We set off to our first stop, Krantzkloof, where we stayed the night at the Eagle’s View B&B. Arrived a bit late in the evening but managed to find a suitable restaurant called the Station where we ordered food and drinks quickly. Everyone was keen to get back to the B&B to get a good night’s rest. The next morning we enjoyed a hearty breakfast with a beautiful view of Krantzkloof which the B&B overlooks. We departed and headed to a close by view point to take some photographs of the magnificent kloof and surroundings before making our way to the Drakensberg.
Thinking I had missed my guests and waiting for them to walk through the arrivals, I was happily greeted by Jacques, Marino and Sofieke. They were very happy to have landed after a delay on their flight and were very excited to be exploring South Africa with me for the next three weeks.
After driving for a long time and the guest appreciating the landscape as we approached the Drakensberg we were at the foothills of the Amphitheater and ascending to Thendele camp. We were all in absolute awe at the size of the mountains, the position of the camp and what we would see on our exploration in the mountains. We were fortunate to have good weather, which made our hike to Thukela Gorge a super photographic opportunity. The Rodrigo’s really enjoyed walking through the afromontane forest, they had never seen anything like it before! We were lucky to see many different animal species including the Gurney’s Sugarbird, Chorister Robin Chat, Small Grey Mongoose, baboons and bushbuck. Cascades was another highlight, short walk to get there where the guest had an opportunity to take photographs of the waterfall, selfies, bushbuck and very attractive Gaudy Commodore butterfly.
On route to Didima camp we stopped to have a road side lunch stop on a grassy lawn, always fun for guests to experience something different. Lucky, we spotted a Secretarybird just as we arrived at the Didima gate! Didima yet again surprised us, breathtaking landscape, with impressively arranged chalets. The Hike to Rainbow Gorge allowed us to get a view of the entire Didima camp, see Eland grazing on the side of the mountain, watch dassies warming up on the rocks and to venture through some more forest into the river and up a gorge to where a boulder is stuck above you.
Cameras charged, we going on safari! Next stop was Mpila camp in Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve. We were welcomed by a journey of giraffe, a herd of elephants, black and white rhino, impala, zebra and waterbuck; it was bound to be three days of brilliant game viewing! Just before getting to the camp a massive bull elephant stepped into the road in front of our vehicle, the Rodrigo’s were absolutely quiet and only started nervously giggling once the elephant had passed. Spotted hyena and bushpig visited us in camp just after braaing! We enjoyed a guided walk through the park looking at tracks and signs left behind by animals and watched rhino’s lying in the dry iMfolozi riverbed. Sightings just got better, we spotted and heard two lions disappearing into a drainage line and watched hyena feeding on a giraffe carcass that they had stolen from a pride of lions watching from close by.
St. Lucia was time for the Rodrigo’s to relax and to explore the small town. Our guests saw many hippos and crocodiles on the sunset cruise on the estuary. On the day of the Elephant interaction the guest were able to feed, touch and photograph Rambo, Jabulani and Rachel. We were fortunate to see two cheetahs on the Thanda Private Game Reserve fence line, feeding on a nyala. Guest couldn’t believe it and we sat there watching them for more than half an hour. Cheetah interaction was also a highlight, being able to watch a caracal leap 3 meters into the air to crab a piece of meat and Jacques leg being attacked by a cheetah cub.
Next stop was Tembe just after team Rodrigo had completed a 5km fun run through St. Lucia town! Tembe offered us with sightings of elephants with massive tusks, the sand forest habitat, the extensive marshland, porcupine feeding in the road at night, Narina Trogon flying through the sand forest and the calls of bushbabies and African Wood Owls throughout the night. The Rodrigo’s were reluctant to leave Tembe as they admired the hospitality of the staff and the comfortablity of their luxury tents.
We continued on to our last and final stop before the tour ended, Rhino River Lodge. The first game drive was unbelievable; we saw kudu, ostriches, wildebeest, black and white rhino, lions and had a white rhino bull join us at our drinks stop! Our guests had the opportunity to see interaction between a crash of six White rhinos, lions finishing off a zebra kill and cheetahs lazing about under the acacias. Amazing three weeks with the Rodrigo’s and a trip that they will never forget! Massive thanks to Team Rodrigo for making this an epic first tour for me!
Hi there! My name is Paul and I am the new specialist guide for Tailor Made Safaris! On this blog I will keep you all updated with trip reports and interesting stories about the African Bush!
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