young leopard is still moving far and wide, in search of the best area. She is still hanging around our lodge a lot. This might be due to the fact that she grew up in the area and it still feels like home. She knows the area very well and now she has also started scent marking all over the place. The Young Ingrid Dam female on the other hand, is new to the area, but has her eyes fixed on the very same spot. At this stage these two females utilise the same area when it comes to hunting. When the time is right, these two ladies will have the ultimate battle for supremacy.  Moya was also seen a lot during the month. She is now expanding her territory more north and even south-east. She is spending a lot of her time in the newly reclaimed area and she also leaves her daughter in the area when she goes hunting. Her daughter is spending a lot of time around one of the water holes in our area. This little cat is a true lady. I just hope that she will one day set up a territory of her own in our area. Another female who is expanding her territory is the old Ingrid Dam female. She is expanding her territory into Nsele’s territory. So, it is not going to be long before these two females battle it out.  Nsele was also seen a few times, but without her daughter. Her daughter was also seen a few times moving in and out of our western boundary. It looks like Nsele has finally broken the bond between mother and daughter. It is good to see the young lady moving through the area from time to time. Hosana was also out and about this month. He had a run in with his father the one afternoon over an impala kill. Tingana made sure that the young male understood who the boss was. It was quite a surprise to see the young male not holding back. The Gejima male was also seen this month, but he is not the most relaxed leopard in the area. This young male has also moved more and more south-west into Tingana’s territory. Gejima is a great looking young male, now scouting for his own territory and Tingana would need to start watching out, before this young male takes over his territory.  Tingana had his hands full with all the young males moving around his territory. At this stage he is moving all over the show, as he tries to follow the various scents, being left behind by the youngsters. Mvula was also seen a few times this month.  Despite his age he is still looking great. Mvula is still spending a lot of his time in Tingana’s territory. At this stage Mvula needs to be more worried about running into the Gejima male, than running into Tingana. The Anderson male was also seen a few times this month. There are still no challengers moving into his area. It also looks like he himself took a break in expanding his territory for now. For a big male to have an enormous territory also means that he might neglect another piece of the territory. We will have to see what will happen in the next few months, as there are a lot of dynamics involved in the male leopards of the area…

Lion

There was so much excitement with the different prides in our area.

The Nkuhuma pride was seen for almost the entire month around our lodge. They moved freely and made a few kills and even had the tiny cubs with them. They unfortunately lost one of the cubs this month, but it is still unclear what happened to it. At this stage the pride is still doing great and still looking very healthy. It was great to see the Birmingham males walking with the females, while exploring unfamiliar territory. It really looks promising that the Nkuhuma pride is looking to expand their empire more southwest into our area.   The Styx pride was really low on the radar this month and we only saw them a few times. The four little cubs are just a treat to watch, while they constantly play around the pride members.  The Styx pride lions are all looking fit and healthy.  We also spent some time with a few members of the Tsalala pride. It was only the two old ladies – a sub adult female and a cub. Although the two old ladies are 15 years old now, they are still looking good for their age. Not having a resident pride male is tough on the pride, as they are slowly but surely loosing parts of their territory. If all goes well and all the young subadult females grow up and a few males can take over this pride, they might go back to full strength. We also saw an unfamiliar pride this month, which was quite exciting! The Nharu pride from the Manyeleti Game Reserve paid a visit the northern Sabi Sand Wildtuin. These three adult lionesses are the sisters of the four Birmingham male lions. They also broke away from the Birmingham pride in the Timbavati Game Reserve, in order to settle down in the Manyeleti Game Reserve. The name Nharu, means three, as the three sisters broke away from the main pride. They moved all over the area, exploring, before they went back to their own territory. It was amazing to see a new pride exploring some new areas.  The four Birmingham males are looking great and growing in size and muscle. They are once again spending more and more time together, while doing their regular patrols. If they want to be as successful as the Majingilane coalition, they should stay together. I for one cannot wait for these four big boys to finally take over this area. I must say, there are some interesting times awaiting us in the next few months.  The three young Tsalala males also came for a quick visit. These three males are looking great and very healthy. The scars on their faces are slowly getting more, as they continue to fight for survival.

