Another week has flown past us here at Tanda Tula Safari Camp, and it has once again been a very enjoyable week of game viewing in the heart of the Timbavati. I actually spent the majority of the week at Tanda Tula Field Camp with two separate groups of guests, enjoying some of the smaller aspects of the bush as we traversed the bush on foot. We also had some lovely encounters with elephant, rhino, buffalo, zebra, kudu, wildebeest, impala, warthogs and a host of other smaller creatures. Between the walking, I did manage to get some game drives in, and when I did, the bush certainly spoilt us!
Our leopard viewing was most pleasant this week, with sightings of several of our cats with kills. The most unusual was no doubt seeing the not-oft seen Cleo leopardess in the west. Our guests had mentioned that they had seen a leopard with evidence of a porcupine kill on their way into Tanda Tula one evening, and the next morning we got to see her with the largest rodent in Africa firmly stashed up in a marula tree; something I had never seen before. She spent a further two days with the kill, but sadly we didn’t get to see her actually feeding on the prickly dinner! One evening we followed Nyeleti and Xigodo on a mission and knew that she must be taking him back to a kill. Sadly, they had been on the kill for no longer than five minutes when a pesky hyena ran in and stole the kill. Although the leopards hung around, they were unsuccessful in getting anything back. Thumbela and her son experiences a similar fate later in the week, but they at least had several hours’ worth of feeding before the hyenas commandeered their impala kill.
The lions were also successful in their hunting this week, and Dale was lucky enough to be following the Sark breakaway Pride one morning when they caught an adult zebra and gave us two days of great lion and hyena interaction! Eventually, with more than a dozen hyenas harassing them, and not much meat left to fight over, the lions moved off to let the hyena enjoy their spoils. The River Pride seemed as though they could do with a meal, but based on belly size, it was the two Nharhu males that had stolen their kill as opposed to the hyenas. The cubs are growing bigger, but still oh-so-cute. We watched the oldest youngster (the 16-month-old female) with baited breath one evening as she ran off after a rhino and her tiny baby calf, but fortunately it was never really in trouble and the rhino family dashed off to safety. The Giraffe Pride were seen in the west mating with an unidentified male lion. There have been reports that the Balule lionesses have given birth in the far north of the Timbavati, which would account for the lack of their presence of late; we do however still await confirmation that it is indeed these lionesses that have a den site there.
Our wild dogs were also not spared from the marauding hyenas and we too enjoyed sightings of portions of our large pack of wild dogs losing out on their kills to the western hyena clans. The pack of 30-odd spent several days in the west, but they seemed to get split up quote often! An interesting discovery was that there are two verry pregnant females within the pack. If each of them give birth to an average number of 8 to 12 pups, we will have the largest pack of wild dogs in the Kruger utilising our area! Can you imagine seeing a pack of 50-odd wild dogs??? Fingers firmly crossed that they den in close proximity to us, but knowing their usual habit, they will likely den in the Klaserie.
Beyond the predators, I had my best week of general game viewing for a long time – lots of zebras, wildebeest, decent giraffe, elephant herds aplenty, buffalo bulls, and even the large 300-plus herd of buffalo were spending time in the west again. It started to feel like the days of old again and with a number of international travellers visiting us this past week, it had a very 2019 feel about it!
I am off for a week, so Luke will keep you posted as to what is happening in the bush next week before I return to my social media duties. Until then be sure to go check out more images on our Facebook page.
Until next time, take care!
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:
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:
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.