Tuningi Newsletter May 2012

By gavintonkinson on May 1, 2012

news01_lgWarmest Bush greetings to you all again!

As always we are truly thankful for the amazing weather our part of the country offers.

With Winter catching up on us and giving us the opportunity to cuddle up around the fire with a fabulous glass of red wine before dinner every evening, we are still fortunate to have warm comfortable, sunny days all round! The crisp air seems to make the sky appear a deeper blue than usual and the late morning sun on news02_lgyour back when stopping for the coffee break on game drive is quite addictive!

The chefs are switching to warm, slow cooked menus, warming us up from the inside and the Rangers are happy to drive around in the thinning bush, showing our guests all the excitement Madikwe has to offer!
Christo will tell you more!

Well, can you believe we are still having summer, sort of? Winter should have kicked in a long time ago but we are still being blessed by our warm weather. Ok, I know the early mornings and evenings are a bit chilly but our days here in Madikwe has been truly fabulous. news03_lgGreat temperatures of in the mid 20’C almost every day, with cloudless blue African skies and on top of that great game viewing. What more can one ask for?

Well big news this month is our two new cubs in the South-East of the park. One can tell they are going to keep their mother busy. As we sat and watched them they were busy the whole time. They played with each other, then ran up to the vehicle to come and see if this new creature in their world is also a play thing. Then they scrambled off to go and terrorise one of the other pride members. There are a lot to choose from as this pride already consists of 3 adult females, 5 cubs of about 10 months old and then the 2 big dominant males of the South-East.

news04_lgSometimes nature can play some nasty tricks on a game ranger, which I experienced the other morning.
I had been having great game drives with my guests at the time but was struggling to find a big herd of buffalo, just a few Daggaboys (old lone Buffalo bulls) here and there. So this particular morning we set out with one goal in mind, BUFFALO.

As I left the lodge a fellow guide found the big herd about 40min drive away on the other side of a ridge close to our lodge but with no direct road across. We news05_lgset off at a leisurely pace still enjoying the rest of what Madikwe has to offer. When we get there and they are… gone, just heaps of tracks and fresh dung and the smell of buffalo thick in the air.

Ok, so they moved a bit deep into a thicket area next to the ridge but not a problem, I thought. I will find them if I go around the thicket right up close to the ridge where there is a small jeep track. That said and done still no sign of a buffalo, so they might have come out on the big road somewhere as they cannot pass over the steep ridge that is heavily covered with sicklebush (a small tree/shrub that is covered with vicious thorns that does not have any respect for Land Cruiser tyres).

So we drove up and down the big road a few times, still nothing. We stop to have some some coffee, hoping the smell of the fresh brew might lure them to us. Coffee was nice but obviously the buffalo are used to better, as not even one stuck its nose out of the bush. So we set off to go and see what other riches the bush have to offer.

Later that morning we arrive back at the lodge to find 2 guests that slept in, a bit ecstatic. Why? … 200 buffalo showed up at our watering hole and gave the lodge staff and the guests a fantastic show. The buffalo crossed the sicklebush covered steep ridge and had a drink at our WATER HOLE!! So ok, lesson learned. The next time I try to go and find buffalo I will leave the coffee and offer the guests a cup of refreshing watering hole water. I mean, 200 buffalo can’t be wrong?

Well that is a small peek in to some of the things we get up to here. Hope to see you soon! Come and join in the adventure we call Tuningi!

Well, that is all for now! Have a wonderful month of June, until we chat again!
Kind regards
Heidi and the fabulousT-team

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