Black bellied korhaan by Louis Liversage

Black bellied korhaan by Louis Liversage

 

Buffalo

There were several bachelor groups moving through the area this month. So far, we still await the return of the big herds. There are also a few of the females within the herds that are pregnant. Buffaloes will try and have their babies during the rainy season, or very close to the rainy season. This will be the time when more food and water become available, to help them get back into top condition, while nursing their new born calves. We also had a few smaller groups moving through the area, but these were just splinter herds from the main herd. The old boys are still moving around the lodge and every afternoon they are enjoying the water in the mud wallows. These old boys are spending the majority of their time in the water, as this brings welcome relieve against the hot African sun.

Elephant

We had a few awesome sightings with these giants. Once again, we were spoiled for choice and we were just blown away by the wonderful sightings this month. We had several herds moving through the area, closely followed by a big male or two.  Males live separately, alone or in small bachelor herds. Being nonterritorial, the mating success depends on size and weapons. Bulls continue to grow until old age and therefore the seniors are the biggest tuskers and do most of the breeding.

Elephants are arguable the worlds most versatile herbivore. They are equipped with an all in one nasal appendage. Their trunks are used for grasping, smelling, drinking water, squirting water and as a broadcasting tool. With their trunks they can reach leaves higher than a giraffe can reach. Their trunk can also wrap around grass, pick up small fruit of the ground and tear off tree limbs to eat.

Special Sighting

It was an awesome experience and an absolute privilege to see a big tusker elephant this month. This big male moved around in our area for a short while, before moving on again. It was such a pleasure to see this absolute giant amongst giants and I hope to see him again in the years to come.

Did you know?

An elephant’s tusks will keep on growing throughout their lives.

See you out on the game drive soon.
Morné Fouché

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 the...

Rangers Report October 2017

What an awesome time out in the bush. The temperatures were pleasant most of the time, but the month ended with a heat wave of note! The average maximum temperature for October was a wonderful 32°C. We were once again on the tip of our seats, with all the amazing...

Rangers Report September 2017

Spring is finally here and with it, came some wonderful rain and temperatures. With 18mm of rain, the bush received a total facelift in the form of wonderfully bright, green colours. The average maximum temperature for this month was 32°C. All the browsers in the area...

Rangers Report August 2017

It is strange how the unexpected can happen at any time and any place. The month started off with a bang and everything was out and about, going really well, until that one day. As most of you know by now Salayexe, our resident female leopard, passed away on the 18th...

Rangers Report June 2017

It is hard to imagine that we are half way through the year, when it still feels like we celebrated new year’s yesterday. I now know why people always say that time flies when you are having fun! The winter is finally here and we had a few very crisp mornings and some...

Rangers Report May 2017

With the impala rutting season in full swing, there is no shortage in the action department. Broken horns, bloody faces and puncture wounds on their bodies are only a few signs of the fights this month. These bloody battles can even be heard late at night, as the...

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...

Manager’s Report October 2017

Wow! What happened to the year!? It feels like 2017 started yesterday and now we only have two months to go before the end of the year. I guess you can say that “time flies when you’re having fun!” There is always lots of fun to be had in the bush. We had a little bit...

Manager’s Report September 2017

Spring is in the air!  Birds are singing, trees are blooming and the bush is a slowly turning into a painted canvas of green delight!  It seems as if everything almost transformed overnight, after we received an extremely welcome shower of rain just before the last...

Manager’s Report August 2017

August is the month of leaves!  At first, we thought that we welcomed the beginning of spring a bit earlier this year. But just as we got comfortable with the idea of the pleasant spring days, we were surprised by some very chilly winds during the last few days of the...

Manager’s Report June 2017

Note from the webmaster: We've been working on upgrading the Big 5 Blog the past few months, and for this reason we have not been able to publish our regular manager- and ranger reports. We apologise for this but hope that you will enjoy the flood of news that has...

Manager’s Report May 2017

Winter has arrived and the bush is wearing its winter attire 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 anymore, which gives you a better view of all...

Big 5 Sightings 05 to 11 February

Monday, 5 February 2018 (34ºC) Pack of ten Wilddogs running south of Mhisi Mati Sibuye the female leopard resting on Hofmans Wessels cutline Six Buffalo bulls walking on Ekiso Road One Elephant bull at Safari Open Area Hosana the young male Leopard drinking water...

