Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thornybush Game Reserve : May 2010

We then moved onto Thornybush Game Reserve which is just north of the Sabi Sands, here we stayed at Thornybush Main Lodge, Accommodation consists of suites which have an en-suite bathroom with indoor and outdoor showers, a private deck with a view of either the seasonal Monwana River bed or Thicket. they also have 2 Family Suites with a lounge are and double sleeper couch to accommodate the children, these suites also have a larger Deck and a Private plunge pool. The Main area of the lodge consists of a Pool, Library with Internet access, A Boma, a Fully equipped conference facility and a curio shop.

Onto the Game and i was astounded by the game we saw, i had the idea that no other area could be as good as the Sabi Sands, but i was definitely wrong, we not only saw all the High profile animals such as Lion, Elephant, White Rhino, Buffalo and Leopard but we also saw 3 Cheetahs plus Impala, Giraffes, Kudu, Hippo etc. Our most memorable moment was when we had a brief sighting of 2 Leopard cubs playing in the bush, unfortunately the bush they were playing in was too thick to see them clearly besides a few fleeting glances.

Nkorho Bush Lodge : May 2010

Nkorho Bush Lodge was next on our itinerary and we were back in the Northern Sabi Sands, our home for the night was in a thatched Chalet with our own small deck, all the chalets are set out in the same open plan manner, but the decor of one chalet is different to the next and each have their own unique charm. the main part of the lodge consists of a Reception area & curio shop, a lovely bar leading onto the Main deck with an infinity pool all overlooking the large open area in front of the lodge, there is also 2nd small Rock pool and a Wine cellar.

On our Game Drives at Nkorho Bush Lodge we had excellent sightings of 3 different leopards - 2 Female & 1 Male and a Cheetah Mum & Cub as well as Rhino and my favourite the Steenbok which is a little buck that is very skittish and normally disappears by the time you lift your camera, we were so luck in the fact that this little Steenbok stood still for a few moments before dashing away into the bush, I even managed to get my first non blurry photo - see photo below.

Ngala Safari Lodge : May 2010

After the Northern Sabi Sands we then moved onto the Timbavati which is North of the Sabi Sands and here we stayed at Ngala Safari Lodge, our thatched cottage with a shaded veranda nestled amoungst the trees was very comfortable and stylish, on walking to our cottage we even had the pleasure of seeing a little bush buck which has become so used to the people around the chalets that she didn't even blink an eye as we walked past.

At Tea time and just before our Game Drive we had the pleasure of watching a little tree squirrel stealing sugar cubes! it was just so cute I couldn't chase it away and instead took the below pictures.


The Game in the Timbavati is quite good as we managed to see not only the High Profile game such as Lion, Elephants, Rhino, Buffalo & the elusive Leopard but we also had a spectacular sighting of Hyena Cub at the den, they were so very cute and were curious as to what exactly we were so decided to come and sniff the vehicles tires! our other amazing sighting was to see a Baby Elephant which was most likely born the day/night before, it was so adorable and the heard moved quickly to surround and protect the baby, our ranger decided not to push the heard and we left them with their new addition in peace.

Kirkmans Kamp, Sabi Sand : May 2010

After the Timbavati we were once again back in the Sabi Sands and this time in the south and at Kirkmans Kamp, this camp is built around an old colonial house and they still have many of the old artifacts such as the old hunting guns, Antlers etc. Each room at Kirkmans has a large bed, a bathroom with a bath & rain shower as well as your own little patio over looking the bush. The Main area has a Library, Bar and there is a Swimming pool with amazing views and a Massage room where the Therapist works from.

The Game was brilliant we saw 3 Different Leopards one of which was a big male and had a kill up a tree, we also saw Rhinos, Elephant, Buffalo, Kudu and Impala but to name a few and during one of our sun downers we even had a Hyena come walking over to us, we saw him from a fair distance and had packed up & jumped back onto the Vehicle before he got too close, that was not our last experience with the Hyenas though as the next night when we were going back to the bar for a pre-dinner drink we were told & Shown the Hyena that was wondering around Camp, I think he could smell our Divine boma dinner from miles away.

Exeter River Lodge, Sabi Sand : May 2010

Our final lodge on our amazing trip was Exeter River Lodge, situated in the Western sector of the Sabi Sands this lodge over looks the Sand River, our chalet was beautiful, set amongst the trees with a view of the River with its tall reeds, each of the chalets have a open plan lounge and bedroom, a bathroom with double rain showers and a bath as well as an outdoor shower and on the deck you have your own private plunge pool.

The Main area of the Lodge consists of a Large Deck overlooking the river as well as stairs down to a smaller deck closer to the River where Lunch is normally served, there is also a Boma, Main Swimming pool and Curio Shop. There is also an on site Beauty therapist who offers Divine massages in the comfort of your own chalet and you can choose to have you massage either inside or outside on the deck.

The Game Viewing as with anywhere in the Sabi Sands was brilliant and we had wonderful sightings the first was 4 huge Male Lions & 2 Female Lions around a Rhino which had died when it fell in a hole, the next amazing sighting was of 2 female Lions with their 3 cubs plus a huge Male Lion following them, it seemed like he just wanted to be around the Females and Cubs and assuming he was also wanting fresh food as the rhino was a little smelly when we saw it! He had been in a fight during the night as he was a little cut up and looked like he was feeling very sorry for himself. On our morning game drive we found a young Bull Elephant who was in Musth, he was a little grumpy and decided to mock charge us, i must admit it was a little scary but our Ranger Richard was very skillful and moved us off quickly to a safer distance.
Richard was a brilliant ranger and on the one night after we have spent some time with the Lions we went off in search of more animals but the game was in hiding so he asked us to Navigate our way back to the lodge using the Stars, he stopped at all the crossroads and asked us which was to go, it was really so much fun finding our way back.