This month has been exciting as the camp was undergoing the final stages of a complete face-lift. It is pretty challenging refurbishing rooms whilst we have guests in camp but all seem to be marveled by the emerging walkways and the sudden change. The newly erect walkways gives us a sense of security as we cross it while the resident young bull elephant Frank, seemingly not bothered, has individuals walk above him on a raised path.
A family room consisting of two identical rooms with a lounge separating the two and a deck from one end to the other is a new addition to Tubu Tree. We have also built two brand new rooms from scratch, one of which is our honeymoon suite with a king-sized bed and a chill out deck with awesome loungers. The old Tubu Tree tents have also been replaced and had a complete overhaul, with new off-white monocot stained floors and a change in décor and furniture. It is all looking fantastic.
This month was also crunch time for completion of Little Tubu, found along the same walkway as Tubu Tree, this exclusive three tented camp, with its own intimate lounge and dining tent, plunge pool, viewing deck and bar found half way up a water berry tree, was opened at the end of the month. The drilling and grinding sounds of progress were not too much out of place and the bulk of the building took place when rooms were vacant.
Winter is clearly upon us with chilly and even windy mornings and cooler afternoons. This has made the age old tradition of fire in the evening quite enjoyable. Despite the earth’s yearly shift, the sunsets are still breathtaking as you celebrate the end to a good day with Amarula on the rocks, G&T or just a good old Coke.
The Tubu female leopard has graced us with her presence around camp while the early mornings have been synonymous with the grunts of a shy male leopard; we are yet to digitally shoot this spotted cat.
We had two young male lions in the area that escorted a female in estrous and chose the camp as their playground. Their tracks around camp in the morning kept us all on high alert. One early morning one of the managers had the lion on his doorstep pitching a thrombosis, the roar echoed through the camp and we were pretty sure it woke everybody.
One of the male lions gave our guests something to talk about when they witnessed it run through knee deep water, chasing, first after buffalo and then after giraffe. The giraffe was isolated from a large breeding journey which marveled viewers especially with males head butting as they took on a bout to win the females ready for mating rights while young giraffe lay sleeping.
Our hyaena clan keeps growing; the first cub was seen carried in its mother jaws by the airstrip heading towards their old den just east of the airstrip. As the cubs are denned the adults patrol the camp and their howls echo within the camps riverine canopy.
We had a large breeding herd of elephants, as if waiting in anticipation, hanging around Little Tubu a few days before and after opening. Just to top things off for the month we were charmed by a pangolin sighting, which is so rare and so beautiful.
From the main area deck we witnessed a grey heron that had a yellow-bellied sand-snake isolated on the flood plain… just in time for brunch. The heron tried to swallow the snake head first and almost managed but half way in the snake wrapped its tail around the herons head. The heron then beat its beak and head on the ground in an attempt to get rid of the snake. After 20 minutes of what seemed like suffocation for the heron the snake was regurgitated only to be swallowed again, this time successfully.
“Little Tubu 2 nights magnificent 3 roomed lodge/ exclusive & so welcoming by all staff. Excellent leopard sighting, good birding for the time of year, patient guide and mokoro polers – who wanted us to enjoy the experience.” Helen
“Excellent food/ traditional night great. Good game drives. Mokoro trip to Jacana grounds, rooms, housekeeping very good. Great staff.” Paul & Kathy
“Excellent management of the lodge, great staff, welcoming room (with an outdoor shower!) very knowledgeable guide (Issa)” Natasha
Managers in Camp
Neuman Vasco, Rauvé Vermaak, André Erasmus & Lené Stopforth
Guides in camp
Kambango Sinimbo, Phenyo Lebakeng, Seretse Xaiko