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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
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News & Updates

Summer Visitors- migratory birds to South Africa

Published 29 September 2010 under Travelogue • Comments: 26
Summer Visitors- migratory birds to South Africa

Summer visitors

This is that time of the year when we are often thrilled by our first sighting of a returning migratory bird species. Already the Wahlberg Eagles are back in early August. As an Intra African migrant they don’t have to travel far and are not away for long.

But many species are not so fortunate and undertake epic journeys across the world every year. What strong urge can provoke such an undertaking? Mostly, it is not one factor alone but a combination of a few.  Migration is the seasonal movement from a breeding area to a non breeding area.

Migration is a survival strategy not only for the individual but also for the species.

 

 

The angle of the suns ray, extreme weather conditions, day- length, seasonal shortages of specific resources and of course competition will all stimulate the instinct to move. However, most birds, especially those that attempt non-stop or very long flights, have to build up fat reserves before hand. These fat deposits are a response to hormonal changes that it turn, are a response to environmental changes. Some birds may even double their body weight such is the demand of this hazardous journey.   Journeys of 10 000km are not unusual while the longest round trip is undertaken every year when the Arctic Tern  flies a staggering 50 000 km. The larger birds like raptors and storks migrate short distances between stop off points and do not need to fatten up before leaving. The Steppe Eagles that come all the way from the Russian Steppes ( Palaeartic-African Migrants) arrive here in November/December. These birds tend to fly over land; they need the warm air of the thermals to fuel their flight as well as the food available only from land. Many of these birds including the Lesser Spotted Eagles, Booted eagles, Storks and Pelicans fly in huge concentrations over Israel and Gibraltar between their nesting grounds in Eurasia and their non breeding sites in Africa twice a year.  Their flight plan is longer than a sea route and man- made factors add extra risk.

 

 

While most birds fly at altitudes less than 3000 feet, pilots have reported bird sightings as high as 26000 feet.

As we move into the summer months more and more species will arrive here to take advantage of the prolific food supply. Whether a bird migrates or not, depends largely on what it eats. Migration is common in insect- eating birds with  the most common ones being the aerial feeders- the swifts, swallows, bee eaters and nightjars that feed in the open skies. Our fish-eating Malachite Kingfisher is resident while the similar Pygmy Kingfisher is an insect eating migrant. The Woodland Kingfishers come from and are a conspicuous insect -eating visitor. The Carmine Bee-eater that arrives in Dec and leaves in January is another Intra African migrant. Our Lilac Breasted Roller is a resident insect eater while the heavier European Roller will spend from early December until March in our part of the world.

Another migrating species are many of the cuckoos. The “Piet my Vrou”, Diederik, Klaas’s, African, Jacobin and many more all come here to breed. This presents the intriguing concept that migration behaviour is inherited rather than learned when the cuckoo young are all raised by parents of different species.

Whatever their reasons, their route and their potential gain, over 130 bird species in Southern Africa are migrants. The wonders of their skills of navigation and orientation is another story still but simply having them show up on our door step is a privilege and a delight to behold.
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Comments

Stephen
Sun, 15 May 2011 07:33:21 +0200
Hey Judy

I just love reading your articles, easy reading and full of great information.

Keep up the good work

Cheers

Steve
bipDubappoivy
Wed, 27 Jul 2011 08:47:36 +0200
thanks for the interesting information
Reinette van Niekerk
Mon, 05 Mar 2012 19:35:31 +0200
Very helpfull info

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