Tanda Tula - Hlangana catching flies in the Greater Kruger, South Africa

Hlangana catching flies in the Timbavati

< Back to all

A week of waiting for summer in pictures

Chad Cocking | A Week In Pictures

This past week has once more been a week of changing conditions, from windy and cool, to sunny and hot, and even a slight teaser of the imminent summer rains falling from the cloudy skies. This lets us know that the change of seasons is almost upon us and summer is on our doorstep! This is confirmed by the arrival of the first European bee-eaters this week. We are also entering a traditionally quieter period from a guest perspective before the festive season is upon us. This has meant fewer drives, but considering that these pictures were all taken on the three days that I was driving guests, I am sure you can see that it was another productive week of sightings at Tanda Tula Safari Camp.

It is always nice to return to camp and hear that there are some lions around. This was the news that I received when coming back into the mix this week, and in fact, seemed to be a trend for the rest of the week. Although the tracks for the two Zebenine lionesses were found frequently, they have largely remained out of view. Fortunately, the five members of the River Pride (four lionesses and one young male) seem to (temporarily) be quite content with making the northern parts of our concession their home. With the absence of both the Mbiri males and the Mayambula Pride, there are no strong forces around to push them out. Without that pressure, and finding enough food to keep the pride strong and healthy, these five lions spent most of the week within our concession.

Tanda Tula - River pride lioness in the Greater Kruger, South Africa

As the week drew to a close, the pride spent two days around Machaton Dam. This allowed me a chance to see them, even without being on a drive with guests. Three of the other males from the River Pride were also found on the northern boundary of our concession one morning before returning north – however, they too seem to be quite settled in that area. In time, I am sure that they will make a push further south. There was only one report of the Giraffe Pride this week, but they were literally on the very western border of the concession, so none of our guides made the long trip to see them.

During my three days of guiding, my guests and I were fortunate enough to see five different leopards all relatively close to camp. The closest to camp was a young male leopard that we found whilst walking back to the tents after a drive one evening! He slipped around the side of the tent, so we went onto the deck and managed to find him as he moved across the riverbed before slowly heading along the opposite bank.

We saw Marula’s daughter stalking some scrub hares in camp upon our return one evening – she was looking a little hungry, but I am sure that she will get a good meal soon. Marula’s boy was around with his jackal kill at the start of the week, but was only found again later in the week resting upon a rock overlooking a small natural pan. Nthombi continues her push deeper into Marula’s territory and spent a couple of days wandering around in places which she hasn’t been seen in for years. She even brought Hlangana down with her on this trip and they spent a couple of days in the area. Scotch’s guests were able to see them one afternoon just as Hlangana caught a scrub hare, only to have a hyena run in and chase both leopards up two separate trees and away from their kill.

Tanda Tula - Nthombi leopard in the Greater Kruger, South Africa

Tanda Tula - River pride lioness in the Greater Kruger, South Africa

The best news of the week was towards the very end of the reporting period when the guides saw the long-lost Madzinyo male! This big male has been absent for a few months now, and with the Tamboti male pushing deeper into areas traditionally used by Madzinyo, I had begun to wonder if we would ever see him again. Evidently, he is still around and not yet ready to give up on this part of his territory. Perhaps he has more female interest in the east, but whatever is keeping him away, it clearly isn’t a strong enough pull to hold him permanently out the area.

The week was once again filled with large herbivores. Besides daily sightings of large herds of elephants scattered across the reserve (and particularly close to Tanda Tula Safari Camp), we were also spoilt with sightings of two large breeding herds of buffalos making use of the northern third of our concession. The one herd must have numbered around 300 or so members, and to see them all feeding on a lightly wooded crest of a hill in the late afternoon light was a special sight to behold. They spent the first half of the week in this area before moving on to wherever these herds move when they are not around here. On the subject of big herds, one of the nicer sightings I enjoyed this week was a gathering of around 50 zebras together in the grassy areas of the east. The wildebeest herds have been quite evident in the east too; clearly it is only us guides and our guests that are missing the Mayambula Pride’s presence in that area!

Tanda Tula - buffalo cow and calf in the Greater Kruger, South Africa

Tanda Tula - elephant calf digging up a root in the Greater Kruger, South Africa

Fingers crossed that this pride makes an appearance during my last week of guiding before heading on leave … and of course, those irritatingly absent cheetahs too!

Until next time


Tanda Tula - elephant calf chasing giraffe in the Greater Kruger, South Africa

Tanda Tula - hippo calf heading to water in the Greater Kruger, South Africa

Tanda Tula - Hyena bathing in the Greater Kruger, South Africa

Tanda Tula - Kudu sunset in the Greater Kruger, South Africa

Tanda Tula - Zebra's drinking in the Greater Kruger, South Africa

Tanda Tula - female ostrich in the Greater Kruger, South Africa



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.


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.