By the end of the winter, the bushveld within the Kruger National Park was in dire need of some rain… this working in our favour though, as it has brought some very special visitors down to the Crocodile River in front of the lodge for a drink.
Spring has blessed us with some very exciting moments at Elephant Walk Retreat.
Our daily visits consist of large breeding herds of elephant, dagga buffalo bulls wallowing in the water, herds of impala coming onto our side of the river (The water is low enough in the river for them to cross over).
Waterbuck and kudu with young ones, a vast array of birds from Egyptian geese to grey lourie’s, to the confusion of guinea fowl which have taken up residence on our property, plenty of hippos, a mating pair of fish eagles, monkeys picnicking under the large shady trees, and even a few hyenae, just to name a few.
The bushveld choir is well and truly alive and in the evenings we are put to sleep by nightjars, giggling hyenas, hippos arguing and of course the roaring of bushveld royalty… the Vurhami pride of lions (also known as the Crocodile Bridge pride), who seem to have fallen in love with the river front stretch of Elephant Walk Retreat, an are seen almost daily traipsing from one end to the other in front of the lodge.
Every so often when we see them moving along to the Crocodile Bridge (as they usually do on their daily routine) we hop in our car, and rush down to the bridge to watch them cross… always an exciting part of our day.
We have even been lucky enough to have recently had the pride take down a buffalo bull on our side of the river right in front of the lodge where the reeds make an opening. They spent two solid days here, doing what cats do best… eating and lazing around.
By the time they were finished feasting, and had moved off (a sight to behold as they crossed the river back), the usual scavengers visited us; vultures, hyena’s and black-backed jackal.
One of our guests even reported seeing a female leopard with cubs walking along the fence line in front of unit 1 and 2 recently; unfortunately she was a bit quick for a photo moment.
The rains have now begun, and the bush is getting greener, and we continue to be blessed with the amazing sights and sounds of the African bush, with many familiar and also new wildlife faces.