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A safari is a journey of discovery in which you are one with your surroundings. Being part of life in the bush is the essence of a safari and being able to do it is a privilege one should never take for granted.
Whether it is “Big 5”, birding or seasonal frogging and cultural safaris, our guides are able to tailor-make this experience to suit your personal needs.
From one of the viewpoints we saw the Mkuze River meandering through a blend of savannah, wetlands and mountains. We had joined our ranger on an early morning game drive and as we enjoyed the changing scenery, we also learnt how animals each have their favourite grazing or hunting grounds, and discovered fascinating insects and plants. I found it incredibly exciting to explore the surroundings; in the bush anything can happen, especially at Amakhosi where wildlife is abundant and the Big Five roam all over the reserve. Being in the company of a passionate ranger who shares his intimate knowledge of the bush made our explorations all the more special. Also, he knows the reserve like the back of his hand and took us to the very best areas, so that we could experience the real Out of Africa feeling, time and again.
Being part of life in the bush is the essence of a safari and being able to do so is a privilege one should never take for granted.
Early morning in the veld was surprisingly crisp. It helped me to sharpen my senses, because I’m not an early bird and we had to get up at 4:30 am to join a game drive.
While we had tea with rusks, our guide told us gave us a break down of the drive ahead. On our return after a hearty brunch we once again set off with our guide and tracker, we were given a briefing and were told not to run in the event of a close encounter with game.
Ready and full of anticipation, we left the safety of the lodge, on foot. We discovered, step by step, a new world of amazing insects, colourful birds and all sizes of game, all playing their part in the cycle of life. For a city person like me, this slow-paced adventure gave me a chance to become aware of the magic in nature and how we are part of it.
Being on foot brought me even closer to the heartbeat of the bush. It reminded me of how small and fragile we are compared to the magnitude of nature.
We were profoundly affected by our bush experiences. As it turned out, we were surrounded by passionate people; Alwyn, the frog expert, showed all the symptoms of a fanatic. We drove under a starlit sky, deeper and deeper into the bush until we stopped at a waterhole and incidentally chased away a drinking rhino.
I started wondering if I had the nerve for this kind of nocturnal exploration. Alwyn switched off the lights of the open air Land Rover, turned on his headlamp and headed off towards the muddy water…
“Surely everything’s under control,” I told myself as I followed him in the dark. The others had stayed behind at the lodge, preferring a sundowner to mud.
Yes, we’ve got a little Tinker Reed Frog with us tonight. I can hear two rapid staccato taps, over there, between those reeds, whispered Alwyn and slowly we ‘slop-slopped’ closer, the mud sucking our boots. And there it was, a tiny 3 mm bright yellow frog loudly calling for his mate. How do you know who’s who? I asked. They might change colour, but each species has its own distinct call. I counted at least 12 different sounds, so we were well surrounded. When you catch one, place it gently in the plastic bag, I heard as I stretched out my hand. When in water a frog breathes largely through its skin, so touching it is quite hazardous. Totally entranced by their extravagant colours and designs, their big eyes and toe pads, I almost left the roaring sounds of the bush behind me, together with my fear for water spiders
Exhilarated I listened to more frogs at a distant waterhole. They called out loud like a marching army. I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the experience. My frogging safari was topped off with the sight of a gorgeous Red-legged Cassina just before we drove back to the lodge to catch up on dinner.
My wife is a passionate ornithologist and was over the moon when she heard that the reserve is home to over 420 bird species. She bombarded our guide with questions and to her delight he knew all the answers.
Did you hear that high pitched noise, like a blacksmith hitting metal with his hammer? She wanted to know. It’s a Blacksmith Lapwing nesting on the ground, near the water. It will viciously defend its nest against anything that comes close. How? she continued. By bomming’ continuously until the threat backs off! he explained further. We enjoyed listening to the sounds of the bush and I ended up sharing her passion…