How did we find ourselves half way through the year 2018? The summer colours are long gone, the autumn bronzes have fallen and faded, and the true winter greys have washed over the landscape. Morning safari activities are wrapped up affairs and we are huddling closer around the evening fire. We've celebrated birthdays and farewells this month, and we've got some exciting lodge changes coming up soon. No matter what the season, things are ticking over at Tshukudu - and here is the latest!
Keeping things up to scratch and enahancing the quality of our guests' experience, we are currently renovating three of our rooms to create more space, further accomodate families, and to incorporate updated fittings and style. Two units are undergoing a size upgrade to make both the bedrooms and bathrooms bigger, while extending to a verandah at the font. They will be fitted with interleading doors in order to accommodate families comfortably, and each unit will be entirely re-tiled to give them a fresh, new look. Bathroom fixtures and fittings will be replaced, while new air conditioning, Wi-Fi, and telephone systems will be installed into each room, and finally some exciting new soft furnishings to complete the look.
Our third unit undergoing renovations will receive a fresh lick of paint, tiles, and brand new bathroom fittings while structurally will remain the same. Soft furnishings, Wi-Fi and a new telephone system will finalise the refurb on this unit and give our guests total comfort and convenience during their stay. Here are some photos showing our early progress with the two units being fully overhauled - we can't wait to share the finished product!
FAREWELL TO FRIENDS
We have a close knit team at Tshukudu, and many of our staff members have been with us for decades, so it is only natural that we grow to love them like family and are sad to say goodbye when retirement eventually comes calling! Two of our wonderful ladies from Housekeeping have reached the end of their careers with us and at the end of June we had to say goodbye after a combined 53 years with them.
To Johannan Matlho (29-year career at Tshukudu), and Gladys Mahlo (24-year career at Tshukudu), you will certainly be missed. Managing Director, Vicky Sussens, had the following message for these two women on the day of their farewell:
“Tshukudu grew because you were a very important part of it. Now that you are leaving we know that you will be irreplaceable and as much as we would have liked you to stay on, the time to say goodbye has come. You will surely be missed. Your dedication and loyalty to the lodge and the Sussens family has been absolutely remarkable to say the least. We are sad to see you go and wish you all the best in this new chapter of your lives, and also some much deserved rest. A heartfelt thank you to you both!”
BIRTHDAY IN THE BUSH
Plenty of our guests have travelled for a special occasion, whether that be a birthday, a honeymoon, or a wedding anniversary. We know that being in the bush surrounded by wild animals and raw nature is unfamiliar and exciting to those who don't experience it every day, so we want our guests to make the most of it! Our recent guests were here celebrating a birthday while on safari with us, so guide Alister prepared something a little extra to make Memory Ann's early morning safari even more memorable on her special day! A bottle of bubbles for some sunrise cheer, freshly brewed coffee and some home baked biscuits were enjoyed around a little crackling campfire while the sun came up with a burst of colour. We hope you'll remember your birthday at Tshukudu for many years to come Memory!
SUNSETS & SAFARI SCENES
As usual, our three cheetah siblings have used their uncanny ability to make some guests very happy out on morning bush walks and on afternoon game drives. Hunter and Floppy, the two brothers, are an inseparable pair, while Ntombi, our only female, sticks to herself but loves to be in the company of humans. One of our cheetah highlights in June was when we were out walking with Ntombi with a group of guests who have grown very fond of her, and all got a great look as she jumped into "her favourite tree". Cheetahs often use trees and termite mounds as a way to get a good view of the surrounding bush, to look for dangerous threats or to spot potential prey. And sometimes they jump up just to show off... which seems to be what Ntombi had in mind this time (video below!)
We've been spoilt with an array of wildlife sigtings and visits at the lodge, including from some of Africa's most precious and endangered species. Ou reserve is a protected area for these animals and we strive to uphold and maintain a natural habitat for them here where our guests can fill lifelong dreams of seeing them and understand this incurable love we have for all things wild. What a pleasure and a privilege to do what we do!