Tuningi Newsletter July 2007

By gavintonkinson on July 1, 2007

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Hallo again,
Before we could blink an eyelid, another month has passed in this amazing part of the world!

Although it is still winter and quite cold on game drives, the days are beautiful and sunny and call for midday snoozes on the swimming pool loungers, overlooking the lodge’s water hole. More and more animals are visiting our water hole at the lodge as the bush is getting dryer.

We are really privileged to have a group of giraffe on our door step almost every day. It is just wonderful to watch them coming for a drink. As you all know, owing to the anatomical design of their bodies, giraffe have to splay their legs in order to reach the water. They feel very vulnerable as they know they are putting themselves in danger when they are in such a strange position to drink. Giraffes have large, powerful hearts (up to 12 kg) that are needed to pump blood through their large bodies, especially, against the force of gravity up to the brain. A selection of valves prevents sudden pressure changes and damage to organs- particularly the brain. A special pressure-reducing mechanism prevents brain damage when the head is lowered. The skin and muscle of the lower legs also fits tightly around the leg bone to keep the pressure high and force the blood up against gravity – much like a pilot’s G- suit. Is Nature not AMAZING?

As soon as every one has had a drink and all are back in their usual upright position, they have a good look around to see if all is safe, and then move off carefully.

On the subject of giraffe….. our rangers again showed our guests the most awesome sightings this month. The most exciting show was again put on by Ditaba and Sipedi, the two huge male lions we keep telling you about. They managed to pull down an enormous giraffe quite close to our lodge. With them being so close by, we could go for an extra look around late in the evenings, after dinner, and watch the night action as well.

As the giraffe is such a large kill we could share in the whole cycle of events for almost six days! Firstly, the two big lions let Etali, (the female with the three one year old cubs) join in the feast. A day later, the two younger males, called the Naledi’s, discovered the kill and swiftly chased Etali and the cubs out of the area so that they could have a turn. The next day a brown hyena could not contain himself any longer and made a fatal mistake. He came a little bit to close to the lions that could not believe the audacity of the intruder and killed him with one bite to the back, which broke his spine. They just left him there next to the giraffe carcass and continued their feast.

On the sixth day, they could not fit another piece of meat into their bulging bellies and moved off. A clan of spotted hyenas immediately moved in and with the help of jackals and vultures finished off the rest of the giraffe as well as the dead brown hyena. It was almost like watching a motion picture!

More fantastic news is that we have found another lioness with three tiny little cubs of more or less two months old! We call her the Tshaba female. She is a very good hunter and we believe that she will be a very successful mother like Etali. We will keep you up to date and show you photo’s as they grow up.
Better still……Why don’t you come and visit and see them with your own eyes?

Make that booking now, and come and share in the adventure at Tuningi Safari Lodge. Remember to bring your kids along, because no school in the world can teach them the things they will experience here with us.

Until next month
Keep well
The T-team

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