Big five sightings 29 January to 4 February

Monday, 29 January 2018 (38ºC) The Styx lion pride resting on Grass Cut Road A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Kudu Drift Six buffalo bulls resting on Milkberry Road Another breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on EP open area Ten buffalo...

Big 5 Sightings 15 to 21 January 2018

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see the Hukumuri male leopard   Monday, 15 January 2018 (35ºC) Hukumuri, the male leopard scent marking on Xidulu Road Six buffalo bulls resting in the water at Kraaines Pan A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on...

Big 5 Sightings 1 to 7 January 2018

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see one of the Birmingham male lions drinking water at Rhulani mud wallow Monday, 1 January 2018 (25ºC) The Styx lion pride resting on Airport Link Tiyani, the female leopard, feeding on her kudu kill at Kimbeans crossing The...

Big 5 Sightings 25 to 31 December 2017

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see the Styx lion pride resting on Little Gowrie/Wessels cutline Monday, 25 December 2017 (23ºC) The Hukumuri male leopard moving south from Shinzele road The Xidulu female leopard moving west on Rhulani Two Lionesses from the...

Big 5 Sightings 18 to 24 December 2017

The Big 5 highlight of the week was Xidulu female leopard, resting on termite mound at Simbambili firebreak Monday, 18 December 2017 (42ºC) A bachelor group of buffalo bulls resting on Rhino Ring East Tiyani, the female leopard resting on EP airstrip A breeding herd...

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Rangers Report September 2017

Rangers Report

September 2017
Anderson, the male leopard by Louis Liversage

Anderson, the male leopard by Louis Liversage

Spring is finally here and with it, came some wonderful rain and temperatures. With 18mm of rain, the bush received a total facelift in the form of wonderfully bright, green colours. The average maximum temperature for this month was 32°C. All the browsers in the area are enjoying the lush green leaves and new flowers on the trees. A beautiful green blanket is also merging from the ground after the lovely rain that we had. All the grazers are totally over the moon with the green grass shoots. The first flowers have emerged from the dry soil in some of the areas where, not so long ago, there was only a brown canvas. It is not going to be too long before the entire area is transformed. This September was an absolute great birding month, as more migratory birds have returned to our area. Game viewing was also unbelievable and full of excitement. Again, we were very fortunate to have the wild dogs in our area.  Our resident hyena clan is also doing very well and there were more babies born this month. The two new pups are extremely cute and very adventurous. It is a delight to see them and we are grateful to have the den on our property, very close to the lodge.

Leopard

The leopard sightings were just out of this world and the quality of the sightings were any photographer’s dream. We were really spoiled for choice as some days there were more than four different sightings going. There are still big changes going on in the area between the female leopards, after Salayexe’s death.

Tiyani, the young lady has finally realised that Salayexe is not coming back.  We saw her so many times this month moving around the lodge. Tiyani is scent marking all around our lodge and doing the territorial call as well. I must say, for a small cat, she’s got a powerful voice on her. Still it is not to say that she will set up territory in this area.  She is still young and any other big female can come and take this territory from her. But for now, it is awesome to see her moving freely.  The young Ingrid’s Dam female is also moving all over the show and scent marking on everything. She has also picked up on Salayexe’s absence and she has her eyes set on a piece of the late Salayexe’s territory. This young female does not want to stop there, as she is also putting some pressure on Shadow. She was seen scent marking in the western part of Shadows territory. It will be thrilling to see what will happen when these two finally meet.

Moya also knows that her aunt is not here anymore. She has started reclaiming the area that Salayexe previously took from her. She and her cub are both doing really well and both are looking really healthy. The young female is spending a lot of time alone, while mum is out, looking for Anderson. Moya has mated with Anderson twice this month, but is was not for the average four to six days each time.

Kuchava, the young female, was also seen a few times this month. She is such an energetic little cat and so relaxed with the vehicles around her. This young female is really a beauty and I really hope that she gets a territory in the area. If she wants a territory in this area, she would need to challenge her mother first. Her mother, Thandi, is not going to take it lightly if she finds an intruder in her territory, even if it is her own daughter. Kuchava was seen mating with Tingana this month, so there are some interesting times waiting for us in the near future.

