Tuningi Newsletter March 2011

By gavintonkinson on March 1, 2011

As always, friendly Bush Greetings to all of you!

What an amazing time we once again had at Tuningi this past month, with more return guests than ever, out of the ordinary rain storms, even more out of the ordinary visitors and fantastic game viewing all on the cards.

Last night, 135 mm of rain came gushing down, turning every thinkable road in the Park into a flowing river and filling every single dam in the Reserve completely to its capacity. Needless to say, this is a fantastic bonus at this time of the year as we can now be certain that there will be more than enough water around in the upcoming dry months as well as beautiful green grass for all to eat, even in Winter!

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On the topic of strange guests checking in…. We welcomed the Agrizzi family back to Tuningi for the fifth time this month, only this time they had a brand new edition to the family! Although it is completely against the rules to bring pets into the Game Reserve, they had special permission to bring their baby monkey with them, seeing that he is in training to help disabled people who can’t help themselves.( almost like a guide dog for the Blind).

Although we are all completely against taming wild animals, we could not help falling for the little oak’s charms and noticing how helpful he was with passing on stuff to Granny and realizing that he could really mean a lot to a helpless old pensioner.

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We also had great fun with all the kids coming back to visit, and tried to teach them as much as we could about Mother Nature again. We spent time with loads of elephants at the Little Tuningi swimming pool and went on fabulous kiddies drives, not only looking for the big animals, but also stopping to get out and study the little things like the interesting dung beetle behavior.

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And over to Gavin to give you his report on the famously fabulous game viewing in Madikwe:

Rangers Report

Hello once again everybody from a season changing Madikwe Game Reserve.
Yip, winter is on the way, as you go out on the morning Safari the morning freshness is addictive as the earthy smells and bird song greets you as the sun slowly rises over the Dwarsberg mountains.

So this month has got to be the month of the lion cubs, and the leopards of Madikwe…..
There are currently 4 different lionesses with 9 cubs in total running around the lodge, with one of the lionesses frequenting the lodge at the waterhole on a regular basis. All the cubs are almost all of the same age (+/- 8 weeks), so they are soooo cute !!

The other females are regularly found on the safaris, and the Kgala males are extremely proud of their progeny as they are spending more and more time on the ridge making sure that no other males enter the territory and commit infanticide.

As far as the southern prides are doing, they are going from strength to strength with the young Marupengs now reaching sub-adult status, and seem to have an uncanny knack of climbing trees, which makes for some awesome photography opportunities. The Mica Pride are also doing exceptionally well, but are being forced further west into the Tshabalala and Marupeng Territory due to the 2 Naledi males moving in from the east, which has been causing some friction between the two prides.

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The wild dogs have been doing exactly what they are supposed to do, and that is to give us rangers a huge challenge to locate them. If you have ever been on a safari looking for the wild dogs, you will understand how difficult it can be to find them, BUT if you do…… The sightings of the 2nd most endangered carnivore in Africa is something that us rangers get very excited for, as you are almost guaranteed to see them hunting at extreme speed as they chase down the impalas of the MadikweBushveld, culminating in the most efficient team work you have ever witnessed in the natural world.

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Ok…finally the stars of the show are about to impress you all, as the elusive spotted cat which is the PINNACLE of every safari has been making regular appearances this month.
Every guest that comes to Tuningi asks this question… “Are there leopard sightings in this park ?”, and our response is yes, yes, yes and getting better !!!
We have been working on the young male from the north west of the park for almost two years now, and I think we have finally cracked him (habituated him to the vehicles).
So……eat your heart out Sabi Sands!!!!

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There is another leopard from the southeast of the park which is also providing us with some awesome sightings, as she loves to climb trees, and is becoming a real star in the Madikwe Game reserve, as all the rangers from all over the park are on a constant mission to track her down to find their guests the “ultimate animal” in the savannas of Africa!!

So that is another successful month at Tuningi Safari Lodge as far as the game report goes…..
See you all soon on our SAFARI WAGONS where Myself, Grant and Christo would love to show you around this magical place we call home !!

Lots of warm bush regards,

And that is it from me too!
Come knowing what you want to see.
And see what you do not know.
Lose track of days.
Discover endless tranquility.
Take it all in.
Through your eyes, your ears, your hands, your soul.
And leave with a new found sense of discovery.
A nagging urge to return.
Tuningi Safari Lodge.

Hope to see you soon!
Kindest regards
Heidi and the Fabulous T-team

P.S. If you want to read more: Go to to read a beautiful publishing about Madikwe Game Reserve and our Lodges.
Also remember to book your photographic Safari at Tuningi with Gerry vd Walt in May! There are still a few places left.
And lastly; follow us on Face Book and Twitter for daily updates on all the excitement that is TUNINGI!

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