Manager’s Report October 2014

Wild Photo of the Month

by Gerd and Marlies, Munich, Germany

by Gerd and Marlies, Munich, Germany

As we sweep the 10th month of 2014 out of the door, just two months are left until we celebrate a brand new year. I can hardly believe that 2015 is just around the corner! I am happy to report that the bush is slowly, but surely recovering after the fire. The rain we received during October was a huge blessing and it is amazing to watch the barren, black areas turning into a sea of green. We still have to be patient and give the areas time to completely recover before going off-road with our vehicles, but luckily the extra traversing areas we have at the moment more than makes up for this. Thanks again to all the landowners involved in this initiative. With your help we could make sure that the fire did not have a negative impact on the game viewing experience of our guests. If you would like to treat yourself to a safari, be sure to contact our reservations office. You might be able to snatch up some last minute availability, before the festive season rush!

Buffalo bulls by Louis Liversage

Buffalo bulls by Louis Liversage

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 loads of gravel 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.

Majingi male lion on a buffalo kill by Jonathan Vogel

Majingi male lion on a buffalo kill by Jonathan Vogel

As most of you know, our rangers are very involved with everything happening around the lodge. Whether it is game drives, bushwalks, admin, assisting with luggage or doing bush clearing, they are always part of the action. As they work on a six weeks on, two weeks off leave cycle, most of them do two game drives a day for at least 50 days in a row! In order to give them a gap every now and again, we have decided to appoint another ranger to the team. So therefore we welcomed a new face to the lodge this month. Stefan Kruger joined our team on the 25th as the newest addition to our ranger team. Stefan entered the hospitality industry in 2005 and has been guiding since 2006. Welcome to the EP family, Stefan. Your bubbly personality made you fit in from day one and I am sure you will have many more joyful days with us in the bush!

Trapcam photo - group of buffaloes

Trapcam photo – group of buffaloes

This month we had an enormous group of buffaloes moving through our area. With the Trapcam up at Bushcamp, we were able to get a picture of some individuals of the herd moving past. There were many females with young calves, as well as some older females and a few big strong males.

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. On the 8th Khanisile celebrated her birthday. Khani is the short, friendly waiter that keeps our guests entertained with her friendly smile during meals. 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. I do hope that you got spoiled on the day and that you would 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!

As we are getting closer to the festive season, some of you might be planning some mouth watering dishes to spoil your guests with. This month, Chef Linda is sharing her Braised Oxtail recipe. If you are still unsure what to serve for Christmas dinner and prefer not to spend the entire day in the kitchen, preparing a traditional meal, you might want to consider this easy and delicious meat option.

Braised Oxtail (serves 6)

Braised Oxtail (serves 6)

Braised Oxtail (serves 6)

Ingredients

2kg Oxtail
2 Onions
2 Carrots
1 packet Brown Onion Soup
500 ml Beef Stock
2 Leeks
½ cup Tomato Sauce
2 cups Red Wine
½ cup Chutney

Slice all the vegetables into even, chunky sizes. Brown the oxtail pieces in a bit of oil. Put the vegetables and oxtail into an oven proof pot. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bake in the oven for about 4 hours at 160°C, stirring every hour. If it gets too dry, add some extra water as needed. When the meat pulls away from the bone, it is cooked. Serve with rice, or any other starch of your choice.

Serve and enjoy!

All the best till next month
Tersia Fouché

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Big 5 Sightings 03 November to 09 November 2014

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see how the Breakaway pride hunted and killed a buffalo cow the one afternoon close to a watering hole.

 

Highlight of the week Breakaway Lion Pride Hunting Buffalo-Stefan Kruger

Highlight of the week Breakaway Lion Pride Hunting Buffalo-Stefan Kruger

Monday, 3 November 2014

(27ºC, 1mm)

  • Breakaway lion pride, feeding on a zebra kill on Zebra Drive
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Sixes Road
  • Three buffalo bulls feeding on Sixes Road
  • One elephant bull feeding on Safari airstrip
  • One buffalo bull drinking water at Seef’s Pan
  • Lamula, the male leopard, resting at Big Dam
  • A pack of about sixteen wild dogs feeding on an impala kill at Sixteen Crossing
  • One buffalo bull feeding on Rhino Ring West
  • One elephant bull drinking water at Safari Dam

 

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

(31ºC)

 

  • A breeding herd of about 200 buffalo’s feeding around Knobthorn Pan
  • Breakaway lion pride resting on Road 7
  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on Methlowani Road
  • Shadow, the female leopard, moving north on Pump Track Road
  • Breakaway lion pride hunting and killing a buffalo cow west of Simbambili Dam
  • Another breeding herd of about 150 buffalo’s drinking water at Simbambili Dam
  • Tingana, the male leopard, moving north from Bushcamp East
  • Another breeding herd of about 300 buffalo’s feeding at Simbambili open area

