- Thank you more particularly for arranging my trip to nDzuti, at such short notice and against all the odds of stolen passport and therefore also no currency exchange! I did so appreciate the utter trust you placed in me when you paid for the entire trip yourself! I hope you did not have a sleepless night! In recommending nDzuti I think you interpreted my wishes exactly! The style of the place suited me perfectly and it was the most marvellous experience. The facilities, as you will have found, were fairly basic but quite adequate for a comfortable stay. Brett and Sherie were welcoming and hospitable. Sherie supplied plenty of nourishing food for breakfast, lunch and supper in a friendly, homely fashion. Brett was a great guide on our safari drives. The lodge was full for the first night, including a lively and talkative family group, but when they departed midday on Monday it was then calm and peaceful, with just a young couple and myself, and it was a real joy to be in the midst of the vastness of the bush with no other people within sight or sound! The wildlife, apart from fairly ubiquitous impala, was somewhat scarce (not that I have any measure of experience to go by!) but I liked the feeling that there was no guarantee of seeing game that was free to roam far and wide. Sometimes fleeting glimpses were all the more exciting for being so brief! We did get very good viewings as well! On the first evening we saw quite a wide range of wildlife, including a close-up of a very large rhino who was not in any hurry! On the way home in the dark we came across a lioness with two 6 week old cubs (what a great guide we had!). I was amazed how unperturbed she was by our presence and was moving in a very leisurely way, so we had extremely good viewing. Brett found them again the following evening, just as relaxed, with the cubs playing within yards of the landrover - fantastic! Talking of lions, that same evening, as we relaxed after supper, Brett heard a couple of lions roaring some distance away and said "Let's go and find them!" - so he did, and in the spotlight we saw two fine males unhurriedly patrolling their territory. Again they were totally unfazed by our presence, stopping for a scratch and a lie down. While the lights were turned off to conserve batteries, a roar from a far distant lion prompted a response from our two, and their roaring just a few yards from us in the darkness was a spine-tingling experience! We spent some time tracking a leopard which was stalking impala and which Brett was determined to find, but we had to be content with leopard tracks! Elephant were unusually elusive and it was only on the final morning that Brett located a fine 25 year old male after hearing a solitary trumpet from across the river, so I did see all the big five except the leopard. Together with sightings of many other mammals, birds and reptiles as well as the bush, the scenery and stunning panoramic views it was a wonderful and memorable safari trip! Some people might want slightly more sophisticated accommodation and cuisine but the style of nDzuti in the hands of Brett and Sherie suited me very well. With many thanks for your excellent arrangements of my safari trip, best wishes, Gervase.- Gervase .UK
News & Updates
Surviving Safari Camps
Wildlife Encounters operates the Galaxy Collection of safari camps in the Greater Kruger Park- Timbavati and Klaserie Game Reserves. Almost all of the four safari camps were severely damaged in the floods following Cyclone Dando in January 2012. Safari camps tend to situated along the banks of the dry water courses where the bigger evergreen trees grow and birding and game viewing is prime. Of course these rivers come down in flood after even minimal amounts of rain and the dry sandy river bed is covered with a surge of churning rushing brown water that rises and ebbs in hours. It is an exciting experience to watch a river rise and flow from nothing. The noise of the water often precedes its stream and once the water appears young and old alike are tempted to take off their boots and get into the water. If the river rises sufficiently then tubing along the gushing foaming flow is tremendous fun and frequently the river has other inhabitants with the same thing in mind. Many rangers tell of sharing the current with a Black Mamba or Python and smaller mammals swimming to safety.
The rains that dropped in the path of Cyclone Dando, fell in the darkened hours while most of us slept or lay listening to the hammering on the roof. At dawn the dry river beds and any other path of least resistance, had already been transformed to a watercourse of substance and no one would dare to take a swim in the torrent that raced past. Furniture and fittings from safari camps were whisked away and some buildings even broke from their foundations and joined the journey down stream. In the aftermath of the flood the debris scattered where the water had dropped it resembled nothing of the beautiful pieces that decorated the safari camps that had hosted many international guests in the Greater Kruger and surrounds.
The Antares Safari operates out of a camp perched high above the Klaserie River. The bridge to the camp had broken off in mid-stream leaving a concrete structure bristling with iron bars like something out of a Mad Max movie. Below the bridge the river flowed, blue, across sandy banks previously hidden by beds of reeds. The camp was cut off for many days.
The Gemini Safari upstream on the Klaserie River was not so fortunate and the river had found a path right through the centre of the camp, forcing its way into the free standing suites and through the thatched bar/ lounge area taking all it could uplift with it. Both these safaris are now operational again and little remains to remind us of the devastation. The Capricorn Safari meanwhile lies in limbo awaiting decisions from insurers and land owners about the future.