Winter 2011

 

With the cool winter months approaching, the temperature drop in the mornings is very noticeable. The bright greens of summer are slowly fading into muted yellows and browns. However this is good news for the guides and trackers as game sightings abound with the retreating bush. We have already been fortunate enough to have some pretty amazing sightings, with good sightings of Leopard. An early morning drives in May with Matt and Martin from London saw three leopard, buffalo single and in force, mating lions, a large herd of elephant and genet. The Harmeling family from the Netherlands finally saw the leopard to complete their big 5 tally. They were with us for three nights before heading for Cape Town and the winelands.
 
It almost seems like rhinos moving westward from Kruger Park find sanctuary in the Manyeleti Reserve. On one exceptional drive recently, we were lucky enough to spot seventeen white rhinos ranging from one-week-old calves to massive 2500kg bulls.
 
The Matimba males, a coalition of six large male lions, their territory not yet set in stone yet. They have been moving into the territory of the Skybeds pride and mating with their females.
 
We predict that the females will give birth in July. What a sight, six male lions roaring right next to the vehicle. Elephants, buffalo and lions visit our camp almost every night with the Elephants drinking from the Mantobeni pool and waterhole.
 
We are delighted that Brett Manning will be rejoining the Honeyguide team in early May. Brett was with us for several years and will take the helm as General Manager with Wikus and Amanda continuing to manage Mantobeni. Danie Potgieter who has looked after the camps in Brett’s absence will return to Ten Bompas to assist with some exciting developments at our Johannesburg hotel. Our heroes Mama G and Nicholas continue to oversee the food and Wayne, Dries, Lyton, Fanuel, Mpho and Vestment will be guiding with Conright, Eric, Phillip and Walter tracking. Great maintenance by Ernest and wonderful waiting by Runny, Nosizi, Surprise and Rose. Thanks also to the rest of the team the great kitchen staff and housekeeping team who make it all seem so effortless. Back in Johannesburg reservations and transfers are wonderfully managed by Bev and Janine. Our thanks to our Honeyguide team!
 
On one of our sundowner stops, we were blessed to have a leopard cub ten meters from us.   With the sun setting behind the Drakensberg mountains, lions calling in the distance and a leopard next to us. How can this get any better.
 
It has been an exciting few months in the African bush. Impala breeding season has just completed with the male impalas strutting their stuff for the attention of the female impalas. Quite amusing to watch, as they cavort, parade and fight for the right to breed with the female herds. Animals are not always where u want them to be, but at least they leave us tracks to follow. Going on walks for the adults and tracking with the youngsters will get you up close and personal with the bush.
 
Some species have not waited for the end of the rainy season and our large buffalo herds already have young calves The change in seasons, change in insect abundance and fruiting trees have affected the birding sightings with many species migrating to other climates for our winter. However hornbills, starlings, vultures, lilac breasted rollers, bateleur eagles and many more remain in abundance in the Manyeleti . The Honeyguide family is growing day by day, with guests coming in and friends departing.