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Campberichte 2015

How lucky am I living in the bush in the southern tip of Africa. Autumn has come and gone and winter have us now in his icy grip dragging us through temperatures as low as 25 degrees Celsius on a bad day.  Yes, pack your warm clothes for that cold game drive mornings, but do not leave your summer clothes at home as the days are lovely.

Late summer rains saved the day after a long, dry summer coating the bush with autumn colours in the middle of winter extending my favorite time for photography for another few months. Red, orange, yellow and green as backdrop to a photo turns any animal into a supermodel. Hopefully an early spring will replace the dreary grey of late winter before Mother Nature goes into her late winter slumber.

We upgraded and refurbished our 3 chalets and we have received excellent feedback. They all have new bathrooms with his and hers rain showers and washbasins.  Two chalets still have outside baths and the other one now boasts an outside shower instead.

The complementary picnic at the hide overlooking Ngala dam has been a huge success. We have decided to expand on this idea and guests can now do a sleep out in the hide for R2500 extra. Booking in advance to secure your night’s adventure is essential. The hide has got a romantic mosquito net hanging over the bed and is situated high up amongst the canopy of a Boerbean tree. An ecotoilet is on sight. Guests will be taken to the hide after dinner and picked up early morning by their ranger during the morning safari. Nocturnal visitors to the dam can be viewed by use of a solar powered spotlight.     Elefant, Pondoro Game Lodge, Balule Game Reserve, Greater Kruger Nationalpark

We will be going to do our own transfers between the lodge and the Phalaborwa and Hoedspruit airports. The rates will be the same as offered by the local transfer companies, but we believe that this will lead to an increase in quality and service for guests. We can only cater for 3 passengers maximum. 

I want to make use of this opportunity to welcome Sam Mduli back to Pondoro. He has been working as a guide and tracker for 15 years and he truly is an asset to Pondoro. He is well qualified and possess great people skills that will ensure a great safari experience for all guests visiting Pondoro. The combined guide and tracker knowledge of every team employed by Pondoro is over 20 years in keeping with our vision of providing the very best in guiding quality and experience for our guests. Junger Löwe, Pondoro Game Lodge, Balule Game Reserve, Greater Kruger NationalparkJunger Löwe, Pondoro Game Lodge, Balule Game Reserve, Greater Kruger Nationalpark

Lions
4 Lion prides roam our traversing area totaling more than 40 lions. Guests have really enjoyed some fantastic sightings over the last few months including several kills. Most noteworthy was a zebra foal caught under the tracker Andries’s seat and a warthog only meters away.

~ Lions feeding on zebra (see video taken by ranger)

~ Lions feeding on a buffalo (see video taken by ranger

~ Lions feeding on a kudu (see video taken by ranger)
~ Male lion roaring during afternoon safari (see video taken by ranger)

Leopards
We are blessed to have 2 territorial males in our concession and several females. 4 Females have cubs of varying ages. There are few things more desirable to see in Africa that a leopard lying with a kill up in a tree and the last few months did not disappoint. An unforgettable sighting was seeing a leopard called Chavaluthu killing a warthog next to my safari cruiser and witnessing him and a hyena trying to steal the kill from each other.

~ Leopard and cub sighting (see video taken by ranger
~ Leopard suckling from mother (see video taken by ranger)
~ Mother leopard and cub feeding on an impala (see video taken by ranger)Leopard mit Warzenschwein, Pondoro Game Lodge, Balule Game Reserve, Greater Kruger Nationalpark

Elephants
Lots of elephants are around with a highlight definitely the sighting of Rul and his guests when they saw a mother giving birth. A once in a lifetime experience.

 ~ Breeding herd of elephants (see video taken by ranger)

Nashorn, Pondoro Game Lodge, Balule Game Reserve, Greater Kruger NationalparkRhinos
Black and white rhinos share our concession with the black rhinos preferring the thicker riverine and hill vegetation with the white rhino enjoying the better grazing further away on the grassland areas.

Buffaloes  
3 Big herds of buffaloes circle around the area looking for good grazing opportunities. I suspect that they might increase their range as low rainfall during the summer season had a negative impact on the grazing potential of our grass.

~ Elephant and buffalo drinking at sunset during afternoon safari (see video taken by ranger)Gepard mit Beute, Pondoro Game Lodge, Balule Game Reserve, Greater Kruger Nationalpark

Cheetahs  
Cheetahs were seen frequently, about once or twice a week, which is very unusual as there are only about 200 of these elusive cats in the Kruger National Park area.

~ Male cheetah during safari (see video taken by ranger)

All photographs were taken by Robbie Prehn during Jan-May 2015 while on game drive with guests.

Robbie Prehn
Managing Director
Pondoro Game Lodge
Greater Kruger National Park

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geschrieben am 24.06.2015 um 10:54 Uhr.