Leopards, Idube and an Amazing Bush Experience

Jono Buffey All Authors, Jono 1 Comment

We were recently hosted at a fantastic – and affordable lodge – in the Sabi Sands called Idube .

The genuine warmth and hospitality of Andrew, Lauren and their team made for a memorable experience. The game drives and  the knowledge that Andries and Ronny imparted was first class.  The meals, standard of accommodation were impressive and most certainly rivalled that of other “ higher profile “ lodges in the area .

[gdl_gallery title=”idube” width=”125″ height=”125″ ]

If you want to travel to this iconic destination, but maybe terrified by the prices normally associated with the Sabi Sands, give Idube a try. It offers great value and a real African experience. And loads of great sightings, especially leopard.

Now instead of me waxing lyrical about the experience, I asked Sibusiso to share his experience and he has also included some images in his blog. This was the first time he had taken a photo (other than on his blackberry) , so the results are pretty impressive. He definitely has some talent!

Enjoy the read.

Many thanks to the Idube Team. You are real.

Jono

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 Trip report : Idube Game lodge situated in the Western Sector of the Sabi Sands.

Sibu

My name is Sibusiso Shaun Grant Mngomezulu a student at  Jeppe High School For Boys and one of two members/benefiters of the Buffey, Bull Scholarship Fund.

I am originally from Mpumalanga (Nelspruit) but spend most of my time in Gauteng (Johnnesburg), my new home. The second/other member/benefiter of the Fund is Jethro De Langa who also comes from Mpumalanga. We are both exceptional sportsmen at Jeppe but also do well in the academic side of school.  The Fund was established by two best buddies and ex Jeppe Boys, Jonathan Buffey and Mathew Bull, who’s wish was to give back and make a difference in someone’s life, of which they have managed to do in both our lives.

Given the opportunity to study at Jeppe, Jethro and I have made new friends and family.  We are getting a quality education and are exposed to a lot of opportunities for our futures.

Recently Jethro and I had the privilege of going on a photographic safari with Jonathan Buffey to Mpumalanga at Idube Game Reserve in Sabi Sands (adjacent to the Kruger National Park.)

The journey to Mpumalang began early Sunday morning and as males we had scheduled to have the least stops possible, one to be exact.

The long drive to Mpumalanga was no new experience for us, and so we came prepared with CD’s to pass the time .We  had been to the Kruger  before and had thought we knew exactly what we were in for but to our surprise we were wrong.

Wild Eye Photo Safari

Idube and the Sands had seemed to be something totally different from what we have been exposed to before. The usual game drives in the Kruger were nothing compared to what Idube Game Reserve had in store for us.

At arrival on Sunday afternoon we had a greeting party waiting for us. Andrew (the manager) and the Idube team that was on duty that day were very welcoming and kind, they made us feel “at home” and relaxed at the lodge, they took us and our luggage to our rooms, to freshen up, and shortly after that invited us for lunch by the pool.  Jono enjoyed a cold beer and Jethro and I stuffed our faces with the immaculate food served by Idube’s finest.

Wild Eye Photo Safari

It was then time for our first game drive.

This was a night drive and was a new experience for us, and to our delight the drive included off road driving and a close encounter with nature and wild animals. The ranger (Andries) and tracker (Ronny) allocated to us were, in my opinion, the best at what they do.

The drive began with Ronny spotting a feeding herd of elephants, Andries pulled in close, gave us a quick lesson about them and we headed back to the road.

Wild Eye Photo Safari

Wild Eye Photo Safari

Just before sunset Ronny spotted leopard tracks that brought us to a female leopard. Jethro and I had never seen a leopard so close before and this was simultaneously/both scary and exciting for us.

Wild Eye Photo Safari

We took pictures of the animal and drove off to a river bed for drinks and a snack. After sunset we made our way back to camp and on the way she (the leopard) was spotted again, so we drove into thick patches of grass to get a better view on her, she took us through the worst possible bush and eventually crossed over to the east.

Wild Eye Photo Safari

Wild Eye Photo Safari

Wild Eye Photo Safari

And so we drove back to camp.

Our first dinner at Idube sounded too good to be true and tasted even better, we sat around a fire place and met people from Canada, England and America. After desert we said our good nights and headed for bed.

The days went by and each day at Idube seemed to better than the previous one, the food was of best quality and the serve and kindness of the staff was unbelievably amazing.

We saw the Big 5 on one of the days, we went on a walk in the bush ably guided by Andries.

Wild Eye Photo Safari

It was so interesting to learn about the tracks and dung, we were very lucky to see cheetah, big herds of buffalo.

Wild Eye Photo Safari

Wild Eye Photo Safari

Wild Eye Photo Safari

Wild Eye Photo Safari

Wild Eye Photo SafariWild Eye Photo Safari

Having travelled to Idube and seeing so much beauty in nature I have made a promise to myself to travel often, at least 2 times a year once I am grown. The sightings we saw and the people (from all around the world) we met were also part of me wanting to travel.

Wild Eye Photo Safari

I thank Jonathan Buffey for me and Jethro on this trip and I sincerely hope to visit Idube again in the future.

Sibu

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Comments 1

  1. Pearl

    The game reserve looks absolutely amazing, the pictures of the animals are stunning you are really lucky to have seen all those beautiful animals. We all know that Mpumalanga is just so hard to get away from this place just has so much to offer and there is nothing better than seeing nature and animals roam free in the bush!
    I just have to say that I have always been a fan of this website, its beautiful love the colours too, looking forward to seeing more of your blogs.

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