South African Game Safari Update

By: Tau Game Lodge  11-11-2011
Keywords: Game Safari

Latest South African Game Safari Update
Last update: Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Tau Game Lodge announces the latest South African Game Safari News & Info:

The mere mention of his name, made every Madikwe ranger’s heart race. The spotted beauty, a leopard known to us as the Maokeng male, made his appearance once again. Struggling through a dense Acacia mellifera thicket in the hope of seeing him before darkness descends, was all worth while as we found him sitting comfortably in a tree with a warthog he had caught and dragged up sometime during the day.The next morning we headed off to Tlou dam just minutes after admiring a beautiful sunrise, in the hope of finding the big cats that were there the night before. After scanning the area around the dam for any signs of the predators, we decided to head off to see what might be waiting for us over the next rise. I just turned the ignition to move away from the waterhole when my guests stopped me. They heard a noise coming from the southern side of the waterhole behind us.
We turned around and what looked to be a cloud of dust soon revealed itself to be a herd of over a hundred buffalo making their way towards the water. Magnificent!
That sight made me realize that there is more to Madikwe than breathtaking scenery and overwhelming sunsets and that patience definitely is a virtue! You never know what might be waiting for you just around the next bend in the road
Marelize Conradie Picture: by Gerard RamageSpring has arrived, sightings have been breath taking and the weather has been just perfect, not too hot and not too cold. We have been really lucky with sightings in the last month, spotting most animals on a daily basis.
One day that stood out in particular to me this month was when I decided to take my 8 guests to a water hole that is quite popular to go to and watch the most amazing sunsets. As we were sitting and waiting for the sun to slowly start setting, two young male giraffes arrived at the dam for a drink. After this extreme “effort” of drinking, that giraffes need to face on a daily basis, they now decided it was play time.
The one giraffe kept putting his head between the other giraffe’s legs and lifting one leg up at full reach above his head. The other giraffe kept hopping around in continuous circles until he eventually got his leg back, this carried on for a good 15 minutes and my guests and I found it very entertaining.
After this funny episode we watched another amazing sunset here in Madikwe slowly disappearing behind the Enselbergs.
Megan MaternThis month has been very interesting. The sightings have been fantastic and the weather even better. We are getting to the end of spring and heading in to summer.
We have been seeing at least three or four out of the big five just about every day and the sightings have been of very good and enjoyable quality. The bush is getting greener day by day, but we are waiting on the first rains to hit Madikwe. The first rains will help with settling the dust on the roads and will make the grasses green and the bush lush again. The rain will also help us with the water levels in the dams, because although we had double the amount of rain last summer the dams and water resources are becoming less every day.
It is once again very interesting to see the different changes that nature makes to adapt to the different seasons and temperatures.
Gerard RamageLions, lions, lions! That’s how I will remember the month of September. Lion interaction in Madikwe has always been an interesting topic as the population is near the hundred mark. The way the dominant male-coalitions defend their territories and females is of particular interest and can lead to some pretty awesome fights between rival males.
Around Tau, we have been blessed yet again with the presence of the Tshaba female (now over 15 years old!) and her youngsters and grandchildren. Not forgetting her impressive entourage of the two big males in our area, Kagala and his half-brother Etali, making up the Kagala-Etali coalition. These 10 year old males are an impressive presence with their dark manes and a swagger that emanates with confidence. Altogether the pride is made up of 14 individuals now, thanks to the 8 youngsters that are between 6 and 9 months old.
The pride has been very active in the area and have been on a Zebra kill, Giraffe kill and on a killing spree in general. Because of the presence of the males, no scavengers like Hyaena, even dare to venture near them and the females can relax knowing their young are safe at dinner time. That is, of course, if they do get too near the fathers during feeding time on the carcass. The rule being that the males move in first after a kill and literally take ‘the lion’s share’, then the females and lastly the young. It is always a concern with large numbers of young that some won’t make it through the first year (50% mortality in the first year), but the pride have been careful and highly efficient at feeding all the hungry mouths.I remember about four years ago when the Tshaba raised 5 youngsters (3 of her own and 2 of her dead sister’s young) on her own with very little presence of males in the area. It is great to see her legacy continuing and to see that she can enjoy the spoils of all her hard work. The Tshaba ended up being a perfect name for her, meaning ‘nation’ or ‘pride’ in Tswana, as that is exactly what she has built over the years around Tau.
Dave PotgieterWe had a good time and good sightings with this winter season and we are welcoming Spring with amazing sighting so far. I left the lodge with my guests quite early and we went straight to Tlou dam and we stopped on the dam wall watching the sunrise coming over the horizon of the mountains. After enjoying our beautiful sunrise we left the dam and went to the burnt area which is one of our small plains in the park. The area was burnt about two to four weeks ago. It is important to burn these areas for a few reasons, like the recycling of nutrients and for the seed germination. Now the greenish grass has started to grow and lots of general game are visiting the area to graze as the grass is full of nutrients and lots of water.