Thandi is also doing very well. Thamba is also looking good and spending a lot of time on his own. This is also Thandi’s way to force him to hunt for himself. The reason for that is that he will be pushed out in another few months. This all depends on Thandi, if she thinks Thamba is ready to go out on his own, then she will kick him out.

Shadow and her cub were also seen a few times. The cub is very shy and does not like the vehicles around. Shadow was really up and down, patrolling her boundary. Unlike her sister, she is not very calm with the vehicles around her.

Hosana, the young male leopard was also seen a few times this month. This young male is one of the most relaxed young leopards in the area. Unfortunately for him, there is no room in the area and he will have to move on to a new territory, or be ready to challenge his father.

Mvula was also seen a few times this month moving around in Tingana’s territory. At this stage he needs to stay clear of Tingana, as he might get injured if Tingana gets hold of him. I must say Mvula is still looking great and is in good health.

Tingana was also seen a few times this month. Once again, it looks like Tingana has his hands full with the young males and Mvula moving around in his territory. It will not be too long before Tingana will be challenged by these young males.

Anderson was seen several times this month. It looks like he slowed down a little bit with expanding his empire more north and more east. So far Anderson has no challengers yet, but anything can still happen in the near future. Anderson is still in the prime of his life and an absolute brut of a male.

Lion

The Styx pride was seen on a regular basis this month. The females always manage to kill something for the cubs, even if it is only an impala. The three Styx lionesses are doing really well and they are caring really well for their ten cubs. We were so fortunate to see the four new cubs being moved from the old den to the new den. These four bundles of fluff are looking great and are so adventurous. When mum takes them into the safety of the under-growth thicket, they just walk out again. They want to go and explore around the new den. The one Birmingham male always pays a visit to the den and then stays at the den for a day or so, before moving on.

The Nkuhuma pride is also looking awesome and they are very healthy. We were also very lucky to see them on a number of occasions this month. It is always great to see them moving around in our area. The majority of times when we saw the lionesses together, there were only four together and not five. We know that the one female of the group has cubs somewhere. It will be so awesome when she brings them out for the first time. Fingers cross that they all survive and become independent.

One lioness of the Ximungwe pride was also seen this month. She did not stay very long before she moved back to the western part of the reserve. It is still unclear why she came here, but it was good to see her.

The Birmingham males were also seen several times this month. These males are looking great and with all the scars in their faces, they look like true warriors. We saw them a few times in groups of two or three, but never all four together. It is not to say that all four of them never walk together, I am sure they do from time to time. I must say there is nothing more impressive than four adult male lions with full manes, walking down the road towards you.

Birmingham male lion by Louis Liversage

Birmingham male lion by Louis Liversage

 

Buffalo

We had a few great buffalo sightings this month. We were fortunate to see some small breeding herds moving through the area. This is good news for us, because it might just be that the big herds are on their way. There were no calves with the small groups that we saw – we only saw a few older youngsters and a lot of pregnant females. A few of the bigger mud wallows are filled with water and it did not take long for the small herds and the dagga boys to soak in the mud during a hot day. Buffaloes will take a mud bath to mainly cool down and also to get rid of tics and parasites on them. After enjoying a wonderful mud bath, they will go and rub against a big tree. There were two bachelor groups that moved around in the area. Both these groups moved between three main water holes, so we did not need to go and look very far for them. Also with the new grass coming out, things are looking much better for these bulk grazers.

Elephant

We were very lucky with elephant sightings this month, as we saw multiple herds each day. The majority of the herds that we saw this month had about sixty or so individuals in it, together with a lot of babies. It was such an awesome experience for the guests to see such big breeding herd of elephants, quenching their thirst at the water hole in front of the lodge. We saw a few smaller family groups with a few very small babies that stayed in close proximity to the lodge area. This might be due to the little babies in the group. There is also lush green leaves and new grass coming through after the wonderful rain that we had, so they do not need to move very far. It’s really something to see when the small babies try to use their little trunks for the very first time. It was so special to spend some time with them, especially the little ones that are still trying to figure out how to use their trunks and what it is actually used for. When the baby is with mum, he tries to mimic her in everything she does. This is also how they learn what to eat and how to get it. There were a few times when mum had to gently use her trunk and move the little one out of the way, so that she could carry on feeding.

Special sighting

It was an absolute treat again this month to see the Styx female move all four her cubs to a new den. This isn’t something you get to see every day!

