Dust Bath anyone?


Hornbills have always been one of my favorite birds. With their long, banana like beaks, constant “tocking” display and smooth elegant flight pattern. I always find myself totally intrigued by these feathered critters. Recently I was fortunate enough to come across two southern yellow billed hornbills perched perfectly next to our main access road. It was a typically beautiful summer afternoon and I had nowhere else to be, but in the Bush (yes we have perfect jobs), so I switched off my engine and waited for the two birds to start doing something typically Hornbillish (yes, there is so such word). One bird flew down in front of the vehicle and began to bath, what’s fascinating about this is – there is no water involved. It uses dust to bath and the behavior is simply known as “dust Bathing”. I watched the two take it in turns to swoop down and shake themselves about, covering themselves in the dusty, fine “puddle” of sand. Apparently this will suffocate any mites and fleas and in time vigorous shaking helps to disclose the ecto parasites.

Dust to bath  – ironic, effective and wonderful to see.

By Ranger Kevin

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Stay healthy Amakhosi style! by Chef Lauren


Every year millions of people all over the world celebrate the new year by adopting an age old tradition of making some  ”New Year’s resolutions” .  Here at Amakhosi we are no different, one of the most popular resolutions is, to  eat healthy and in the hopes loose weight!  I often get asked about healthy recipes so have decided to share our popular Amakhosi health bread with you.  So here goes and give it a try!

Amakhosi Health Bread Recipe

2 cups nutty wheat/brown bread flour

10 ml bicarbonate of soda

5 ml salt

60ml honey

60ml olive oil

2 cups plain yoghurt/ maas/ buttermilk

1 cup of your liking mixture (oats, seeds, nuts, muesli, cereal, coconut, dried fruits)

 Preheat the oven to 160ͦC.

Mix all the ingredients together and spoon into loaf tin and bake for 1 hour.

 Hint:  Measure the olive oil first then the honey in the same measuring cup, so the honey will not stick to the cup.

Enjoy .. stay healthy and hope to see you soon at the lodge!




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Lions vs Cheetahs

Now under normal circumstances a lion would easily win in a fight with a cheetah, but then this wasn’t a normal situation.

So first you find a pitch, gather a handful of staff members, preferably from different departments, add a soccer ball, sprinkle some skill over them and season with a bit of chaos and you end up with the Amakhosi staff Christmas party soccer match between the reining champs (the cheetahs) and the lions (no actual resemblance).

The match started at precisely  17 minutes past 5 in the afternoon and the action heated up quickly in the mid-field, which lead to the opening goal just 3 minutes and 42 seconds into the game.  And the supporters went mad. 

The first half saw the lions take the lead by 4 goals to nil. The second half, which started almost immediately saw the table turn on the lions, as they conceded 3 unanswered goals, all of which got the crowds going 

Though the second half was significantly longer than the first, possibly owing to some delays  and a not so well placed kick  which lead to more crowd response the Lions still walked away with the victory.

Which thankfully restored the natural order of things back in the bush.

By Ranger Nick

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So how fast does a cheetah go?

Recently with the assistance of Endangered Wild Life Trust and Mountain Zebra National Park, South African National Parks, we managed to relocate a beautiful cheetah to our reserve, we sent our ranger Nick to collect him and asked him to tell us all about it!!

“A question I have been  asked a few times in my guiding career, and well, the answer really depends on which book you read. Though I can safely say I know of one cheetah which did 124 kilometres an hour on the N1 highway between Cape Town and Johannesburg…..and this is how he did it.

To reintroduce animals into an area can be tricky sometimes, just look at the buffalo incident a few months back.  So when we needed to bring in a cheetah, a different approach was required.

Now due to various legislation, the air speed velocity of unladen swallows  and the square root of a tree, we couldn’t just pop into the local pet shop and pick one up. No, that would be boring, so off  set to the middle of  nowhere to get one (a small town called Craddock, in the Karoo. Which used to be an inland sea and now is just a semi arid desert. Ironic).A journey that was fraught with many perils, such as potholes, toll booths and discarded carrots.

There are also various rules regarding the transportation of certain animals. For instance, you can’t just put the cheetah in the back seat with the window open and expect him to sit peacefully while you listen to some DJ on the radio telling you about Rihanna’s latest hair style. Nor are there any special cheetah seats, so we built our own cheetah crate and used this.

Now outside Craddock is a reserved called Mountain Zebra National Park. A park which used to have about 30 odd cheetah, until they basically ate everything and were subsequently reduced in number by relocating then elsewhere (which is how we managed to get one. Though in truth, this is great success story for an animal which is critically endangered).

So exactly at 17 minutes past 4 in the afternoon, the vet which accompanied me on this endeavour,  darted the male cheetah, loaded him into the crate, and left  him to sleep off the effects of the drugs.

The following morning, at the crack of dawn, we began our return journey armed with the knowledge of most potholes and an extra spatula (because you just never know). Though the trip was close to 14 hours, most of it was uneventful. The entertaining bits where when we had to stop to fill up on diesel, as the cheetah would growl at the petrol attendants, which generally resulted in a good bit of humour.

Now he waits patiently in our game capture boma until we release him, which will be soon (the minimum time is 3 months as laid down by the Endangered Wildlife Trust). Though I am sure he can’t wait to find better accommodation (we gave him a warthog when he arrived, and he’s clearly not a fan of trying out the local delicacies as he didn’t touch it, though impala seems more to his liking. And then two days later it rained, probably something else he’s never seen before, apart from the warthog).  I can just imagine the conversation he’s going to have with his travel agent when he gets back…”it took me 14 hours to get there, and then the room you got me was nothing like in the brochure. Then after two days this strange wet stuff came out the sky, and don’t get me started on the food.”

So there you have it. A fussy cheetah that hit 120 kilometres on the highway, you not going to read that in a book.”

By Nick Hindson, Ranger at Amakhosi



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SAVE SAVE with our “extra special,” SPECIAL !!



Summer is still in full swing so why not come and visit us this month! 

SAVING of R1475.00pp per night sharing!

We are charging the  2013 LOW season rate of R2200.00pp per night sharing, instead of R3675.00pp per night! 

PLUS 15% discount on treatments at our NEW AMAKHOSI RIVER SPA!

Rate Includes:

- Accommodation in our luxurious River Suite

- 3 Meals daily 

-2  game drives per day with qualified  guides


VALID up to the 31 March 2014 , for new bookings only, minimum 2 night stay, subject to availability  , BLOCK OUT PERIODS &   T&C APPLY info@amakhosi.com or 0344141147

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