July 2010 - Sue & Gordon's Notebook
Ouch!!! Winter has really made its presence felt in the reserve.
It came early and we had one particularly biting snap that made rendered lip balm, beanies and scarves totally ineffectual.
Crackling fires in the lounge and braziers in the boma have definitely helped.
The old locals have been predicting an early and cold winter and they were right. What wasn’t expected was the very late rain.
When the outdoor concert for Johnny Clegg was planned by the Madikwe Collection it seemed perfectly suitable for the end of May. The concert day dawned with rain and cold (hello Cape Town) and at the last minute we had to head indoors.
This is no way dampened (no pun intended) an amazing show.
This once again proved how special Johnny Clegg is, with his music and wonderful stories
We had a cute but sadly an unwanted visitor in camp a few weeks back. For a while we had noticed that there was a lone male vervet monkey hanging around the outside of camp. Vervets are not normally seen in our part of the reserve so this was strange enough let alone being on his own. He soon ventured into camp and found the merits of staff village and the bird seed that is put out for our camp wild birds. His demeanour and behaviour showed that he must have been someone’s pet. He would let you get very close to him and was in no way scared.
The monkey became more and more brazen with forays into the curio shop. He’d sweep all the items off the table and then run out clutching his latest find. The brunch table did not escape his attacks with sweetener sachets being a firm favourite. Obviously watching his waistline! His presence could not continue as we were concerned that guests would be bothered and even worse the possibility of a child being bitten.
The decision was taken out of our hands when two very large male baboons came into camp and chased him out of camp. The danger is getting too attached to a wild animal and wanting to put human emotions into the situation. I have to admit we did miss not having his antics in camp.
The Soccer world cup has even reached Madikwe! We always felt rather removed from all the build up and “rah-rah” that was being touted for the event. In the course of a ten day period we had to go to Johannesburg and Cape Town on business and were caught up in the whirlwind and the atmosphere of the whole event. We brought back SA flag mirror socks for the guides to put on the cruiser – much to Jacques disgust! Strange how he managed to loose one on the first game drive after fitting them and tore the other soon after!
Our television, which we normally keep for sporting emergencies, has been working overtime with all the games! Having not closely followed the game before I have been swept up into the whole event. Everyone in camp is discussing form and referee decisions. Even our vuvuzela at the bar has been put to good use.
The coral trees have almost lost all their leaves and are slowly starting to bloom. The jacaranda trees are steadfastly holding onto their leaves so it is going to be a while before the morning routine of raking great piles of leaves is over. The days are sunny and bright with the mornings and evenings reminding us that it is winter.
Even when it is resting Madikwe is so very special.
Come and see for yourself.
Gordon, Sue and the Bush House family