After last week’s disappointment that the summer feeling of lush green surrounds and abundant water was becoming a distant memory, a somewhat unexpected downpour of 50mm fell came out of nowhere and almost instantly transform the central Timbavati landscape back into its full summer glory. Quite literally, within a day of this heavenly mana falling over the thirsty landscape, the bush had shed its brown coat and donned the emerald green attire that makes me love this time of year so much.
I was out with guests last weekend, and we had a very enjoyable couple of days which included sightings of two of the Nharhu male lions and a lovely sighting of Nyeleti leopardess. She was on the move just to the east of Tanda Tula Safari Camp as we headed out for the morning and came to settle in a marula tree before carrying on with her mission. In the afternoon, we added a breeding herd of buffalo, a crash of rhinos, a lone elephant bull and then a large breeding herd were waiting for us upon our return to camp. The clouds even cleared and we ended the day with a wonderful sundowner as a rainbow coloured the sky to make a picture perfect scene as zebra, wildebeest and impala grazed in the distance. All of this will now sadly have to live on in my memory bank inside my head, as I had clearly lost my mind a couple of days later when I stupidly formatted my memory card before I got to download the images!
The rest of the week was spent out and about filming some Sofa Safaris (yes, they are still coming out on a weekly basis in case you haven’t been checking up on our YouTube channel!), and other than just driving around and loving the summer landscapes, the week included some good viewing. Nyeleti was seen a couple of times during the week, but at opposite sides of her growing territory! The best of the week was when she was found with her year-old son as the feasted on a very well-hidden impala kill, just off the access road to Tanda Tula. In the evening, I went to check up on them and found that they had finished the meal and mom was moving her son to a new area. Earlier in the week Ginger had found Thumbela prowling the banks of the Machaton Riverbed in the east, and the next afternoon she was found resting in the riverbed with a baby impala kill near Machaton Dam. N’weti was again seen early in the week, but as the week pushed on and the temperatures rose, the spotted cats became a little more elusive.
On the lion front, the limping Nharhu male was found with the older River Pride lioness one evening, and then a couple of days later Ginger was doing a bush walk with his guests in the east when they came across him on foot! In typical lion fashion, once he saw the people, he got up and moved off to some cover. The other two Nharhu males were found one afternoon with a zebra kill to the west of Safari Camp, and the next morning they were sleeping off their fat bellies in the Nhlaralumi Riverbed, south of camp. Once they roused themselves, they moved back east in search of the rest of the pride. There was also a report of a portion of the Giraffe Pride in the west this week, as well as the Monwana male lions who seem to have now settled as the Giraffe Pride’s dominant males.
It was very pleasing to see and hear that a couple of buffalo herds (one numbering over 100 individuals) were spending some good time within the concession; their numbers are still sitting at only about a third of what they were five years ago (before the drought) but given time and the promise of good rains over this summer, the conditions will remain ideal for their numbers to grow. Once again, with abundant resources across the Greater Kruger, the elephants are less concentrated around Tanda Tula than they are in summer, but there were still several herds in the area, and a pleasing number of elephant bulls in attendance too – no big bulls, but still nice to see small bachelor groups for a change! As the marula fruiting season draws near, we can expect a few more bulls to make this area their temporary home.
Be sure to check back next week for more updates, but 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.