Wednesday, 30 December 2015
Thursday, 10 December 2015
The Okavango Delta is a large inland delta in Botswana where the Okavango River's waters reaches a lowland in the Kalahari. All this water is ultimately evaporated and transpired. The Moremi Game Reserve, a National Park, lies to the east of the Delta. It is one of the seven wonders of the world and a World Heritage site. - See more at: http://www.southern-african-game-reserves.co.za/botswana/okavango-delta/#sthash.zQjFqnoK.dpuf
Okavango Delta Game Reserve for African Safari Lodges
Okavango Delta Game Reserve for African Safari Lodges
Saturday, 7 November 2015
Leaving Phinda, we first went to Pretoria to buy a second-hand motorhome and then returned to the Kruger Park, but the park was fully booked and we had to find another place.
We always enjoy staying at Klaserie Caravan Park, thanks to the wonderful nature and atmosphere where we camp next to the dam.Our camp is a proper birder's and fishing enthusiast's dream. Fish Eagle cries during daytime, their nesting in a nearby tree, while Purple-Crested Touracos, Grey Herons, Paradise Flycatchers, Egyptian Geese, Giant-Malachite- Woodland- and Pied Kingfishers, White-Fronted Bee-Eaters, Burchell's Coucals, Grey Headed Bushshrikes, Maribou Storks, Bennett's Woodpeckers, African Hoopoos, Common Scimitar Bills, Green-Backed Herons, Hadeda Ibis's, Black Collared Barbets, Dark-Capped Bulbuls, Diederik Cuckoos, Purple Herons, Black-Headed Orioles and others are often seen in the trees in the camp.Although I do not possess the required patience to become an angler, I met a good number of them and I saw them catching huge Carp, Bream, Bass and Barbel. All fishing catch and release.On top of that, we received regular visits from Nyala, Zebra, Waterbuck and Impala coming to drink in the dam. No wonder we like to go back between tours to enjoy yet another peaceful stay at Klaserie Caravan Park! On top of all the niceties, they also offer a special price for long-term retired campers.
We can recommend this place since it is near the Kruger Park and one can easily spend a day in the park.
The dam at Klaserie Caravan Park
Anglers' vehicles and caravans next to the dam.
Our Bushdrifter vehicles
Spent a day in the Kruger Park. The sagging water level a sign of drought
Peaceful Egyptian Geese swimming
A Brown hooded Kingfisher
Thursday, 5 November 2015
After finishing our breakfast at Forest Lodge we trekked southwards in Phinda to the beautifully situated Rock Lodge, where we were destined to stay one night. We enjoyed Rock Lodge so much that we eventually decided to stay another night.Our wildlife experience with AndBeyond's game rangers and trackers were extended to those we met at Rock Lodge. These AndBeyond-trained guides and trackers are just amazing in their friendliness, their knowledge of their areas and the wildlife. We cannot stress the loving friendliness of AndBeyond's entire staff enough.
Rock Lodge between the trees seen from below.
Monday, 12 October 2015
From Sodwana Bay o Phinda Game Reserve Phinda Forest Lodge
We finally got the opportunity to visit two of Phinda Game Reserve's safari lodges. We never went to any of these private safari lodges, but decided we should bite the bullet and go to find out what it is that make people go to these places at the seemingly very high prices they charge.
When we received notice from my son that we must go to andBeyond's Forest and Rock Lodges for one night each and that our expenses have been paid for, we immediately grabbed the opportunity and started preparations.
When we finally arrived at Forest Lodge, we received a royal welcome from the manageress and another staff member who were waiting or us.They asked us to pack our bags with everything we will need on a waiting platform and to hand them our car keys, since they will from then on take care of us and all our belongings. They took us right away to their very luxurious guest area where a hearty and very tastefully prepared lunch was waiting for us.
The other guests were already there and prepared for the afternoon game drive that would follow shortly after lunch.
After a great lunch we were then seated in an open safari vehicle and the safari that would end after dark, commenced.
There were about four or five such vehicles, some of which carried a family and another a group of friends. There were also some with only two couples to each of them. We were grouped with another very friendly couple and we enjoyed their company to the hilt.
And a little while later, Cheetahs. Three of them, all brothers.
The Cheetahs were in a very healthy condition, mostly due to their speed and good hunting skills.
We stayed with the three cheetahs, since it appeared as if they were preparing for a hunt.
It was getting dark, however and we decided to leave the cheetahs and to enjoy a sundowner in the bush. The ranger and tracker team was quick in setting up a table with all kinds of delectables and drinks of all sorts and brands.
While enjoying the food and drinks, we chatted about the cheetahs and other animals we saw and watched the sun set over the forest in Phinda. A real wonderful experience in the company of the andBeyond staff. Both the ranger and the tracker were outstanding in their knowledge of the bush and the animals. They surely also know how to treat and spoil their guests.
