Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Not a blank canvas. Kwafubesi Tented Safari Camp & Safari Plains. Limpopo Province

A recent trip to the "bush" was sparked by an unexpected health scare
 I had which caught me quite off guard.
I thought I heard my physician say that I must stay in a tent,
hence me booking into these two tented camps.
What he had actually said was that I was too tense!
I suppose I should get my hearing checked as well.
I therefore headed off North to revisit Kwafubesi Tented Safari Camp,
 as well as the newest camp in 
the Mabula Private Game Reserve,
Safari Plains.
At Kwafubesi, hidden amongst the foliage was THIS... 
I have to say that aside from canvas walls, 
this particular accommodation bore no resemblance 
to those old smelly canvas tents that I 
spent weekends in during my youth.  

A bath and shower with great water pressure
and lots of hot water to wash of the post drive dust.
There is also an indoor toilet as well as two
 side-by-side wash hand basins

My trusty Samsonite suitcase guarding the doorway.
There is seating both inside and outside on the deck
with a tea/coffee station is handily placed
 to the left of the opening.
Electric lighting, mozzie nets and a comfortable bed.
What more can a weary travel writer ask for.
A far cry from my days under canvas in the Boy Scouts.

A pair of comfortable chairs enabled me to catch up on some reading.
Lying down on the bed immediately induced sleep;
so sitting up to read was the better option.

By night the tent took on a magical feel.
Close to the main lodge building to feel safe,
but not that close that privacy becomes an issue.
The rest of the tented accommodation is set far enough apart
to make guests feel that they are the only ones in camp.

As a travel writer/blogger. I am expected to take food pictures.
For obvious reasons, they are usually taken before the start of a meal.
However, in this instance I chose to take a post meal image.
I had to eat everything on the plate (in this case it was a chicken salad) 
for research purposes...of course!

A final Kwafubesi breakfast and coffee before packing up and heading off to my next tent...
The healthy option, muesli and plain yoghurt.
There was a hot breakfast option,
and a platter with cold cuts and cheeses.

Although I go to the bush with no expectations,
this sighting of a lion walking towards the vehicle
 was a heart stopping moment.
Especially when it was this close and decided to make eye contact.

A final image check to make certain that I had got "that shot"
 before packing away my camera gear.
Our field guide then drove me back to the main reception.
From there it was a short drive onward to my final destination,
Safari Plains

The recently opened Safari Plains.
Now THIS is a tent!
Just for some different, I have used a 360 degree camera,
to give the space a perspective not often seen
when using standard equipment.
A huge bed, surrounded by a mosquito net and 
with more pillows than I knew what to do with! 

Another view, but from a different angle.
Beautifully appointed, it reminded me of what the early travelers
 must have expected when they cam to Africa on safari.

At eye level...

The brick portion at the rear of the tent houses a bathroom, toilet
shower, wash basins as well as a dressing room.

This Sala ,which means living room,
is situated off to the side of the main accommodation.
A great spot to relax and look out across the vast open plains. 

Forget the e-Tolls on the National highway system.
It seems that Safari Plains have their own toll booths...buffalo!
We had searched during two consecutive game drives to find the herd,
but in the end they actually found us.
We were sitting so quietly that we could clearly hear them
 chewing as the strutted by.
When you are this big and dangerous, you tend to walk with attitude.

I HAD to feature at least one of the meals that I enjoyed
during my too short stay at this brand new camp.

Subtle lighting enhances the decor and the feeling of 
subdued elegance.

A final breakfast before packing my car and heading back to Johannesburg.
A great week and I returned refreshed and revitalized...

Once you report to the main reception at Mabula,
a field guide will come to collect you to transfer you to the camp.
It is situated about 15-20 minutes away,
and as the road goes through the game reserve
who might be in for some surprise game viewing.
And by the way, Google maps still has not rectified their directions.
If you are going to follow them , then use "Bela Bela" as you destination.
Once there you can enter "Mabula" to get you to the correct car park.

This lodge is situated before you get to the turnoff to the main Mabula Game reserve.
Keep an eye open for this wall on the left hand side of the road.
And by the way, Google maps still has not rectified their directions.
If you are going to follow Google maps, then use Bela Bela as you destination.
Once there you can enter Safari Plains to get you to the gate.

A big thank you to each of these brands
 for coming on board.

This has been my constant travel companion 
for the past several years.
It might look worn,
but that represents the kilometers/miles
we have shared together.
From Kilimanjaro to the beaches of India.
To coach trips across Europe and Vietnam
and to a variety of game lodges and road trip destinations
 in South and Southern Africa.
Check out their Facebook page:

This torch has been turning heads!
The Olight SRS2UT Intimidator.
Marketed locally by:

My camera brand of choice for more than 4 decades!

When it is time to print out my special images,
this is the company that I rely on to do that.

Bush gear to make me blend in...
in comfort and style.

I have worn the orange Veldskoen in the jungles of India
and on the beaches of Croatia.
Not to mention, many game reserves in Africa.
They are probably the most comfortable pair of shoes
that I have ever owned.
Now to try out the rest of the colours in the range.

When I get home. I rely on this ISP
to provide me with high speed fibre connectivity 
to enable me to get my postings published in record time.

This Powerbank is my constant companion
 while I am travelling.
It can do up to 4 full re-charges of my phone before
needing to be charged.
Supplied by...

When offered an option...
ALWAYS be Batman.
My constant travelling companion.
To find out more about the collectible Funko range of figurines,

I could not do without this awesome laptop bag from Solo.
Padded for protection and with enough pockets to keep
almost everything INCLUDING the kitchen sink in,
this is definitely an stylish addition to any business presentation.
Be it in the boardroom or the bush.
This bag can also be worn as a backpack. 
There are straps in a hidden compartment that can be deployed
when you need both hands for other purposes.
To find out more about the stylish Solo range,

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.
This locally made, deceptively simple device is ideal 
for tracking birds in flight or animals in motion.
The base can be used on a beanbag or a tripod,
with the ball being fitted to the camera.
The simplicity of the device allows to to move from supported
to hand held in a fluid motion.
There is also a version that can be used on a car window.
To see more about the product, 
visit their Facebook page:
Or order directly from:

To see who else were winners in 2018, visit:

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and may not be used without permission

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