Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Klaserie Caravan Park to Punda Maria in the Kruger National Park

In spite of the great camp we had, we decided to go back to the Kruger Park and see what happens at Punda Maria, one of the camps we love most.  After an overnight at Tzendze, we moved up to Punda and found ourselves very lucky to find a campsite next to the fence with a wonderful view over the waterhole area.

The main waterhole at Punda Maria

Scenes like the above became daily fare for us.

We knew that we were very, very lucky to be able to experience the scenes that unfolded before our eyes every day.  Even at night the feast went on.

With scenes like the above happening constantly, we almost never felt to go on a game drive, but one day we decided to take a drive around the camp on the S99. We were again very lucky to be able to see the following.

We found these lions near the carcass of a buffalo while a few of them were still busy feasting.  One actually was eating deep inside the buffalo carcass, but they eventually finished and went to drink water and sleep.  After drinking water, they got up and left, with a horde of vultures taking possession of the carcass.

On the right of the picture, one can see a Tawny eagle taking flight with a piece of meat that the vultures overlooked in their mad haste to get food.

It was not only animals that kept us entertained at Punda, but also the birds contributed to the wildlife feast.

I recommend Punda Maria as a fabulous camp for short and longer stays.  The best is to camp next to the fence to both sides of the hide so that you can watch the animals coming and going.  It will definitely also help if you go in the dry season when the animals are drawn to the waterhole in their numbers.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Tanzania Safari Holidays Lake Manyara National Park

Tanzania Safari Holidays Lake Manyara National Park

Stretching for 50km along the base of the rusty-gold 600-metre high Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara National Park is a scenic gem, with a setting that alone qualify it for a superior Tanzania Safari Holiday 

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Okavango Delta Game Reserve for African Safari Lodges

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:
Okavango Delta Game Reserve for African Safari Lodges

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Incredible leopard kill at andBeyond Ngala Private Game Reserve

From Phinda Game Reserve to Klaserie Caravan Park

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

From Phinda Forest Lodge to Phinda Rock Lodge

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 seen from below

Rock Lodge between the trees seen from below.

Our private deck with a splash pool, a table, an umbrella and a double coach where only the birds can see you.

Our suite was a grotto-like tunnel with ultra-luxury fttings and trimmings.  A very romantic place indeed with a huge bath next to a large window overlooking the valley.  A separate shower for that quick cleansing before the next activity

Towards the bathroom.

Towards the bedroom

Professor our Butler, on the veranda

Guest Area

The safari drives we had in the south of Phinda were also of a very high standard.  They showed us Lions, Elephants, a Leopard, Buffaloes and Black Rhinos.  The area is exceptionally rich in the beautiful Nyala which we saw on many occasions.  Below are a few of the photos we took there.

We enjoyed AndBeyond's Phinda Lodges very much.  We recommend Phinda as a wildlife destination with enthusiasm born from the fabulous staff we encountered there, the luxury of the lodge and our suite and also the fabulous surprise they offered all of Rock's guests.

We can now understand why so many overseas people come back year after year to enjoy South Afica's great luxury lodges.

Monday, 12 October 2015

From Sodwana Bay to Phinda Game Reserve

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.

Soon we saw some Rhinos.

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.

Again on the Safari vehicle, we first came across a group of Giraffes with our ranger explaining the effect of the height of these animals on their heart and blood pressure. 

Our ranger told us before we left that there is a lioness with four cubs in the vicinity and that they have been keeping an eye on her and the cubs.  They told us that she left the previous day, leaving her cubs in her mother's care and that we will be going to see if the cubs and grandmother is still ok.

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!