< Back to all

A week of calmer times

Chad Cocking | A Week In Pictures

Greetings once again, and welcome back to another weekly update from the heart of the Timabvati!  After last weeks intruding male lions, there was some uncertainty as to what would transpire this week. I am happy to report that it was a week of calmer times.

While things cooled down on the lion-front, the weather started heating up and we were able to start doing morning drives without the need for hot water bottles.  I know that we often get fooled into thinking that winter is over when these warm August conditions arrive, but I know that we are still in for another cold snap or two before we can officially hang up our woolly hats.

Let’s start off with the lions; now whilst there may not have been as much male action it. doesn’t mean that the intruding males left the area.  In fact, Scotch found the two Black Dam young males right in the heart of Mayambula territory a few days ago. When it was reported that the Skorro males were seen chasing buffalos close to Tanda Tula Field Camp yesterday and other male lion tracks were seen in the Mayambula territory, we began to worry.  This worry was amplified when a lioness was seen moving some young cubs further south along the Machaton Riverbed, and closer to where the roars of two male lions were heard.

Fortunately, it was a case of misidentification, and the roaring lions turned out to be the two Skorro males back in the heart of their domain, and the lions moving out of the area in the morning were likely the Black Dam boys.  So for now, the Mayambula lionesses and their growing cubs seem safe enough.  The pride remained in the north-east of our concession and crossed out of the concession a couple of times before returning to their usual haunts.  They are looking in great shape, and despite the prey being scarcer in that area due to their presence, they are doing well to make ends meet.  The Birmingham Breakaway young males also remained within our concession for a little longer and were seen out west, closer to Tanda Tula Plains Camp on a few occasions during the week.

The coalition found a sixth member and they spent some time moving around Giraffe Pride territory before moving back south.  A day after the six fat-bellied boys were seen in the area, the Giraffe Pride eventually showed themselves on a zebra kill before once more heading to the south-west.  Reports indicate that another lioness has given birth to four cubs, and this could be drawing the pride continuously back to the south.  They were quite active around Plains Camp, and one day we even followed their tracks and saw that they had come to drink water in front of the camp.  The last lion update was that of the lone Sark lioness that continues to remain isolated from her pride; Tristan had a great sighting of the lioness ascending a Marula tree to steal an impala kill from a young male leopard before making an unceremonious descent and hitting the ground with a mighty thud!

The leopards were a little more elusive this week.  Thumbela was seen in the east a couple of times, but sadly she remains in a sub-par condition, and the wounds that she picked up several weeks ago are not healing quickly at all.  Hopefully a good meal or two will sort her out.  Sunset female was seen late in the week in the total opposite condition as she lazed in a Marula tree sporting a fat belly.  That same morning Ntsongwaan male was also found resting in a dense area close to our Bush Breakfast site with an even fatter belly.  I had also seen this big tom earlier in the week with a good sized belly as he quenched his thirst before also disappearing into a thicket.  There was a report of Savannah leopardess close to Plains Camp late in the week as she was spotted briefly walking around with his cub…a cub that is evidently much older than we suspected she would be at about 6-8 months.  Hopefully we start seeing more of this duo soon.

The elephants were somewhat absent this week following the good form of late, and although we had daily sightings of the bulls hanging around the plains and the Klaserie River, the herds were notably absent for much of the week.  The same cannot be said for the buffalo, and we were once again blessed with the presence of some large breeding herds hanging around in both the western and eastern sections this week.

The giraffes were showing off this week and seemed to have babies on display whenever we saw them; one herd on the plains had five babies, with several more being seen in the area this week.  Zebras and wildebeest remain very active in the west, and it was also great to see a fair number of waterbuck moving around in the concession; they are not a species we see too often.

I am going to be heading away for some time off, but Tristan will keep you updated with what has been happening over the next couple of weeks before my return, so do be sure to keep an eye out for those updates.

Until next time, cheers!

Chad

Categories

Authors

View rates & promotions >

Find Us

We’d love to have you join the family.

Sign up for exclusive access to early bird promotions and other exciting offers, news and updates.




Booking Terms & Conditions

Rates are quoted in South African Rand (ZAR) and include VAT. Rates are reviewed quarterly and are subject to change.

PROVISIONAL:

Bookings can be held as provisional for up to 14 days, after which the booking is required to release or confirm. A 20% refundable deposit is required to confirm the booking.

CONFIRMED:

Once confirmed with a 20% deposit, the booking is held on a status of ‘confirmed with refundable deposit’ until any of the following becomes true:

  • The booking is cancelled in writing by the agent.
  • Another request is received with overlapping dates. At such a time, the 20% refundable deposit shall be required to be converted
  • into a 20% non-refundable commitment fee. At this stage, the booking status changes to ‘confirmed with commitment.’ • In such an event, Tanda Tula will contact the client and give them the option to either confirm with the non-refundable
  • commitment fee or reschedule their dates, or, failing that, to release the booking.
  • At 60 days prior to arrival, when the full payment is due, the booking status changes to ‘confirmed with full-payment.’

Final payment is due 60 days prior to arrival. Any outstanding balance on the total reservation value shall be required to be settled at 60 days prior to arrival.

All refundable deposits, commitment fees and full payments are held in a separate call account and do not become part of the operational cash flow until the guest has stayed.

The amount stated on the invoice is what must be received by Tanda Tula nett of bank charges.

CANCELLED

Cancellations must be received and acknowledged by Tanda Tula in writing.

‘Confirmed with refundable deposit’: bookings carry no cancellation fees up to 61 days prior to arrival.

‘Confirmed with commitment’ or ‘Confirmed with full-payment’: in the event of any reservation being cancelled after Tanda Tula has issued a confirmation, for any reason other than a WHO-recognised pandemic that impacts the booking, the following cancellation fees will apply:

  • ‘Confirmed with commitment’: if cancelled more than 60 days prior to arrival, the cancellation fee shall be equal to the 20% non- refundable commitment fee.
  • ‘Confirmed with full-payment’: if cancelled between 60 days prior to arrival, the full reservation value is forfeited.

All cancelled bookings that qualify for a refund, will be refunded less a handling fee valued at 5% of the refund amount.

PANDEMIC DISCLAIMER

Tanda Tula will allow postponement of a booking for up to 12 months, if travel is cancelled with a commitment fee or 60 days or less prior to arrival due to a WHO-recognised pandemic directly impacting the guests’ ability to travel (e.g. lockdown, no flights, guest not allowed to board a flight, guest falls ill due to a pandemic and unable to travel).

In the event of a WHO-recognised pandemic directly impacting the ability of Tanda Tula to meet its obligations with respect to the booking, all monies received, including the commitment fee, will be fully refunded (e.g. lockdown in RSA, government restrictions on trade).

Any refund is given at the discretion of Tanda Tula management and will be charge a handling fee valued at 5% of the refund amount.

All travellers are advised to take out fully comprehensive travel insurance with ‘cancellation for no reason’. This insurance must be able to fully cover cancellation of travel fewer than 60 days prior to arrival.

The Terms and Conditions are subject to change without notice.