 

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Birmingham Male Lion Resting on Termite Mound - Stefan Kruger

Birmingham Male Lion Resting on Termite Mound – Stefan Kruger

(30ºC)

  • Breakaway lion pride resting at Kraaines Pan
  • Two Birmingham male lions feeding on the buffalo cow kill west of Simbambili Dam
  • One elephant bull feeding on Simbambili Firebreak
  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on Methlowani Road
  • Thandi, the female leopard, resting at her den with two cubs on Mabonzo Shortcut
  • A breeding herd of about fifteen elephants feeding on MM-Boundary
  • Three buffalo bulls feeding on Sawmill Road
  • Five buffalo bulls drinking water at Jack’s Pan

 

Thursday, 6 November 2014

(28ºC)

  • Thandi, the female leopard, feeding on an impala kill on Ivory Extension Road
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding at Old Borehole Road
  • Breakaway lion pride resting on Our Western Boundary
  • Nkuhuma lion pride and one Matimba male lion resting on Chitwa Chitwa drive
  • A breeding herd of about 300 buffaloes drinking water at Big Dam
  • Tingana, the male leopard, stalking impala’s on Safari Access Road

 

Friday, 7 November 2014

(24ºC)

  • Two Birmingham male lions still feeding on the buffalo kill west of Simbambili Dam
  • A breeding herd of about 10 elephants around Pommie’s Pan
  • A big breeding herd of about 300 buffalo’s feeding around Grissly Bear Crossing
  • Another breeding herd of about 40 buffalo’s feeding on Madash Road
  • Two buffalo bulls feeding close to Madash Road
  • Another breeding herd of about twenty buffalo’s feeding on MMM North
  • Salayexe, the female leopard, moving south from Simbambili firebreak

 

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Buffalo Bull on the move-Stefan Kruger

Buffalo Bull on the move-Stefan Kruger

(28ºC)

 

  • A breeding herd of about 200 buffalo’s moving east from Madash Road
  • Two Birmingham male lions resting on Rhulani Road
  • One elephant bull feeding on MMM South
  • Three buffalo bulls feeding on Rhulani Road
  • Two buffalo bulls feeding at Simbambili Dam
  • Five buffalo bulls feeding on Gowrie Main
  • Kanyuma, the male leopard, moving north from Xirombirombi Road
  • A breeding herd of about 20 elephants feeding on our Southern boundary

 

Sunday, 9 November 2014

(37ºC)

  • A breeding herd of about 300 buffaloes feeding on Marula Bult Road
  • Five elephant bulls feeding on Buff Scull North
  • One buffalo bull resting in the water at Kraaines
  • Four buffalo bulls resting in the water at Rampan
  • Breakaway lion pride resting on our Southern boundary
  • Mvula, the male leopard, resting on Safari Access
  • Bahuti, the male leopard resting on Chitwa/Cheetah Plains cutline
  • A breeding herd of about fifteen elephants feeding west of Hoffman’s Dam

 

 

 

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Big 5 Sightings 27 October to 02 November 2014

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see Shadow, the female leopard, with two cubs playing at their den on Mabonzo Shortcut.

Thandi, the female leopard and two cubs - Morné Fouché

Thandi, the female leopard and two cubs – Morné Fouché

Monday, 27 October 2014

(23ºC)

  • One elephant bull feeding on Green Thorn
  • Six Buffalo bulls feeding on MM Boundary
  • One Nkuhuma male lion feeding on a buffalo kill at Marakeng Drive
  • A breeding herd of about fifteen elephants feeding at EP open area

 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

(27ºC)

  • Shadow, the female leopard, moving east from Madash Road
  • A breeding herd of about 200 buffalos moving south from Xigodi Pan
  • One Nkuhuma male lion still feeding on his buffalo kill at Marikeng Drive
  • Five buffalo bulls feeding at Old Borehole Road
  • A breeding herd of about fifteen elephants feeding in EP Floodplains
  • Another breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on Safari airstrip

 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

(30ºC)

  • Shadow, the female leopard, moving east from Boundary Pan
  • A pack of about seventeen wild dogs moving north on 2nd Windmill
  • Ten buffalo bulls resting on Rhulani Road
  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding at Simbambili Dam
  • One Mkuhuma male lion still feeding on his buffalo kill at Marakeng Drive
  • Three buffalo bulls feeding at Wetpatch open area
  • One elephant bull drinking water at Leeukuil Pan
  • Two cubs of Nsele, the female leopard, playing at Poachers Corner
  • Three elephants feeding on Methlowani open area

 

