Friday, April 26, 2013

Day 1 (Arrival) :'MY AFRICAN SAFARI: TANGALA'

‘LIVING LIFE TO THE MAX’ 
proudly presents a series of blog posts & beautiful photographs, entitled:



We have recently returned from an incredible holiday – four glorious days at 
TANGALA PRIVATE GAME LODGE – in the Thornybush Game Reserve, in Mpumalanga, South Africa.  This reserve is home to some of our country’s “BIG 5 as well as what I, personally, call ‘The Magnificent Millions’ – an array of beautiful fauna and flora at which I will never stop marveling.
 
TANGALA is a small, electricity-free lodge and hosts a maximum of ten guests at any given point in time.  We were privileged to be two of them.  The reserve itself spans 15 000 hectares of lush, dense bush – home to some of the most beautiful creatures in South Africa.  TANGALA (Meaning 'Place of Lions') lies adjacent to the world renowned Kruger National Park.  It is one of the oldest lodges in the country and boasts some of the best game sightings to be experienced.

This particular excursion was in celebration of our 30th wedding anniversary. Our excitement has been building for weeks.  I love the bush!  And I love sharing these experiences.   
. I invite you to join me on my adventure.
With love,


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Sunday 21st April 2013

We left a very wet Johannesburg in the early hours of Sunday morning. After 48 hours of heavy rainfall, our city was blanketed with a layer of mist.  Dappled sunlight tried it’s best to break through the cloud cover and finally succeeded when we were well past the quaint, little town of Dullstroom.  We took our time navigating the pot-hole strewn national road as it wove its way through colourful rock formations of the Abel Erasmus pass. 



The Strydom tunnel hasn’t changed in all the years since its construction – it still evokes a sense of child-like anticipation in me. We drove through the tunnel ...

 ... and reduced our speed to take in the glorious vista of the Lowveld...  

The landscape stretches out for miles.  It is flat and the bush is thick.  Pools of stagnant water lie everywhere – telling their own story of the recent heavy rains. A familiar awe washed over me as I looked our across the splendour – reminding me of my childhood and the happy times I'd spent in the bush.

After five hours in the car, we finally entered the main gate at TANGALA and made our way along the beaten road to the lodge. 

The little lodge is 7km from the main gate and we were greeted by quite a few “residents” along the way – a family of warthog, some wildebeest, impala and a beautiful leopard tortoise (one of the ‘small five’)
When you arrive at TANGALA a sense of peace descends. The fact that there is no electricity is obvious – there are no invasive sounds of appliances or generators.  It’s just the magic of the bush which sings out its welcome – buzzing cicadas, hollow calls of hornbills and the occasional flurry of grunts from nearby Impala rams. I was home!

We were welcomed, with wide-smiles by two friendly staff members and shown to our rooms.  An extra bonus was that we were the only guests in residence for the next 24 hours.  Apparently, we had the place to ourselves!

Our private, thatched bungalow was cool, rustic, simply furnished and inviting.  There was a small shower, basin and toilet en-suite.  Paraffin lamps and matches were strategically placed to ensure our comfort.  


We were also warned to keep the doors and windows shut at all times as the camp is unfenced and animals are free to roam. Vervet monkeys have been known to raid the rooms of careless guests.

We had soon settled in and decided to relax at the deck area, overlooking the waterhole.  

 Warthogs, going about their daily business, were wallowing in the mid-day sun.
Warthogs are highly entertaining little creatures, with immense energy and 'aerial' tails which rise when they run in alarm.  Their squeals will put a smile on any face.  This little family had a number of offspring who have claimed the space around the water-hole.  

It is very restful indeed and we settled into some of the comfortable lounging chairs to watch the activity around the water-hole.  Drinks are on offer at all times – from a well-stocked ‘honest’ bar under the lapa.  

At 15h00 "high tea" was served...
 Below: Tangala's Dining area.
I fell in love with the old kettle which is integral to the fireplace/boma area:
It's often the small things that add character to a setting.  I marvel at the amazing skill of some spiders...

 Nature's ways are incredible - even the smaller things make one feel awe for the circle-of-life. Just this little spider web added fuel to my anticipation of the imminent 3pm game drive.
This would happen as soon as we'd completed our meal...

Thank you, TANGALA, for allowing my soul to soar...

Sending lotsaluv to all my readers


PLEASE NOTE!!!
Be sure to read my forthcoming blog posts which cover our ENTIRE adventure
I  want to do this well and need time to prepare all the hundreds of beautiful photos and videos, so please bear with me.  In the next post I will share our first game-drive.  What animals will we spot? Who are our trackers? 
The excitement continues ...

8 comments:

Two French Bulldogs said...

Oh is mo jealous of your beautiful safari lodge. It's like a National Geographic Adventure
Benny & Lily

The Life of Riley said...

Having the chance to holiday so close to the animals would be amazing, though I hope your driver and guide knew what they were doing when they took you close to the big 5! I look forward to reading your next posts.

Love
Riley (and F)

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Wonderful photos, and we are so happy that you were able to go to this special land where your soul lives.
love
tweedles

Sam said...

Oohh that was great. Thanks for the great photos.

Bouncing Bertie said...

I'm feeling all peaceful just reading this post and looking at the photos. The warthogs sound like such great characters!
Cheers,
Gail.

Sam said...

Oh wow! How beautiful!

Sam

Mrs. JP said...

The drive there was glorious but then to have the first 24 hrs to yourselves was bliss! What caught my eye was the dining chairs,,so unique. I love and know the peace that you can feel when there is no electricity. It's like the stress just slips off your shoulders....stellar.

Joanhuddleston said...

Hi again,
missed some so it looks like 4 days. it's late tonight to will return tomorrow and see more of your trip.
best wishes,
joan