Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Tented Adventures, Pretoriuskop, Kruger National Park. Good for my soul

When my world feels like this,
it is time for me to head into the bush.
My happy place, and a place where time does not really matter.
My love of  wildlife started back in 1966 with a visit to Pretoriuskop camp.
So returning here to cleanse my soul of its urban layer, 
even for a short while, is always a good idea.

This is NOT how I like to spend my time in the bush.
I watched this family of four take more than an hour to get their site set up.
And that was just the tent! They still had to get all the accessories in the right place
and their sleeping arrangements set up.

This was where I was going to be staying...again.
Here, the only thing that took my time was unzipping the fly screen on my tent.

And, Hey Presto, this is what guests find when the screen is unzipped!
All that need to be done is to open your suitcase and relax.

Even the chairs on the small deck were ready and waiting.

Seeing that everything had been done from an accommodation point of view,
I had time to stop and smell the flowers.

From my point of view, these Helmeted Guinea Fowl must rate as one
 of THE most stupid birds on the planet.
They seem to have no idea that they can actually fly.
As a result they spend a lot of their time in camp running up and down the fence...
trying to figure out a way to get over it.
Eventually one bird will actually fly over, followed in amazement by the rest of the flock.
Once on the other side, they begin the process all over again, in reverse.
In this image they are resting between attempts to escape and return.

But a visit to the bush, for me, is not about the accommodation,
it is all about the game drives.
The canvas sides on the Tented Adventures game drive vehicles
 can be raised when the weather is good.

Unlike private game reserves, in Kruger the gates to the various camps open and close at set times.
Heading out almost as soon as we were allowed, this is the
sunrise through the rain on the windscreen of Enock's vehicle.
Only in Africa!

And our first sighting for the day!
A young female Leopard on the branch of a tree.
We had missed her the night before at the same spot as she had jumped down
before I could get any photographs of  her.

Back to camp for my breakfast of champions.
There were also tomatoes and mushrooms on offer, 
lest you think that my plate looks "empty".

This is what can happen on a return from an evening drive.
It was close to gate closing time, but the elephants did not seem to care about that.
It was feeding time for them, and they certainly were in no hurry to allow us to pass.

Camp manager, Michael, engaging with the guests around the fire.
Also known as "bush TV", fire has the most hypnotic effect on guests
and it is often difficult to drag them to the dinner table.

What an interesting mix of guests.
During my stay there were Canadians, Estonians, Russians and Germans.
A veritable United Nations in Tented Adventures.
And more importantly, they all interacted with each other.
What was interesting for me was the fact that most of the conversations at meals
revolved around politics and sport...with a smattering of wild life thrown into the mix.
Interacting with guests from foreign counties is a way of finding new destinations to visit.
The Russian guest spoke in such glowing terms about Siberia as a tourist destination,
that I have now included it as a possible destination to visit in 2019.

Dinner is served.
The menu is rotated, meaning that if you stay for three nights
 you will not get served the same food on consecutive meals.
The protein is usually steak, or in this case chicken.
There is also a starter and a dessert served.

If, like this Brown Snake Eagle, you want your eyes opened
 to the joys of what Tented Adventures can offer,
then check out their Facebook page and make a booking:

To find out more about what we offer,
visit our website:

Tented Adventures recently won a Lilizela Tourism award!
Well done to all concerned.

Rather than drive to Kruger myself,
I make use of this shuttle service.
The drive takes about 4.5 hours and there are two comfort breaks along the route.
A complimentary magazine and bottled water makes this company a pleasure to travel with.
Hector Ndlovu has been the driver on four of my trips and I do enjoy his sense of humour.
We have certainly shared some interesting drives together.
But what happens on the shuttle, stays on the shuttle!

This is the drop off and pick up point in Hazyview.
Most camps will come and collect guests here 
and the drive to Numbi Gate takes about 40 minutes

...without whom this Blog
 would not be possible. 




A new "tool" in my camera bag.
This locally made product was indispensable when using a long lens.
The ball and socket might look simple...and it is, 
which is why it should be in the gear bag of every serious photographer.
 I got to try out this awesome product on a recent trip to Kruger National Park.
 For tracking birds in flight and animals in motion (what it was intended for)
 it was ideal and it did not much space in my camera bag.
 The base set can be used with either a beanbag or a tripod. 
The advantage of this for me is that it offered the opportunity
 to go from a supported to hand held without have to detach
 from the head of a tripod or a beanbag.
Order directly from www.petersguide.co.za.

An indispensable guide to the Park.
Published by the same company that produces the StabiLens,
this book is the definitive guide to the Kruger Park and all that it offers.
It is also available as an Apple App, but as I have an Android phone,
the paper version works just as well...
Check out www.petersguide.co.za to order


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and may not be used without permission

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