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Safari on a Game reserve in South Africa


Nisch
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Hi All,

 

Been a long time forum reader and a wildlife photographer ( at least that's what I think I am :P ).

Was planning a safari to Africa with my better half since 2011, the first time I planned to go to Tanzania and Kenya, booked the tickets and then got the news that we were pregnant and had to cancel the whole thing.

The second time we booked for Kenya for May this year things were going good till bombs started going off and people started getting killed in Nairobi and panic struck in the family. "You can't go!" was the general consensus, 2 days before we were about to fly and I just wanted to go. Not going; to me was like bowing down to the guys who are causing havoc in Africa. Seeing this the wife took matters in her own hand and decided that we would go to SA, seeing that it a lot similar to Australia and a lot more safer than East Africa. So once the airline booking was changed, I was left with a task of booking a place last minute.

I did some research on Expedia and TripAdvisor, my only last resort and booked this lodge called the Kuname game lodge on a private game reserve called the Kurongwe game reserve near the town of Hoedspruit in the Limpopo province of South Africa. It was a time of our lives, if you guys are interested to know more let me know and I will continue the story. Waiting for your responses.

 

Regards

 

NIsch.

 

 

 

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Thanks for posting, and of course we would like to hear more about it. I've stayed in the same area at Kapama.

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It was the "Time of Your Lives"! Yes, we would love to know about it! And see your pictures!

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Yes, share your trip, we'd like hear more.

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Ditto here - please tell us about it and yes, photos of course!

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You don't need to ask, this is a SAFARI forum so of course we want to know everything and we need lots of photos as well. ASAP! ;)

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Would love to hear more!:)

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Me too!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Guys for all the interest in the post, sorry couldn't come back to this earlier; have been busy with a work and my 11month old but I have time today so here goes.

As we reach Jo'burg int'l airport and go to our SA express to Hoedspruit we had no expectations and i guess that is the best way to go about any holiday ( apart from that I had my fingers crossed to see a leopard). ;) . Just a short flight takes us to Hodespruit airport where, as we land we were greeted by a family of warthogs running across the airstrip. A short transfer from the airport to the Kurongwe game reserve gets us talking to our driver who was from Sable Tours of Hoedspruit who told us that we are up for a jolly good time at the Kuname lodge. We go through the gate of the reserve and a few seconds late we are greeted by a couple curious Giraffes who stick their head out of the bush as we drive past them.
We got to the lodge around 3:00 pm and the people at the lodge were having high tea and almost getting ready for the evening game drive. We settled one of their 5 chalets we got a knock on our door by the ranger Peter who was picking us for our first ever game drive.
I checked all my photography gear as the wife checked if we had enough warm clothes and we headed out. The game drive is conducted by the lodge in their specially modified rangerover. We headed out to the reserve, Peter asked us what we were interested in seeing and my wife informed him that she wasted to tick off the big five before we start watching anything else; Peter chuckled and said "Yeh Really!" just a few mins on the drove and we heard a radio conversation. Peter informed us that they had spotted a Leopard :o to my surprise my prayers were answered and as the sun headed westwards we reached one of the reserves many water bodies and as we get closer Peter slowly cut his engine and said there is our Leopard! As we strained our eyes to look for him we spotted the spots in the thick golden grass on the bank of the lake. He wanted to know what all the commotion was so he walked out of the grass and sat staring at us in a very still gaze; absolutely handsome! We spent more than a half hour with him before he decided to disappear into the thick golden grass. Peter laughed and said "there you go! now you have seen it all even though you haven't seen another animals as it is very rare to spot a Leopard."
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There was an hour of so of sunlight left as per Peter and he said he wanted to see if we could locate the pride of lions that he had seen earlier this morning, so off we went. We had tracker along with us whose name was Sandy and he guided us through as Peter was on the wheels, Off the road we went into thick bush and thorny trees till finally we came across a big boulder and on that we cold see a magnificent pride of Lions; 1 male, 2 females and their 4 cubs. The Male Lion just laid down and we were not more than a meter away from him but he did not have a care in the world, his beautiful mane swaying in the gentle breeze as he slowly opened his eyes to inspect the noise of the vehicle and fell asleep again. The 4 cubs, about 4mths old were up to their pussycat tricks as the mothers sat and inspected them. This was so surreal! I find it hard to describe the emotions I was going through. We were loosing light quickly and the lionesses were getting ready for a hunt. First one went into the bush from the rock, followed by 3 cubs and then the second and the last cub as the male Lion sat up and watched them disappear in the thick grass, we decided to call it a day and headed off to the reserve, unfortunately our spotlight was out of order and we could not do much but return to the Lodge. This was our very first day on safari and our very first game drive and Wow! what an introduction it was!

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I promise that will compete my report in the next post, hope this has been entertaining@ JohnR, Terry, PCNW, SafariChick, Pennyanne, twaffle, ede 148 and Peter Cannon.

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Your first sighting is a leopard. That's a good omen. Followed by lion cubs. If only it was always like that (but then it would get boring.)

 

Thanks for getting back to us.

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What great start! Looking forward to more. :)

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Goes to show that a fenced reserve, even if it "only" about 100 square kilometers, can really deliver great sightings. We dismiss these places way too fast on ST!

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Goes to show that a fenced reserve, even if it "only" about 100 square kilometers, can really deliver great sightings. We dismiss these places way too fast on ST!

True - and thanks for the report.

 

What most people don't realise is that even if they travel to bigger reserves in say Botswana, its seldom that they actually do their game viewing in more than 10 000 hectares.

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@@Nisch your safari in Karingwe has already yielded more game than mine did last year.

some great early sightings - long may your good fortune continue.

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what a great start to your first safari! i hope the rest of the trip lived up to the beginning as well. look forward to reading the rest.

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What most people don't realise is that even if they travel to bigger reserves in say Botswana, its seldom that they actually do their game viewing in more than 10 000 hectares.

 

Yup. I think most people do not realise that 10000Ha is still 10km by 10km. That's a lot of space to drive around in, and plenty enough space for most animals. Most species have a "home range" of only a few kilometers, and most don't go more than 5km from a water source. Ellies & lions are often on the pill, but not all the time.

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The light is magical in your leopard photo. I hope the rest of your time was similarly productive!

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