Did you know?

After a lioness gives birth, she will keep the cubs hidden from the rest of the pride and only introduce them to the pride after six to eight weeks.

See you out on the game drive soon.
Morné Fouché

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 the...

Rangers Report October 2017

What an awesome time out in the bush. The temperatures were pleasant most of the time, but the month ended with a heat wave of note! The average maximum temperature for October was a wonderful 32°C. We were once again on the tip of our seats, with all the amazing...

Rangers Report September 2017

Spring is finally here and with it, came some wonderful rain and temperatures. With 18mm of rain, the bush received a total facelift in the form of wonderfully bright, green colours. The average maximum temperature for this month was 32°C. All the browsers in the area...

Rangers Report August 2017

It is strange how the unexpected can happen at any time and any place. The month started off with a bang and everything was out and about, going really well, until that one day. As most of you know by now Salayexe, our resident female leopard, passed away on the 18th...

Rangers Report June 2017

It is hard to imagine that we are half way through the year, when it still feels like we celebrated new year’s yesterday. I now know why people always say that time flies when you are having fun! The winter is finally here and we had a few very crisp mornings and some...

Rangers Report May 2017

With the impala rutting season in full swing, there is no shortage in the action department. Broken horns, bloody faces and puncture wounds on their bodies are only a few signs of the fights this month. These bloody battles can even be heard late at night, as the...

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...

Manager’s Report October 2017

Wow! What happened to the year!? It feels like 2017 started yesterday and now we only have two months to go before the end of the year. I guess you can say that “time flies when you’re having fun!” There is always lots of fun to be had in the bush. We had a little bit...

Manager’s Report September 2017

Spring is in the air!  Birds are singing, trees are blooming and the bush is a slowly turning into a painted canvas of green delight!  It seems as if everything almost transformed overnight, after we received an extremely welcome shower of rain just before the last...

Manager’s Report August 2017

August is the month of leaves!  At first, we thought that we welcomed the beginning of spring a bit earlier this year. But just as we got comfortable with the idea of the pleasant spring days, we were surprised by some very chilly winds during the last few days of the...

Manager’s Report June 2017

Note from the webmaster: We've been working on upgrading the Big 5 Blog the past few months, and for this reason we have not been able to publish our regular manager- and ranger reports. We apologise for this but hope that you will enjoy the flood of news that has...

Manager’s Report May 2017

Winter has arrived and the bush is wearing its winter attire 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 anymore, which gives you a better view of all...

Big 5 Sightings 05 to 11 February

Monday, 5 February 2018 (34ºC) Pack of ten Wilddogs running south of Mhisi Mati Sibuye the female leopard resting on Hofmans Wessels cutline Six Buffalo bulls walking on Ekiso Road One Elephant bull at Safari Open Area Hosana the young male Leopard drinking water...

Big five sightings 29 January to 4 February

Monday, 29 January 2018 (38ºC) The Styx lion pride resting on Grass Cut Road A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Kudu Drift Six buffalo bulls resting on Milkberry Road Another breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on EP open area Ten buffalo...

Big 5 Sightings 15 to 21 January 2018

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see the Hukumuri male leopard   Monday, 15 January 2018 (35ºC) Hukumuri, the male leopard scent marking on Xidulu Road Six buffalo bulls resting in the water at Kraaines Pan A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on...

Big 5 Sightings 1 to 7 January 2018

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see one of the Birmingham male lions drinking water at Rhulani mud wallow Monday, 1 January 2018 (25ºC) The Styx lion pride resting on Airport Link Tiyani, the female leopard, feeding on her kudu kill at Kimbeans crossing The...

Big 5 Sightings 25 to 31 December 2017

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see the Styx lion pride resting on Little Gowrie/Wessels cutline Monday, 25 December 2017 (23ºC) The Hukumuri male leopard moving south from Shinzele road The Xidulu female leopard moving west on Rhulani Two Lionesses from the...

Big 5 Sightings 18 to 24 December 2017

The Big 5 highlight of the week was Xidulu female leopard, resting on termite mound at Simbambili firebreak Monday, 18 December 2017 (42ºC) A bachelor group of buffalo bulls resting on Rhino Ring East Tiyani, the female leopard resting on EP airstrip A breeding herd...

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