Trip Report: Thornybush & Sabi Sands November 2018

Trevor McCall-Peat All Authors, Trevor 4 Comments

A week ago, I arrived back from my first Thornybush & Sabi Sands Safari and what a safari it was. Before I left, I wrote a blog – My Thornybush & Sabi Sands safari is just around the corner. In that blog I discussed my thoughts behind the safari, why I chose the two lodges and what my guests and I could expect from the safari.

The two camps, although they are not far from each other, offer two different experiences. The first camp, Tangala in Thornybush is an eco-friendly tented camp. this is great from an experience point of view, as it allows one the chance to soak up the sounds of the bush while lying in bed at night. The camp is a relatively small camp and has a very intimate feel to it. We also had a private vehicle and like all our safaris, combined with only 5 guests, as this makes for personal attention throughout the safari.

Our safari began at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, where we set off for our 6 hour drive to Tangala in Thornybush. You could feel the excitement in the vehicle as we were driving and the thought of 9 days in one of South Africa’s most prolific game viewing areas was a wonderful feeling. On arrival at Tangala, we were greeted and shown around the beautiful camp. The camp is situated in the heart of the Reserve and overlooks a waterhole which over the coming days saw plenty of general game, buffalo and elephants coming down for a drink during the heat of the day.

Over the four days at Tangala, we experienced all 4 seasons, the first day was 42 degrees celsius / 107 degrees Fahrenheit  and two days later we found ourselves sighting in pouring rain out on safari while waiting for a leopard to come out of a thicket. I have to give my guests credit, it is not easy to sit out in the rain, with camera gear, getting cold and soaking wet, but everyone pushed through it and we made the most of the situation. It definitely was worth it, we managed to get a great view of the leopard as we were leaving to head back to camp which makes it all worth while.

All in all, I really enjoyed the camp as did the guests.

After our first 4 nights, we then packed up and headed to the Sabi Sands, where we would spend our last 4 nights at Nkorho. Nkorho is a slightly larger camp, but still maintaining an intimate, relaxed family feel to it. Everyone is extremely friendly and go out of their way to make sure you feel at home. Once again, game viewing was on our side. The Sabi Sands is very well known for its high density of wildlife both big and small and it did not disappoint. We were fortunate to see a variety of different animals, but were especially fortunate with the big cats, leopards in particular.

During the 9 day safari, we did plenty of lightroom work during the middle of the day and I must admit, all the guests managed to capture some GREAT images over the course of the safari. I love sitting down with guests and going through the images they have taken, the amount of growth in just a few days is really inspiring to see. As a photographic guide it is great to see the diversity and the different eyes people have in the same scene and that is what makes photography so special.

I know I mention it all the time, but I feel extremely privileged to do what I do. I love meeting new people, sharing incredible experiences with others and taking away memories that will stay with my guests and I forever.

Below is just some of the highlights from a great safari, enjoy!

Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye

Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye
Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye
Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye
Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye

Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye

Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye
Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye

Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye

Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye
Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye
Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye
Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye

Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye

Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye
Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye
Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye
Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye

Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye

Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye
Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye
Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye
Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye

Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye
Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye
Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye
Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye

Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye

Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye
Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye
Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye
Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye

Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye

Thornybush & Sabi Sands - Trevor McCall-Peat - Wild Eye

I would like to say a special thank you to all my guests – Mike, Peter, Paula, Stephanie and Cicely for a truly special 9 days on safari and I really enjoyed getting to know each one of you out in the field and look forward to our next safari together.

I thoroughly enjoyed hosting this safari and cannot wait for the next one, which will take place next year, starting on the 15th of June and I am excited to see what that trip will have in store for my guests and I.

Until next time,

Trevor

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About the Author

Trevor McCall-Peat

Having Grown up in White River which then was a small town in the Lowveld, I have had an inner burning desire to pursue my passion and love for wildlife. From a young age I was guided by my family who shares the same passion for the natural world as I do. Frequently visiting wilderness areas from a young age instilled a deep craving to explore and learn more about the bush. Once I left school I began my journey to becoming a guide and following my dream. I have been a field guide for the past 9 years, starting out in the Western Cape and then returning to the lowveld where I spent my last 4 years spend at Londolozi Game Reserve where I gained invaluable experience and had the opportunity to learn about myself as an individual. Through my love for wildlife it has kick started my passion for photography and has allowed me to grow and pursue it as a career. Combining an array of different elements such as safaris, photography, being one with nature and sharing experiences with others is something I have really enjoyed doing and looking forward to continuing it on this new and exciting chapter.

Comments 4

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  1. Cicely

    Great trip report — this was SUCH an amazing experience. On top of all the incredible sightings, we had the funnest group ever 🙂 Thank you for being the best host, Trevor!

    1. Post
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      Trevor McCall-Peat

      Hi Cicely,

      It was so great to have you on safari, I hope the first of MANY! Im glad you had a great time and I am really enjoying all your posts on social media! Keep it up!

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