Tuningi Newsletter November 2011

By gavintonkinson on November 1, 2011

Warmest greeting to you all once again!

Christmas is just around the corner and we can not wait to see all of you guys that are on your way back to Tuningi for yet another return visit. True to our reputation, we are planning to spoil you rotten once again! Our amazing chefs are going to tickle your taste buds no end, the barman will tempt you with the best of our magnificent wines and deliver one cocktail after the next to you, lying, soaking up the South African sun at the pool area. Some of the animals will come to entertain you at the Lodge’s private water hole while the Rangers will show you the rest of Madikwe’s magnificent wild life and teach you every thing there is to know on every adventurous game drive…

But for now, Christo will share NOVEMBER’S exciting news with you!

Yet another one of those amazing months in Madikwe, but to be honest, every month is special out in the African bush. But I think this month was just that little bit more special because in November the Impalas and Wildebeest started giving birth and there are babies around every corner.

As the summer slowly settled in, rumbling thunderstorms were becoming more frequent and I am always awestruck by the power and brilliance of the lightning shows accompanying every worthy thunderstorm, and of course with every thunderstorm comes rain which the thirsty soil laps up and makes the appreciative plants go green.

Then on a sad note…

As you may know South Africa is undergoing a scourge of rhino poaching but that Madikwe has been rather lucky in the past only losing 1 rhino last year November (still one to many). Well shocking news reached us the 1st of November, a big rhino bull was found shot and dehorned on our Northern fence and to ad horror to the sadness, another dead, dehorned rhino was found the 17th of November, also on our Northern fence line. Well that then settled it, Madikwe went on the war path and we are all motivated not to let such a tragedy happen again. With rangers are now helping with patrols and gathering of information. We are set to protect our beloved rhino from these terrorists. The figure of rhino’s poached mid November nationwide, was already a staggering 382, I shiver to think where the number is by the time you read this news letter and that just for a stupid belief that a mass of compacted hair called keratin on top of a rhinos face has medicinal value.

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But then on a happy note!!!

Game viewing was of course top of the order this month, with all the animals in Madikwe playing their part to give our guests the most memorable experiences. Most memorable for me this month was the 2 hours we spent with Madikwe’s favourite leopard, the Moakeng male. Opposed to the usual early morning wake-up call my guests decided they would like to go out a little bit later than usual, seeing that they were lucky enough to have the whole game drive vehicle to themselves. So we left the lodge round about 9h00. I of course had my reservations about what we might see because this time of year it gets hot early and most of the animals resides to the shade or thickets to get out of the scorching sun. But it was a cool overcast morning and Lady Luck and all her high school friends were on our side.

“Tralala… Tralali… on game drive when I suddenly see it, a flash of white tail and spots. Leopard!!! Heart racing, goose-pimply all over and then… gone. Where… How… What the…? There he is, a voice whispers from the back and I have to strain my eyes to see where the leopard had dropped down, relying on his camouflage to hide him away from the unexpected vehicle. We sit a moment and then he relaxes and casually crosses the road behind us not even giving us a second glance. We follow this male leopard through the bush and watch him as he sharpens and cleans his nails on a small tree. We even watch as he starts showing interest in a patch of grass obviously hearing something way beyond human ability, slowly he creeps up and then lunges, and again and again. Probably heard a mouse or rat and wanted to have a quick snack. We are speechless as we follow the leopard around a mere 10 meters from him. He eventually makes his way back to a road and stops for a drink of water in a small puddle next to the road, we follow him for another 100 meters or so and then he plops down like only a cat can, right underneath a nice shady tree. Still in shock and speechless from this amazing sighting we leave to go and stop for a drink and when we return to where we left him, he has disappeared, as if to prove that he is still the king of sneakiness.

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Our watering hole is also still buzzing with activity, especially since a big old Black Rhino male called Hansa now made our watering hole his favourite hang out space. If it is a really hot day be sure to be at the watering hole round about 4 o’clock, because that is when Hansa has his afternoon drink, mud wallow and sometimes even a siesta right at the watering hole.

Our big pack of Wild Dogs is also going from strength to strength. All 11 pups born in May are all still alive and well, a pretty good accomplishment. Just a few days back we spent almost the whole morning with them, watching as they fed on a kudu they killed the previous night and laughed at the antics of the pups almost the size of the adults already. Dogs and mud and meat and blood every where! 25 dogs all together and well and healthy! What a sighting!

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Then on a whole different note.

The other day I was in the office (yes pretty amazing I know, seeing that it is damn scary in there) frolicking around on the interweb and came upon a website called tripadvisor. O my was I pleasantly surprised, I read one comment and then just could not stop, my pride swelled through the roof as I read comment after comment about the wonderful time guests had with us. It really makes us feel special to know that what we as Tuningi do is so much appreciated. So thank you to all the guests that wrote a comment on trip advisor. We appreciate it immensely and also thank you to all the guests that has put their trust in us for their safari experience, it was a real joy and honour to have shown you our little piece of Africa.


Well that is it from me for November. Make sure to book your trip to Tuningi to see what exactly it is so many people are raving about, I am sure you will not be disappointed.
Until we chat again


And then lastly from me;
Thank you to Robin Ashfield for the beautiful bird photos you sent us after your visit!
I just had to share them with all of you!

Please do not hesitate to send us some of your photos or post them for all to see on our face book page!


Have a wonderful Chrismas and a Happy New Year!

With warmest regards
Heidi and the rest of the fabulous T-team

P.S. Remember to befriend us on FACEBOOK for daily updates of sightings and special rates!

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