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  • 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
Hoedspruit Accommodation

News & Updates

Bright RED velvet mites appear after the rains

Published 15 December 2015 under Travelogue • Comments: 69
Wow! The appearance of the incongruous vermilion red velvet mites in the African bush after the first rains never fails to astound us all. These fairly big , slow, brilliant red, eight legged, velvety mites appear out of nowhere and excite us with the awareness that the dry bush is about to come to life and turn into a verdant green- almost overnight. Red velvet mites are wide spread across the planet and have recently attracted much attention as a possible biological defence against many less liked insects. As unlikely as it seems the mites are voracious predators of other insects. The mites live underground and emerge with the first rains. Their primitive metamorphic cycle presents a three stage larvae of six legged mites that are parasitic and latch on to passing insects such as locusts and beetles from which they feed. The final instar (stage in the metamorphosis) is the adult mite that preys on invertebrates in their early stages – eggs larvae and pupa. For this form of predation there is no need for speed. As simple as they seem at first, they present another surprise in their mating rituals. The male and female mites circle each other in a tender dance touching and tapping with their forelegs. Then the male will release his sperm on vegetation in a “sperm garden” and draw the female in via a silken trail. If she likes what she sees she then “sits” in the sperm. Male mites sabotage their rivals “sperm garden” in the hope of winning females. Red velvet mites are arachnids of the Trombidium species. They are considered critical for decomposition within the humus layer of top soils and for their control via predation of other insects. Predictably red velvet mites are valued within some cultures for their “aphrodisiac” properties. It has been referred to as Indian Viagra for its supposed virility enhancing properties. Once again there is no scientific evidence of this ridiculous attribute and it could threaten the species if exploited. Long may we rejoice in the emergence of the Red Velvet Mites.
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