Tuningi Newsletter November 2010

By gavintonkinson on November 1, 2010

news01_lg news02_lg news03_lg


Warmest greetings to you all once again!

At last! It rained! Maybe not as much as we were hoping for, but enough to turn the whole reserve from dusty and grey, to lush and bright green!

The most wonderful thing about the month of November in the bush is that the Impalas start dropping their babies. We all wait with the greatest anticipation to spot the first one of the season. One day there will be none, and the next day they seem to be all over the place. This creates havoc amongst the predators as all of a sudden easy food appears around every corner!

We have been up to all kinds of adventures this month!
For our year end function, we all went to Sun City for the day. It was great to just spend some fabulous quality time together as a team, out of our natural surroundings!

We came back revived and ready to take on another year with passion and enthusiasm.

We also organised a fantastic evening in the middle of the bush, with members of the philarmonic orchestra to come and play for us! This was to raise money to help stop rhino poaching in our country. To date 285 rhinos have already been killed for their horns this year alone! This means almost one every single day. We managed to raise almost R70 000 on the evening and used the money to set up and kit out a professional anti-poaching unit in Madikwe!

news06_lg news04_lg news05_lg


Last week we invited 20 grade six pupils from the Tswaragano Primary school near Zeerust to our Lodge. We educated them about conservation, animal habits and how a Lodge operates and treated them to a fabulous lunch and we also visited our favourite pre-school in Suppingstad to deliver buckets of sweets, lots of clothes and shoes and some Christmas crackers just for fun.

By now you must be wondering if we ever had the time to get out on game drive to see the animals! Well, we obviously did!

Christo will tell you more about that side of things:

Wow what an amazing 5 months it has been at Tuningi. Madikwe is such an amazing place, even after 5 months out in the veld almost every day, I can be sure there will be something that will leave me in awe of nature as has happened a few times in the last month.

Slowly but surely the drought is losing its grip on Madikwe, we haven’t had plenty of rain yet, but with the rain we had we can already see a big change in the veld. It is amazing how grateful this part of the country is of rain, only a small shower and the grass grows centimetres a day.

The wonderful news in the park is that the wild dogs has started running again, our small pack has three pups and now numbers 8 in total and our bigger pack now numbers 16 dogs in total! The last month we have had some amazing wild dog sightings, especially since the smaller pack seems to favour our lodge and the surrounding ridge.

It is also with great excitement that we welcome back all the migrant birds, needless to say that our birding is exquisite at the moment. Grant and I were lucky to stumble upon this Wahlberg’s Eagle in a pale form (quite rarely seen).

As always our lion sightings have been spectacular in the last month, Makwepa pan (a little pan fed by a solar pump that was Gavin’s idea) has really played a big part in many of our lion sightings and we regularly find either the Kgala males or the Chabalala females in the vicinity of the pan.



Another animal we have seen more of lately is the mythical and legendary Black Rhino (or more politically correct) the Hooked-lip rhino (or even more politically correct Dicerosbicornis). But enough of politics, these animals are slowly moving back to their previous home ranges and territories as the bushes and shrubs they feed on start sprouting new fresh leaves after the fire we had in the winter, thus making it easier for us as we now know where to go look for them again.

Well that was just a small glimpse in to what we get up to, if I have to mention all the wonderful and amazing sightings we have seen just in the last month I will probably get sued by the board of newsletter distributers (???) or someone that owns the internet (???) as it is just too much to mention.

Well we hope to see you at Tuningi soon to get a personal glimpse of the wonderful game viewing Madikwe has to offer.


Well, we won’t be chatting again until after Christmas.
We really hope that you will all have a fabulous festive season and that some of you will be joining us here at the Lodge for your Christmas holidays.

Keep well and kind regards
The adventurous T-team

For enquiries please contact :