While guests were out on game drive, Tangala lodge had some unexpected guests turn up. At first, they seemed to want to go around the lodge, but then decided the trees next to the rooms looked very tasty.
After unsuccessful attempts to get them to leave the area, all that could be done was keep out of the way until they were finished.
Lions are one of the favourites to see on safari, often referred to as cute and cuddly. When grooming each other you can see why, and when posing nicely after rubbing their faces on tiny branches.
The southern (or Black Dam) Pride at Thorneybush reserve are lions we see often, and the 1 year old "cubs" are siblings to the current dominant male. Apparently one of the "cubs" did something the male didn't like and was treated to the less cuddly side of lions. Luckily the swelling on his face has gone down a lot and he still has his eye.
Sadly the Rhino poaching situation in Africa is not improving. In fact its getting worse.
Of-course there are many campaigns to raise awareness of this issue and anti poaching initiatives to combat the poachers, but so far its a battle we're loosing.
Of late we have stopped 'calling in' Rhino sightings on the game reserves internal radio network, just in case the bad guys are listening in, which may be over kill, but at least it feels like the right thing to do.
Having said that we're still enjoying some great experiences with this prehistoric looking creatures.
We often see Cheetah while on safari, which isn't as easy as it sounds. Finding Cheetah can set us some challenges in dense bush. Thankfully they prefer open grassland areas to hunt, which can make for some exciting times.
One of the unique components of our standard safaris, is the chance to be involved with our leopard research team and place your own camera trap on our home reserve during your safari.
Camera traps are just digital cameras that are triggered by movement. Any movement! Our guests are handed a camera trap and asked to pick a place on the reserve where they think a leopard may walk. Of-course we're on hand to advise if needed, but it's a great way to start to think about leopard behaviour and moreover it's great fun.
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One element of our 14 day safari that has proven to be very popular, is our braai night. It offers our guests the chance to assist our guides in cooking on the open fire with all that entails.
Having said that, even when cooking outdoors on an open fire, it can hardly be called roughing it. A table is laid near by and lodge staff will be on hand to serve your drinks. A great way to enjoy eating under the stars.
One of the misconceptions that some of our safari guests have is that Hyena are either ugly or in some way nasty creatures. In fact they are not the laughing, scavenging, despicable characters as portrayed in cartoons. But rather efficient predators and an essential part of a healthy eco-system.