If you're in the mood for some Tshukudu wildlife updates, we've got you covered. The past month has been a busy one at the lodge with many wonderful guests coming and going with their friends and families, choosing to spend their mid-year holidays with us. We've had incredible fun showing them around the reserve, introducing them to our special piece of South African bushveld, and giving them some epic memories to take home. Those of you who follow us on Facebook and Instagram and share your Tshukudu moments with us that way - thank you! We love to keep in touch and see your safari photos and videos. In this newsletter, we're focusing on some of the best moments we had on safari watching animals with guests, some of whom are on their first ever safari journey, and others who just keep coming back! Enjoy these highlights from the month of July.
Without a doubt, we are celebrators of sunsets. We just can't resist snapping away when we find ourselves admiring that blazing horizon, watching it change and morph as the minutes go by (far too quickly)! It's a time to be still and present and just melt away with the sun, but in the bush, it is the furthest thing from a 'quiet moment'. This time of day is when the nocturnal animals begin to stretch their legs and their vocal chords, and we find ourselves serenaded by the magnificent sound of roaring lion, whooping hyena, chirping bush babies, and melodious nightjars. The communication among the friends and foes in the world of the wild is at its best just as the day turns into night - it's the best time of day to be out on the reserve.
Thanks to Maverick Photography for sharing the image of the starry, starry night that follows the liquid lava sunset.
We know that the world's beloved rhino are under threat, and their population is rapidly decreasing due to poaching and illegal wildlife trade. We know how precious these prehistoric creatures are and we work tirelessly to maintain and upgrade the security of our reserve to ensure their safety. It is an incredible privilege to see them roaming free and our guests are constantly in awe of these enormous, herbivores, which are only otherwise known as mythical creatures. We've been lucky enough to encounter rhino on foot while on a morning walking safari, to admire them at our sundowners stop, and to watch them from a vehicle. Here are a couple of clips and images depicting this month's highlights, including one tense interaction between a rhino and an elephant! Take a look...
Speaking of large herbivores, the rhinos weren't all! We were lucky enough to enjoy numerous elephant sightings, sitting with our guests in a game viewer in quiet contemplation while elephants foraged and fed on the vegetation around us. Very silent and graceful for their size, the elephants are mesmerising to watch, and they are always entertaining. Hippos also made a frequent appearance during the month, showing off their massive mouths as they tested one anothers patience. This apparant yawning display is in fact a territorial activity, designed to intimidate the opponent! Impressive nonetheless.
Finally, our fantastic guest photos! Many thanks to Peter Schneider and Maria and Dave Price for sharing the following images with us. Peter has taken plenty of superb photos on Tshukudu Reserve and his Instagram profile is a delight, so we are lucky to be able to follow along as he posts scenes from his Tshukudu safari. Here are two photos of a feasting lion taken by Peter that we like especially loved. Look at that primal determination! Lastly, a young Ntombi looking entirely adorable when she was just a young cub. Today she is nine years old, and still as gorgeous as ever! Thanks to Maria and Dave for this throwback pic.