Tanda Tula - elephants in the mud in the Greater Kruger, South Africa

Elephants in the mud

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A week of dogs and giants

Luke Street | A Week In Pictures

Even though the area around Tanda Tula Safari Camphas had some rain, around 15-20mm by now, it has all come in rather small and sporadic downfalls.  Although there are a few trees like the Knobthorns and Sjambok (shambok) pods that have started to show a little green, the bush is still dry and stark for the most part.

This week has been an interesting, or rather I should say ‘testing one’, with temperatures hitting over 40 degrees celsius a number of times during the beginning of the week. However, towards the end of the week, the heat has been replaced by thick and heavy clouds which have provided us with some relief from the heat, but sadly have not supplied us with the downpour that we so badly need. I am so looking forward to the first proper African thunderstorm of the season!

The major theme of the last few days has been elephants – lots and lots of elephants! We have had some incredible sightings of these gentle giants, so many of which occurred right on our front door, at Camp Dam. On a few occasions we have even postponed afternoon game drives for a while, just so we could sit in awe of these magnificent beasts as they drank and played in the highly sought-after water. It can be a bit treacherous for other thirsty animals at this time of year as elephants tend to become more and more possessive of the water sources. Of course, nothing really gets in the way of the true kings and queens of the bush and they would rather just wait their turn. There have, however, been a few sightings of some buffalo bulls who just so happened to trespass at the wrong time.

Away from the lodge, the huge herds of elephants gather with awesome sightings of sometimes 80 or more in just one place!

The highlight of the week has definitely been the wild dogs! Over the last few days we have had a pack of 34 endangered wild dogs moving through the area. This really is a sight to behold and I can guarantee that I have never seen a pack so large (few wild dog packs exceed 30 animals). A sighting of this many dogs is almost like seeing a wave of playful, energy-filled, muppets rushing towards you – it’s really awesome!

The cats have been a little scarce over the last few days, however Nyaleti Leopardess treated our guests to a little in-house kill as she decided that a good place to hang her steenbok kill would be in a tree just behind tent 7 and 8! Sadly, we weren’t able to see her during the day as I’m sure she wanted nothing to do with all of us as we walked around doing human things.

At night, that all changed with the cat becoming increasingly confident and happily allowing some of our lucky guests to watch her from the foot path (under the professional guidance of Scotch) as she tucked into her dinner. If you would like to see more of this scene then please check out our Instagramfor a few short clips from a camera trap that was setup nearby – she even had a hyena visitor!

I look forward to the impending seasonal change and that ever elusive thunderstorm, but until then I will enjoy the dry openness of the bush and the remaining beauty of winter.

Until next time, happy snapping,



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Booking Terms & Conditions

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


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.


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.


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.


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.