I heard over the radio that one of our guides spotted a leopard on a warthog kill. We drove slowly to the sighting as the animal was a little bit nervous after it finished to kill, we stopped at a bit of a distance and patiently waiting for the animal to settle down. After we approached the sighting quietly, I parked my game viewer a few meters away from the animal and asked my guests to speak softly and take pictures while I explained to them. A few minutes later we sat there watching the leopard opening up the kill as he had been waiting to catch his breath. My guests they were so happy and excited, and they enjoyed a wonderful and great time in Madikwe.
Ernest MaetlaThis month has been unreal with the amount of special sightings we have been able to witness. First we witnessed the Maokeng male Leopard have a warthog kill in a tree for about three days and then a full blown lioness hunt!
I had heard there was a lioness found close to where I was and I decided to respond. By the time I got there she had already started to hunt and go for a full grown Giraffe bull, whilst she was chasing the giraffe she got side tracked a found a Steenbok lamb. The lioness then chased the young Steenbok and proceeded to play with it for about an hour. Being a young female she is still quiet inexperienced and playful but she is capable of hunting larger prey! She has temporarily left her mother and I’m sure she will rejoin her soon, this is quiet normal amongst lions when they are young to still be very playful. This is really an exceptional sighting and something we don’t see everyday.
Morah-Leigh CooperFor more pictures taken by our rangers you can go to the following links: for Bradley Picture: Dave Potgieter
Christina Selian - September 2011
Nicholas Midgley- September 2011
Sarah Gowans September 2011
M van Heerden September 2011
Amanda Skinn September - UPenn Botswana
Ben Holt August 2011 Dubai
Pam & Leon Venter August 2011 SA
Joseph Alwan- VS Australia
Henning Kohne - Germany April 2011
Ros Steytler 24 March 2011
Carol Leligdon February 2011
Sabrina Ward 13 December 2010
Lou Harbrecht -USA 9 November 2010
Rowan Gillies - Australia 1 November 2010
Fiona Chapman Australia 2 November 2010
Rich Prangley South Africa 17 August 2010
Mike Brandon- Morningside South Africa 11 August 2010
Vishal Anand -Ottawa Practice 05 January 2010
Dominic Chadbon
Content Developer 12 October 2009
Rochelle Harris & Wade Johnson 10/08/09
Crowhurst / Grigffin 02/07/09
Silvio 30/06/09
Peter Hibbit -Imperial Bank 04/06/09
Haydn & Eve Jones 07/04/09
Anne Caine 14/03/09
Milca 09/03/09
John Perlman 04/03/09
Anita Gustafson - Upmarket travel Sweden 15/02/09
Martin & Linda Dixon 08/12/08
Thierry Bottarel France 08/12/08
Kirsten 08/12/08
Sassen Wedding
Sabelo Nsibande 27/10/08
António Martins 12/10/08
Elizabeth Jamieson 14/10/08
Marco Hartogh 26/09/08
Mitch Reardon 19/09/08
Di and Pete Francis 08/09/08
Debi Franconi 23/08/08
Gillian Meier 21/07/08
Kathi & Paul Neidlinger
Atlanta, Georgia,USA 16/06/08
Gerard van Meygaarden 09/05/08
Audrey Gray 05/05/08
Annette Wilson 21/04/08
Angelika Franklin and Aurelia 30/03/08 Join the Tau Pride Tau Game lodge has now got its own Tau Infinity VIP card , making use of this card the moment you get into the country will earn you instant cash back rewards, not only on the accommodation at Tau, but also when booking rental cars , mobile phone rentals, accommodation at certain hotel chains and meals taken at the mugg and bean country wide, which can be used again to purchase anything from any Infinity merchant.
When joining the Tau Pride you will also receive monthly news letters, the Tau calendar, benefit of reduced prices on the daily scheduled flights into the reserve and Golf day trips into Botswana and many additional special touches while staying at the lodge. Please contact us for more details in connection with the Tau VIP the card
Fly to the lodge from Johannesburg International AirportIn a joint venture between Federal Air and Madikwe charter Scheduled daily flights are now departing from O.R. Thambo (Jhb) International Airport and return. Picture By Stefan SteenkampFlights will depart Jhb Int. Year Round Fridays and Sundays at 10h00 (check-in 09h00) or at 13h00 (Check-in 12h00)and arrive at Madikwe airstrip only 1 hour later. The return flights depart Madikwe at either 11h30 or 14h30 to arrive in JHb at 12h30 or 15h30 respectively.) Also available on other days of the week in high season (JANUARY, APRIL, OCTOBER & DECEMBER)Flights applicable on all days (except Fridays & Sundays- as above) in the months FEBRUARY, MARCH, MAY, JUNE, JULY, AUGUST, SEPTEMBER & NOVEMBER departing Jhb at 11h00 ( arriving 12h00) and departing Madikwe 12h30 (arriving 13h30)
Return fare is R 4285.- per adult and R 3295.- per child (2-12 years) applicable as per 1 June 2011An Airstrip fee of R 50.- per person on landing currently applies.
The guest will be met off their flight by a guest relations team and taken to the Executive lounge where bar service, teas & coffees, shower and Internet facilities are offered f.o.c. Flights are either by twin engine aircraft or Cessna Grand Caravans (12 seats) 20kg soft luggage is permitted per person on the flights and free storage facilites are available.
Tau Game Lodge has a direct online booking system so flights can be booked and confirmed immediately through our reservation office.Road transfers from door-to door can be arranged and the average rate at the moment is R 6500.- for a return trip. Picture below by Morah-Leigh Cooper

Tau endeavours to keep you up to date on the latest and greatest South African game safari news and info.

Keywords: Game Safari