The Bush House - exclusive private game lodge in malaria free Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa - Game viewing drives to see the Big 5

The Bush House

Sue and Gordon’s Notebook – Third Quarter

Who flicked the switch?!!
We went from cold, pack on the layers days to gloriously warm, shorts and T shirt weather. There was no gradual easing into spring – just  buds and shoots appearing overnight on the trees and the temperature shooting into the mid twenties!
No complaints from my side- as I always look like a blimp with all my winter clothing and layers. All the pale skin now exposed to the world is a fairly frightening sight though!

 

As quickly as the seasons have changed so too have our frogs arrived. Literally overnight the familiar and summery sound of the frogs can be heard. Whilst they have chosen to keep their appearance secretive they can be heard giving it a full belt each night from the lodge koi pond. They are starting small and lulling us into a false sense of security. The crescendo of sound is going to build as summer continues until we are all hunting for their off buttons!

 

The main office, at our house, overlooks a water feature with a small waterfall. Now that the temperature has increased there are a myriad of birds and butterflies that are bathing and frolicking on the stones. We have had mocking cliff chats, waxbills, weavers, wagtails and many more. Beautiful flashes of colour in the sunlight. The largest of the visitors have been the grey loeries( go away birds) who strut their stuff along the back wall. Should I have forgotten to put out their daily apple they toddle up to the office window and peer in demandingly for their treat!

 

Loerie Frog

 

There is an ongoing “war” at the breakfast table in the breezeway as the glossy starlings battle with us humans for access to the muesli (their absolute favourite) or the butter dishes. Innocently I asked the waitresses why they were making patterns in the butter for the brunch table. I was enlightened that the pattern makers were actually the glossies enjoying the buffet!
They have now enlisted the help of the red hornbills (flying chillies) to act as the heavy artillery diverting the shooing humans whilst the glossies eat their fill.

 

As you will have read our maintenance vehicle, “the skorro” has had its fair share of excitement when it comes to out manoeuvring elephants but I have come to the conclusion that these grey creatures use it as training tool for younger members of the herd.
The daily routine is to run the diesel engine that pumps water to the lodge tanks. This means a trip to start and stop the engine along a rocky, road that has trees and bushes lining the route. You can be minding your own business driving sedately when out of the blue there is a crashing of shrubbery, normally accompanied by trumpeting and a whirlwind of grey comes rushing out at you. Normally it is an adult with a younger pachyderm in tow- See training material!! I am convinced they know the difference between the game viewers and the skorro because there is not this same excitement if we are in another vehicle,

 

In desperation the one day we drove backwards to the lister- no mean feat I must tell you on that road- so we could make a quick get away, As the skorro has no wing mirrors there was much craning of necks and twisting around to see what we would come across. Mirth overcame caution and we had to stop the vehicle as we were laughing so much.

 

Scorro baby Elephant

 

As it is so warm and the first likelihood of rain will only be in November the waterhole in front of the lodge is under tremendous pressure. Every type of animal has been down to drink and a few nights ago we saw the very first aardwolf come to the waterhole.
We are probably going to rename it Elephant City as these are the largest and most voracious of all the consumers. Often we get one herd arriving whilst another is drinking and the noise and dust that ensues is rather scary.

 

This morning we awoke to the sound of the dominant male lion in the area
announcing his presence at the waterhole. That territorial calling which goes through your bones was awesome. Yes, Summer is here!

 

Lion

 

Wishing you all a wonderful Summer and we hope to see you soon in our part of the world,

 

Gordon, Sue and the Bush House Family

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