Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tuningi Safari Lodge: Lions with the mist...

This 5-star 16-bed lodge is set on the South Western side of the Madikwe Game Reserve.

My arrival at the lodge was greeted, aside from the friendly staff, by grey skies and the threat of impending rain. But I refused to be fazed by the storm and was prepared to hop on the game drive vehicle with Grant after lunch.

My room was well appointed but lacked a proper desk which I find useful as a writer.

 I also discovered, much to my amusement, three plastic ducks in my bath tub
(and unlike a guest house in Clarens, these ducks floated!)



Despite the weather I was determined to try the outdoor shower
 during my stay

 ...and I did, ducks and all!

Our first afternoon drive brought quite a lot of excitement...we found lions, a dead giraffe and a dead Impala...and 

We broke a shock absorber on the rear wheel 
within leaping distance of at least two lionesses.

Two legs good,
four legs...
better.

And our two intrepid "mechanics" emerge triumphant...
clutching the offending part

After sunset, and with the rain coming in squalls, game viewing was not ideal. 
Grant did manage to find us a chameleon sheltering in a tree.

A proper roaring fire greeted us on our return


We paid a visit to the giraffe carcass and sure enough 
there were lions busy having breakfast there. 

Our search for Rhino proved fruitless, 
but we found MORE lions on the Western airstrip!

Back to camp for a hot breakfast and 
then it was off for a bush walk

An early lunch was followed by all of the guests (including Philip) 
leaving to try to find a pack of Wild Dogs that had been spotted earlier 
and of course any of the lions that might still be hanging around

Not only did we find a pack of eight Wild Dogs 
(the second most endangered predator in Africa after the Ethiopian Wolf) 

...but a white rhino,

 a herd of Elephants 

 
 AND another male lion
on the giraffe carcass...

Buffalos always look at you as if you owe them money!

This Crimson Breasted Shrike that actually sat still long enough for me
 to get this image!

As I waited at the airstrip for the plane to arrive, I was both sad (to leave) 
and grateful (for having this experience)

Taking off from a ‘bush’ airstrip is an experience on its own...
firstly getting the animals of the strip. 
Especially the lions as they enjoy lying on the warm earth and 
secondly because it is a small plane and it tends to ‘bounce’!

My thanks to all the lodge staff, but especially to our ranger Grant Marcus 
for the invaluable photographic tips he shared with me...
Many thanks for upping my game Grant! (www.photo-africa.com)

Unlike many other 5-star lodges, Tuningi actually welcomes young guests 
and has several eco projects specifically designed to keep them busy 
while mom and dad are of on a game drive...
or just feel like some ‘down time’

Contact details:
Tuningi Safari Lodge:
Telephone: 011 8059995
Email: res@tuningi.co.za


         

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