This week I hosted two very serious birders from Pretoria, Annelize and Gerhard, who have currently 608 birds on their life list. Gerhard also enjoys his bird photography very much.
They stayed for four nights at the Thanda Safari Lodge and had booked the Green Mamba 1, my Photographic Safari Vehicle, for their stay.
Having a private safari vehicle gave them the freedom to shape their own schedule which included all morning birding drives, a night safari and 2-hour sessions at various Thanda Safari birding-hotspots. We even added an excursion to the kuMasinga hide at Mkuze Game Reserve, which is one of the most productive bird hides in the country.
Annelize and Gerhard were very happy with the 118 bird sightings which they were able to note on the Thanda Safari bird cecklist. This was especially impressive as most of the Summer birds have not arrived yet back on Thanda.
The beautiful and comfortable surroundings of the Thanda Safari Lodge, the excellent cuisine and the great dangerous game and general game sightings made this the perfect place for their first getaway after the long lockdown period.
These are five collages illustrating the various facets of their highly enjoyable stay.
I know that you are expecting wildlife picture posts and wildlife video posts but many of my safari guests enjoy my ‘Chocorulas’ during our morning drink stops in the bush very much. So I thought I share the recipe with you. ☕️
1. Put two to three teaspoons of a good quality hot chocolate powder in a mug.
2. Add single or double tots of Amarula and stir the mix until it becomes a fine paste (no lumps).
3. Now add a strong, short espresso (or ristretto) to the mug. If you use Nespresso coffee then the ‘Kazar’ blend will be perfect.
4. Froth some milk (as you would do for a cappuccino)
5. Now pour the froth and a bit of hot milk into your mug.
6. Decorate it with a bit of chocolate or cocoa powder.
Done! Enjoy your Chocorula!
Don’t worry, this will not turn into a cooking channel, Wildlife will be back this evening 😊
After over 100 days of ‘quarantine’ in a boma our Cheetah coalition was re-released onto the reserve. One of the two males had broken his leg and after the required surgery the duo had to remain in the boma for recovery.
Both cats showed a lot of energy after their release and started inspecting their territory. Scents from other Cheetahs in the area kept them very busy until after sunset. The top picture shows them in front of the same tree which was featured with another male Cheetah in this morning’s post.
Tomorrow morning I will post a short video of the two boys in their new found freedom 😊
A picture from my archives: What an exciting sighting when a Black Rhino met a Lioness.
Rhinos do not like Lions. Lions are wary of Rhinos. So usually they stay away from one another but sometimes the Lions’ hunting instinct gets the better of them and they try to edge close to the Rhinos, or the two species just meet by accident. As soon as the Rhinos realize the proximity of cats they get very upset and start chasing their foe. That is usually the end of the encounter because at this stage the Lions move away. Due to the bad eyesight of all adult Rhinos the Lions sometimes get quite close.
In this particular case the Black Rhino bull appeared over the dam wall when it almost bumped into the Lioness. The large herbivore immediately went for the cat which made a hurried retreat.
The reason why Lions are interested in Rhinos is because on occasion they get to kill a young Rhino calf. And therefore Rhinos instinctively dislikes all cats and want to get rid of them!
At the end of today’s game drive I took this short video of an Elephant bull following a breeding herd. Like a teenager he walked confidently down the road with a bit of a swagger before turning into the tree-line.
Today I had to go on a food shopping town trip and had no time for a game drive.
But I thought you might enjoy this short isiZulu lesson from my tracker Bheki which I recorded a while ago. Bheki and I have been working together for the last 7.5 years and he has been demonstrating the special clicking sounds of the Zulu language (c, x and q) many times to our Thanda Safari guests.
Today he is demonstrating them for you! Since the beginning of the South African National Lock Down Bheki is at home with his family. I miss the game drives with my favorite wing-man!