Nkuhuma male lion - Morné Fouché

Nkuhuma male lion – Morné Fouché

Thursday, 30 October 2014

(34ºC)

  • A pack of seventeen wild dogs resting at Hoffman’s Dam
  • The Nkuhuma lion pride with two Matimba male lions on a buffalo kill at Fig Tree Road
  • Six buffalo bulls feeding on Shirley’s open area
  • Thandi, the female leopard’s two cubs, resting at their den on Mabonzo Shortcut
  • One elephant bull feeding on Gowrie Main
  • Kwatile, the female leopard, moving east with her cub on Six Ngonnie South
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Chitwa driveway

 

Friday, 31 November 2014

(25ºC)

  • Five buffalo bulls feeding on Kudu Drift
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Rocky Road
  • One Nkuhuma male lion resting on Road 7
  • A pack of about seventeen wild dogs resting on Madash
  • The Nkuhuma lion pride resting with two Matimba male lions resting on Fig Tree Road
  • Mvula, the male leopard, resting on MM-Boundary
  • A breeding herd of about 200 buffalos feeding at Jacobin open area
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding east of Jacobin open area

 

Saturday, 1 November 2014

(26ºC)

  • The Breakaway lion pride feeding on a wildebeest kill on Wetpatch Road
  • The Tsalala lion pride resting on Our Southern Boundary
  • Two buffalo bulls resting on Rhulani Road
  • Moya, the female leopard’s young male leopard cub, resting on Our Southern Boundary
  • Thandi, the female leopard, resting with two cubs at their den on Mabonzo Shortcut
  • Tingana, the male leopard, resting close to his grey duiker kill north of Safari Dam
  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on MMM-North

 

Young bull elephant - Morné Fouché

Young elephant bull – Morné Fouché

Sunday, 2 November 2014

(31ºC)

  • Salayexe, the female leopard, moving east from Kraaines Pan
  • The Breakaway lion pride resting on A-main
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Puff Adder Road
  • Tingana, the male leopard, moving west from Safari Dam
  • A breeding herd of about 200 buffalos moving north from Rhulani Road
  • A breeding herd of about thirty elephants feeding at Horseshoe West

 

 

 

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Big 5 Sightings 20 to 26 October 2014

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see two Matimba male lions feeding on a hippo kill at Big Dam.

Matimba male lion on a hippo kill - Jonathan Vogel

Matimba male lion on a hippo kill – Jonathan Vogel

Monday, 20 October 2014
(27ºC)

  • The Breakaway lion pride with two Majingi male lions feeding a buffalo kill on Solar Panel Road
  • A breeding herd of about fifteen elephants feeding at Big Dam
  • Another breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding at EP/Manyeleti Crossing
  • Three buffalo bulls feeding on Guarri Central
  • Another breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding at Eastern Bank Manyeleti

 

Tuesday, 21 October 2014
(28ºC)

  • Quarantine, the male leopard, moving north from Lukas Open area
  • One elephant bull feeding on MMM-South
  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on Hawk Eagle Road
  • Three buffalo bulls feeding on Hawk Eagle Road
  • The Breakaway lion pride with two Majingi male lions resting on Solar Panel Road
  • A pack of about sixteen wild dogs resting at Lukas open area

 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014
(26ºC, 1mm)

  • The Breakaway lion pride resting with one Majingi male lion on EP airstrip
  • A pack of about sixteen wild dogs resting on MMM North
  • Bahuti, the male leopard, stalking waterbuck on Chitwa open area
  • A breeding herd of about fifteen elephants feeding on Hawk Eagle Raod
  • Ten buffalo bulls feeding on Gowrie Main
  • Mvula, the male leopard, mating with Kwatile, the female leopard, on Mabonzo Shortcut
  • Another breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on EP airstrip
  • Two buffalo bulls feeding on Kuala Bear Road

 

Elephants playing - Jonathan Vogel

Elephants playing – Jonathan Vogel

Thursday, 23 October 2014
(27ºC)

  • The Breakaway lion pride resting at Serengeti Crossing
  • Two Matimba male lions feeding on a hippo kill at Big Dam
  • Tingana, the male leopard, mating with Kwatile, the female leopard on Ellie Alley
  • Two buffalo bulls feeding on Ellie Alley
  • Moya’s young male leopard cub resting at Big Dam
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on EP open area

 

Friday, 24 October 2014

(27ºC)

  • A pack of about sixteen wild dogs feeding on an impala kill on Simbambili driveway
  • Moya’s young male cub, feeding on a hippo kill at Big Dam
  • A breeding herd of about 300 buffalos moving west from Simbambili open area
  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding at Bushcamp Pan
  • Another breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding at Pungwe Island open area
  • Shadow, the female leopard, resting with her one cub at an impala kill at Xigdi Pan
  • The Breakaway lion pride resting on A-Main
  • Two buffalo bulls feeding on Tjololo Road

