Things I Will Miss About Tanda Tula

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Sadly this is our last day at Tanda Tula in the Timbavati Game Reserve. We have one last game drive this afternoon, a farewell dinner, one last night in out cozy bed kept warm by the electric heating pad in our lovely tent and one last waking by our friend with the tea tray in the morning. This has been a magical place.

Here are just a some of the things I will miss in no particular order:

Being surprised by a troop of elephants coming to drink at the watering hole right in front of the pool while I enjoy an afternoon tea.

Riding up high in the back row of our Land Rover as our game ranger, Foreman pulls off the dirt road to traverse the bush in search of the baby leopard snuggling with her beautiful Mama.

The warmth and generosity of the staff with fantastic names like, Smiling – the barman, Happiness & Pinky- servers, and Scotch a ranger.

Enjoying Chef Ryan’s yummy creations too many times a day, especially the duck, the mushroom tart and all the many salads at lunch everyday.

Taking the morning walk after breakfast with Foreman teaching us about animal tracks and poop and being below eye level of the elephants as they traverse behind us at a safe enough distance.

Meeting so many friendly people from all over the world and sharing the excitement of seeing this beautiful part of the world together.

Sitting at the edge of the outdoor lodge overlooking the dry river bed as a perfect breeze blows sweetly through the trees and I watch the antelope grazing.

Spending so much time with Russ sharing all the magic of being so close to God’s gorgeous creations.


Goodbye Leopard Hills, Hello Tanda Tula

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This morning we went on out last game drive at Leopard Hills before setting off for our tented Safari Camp. We had our regular gang and were joined by the Honeymooners, an Italian and half Brit half Brazilian who had just married on Saturday and arrived at camp yesterday afternoon without their luggage.

Our drive was incredible. We set out to find rhino which involved following fresh tracks that circled and crossed and eventually led us into the bush where we found two adults and a three year old. Before we found the rhino we happened upon a fresh kill. Skip to the next paragraph if you can’t handle this section. Yesterday we saw two female lions who had blood on them. Hugo, our guide said that he heard on the radio that the lions had wounded a zebra, but had lost it before they could bring it down. That left the zebra vulnerable to the hyenas it met this morning. When we found them two female hyenas were making short work of their new meal while a young male skulked around trying to get a bite. Hyenas have the most powerful jaws and were incredibly efficient butchers.

This paragraph is about sex so if you are under 18 close your eyes. After the rhino find we tracked a male a male leopard where the female was busy trying to get the male to give her what she wanted. In the leopard world the female has to bug the male into taking care of business. After a few failed amorous attempts the male leopard finally jumped on top gave a half a second push, bit her neck and fell off. Uneventful would be my best description. We learned that the female works at him multiple times to try and have a baby and have no need for him for a few months.

After have our morning coffee in the bush we were back to camp for another fabulous breakfast over looking the Savannah. A quick shower and we had to leave our glamourous oasis for our trip to our new camp.

We moved from the Sabi Sands preserve to the Timbavati. Instead of the Ritz Carlton like accommodations we are staying in a tented camp. that means we have a permanent tent with a real bathroom. We got here just in time for a delicious lunch of salads and fruit and the kind of things I need to eat. We have half an hour before we are out on our first game drive here. I am looking forward to seeing the difference. So far one thing is similar, it is the friendliness of all the South African people we have met. You need to come to this country to see the animals, but you will come back because of the people.