Madikwe is very much a land of extremes and diversity, the landscape goes from this…
In only a few minutes of driving.
Depending on the amount of rain fall all the green can disappear or reappear in a matter of months.
There are many more landscapes over here that are breath-taking, stunning and cunning to try and capture on a photograph. However, as is mostly the case on a safari the animals end up stealing the show.
There are a few lionesses with tiny cubs under three months old. Spending time with lion cubs at this age is awesome. All they want to do is play, explore and investigate all new things as they come to them. To observe this youthful innocence displayed by one of nature’s most resilient and brutal killers is mesmerizing or just plain cute for short.
A favourite past time is using daddy or mommy’s tail as a toy. In this case daddy.
Now bear with me as I try to explain why this is highly entertaining.
When an adult becomes annoyed by the cubs fiddling with them, the tail starts to fidget more and more violently. When this happens the cubs lose all control and they absolutely must have the tail.
We can only assume the cubs believe the tail is there solely for their entertainment and use. It goes on for a few minutes until the adult loses its patience and walks away to lie down far away from the cubs, so they can annoy one of the other pride members. And so, this is how it will be until they find a different form of entertainment.
We are very fortunate to have great Lion sightings in Madikwe. It is one of the reasons why Madikwe is among the handful of sought after safari destinations.
Yes, the bush is lush but there is always a way to get your shot around or through the foliage, on the plus side it adds some contras and texture to the frame.
Now Wild dogs are one of the wild cards on a safari, pun intended, you never know when or where they are going to pop out.
We have tracked them to do up to 30 kilometres in a morning. So they can be anywhere at any time. When they come out it is absolute pandemonium. They go in five different directions at once trying to flush prey out of the bush. The holy grail of sightings is a Wild dog hunt.
Now comes the difficult question; describe it?
I have only one way to attempt it. It is absolute perfectly orchestrated chaos! But you need to see it for yourself. Even if they miss their prey it is still defies belief.
Another ace up the sleeve, late afternoons at Tlou dam in the winter, which provides some of the best Elephant sightings you can have in South-Africa all whilst bathed is truly unique light and surrounded by stunning scenery.
Not common anywhere, but we do get great sightings of the infamous Black rhino. Now, these things have proper attitude.
Usually when you see them they are running away, bashing over everything in their way and someone shouts “hey there is a Black rhino” it’s all over in a matter of seconds. Getting back to their attitude, sometimes they will rather charge towards the safari vehicle, stop a few meters short of us and let out a spine chilling snort as if to show you what they are made of. I can personally guarantee you that they are made of true grit.
Stunning animals and most encounters are exiting, but this animal should not be taken lightly. All serious signs of aggression should be respected by giving them space when needs be.
Even the 12-month old baby joins in on the action. Like I said, proper attitude.
This is but a handful of the experiences you can expect on a safari to Madikwe!
There is much more awesomeness that awaits.
Field Guide in the Madikwe Game Reserve
For more images from Madikwe follow Coenie on Instagram: @coenieengelbrecht_wildlife
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