Tuningi Newsletter April 2008

By gavintonkinson on April 1, 2008

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A warm hello to you all once again from all of us here at Tuningi!
We hope that every one has returned safely to their homes after the lovely April holidays.

The reserve is now more gorgeous than we have ever seen. With all the continuous rain we are experiencing, the bush is overwhelmingly green and lush and every possible kind of little wild flower in every possible colour is pushing its way through the dense vegetation. It is as if these flowers have been lying dormant for years, but just have to show themselves to us in these incredible conditions! Looking at this beauty around you, it literally seems as if the earth is laughing with joy!

The flowers are bringing so much joy to all of our visitors and guests , but especially to the little children on their kiddies bumbles. We have to stop every three minutes to pick some new flowers to take back to mommy at the lodge!

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The other great advantage of this abundance in flowers is that whilst looking at the little budding wonders, it also draws the attention to the other ‘little’ interesting creatures in the bush. It actually shifts the attention from the big animals to little creatures you can easily oversee or just ignore in your search of the big five and their friends!

In the past couple of months there have been sightings of the most amazing of animals; animals that one would normally only read about or maybe see on a wild life documentary on television. Even though pangolin, aardvark, aardwolf, otters, yellow squirrels and bat eared foxes were declared extinct in Madikwe a few years ago, they seem to just have been hiding very well and have now grown in numbers in such a way that they all have been spotted recently in the Wonderboom node, where we are situated. How privileged we are to play a part in the conservation of such amazing creatures!

Talking about amazing creatures….. April can officially be named ‘the month of the wild dog’. The Dwarsberg pack were spotted almost daily at Tuningi; running up and down the valley, drinking at the water hole, chasing hares and francolins on the ridge or just catching a good old snooze behind the staff village. One evening they even went as far as to chase a kudu right through our camp, snapping the electric fence. As we all know, they are gifted with enormous staying power and once on the track of an animal its living hours are few…. No matter the obstacles! They eventually killed and feasted on the enormous kudu right under the deck next to the swimming pool at the main lodge.

Their method is cruel to the extreme; they feast on the animal while it is still alive, and although it is not always nice to watch, the adrenaline a human feels while watching such frenzy in nature, leaves one speechless.

We often discuss these experiences with our guests once all has calmed down and every one had some time to think about what they have seen. Some people say that they would rather have missed out on the experience while others say that a person comes to the bush to learn about nature in all its beauty and cruelty.

This reminds me of a poem a friend once showed me:
I want to feel the blurred edge
Between good and bad,
To say no to the urge to look away
Or to take sides….
But to give with both eyes.”

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On a lighter note.
As usual we found it quite easy to show our guests an abundance of animals during their stay. It is, however still only by pure luck or incredible tracking skills that we occasionally find the beautiful, elusive leopard. We are thus truly happy to announce that we had some guests who saw three different leopards on three different game drives last month. How wonderful! The more we can find these leopards, the more accustomed to will become to the vehicles and the easier it will become to show them to you!

Thanks to our rangers’ almost obsessive passion for the bush which evolved into their passion for photography, we are able to show you all these amazing pictures every month. If you would like to see more amazing photographs which they capture on a daily basis in the bush
Visit their website:

Well, it is time to say goodbye again. Remember, the best time to plan a holiday is as soon as you have returned from one!!! Have a wonderful month of May until we chat again!

Hope to see you soon
Kindest regards
The T-Team.



P.S. Do not forget to have a look at our beautiful kids art gallery!!

For enquiries please contact :

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