 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

(26ºC)

  • Moya’s young male cub feeding on a hippo kill at Big Dam
  • A pack of about ten wild dogs hunting and killing an impala at Big Dam
  • The Nkuhuma lion pride feeding on a waterbuck kill at Djuma Dam
  • Ten buffalo bulls feeding on Zebra Drive
  • The Breakaway lion pride resting on A-Main
  • A breeding herd of about 200 buffalos feeding on EP airstrip
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Puff Adder

 

Moya, the female leopard - Jonathan Vogel

Moya, the female leopard – Jonathan Vogel

Sunday, 26 October 2014

(23ºC)

  • Moya’s young male leopard cub resting at Big Dam
  • Ten buffalo bulls feeding on Francolin Road
    Salayexe, the female leopard, resting at Serengeti Pan
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Track South
  • Six buffalo bulls feeding on Marula built Road

 

 

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Big 5 Sightings 13 to 19 October 2014

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see a Burrowing Scorpion attacking a Millipede on game drive.

Millipede and Scorpion - Louis Liversage

Millipede and Scorpion – Louis Liversage

Monday, 13 October 2014
(27ºC)

  • Mvula, the male leopard, still feeding on his impala kill east of Ingwe Pan
  • Kwatile, the female leopard, resting on MM Boundary
  • Bahuti, the male leopard, moving south from Wessels/Hoffmans cutline
  • Two buffalo bulls feeding on Big Dam Link South
  • Four buffalo bulls feeding on Rhino Pan
  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on MM Boundary
  • Moya, the female leopard’s cub resting at Big Dam
  • Four buffalo bulls feeding on Puff Adder Road
  • Two buffalo bulls feeding on Nyati Road

 

Tuesday, 14 October 2014
(24ºC)

  • A breeding herd of about forty elephants feeding at Shirley’s Crossing
  • Another breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Magic Willy open area
  • Tingana, the male leopard, hunting impala’s at Nyati Bamba Road
  • Shadow, the female leopard, resting with her two cubs on Marikeng Drive
  • Moya, the female leopard, moving east from Big Dam
  • Twenty five buffalo bulls feeding at Treehouse Pan
  • Another breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding south of Baboon Pan
  • Mvula, the male leopard, chasing Thandi, the female leopard away from his kill south of Ingwe Pan

 

Wednesday, 15 October 2014
(29ºC, 8mm)

  • One elephant bull feeding on Our Southern Boundary
  • Thandi, the female leopard’s cub playing at their den on Mabonzo Shortcut
  • Bahuti, the male leopard, feeding on an impala kill north of Treehouse Pan
  • Two Matimba male lions moving south from Treehouse Pan

 

Buffalo bulls - Louis Liversage

Buffalo bulls – Louis Liversage

Thursday, 16 October 2014
(28ºC, 28mm)

  • A breeding herd of about fifteen elephants feeding on A-main
  • Bahuti, the male leopard, still feeding on his impala kill east of Treehouse Pan
  • Lamula, the male leopard, moving east from Big Dam
  • Tingana, the male leopard, feeding on an impala kill on Airport Link Road
  • Another breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Rhino Ring West
  • Another breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Seepline Road

 

Friday, 17 October 2014

(26ºC)

  • The Breakaway lion pride resting on A-main
  • Thandi, the female leopard, resting with her two cubs at their den on Mabonzo Shortcut
  • Two buffalo bulls feeding at Serengeti Pan
  • Six buffalo bulls moving east from Our Western Boundary
  • One elephant bull feeding on Grasscut Road
  • Shadow, the female leopard, drinking water at Matundaluka Pan
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding at Matundaluka Pan

 

Saturday, 18 October 2014

(27ºC)

  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on MM Boundary
  • One buffalo bull feeding on Mamba open area
  • Thirty buffalo bulls feeding on Safari access
  • Inkenyeni, the female leopard, moving north with her two cubs on Gowrie Main
  • Eight buffalo bulls feeding on Hawk Eagle Road

 

Bahuti, the male leopard - Louis Liversage

Bahuti, the male leopard – Louis Liversage

Sunday, 19 October 2014

(28ºC)

  • Tingana, the male leopard, mating with Shadow, the female leopard, south of Rhino Ring North
  • Thandi, the female leopard, resting at her den on Mabonzo Shortcut
  • Twenty buffalo bulls resting at Leeukuil
  • Anderson, the male leopard, moving west from Leeukuil Pan
  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on MM Boundary
  • One bull elephant feeding on Safari airstrip
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