Tuningi Newsletter November 2007

By gavintonkinson on November 1, 2007

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Warmest greetings to all of you once again,

We can not believe that it is already time to start scratching around for Christmas decorations. The up side of this is that most people are going on holiday shortly! We can not wait to see those of you whom are coming here to Tuningi. You are definitely going to experience the holiday of a lifetime.

Well, next month we will be telling you all about the December holiday season, but for now more about what happens here at Tuningi in the month of November.

It occurred to us that every seemingly insignificant little bush, shrub and weed have turned into beautiful works of art. They have all suddenly come into bloom and are donning the most beautiful summer colors after the good rains we have had. To further enhance the beauty of it all, gorgeous moths, butterflies and insects are fluttering around the flowers in a frenzy all day long. If you take the time to stop in the middle of the bush this time of the year to sit quietly and look around you, you will discover this most beautiful display of colour. Sometimes, it is possible to count more than six different little flowers in just one spot!

Talking about flowers…. This month we had the privilege of hosting a real live flower straight from Hollywood. The famous movie star, Kate Hudson came to the Reserve to star in a shampoo advert. She is a true, natural beauty. Although it was very hard work to get the crew, the stars and the animals ( wild, as well as tame) all to work together and be at the correct spots at the correct times, we all had lots of fun and are sure that it was highly successful.

Because of the abundance in food and water at the moment, the animals in the reserve are all in mint condition. All the antelope seem to be fat and healthy and their coats shine in the summer sun. Temperatures are rising in the middle of the day and this time of the year you would find the most unusual gathering of animals in the shade of the big trees, all trying to escape the heat. A huge bull elephant could be standing quietly taking a nap under the same tree as a couple of warthogs scratching around for a midday snack. A little bit higher up, a couple of monkeys could be sitting peacefully getting rid of each others fleas, while some squirrels could be running up and down the tree trunk going about their business. The Lodge inhabitants will of course all be lying around the pool soaking up the sun rays at this time of the year.

Last week we had a close encounter with exactly one such huge male elephant at the Lodge boma. This elephant had just broken his tusk in a fight with another male. The blood was pouring from the base of his tusk and he was obviously in severe pain. He kept scratching the painful side of his face on our boma railing, and in so doing left a blood trail and damaged some of the wood work. Elephants at around the age of thirty become dominant males through years of battling with other males for the right to spread their genes. Only the strongest males will be able to sire young. They often break tusks in these vigorous fights but luckily tend to learn quickly how to get on through life with only one and a half a tusk or sometimes just one tusk.

Game drives are extremely exciting at the moment as they often drive straight into a spectacular thunder storm. The raincoats are always handy and after the storm the guides get to show off their 4 x 4 driving skills. While skidding around in the mud, you may bump into some of the big cats. They do not enjoy this wet time of the year and tend to keep to the open roads until the shrubs have dried out again. These thunder clouds create the most awesome photo opportunities and often keep our guests clicking away for hours.

As usual, lots of wonderful children came to visit again. All of us at Tuningi thoroughly enjoy the company of kids. Although we go all out to teach them about conservation and bush ethics, they usually are extremely perceptive and often we are the ones who learn from them! Their untainted, carefree and innocent honesty brightens up the Lodge and many a game drive.

As you know by now, absolutely everybody is welcome at Tuningi. We love to host the romantically inclined honeymoon couples, the avid birders, the tired city slickers, the adventurous children, the exciting family gatherings and all other possible holiday makers from all over the world! Remember to keep us in mind when you start planning your next holiday. We want to show you true hospitality!

We really hope that you will have a wonderful festive season and that we will see you again in the near future.

Kindest regards
The gracious T-team

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