Tuningi Newsletter July 2010

By gavintonkinson on July 1, 2010

Warmest greetings to all of you once again


As always, time has flown by as quick as lightning. It feels like just last week that we have sent out our last news letter.. I think it is because nowadays we are all communicating regularly on Facebook.
It is just wonderful to be in contact with so many of you on such a regular basis. We just love seeing our Lodge and some of your game drive experiences featured on your photo albums. Those of you that have not joined us yet, please do so right away! You will be updated with all the best sightings of the week, the who’s who of the lion prides, the cutest new baby photo’s, the politics of the wild dog packs, the elephant escapades, the best holiday deals, our chefs latest food trends and much, much more!


July was as wonderful and exciting as every other month of the year.

The only big difference was that South Africa ended the World Cup of Soccer in GREAT style and that we celebrated Nelson Mandela (MADIBA)’s ninety second birthday on the 18th of July. All South Africans joined in a notion of ‘DO GOOD FOR 67 MINUTES” to honour this incredible man.

news03_lgWe at Tuningi made vetkoek and minced beef for the children at our pet- project at Suppingstad pre-school and took some hot chocolate with as a special surprise!

To round it all off, our by now, legendary guest, Hillary Wylie, donated money again and helped us to buy nice soft mattresses for the little ones to sleep on in the middle of the day. Some more donations by Monita Laurent and Ron Delmont, helped us to get them all new hand gloves and warm socks! How WONDERFUL it feels to be able to spread the love!!!

Back at the Lodge…..

news04_lgThe game viewing has been magnificent as usual. One evening we were joined by the whole Mica pride for sundowners! What a beeeeg surprise! We all had to grab a drink and jump back into the vehicles, just to sit quietly and watch the inquisitive youngsters nosing around our tables full of juicy snacks!



news05_lgOn another day, to our huge excitement, Gavin found the only cheetah still alive in the reserve. What a rare sighting! We are so relieved to see that he is still in super condition and going strong.

The African wild cat was also spotted on more than one occasion, but let’s hear what our new ranger, Christo had to say about his first month at Tuningi :

“As a new addition to the T- team I still have to pinch myself everyday to make sure I am not dreaming. Working at the most amazing lodge with people that welcomed us with open arms into the T – team family still feels a bit unreal.

news06_lgTalking about unreal, the game viewing this month was out of this world. We had various breath taking sightings of the Kgala males mating with some of the females in the park, (so pretty soon we should have a few more little yellow fluffy things running around).

news07_lgThlou dam also offered us the best of Madikwe, with large herds of elephant and buffalo congregating around the dam everyday. This is due to the fact that this late in the winter most of the smaller dams and pans have already dried up. This assembly of elephant and buffalo offers us remarkable animal interaction and sometimes tears of laughter as the baby elephants mimic their older siblings in chasing the buffalo around with a bewilderment of shrill trumpeting and little ears flapping.

Some of our more rare animals also made unexpected but very much appreciated appearances. We were very lucky to spot brown hyena on a few occasions, not usually viewed during the day, as they are nocturnal animals, and also had the most astounding African wild cat sightings, rarely seen as they are highly endangered and quite elusive.

news08_lgThe wild dogs also contributed to the wonderful sightings we’ve had recently. Definitely the most mentionable was when a pack of 12 dogs chased a kudu in to Thlou dam (yes, Thlou dam is cooking) where they killed and then proceeded to devour the young kudu bull and then played around the dam, sometimes right next to the game drive vehicle.

news09_lgWe went back to the dam early one morning to see if we could locate the dogs again, but to our surprise we found two young male lions with some of the remains of the kudu that they had dragged out of the dam and were desperately defending their steal from a clan of hyenas. We watched in amazement as the lions time and again charged at the hyenas to keep them away from the spoils. We realized again, that if you are desperate, you have much more guts than what is good for you! Even if you are operating in a crowd…..

Just can’t wait to get out there every day!
Remember to join us on Face-Book for our daily updates and best photos of the day!
See you soon


Well, just to round it all off…



A huge piece of our lovely bush was destroyed last week by veld fires which we all had to fight for three consecutive days, sometimes till after mid night as it was also threatening to burn down our lovely Lodge!

The most amazing thing is, though, that all the horrible blackness and devastation that the fires left behind, has already started turning in to a new green wonderland. How wonderful NATURE is. By next month Spring will be here, all will be green again, hundreds of little flowers will start pushing their colourful little faces to the surface and lots of chirpy migratory birds will be appearing on the horizon as they come back to our warm and sunny weather.

If you still have not been here, Do not hesitate! Make that booking today. As our quote of the month says: Why not???
We can’t wait to meet you!
Until we chat again
The friendly T-team!

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