Arriving at the very luxurious lodge, the staff was waiting to spoil us and we were seated and given the choice between an array of wonderful dishes - a real pity one cannot have it all. Afterwards we joined in an interesting conversation with our ranger and some of the guests about the conservation efforts being practiced at Phinda Game Reserve.
Finally we decided to move to our suite. We only then realized that we did not even see our suite yet, since we were kept busy and adrenaline pumping the whole time.
A very friendly security guard accompanied us to our suite and told us on the way that they saw a leopard between the suites earlier on in the day.
The suite was extremely luxurious, with every need, big or small, well catered for. The bathroom was wonderful and those beds and bedding! I began to understand why people are queuing to spend large sums for time at these game lodges.
At sunrise we received a call from the staff to prepare for the morning safari and to come to the main guest area for tea or coffee and cookies or biscuits and other snacks.
We met up with our friends of the previous day and were glad to hear that we will do this safari together again.
And, lo and behold, there she appears on the way to the kids and grandma. We followed her for a while to make sure she is heading for the den and then proceeded to bundubash to the den to await her appearance. I realised then again why people save a whole year to be able to spend two nights at a place like andBeyond's Forest Lodge. It is a bargain at any price, so start saving.:-)
Kids waiting for mom's return
Happy Days - Mom's back again!
Saturday, 26 September 2015
Tuesday, 22 September 2015
We were booked in at Sodwana Bay Lodge for a week and we were looking forward to the luxury of having your own bathroom within a few yard's distance. We love the vegetation and climate in this area, since it is normally quite warm when the rest of the country is in winter conditions.We also liked to be able to work on our Bushdrifters website and our other back office stuff.We can recommend this Lodge. It has quite a high standard and we loved their restaurant and also the tame Nyalas and Bushbuck that roam freely there.We decided to stay another week, but the lodge was fully booked or the weekend, so we went camping at Sodwana's huge camping area in the forest for the weekend, before returning to the lodge.We can recommend Sodwana for the laid-back atmosphere, the diving, the camping and also for the places where you can eat and drink, swim and other activities normally associated with a very popular beach area. There are also a few Lodges that caters for non-campers and between camps campers .
Low tide at Jesser Point at Sodwana Bay
Camping in the campsites at Sodwana Bay
The Bushies Shop at Sodwana
Restaurant on the beach at Sodwana
Information signs at Sodwana Beach
One of the diving operations at the beach.
A lone angler at the beach
From St Lucia, we had a day to spare before we could clock in at Sodwana Bay Lodge, so we searched for a camping spot on our Tracks4Africa electronic map and Voila! There it was. Some distance from a town on a farm with a pool and accommodation, including camping. Just what we needed here: S28.08202° E32.29193°
We reached the place and was further surprised. It has a number of cottages and two camping areas. One near a dam where a few Nyalas came to drink, The other on the other side of the complex. Both spots are good, but we chose the one near the dam so we could see the animals as well as the birds from this area.
The people were very friendly and accommodating, they told us to be there when the Bushbabys are being fed. We later on came to watch them and were pleased to them being so near to us.
We recommend this place for an overnight and also a place to rest and relax for a day or two.
The Bushies camping again after St Lucia's stay in brick and mortar.
The pool area in the garden
The campsite at the "other side".
The ablutions and was-up at night.
Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Saturday, 12 September 2015
From Richards Bay, we traveled on the the Isimangaleso Wetland Park. A large area stretching right up to Sodwana Bay. We stayed in St Lucia's campsites and did a day visit to Cape Vidal. This area is a foresty, green leafy and wetland area where one should strictly stick to the roads or get stuck in the mud.The campsites and accommodation in both St Lucia and Cape Vidal are usually full during school holidays and one should book early or visit out of season when it is normally rather empty and place to overnight or longer is easy to get.The campsites we visited have many rather tame antelopes like the Natal Steenbok and Bushbuck. Banded Mongoose travel in waves through the campsites hunting for food. Birds are everywhere and this is a real pleasure to have all this wildlife around you.The trip to Cape Vidal was great and we saw many a wonderful vista as well as mammals like Buffalo, Hippos, Kudus, Rhino and smaller animals.This area is one of South Africa's most beautiful and is a must-see on any longer trip through the country.
Hippos in the wetland area
Buffalo drinking water in the wetland park between St Lucia and Cape Vidal
More wetlands between St Lucia and Cape Vidal
Towards the Cape Vidal beach
Playing in the rock pools at Cape Vidal
Lanching fishing boats at Cape Vidal
Some of the wetter areas between St Lucia and Cape Vidal
Milking a goat on the Cheese Farm
Inside the shop at The Cheese Farm
The shop and restaurant at The Cheese Farm