Monday, July 11, 2011

Return to Kwandwe

I last visited this property in May, just before winter had really set in and I had been told that as part of the seasonal programming, they would be introducing 'space suits' to keep the guests warm during game drives...unfortunately they were not available on that visit...
which was fortunate for my wife and I as we got to return to try them out...

 as this family found out, getting into the suits can be a little tricky...
 believe it or not, under that incredibly warm suit is a small child...
and just to prove it, here is the entire family toasty warm before we set off on our morning game drive...
 As this part of the Eastern Cape can get very cold, the winter game drive only starts at 08h30...after a full breakfast
 Breakfast is prepared by Bronwyn and offers porridge as well as the usual 'full English'...the special on our first morning was French toast which I have not had in a very long time
Melton Manor, our base for our stay in the reserve...
 After the excitement of the cheetah and the lions of the day before, this drive started off rather sedately with this Giraffe
and this small bachelor group of Impala...
This Bat-eared fox was part of a group of four that scattered as our vehicle approached.Luckily for me this little fellow stayed to have a final look before taking off after the rest of the group


We had started the drive determined to find Elephant, and after some fine driving by our ranger we found these two
I always get excited about seeing Gemsbok, as they are not normally found in game reserves in the Northern part of South Africa
 There has been a lot of rain in recent months at Kwandwe, and these Hippo have moved into a dam that has not had water for the last six years...lets hope it stays full!
 Lunch was served picnic style as part of the game drive...not carried on our vehicle, but prepared by the chef and set up in the bush...
The Kwandwe winter program differs from other lodges in as much as the game drive lasts from 08h30 until around 16h00
As we had missed spotting a leopard earlier on the drive, our ranger thought that he could fool us into believing that he resembled one...silly fellow, but it did give us a laugh when he got stuck trying to climb down...
but he had laughed earlier when we scrambled to safety while he brought the vehicle through a particularly nasty thorn bush...
"Give that man a Bells"...

This courting couple were determined to try out some of the things they had seen on Animal Planet...but not while we were looking...

 We also found this White Rhino mom and calf...who were prepared to show themselves to us
 But this was all we got to see of a Black Rhino!
 This particular Springbok was running faster than any of the players in our current 'bok squad...
perhaps they should come here for a training session before the Rugby World Cup?
 This is a sight that you do not want to see while you are walking in the bush...
this Cape Buffalo is what is attached to those horns...not for nothing are they considered one of the most dangerous animals in Africa.
Winter is not yet over, so why not pay Kwandwe a visit and try out their 'space suits'...like my wife and I you will never want to go to another reserve in winter ever again!

Contact details:
Tel: (+27 11) 809 4300
Fax: (+27 11) 809 4400

1 comment:

Jane62 said...

Thanks so much for this blog - we'll be visiting Kwandwe this June and it's fun to see what the safari suits look like, as well as seeing the animals you saw. I noticed you said you saw a bat-eared fox, that is cool! I know that Kwandwe is supposed to have some more unusual nocturnal animals and I wondered if you were able to see any of them being that the game drives don't go out at dawn or dusk. For instance, were you able to see aardwolf, aardvark or caracal?