Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Botswana. Maun.

The land of miles and miles of roads, with hours and hours of traveling with very little traffic going either way. As one approaches the villages, cows, goats and donkeys pop out onto the roads.


I took a little drive into Maun on my hunt for "interesting" things and along the roads one can buy "batiks" and items made from tin! There were a few wooden items but nothing very exciting.

To round off our visit to Maun we went off to a Fillet Braai at a friend' s home and this friend turned out to be the daughter of my school friend Mary Anne Coppens née Brereton! Tammy,is married to Dan McAllister, a cousin to Kira McAllistair who I taught in Swaziland! Absolutely amazing. Both Tammy and Dan are pilots! I was so hoping to catch up with Mary Anne but she is back in SA. But It was good meeting her lovely daughter and family!

It is time to head off on our Safari. How exciting. We were last in Bots in 2005 and had an amazing time so we were really looking forward to this special time. Carol and Mark had taken a week off their busy schedule to accompany us. We packed up all essentials plus thing needed by the lodges and set off. Mark never misses a turn off and went off on every by road to see what we could see!

We entered the park at the South Gate of the Moremi Game Reserve and headed for Sanjo Camp set on the Kwaai River. This a luxury tented camp with accommodation for twelve guests. The camp is named after the Sanjo Family from whom the land was obtained. The Camp even has a small dip pool and a super look-out deck.


Mark and Carol know their birds, their trees, their grasses, their animals....they know the bush.

Our ice box was always well stocked and together with Carol, I got so used to squatting behind the nearest bush!!!

These elephants had hours of fun playing in the mud!

One of the best things about Sango Camp is that Mark can drive off road and my BIG wish was to see Leopard. The vehicles are all in radio contact with each other and soon we were sent to the tree where the much desired leopard were. Mother leopard was sleeping off her lunchtime meal while the little one was climbing up and down the tree which contained the remains of the impala feast! We had such fun watching this little on reverse carefully down the tree.

Aren't we lucky. Of course other vehicles pulled up and eventually we had to move on.

That evening we were told about another amazing sighting...a mother hyaena and her cubs! After all our experiences, not always pleasant, with Buster back at Sabie Park, it was fun just sitting observing the two playful pups tugging on sticks etc.


Mother just rolled over and gave her pups the odd little lick!

Sunset in the bush is always breathtaking and from Sango Lodge over the river it did not disappoint!

Friday, May 16, 2014


Tau lodge.

On the way to Botswana from Harties where the wedding was held, it seemed to be the most sensible thing to do and that is stay at Tau Lodge in Madikwe. My nephew Giles has been here for about eighteen months and from Toti I just never imagined we would get to visit this far flung area!! Never, say never! Christopher came up with the suggestion so I contacted Giles and he was delighted to have us stay for two nights. The drive through Hekpoort and Rustenburg was most interesting as we had only been to Rustenburg once before. Despite the mines closing down there is a great deal off development and much made to attract tourists too!

On arrival at the lodge we were greeted by Giles, the welcoming staff, a drink and this beautiful sight!

Our five star room had a little deck over looking the "pan" and the birds had a marvelous time swimming and playing in the water. In fact the first thing we saw when we opened our curtains was a slinky, slithery crocodile swimming past our window. But as it was very early in the morning and the light was not good I did not even try to take a photo.

After a hearty breakfast we set off with our guide Doey who was extremely knowledgable. It was freezing cold and we had to wear lots, use two blankets and cuddle up!

The surrounding hills are fascinating with their crumbling red rock surfaces and sprouts of wild figs every where. Doey gave us the full geographical explanation but my brain was tooooo cold to take it all in! On starting our safari Doey asked if we had any wishes and I piped up and said that I would live to see leopards! She could not find leopards but found us the most beautiful sighting of four stunning cheetahs! They were enjoying lying in the sun under the wild fig. Every now and then one would get up and mark his territory.


Being in open vehicle defnagely gives an even mote thrilling perspective when watching these magnificent creatures. We were assured that cheetah are not known to ever attack a human being. Is this true?

Who am I to argue?

On one of the trips we were lucky to see three male lion but unfortunately the light and the camera were not at their best,however, we loved watching the three rolling over each other, licking each other and in fact being quite playful.

Iam glad to say the rhino are well and looking good. We saw the anti rhino poaching force out and very active. Long may these magnificent creatures live.

Doey has her own Favourite spot for morning tea which she took us to. It is the one of the ground squirrel. There were lots of them running around having fun but one in particular came right up to us and begged for a tidbit. Doey says this squirrel was hand reared by one of the guides and then released. The naughty little beast nipped the tourist who did not heed or maybe hear, Doey's warning not to try and feed or touch the squirrel! Does Man ever learn??

Thank you to our host Giles and our guide Doey and all the wonderful staff at Tau. What a special place you have. Weare so privileged to have had a taste of your world!

The last view from our room!


Here we are in Maun, Botswana staying with Carol and Mark S. The early morning and late evening temps call for a warm top however the days are beautiful. Maun is a dusty touristy/rural town with many landies tearing along the roads which are visited by goats, cows, donkeys and dogs!


We popped into Spar yesterday and were surprised to see a Woolies had opened here. I am sure that has improved the lives of the working couples who need instant quality dinners!

Mark and Carol together with two partners have a Safari business....a couple of lodges and lots of other things.

The Safari Business in this part of the world is BIG with tourists visiting from all over the world.

The Safari vehicles are custom built on the premises and all the fittings are made here too. Of course I loved meeting the "seamster."

Mark took us out to the farm he co owns and WOW it was amazing to see the tunnels of beautiful vegetables.


Talk about Jack and the Beanstalk this is Mark and the Tomato stalk!

The most welcoming sight was this quilt I mad for Mark and Carol after our last visit seven or eight years ago!

I am so glad we get to sleep under a quilt I made and made with fabrics from our Swazi days. It is filled with memories, as I am sure this visit to Maun will be!