Bush Beat No. 23

November 2011

Finally ,African Summer has arrived and it never ceases to amaze me the wonderful changes the season brings, the rains have brightened up the bush with colour and bustling new life, nothing like summer to lift everyone's sprits.

If you have been following our Facebook and Blog you will have seen the regular updates,reporting the incredible sightings our guests have experienced lately.

Our guest competition in into its 4th month and we have received great entries, there are still two months to go so please keep submitting . All the entries are posted on our FB page.

Winners so far are : Kirk Nalley for August,Torstein Wremer and Karian ST for September and Pete Naylor and Cathy Armstrong for October. Well done to all, the competition ends 31 December, we will then draw the overall winner - Keep the entries coming..

Our new team, has settled in well and we are all enjoying the great new ideas that they have introduced, which have only improved our service levels even more. Well done all!

Hope to see you soon at the lodge.
Ben ter Huurne - MD





Meet the Team :
We are pleased to introduce :
Tamsin van der Hooft and Sean Bissett, who joined the Amakhosi Team in August .

This is their story ….

I have worked in the bush for the last 14 years at various interesting locations in Southern Africa. In 2004 - 2006 I was the Head Guide at Amakhosi and decided to spread my wings and went to explore and guide in different locations in South Africa, Botswana and Tanzania and had many wonderful adventures . I found that I needed to return back to Kwa Zulu Natal, to Zululand and was fortunate enough to be able to come back to Amakhosi.
Kwa Zulu Natal has always been my first love as I grew up as a farm boy in the Natal Midlands
“it’s great to be home, and back at Amakhosi Lodge which has always had and will always have a very special place in my heart”. I have worked in many beautiful lodges and in many beautiful locations, but this small piece of Zulu Land is where I feel the most comfortable and i feel i can fulfill the passion I have for th land and Amakhosi.

Tamsin and I met 2 and a half years ago and we are recently engaged to be married next year.
We have come to Amakhosi with a huge passion and drive to start our new lives and make a wonderful place with a superb team even greater.

Tamsin has also worked extensively in the bush as well as in many various segments of the hospitality industry . She has wonderful sensitivity to people and strives to make each guests stay as unforgettable as possible.

We are a very hands on management couple and whilst Tamsin is at the lodge making sure that the guests are blown away by making what people can only dream of come true, I am generally out in the bush striving to do exactly the same by ensuring all guests experience as much of our beautiful fauna and flora as possible.

Tamsin and I are always excited to meet new people and interact with them too.
Come and enjoy the passion that we share for Amakhosi, look forward to meeting you here!

Sean Bissett







Bush News:
A game drive to "exceed all expectations" through the eyes of our ranger Mandie and her tracker Sbu!

After a few wonderful game-drives filled with unique and spectacular sightings of big game, we decided to head West towards Goedvertrou, an area known for its beautiful landscapes and diversity.
Since we’ve already seen the big 5, we prepared ourselves for an afternoon of exploring the ‘little 5’; all the interesting and amazing things one tends to miss from the vehicle.
We left the lodge armed with macro-lenses, binoculars and all sorts of Field Guide books. Less than 15minutes from the lodge, we came across a majestic elephant bull cooling down in the river.
The big boy kept us well entertained, when he was satisfied he disappeared into the thicket again. We continued and found what we were looking for…. A communal spiders’ web. While looking at the untidy, but unique construction, a grasshopper got stuck in the multi-angled catch web! Now that got our attention!
A proper National Geographic drama was enfolding right in front of our eyes!
The grasshopper struggling to free itself send vibrations to the rest of the web ,where hundreds of tiny spiders were waiting in anticipation. At first only one spider came rushing out, but before long others came to help and the unfortunate grasshopper was overpowered and taken to the ‘feeding chamber’.
We drove away knowing we had just witnessed a ‘kill’, something unforgettable that few of us ever get to see.
The next moment there was an excited shout from the back – Buffalos! Five ‘daggaboys’ were up on the hill, just next to us.
We observed the most dangerous ruminant in Africa for some time until a drop-wing dragonfly landed on a branch next to the vehicle. Fantastic opportunity for any photographer!
With the cameras clicking and our attention focused on the little insect in front of us, no one noticed what was behind the bushes…
Suddenly our Tracker, Sbu, said softly "lions"…
Less than 40m from us were 3 lions! With a closer look we realized it’s a mother with 2 ,ten month old cubs!
Lion cubs, like most youngsters, are very curious and soon the 2 young boys approached the vehicle. Cautious at first, especially with mom calling them, but soon they relaxed and started showing off!
The next minute, mom gave a hair-raising call and we backed off. Then she gave another growl, but this time we could see that it was not aimed at us. She was looking down at an intruder ,which we could not see!
We strained our necks, trying to get a glimpse when suddenly a massive python stood up, out of the grass, moved off, not wanting to aggravate the alpha predator of the African bush!
Relieved that she was not bothered by our presence, we stayed and enjoyed the lioness with her offspring until the sun reminded us that we still needed to find memorable spot to stretch our legs, have a sundowner and reflect on the wonderful experience we had just encountered!
Needless to say, that we had a fantastic time, especially since we had no expectations, except to enjoy mother nature’s beauty and she ended up showing us more than we bargained for!


This is why I love the bush and Africa!!t




Bush Fact:
Did you know?




Batesian Mimicry: is a form of mimicry used by harmless species evolving to imitate or resemble harmful species, directed at deterring a common predator or predators. Eg The female Common Diadem Butterfly mimics the appearance of the African Monarch due to the fact that the Monarch is poisonous and predators know this.




Bush Telegraph:
Apart from the wonder reviews we have received on Trip Advisor , this is what our guests had to say:

02 Oct 2011
Gustafsson party – Norway
"We’ve had the best time of our lives! A holiday to remember and great sights of lots of animals! "

08 Oct 2011
The Buckleys- South Africa, Hillcrest
"Super relaxing, great atmosphere & hospitality. Kids loved it too."

10 Oct 2011
Hilde & Per- Germany
"Thanks for a wonderful time here! Everything has been perfect and we so grateful for excellent service and magical safaris. We are overwhelmed!! "

25 Oct 2011
Colin & Andrea- Canada
"Amazing! A great start to our honeymoon. Thanks for the memories! "

31 Oct 2011
Roger, Gill & Sohpie - UK
"An incredible time for our first time in Africa – amazing game drives & outstanding service! Many thanks "



Bush Special:
Due to popular demand we have extended our special to the 15 December 2011, which means we are STILL charging low season in high season

YOU SAVE R1100.00 per person per night.


Our rate is now R2200.00 per person per night sharing.
T&C apply.

Contact us at info@amakhosi.com or through our online system on our website
www.amakhosi.com




Bush Treat: Sam's Corner
Sam Moralo our F&B Manager has introduced a new segment to our newsletter . Every news letter, he will include a easy to use bush recipe and for our first recipe, Sam has decided to share his treasured bread recipe with you.

Sam's challenge is, that you send in your all time favorite recipe, our Chefs will cook and test them out and the winning recipe will receive a lovely prize from the Amakhosi F&B Team.

Hi all

This is one of the easiest and tastiest recipes, give it a try and let us know your thoughts.


Beer Corn Bread



Ingredients

750 g self raising flour
Pinch of salt
1 Can of Castle light Beer
1 Can of Sweet Corn
1 egg

Method

1. Pre heat oven on 200 degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients together (Mix well).
3. Bake for an hour.
4. Cool and slice.

As easy as that folks, so look forward to receiving many exciting new recipes for us to try out.

Please send your recipe's to info@amakhosi.com att: Sam

Happy Cooking Sam


www.amakhosi.com