Meet the Team
From the many compliments we have received from our guests over the months, we thought we would give you some insight on the wonderful duo, Mandie and Gert....
this is their story!
Before following my dream of working in the bush, I studied Agriculture as well as Sport Psychology and worked in both industries for a while until I moved to the Northern Cape where I worked as LED assistant manager at an iron ore mine.
After 2 and a half years I got restless and was on my way to Australia to do an Outback program where I would have learned more about cattle and equestrian farming. 2 months before I was supposed to go, I read an article about Nature Conservation and that is when I realized what I really want to do.
I registered with Unisa and FGASA and signed up for a practical conservation experience in the Makhasa community where I worked for 9 months doing everything from freelance game-drives to building and brush packing!
I grew up in Klerksdorp on our farm in the Free State, so I have been a farm-boy all my life and knew one day I will have to work in the bush!
After I matriculated, I signed up for Field guide/ Conservation Training at Makhasa Community Reserve where I worked and studied Nature Conservation through Unisa. There we helped with the habitat management of the reserve, maintenance, anti-poaching as well as tracking and researching rhinos and baboons. I stayed there for two and a half years before going to Bhejane Nature Training for further training.
Gert and I met in Makhasa where both of us started our conservation careers.
Together we went to Bhejane Nature Training where we did our FGASA Level 1 Terrestrial and Marine, FGASA Level 2 theory, Advanced Rifle Handling as well as Trails Guiding.
In August 2010 we started here at Amakhosi and fell in love with this beautiful reserve! We are both very passionate about nature and all living things and enjoy living and working in the bush tremendously.
We are currently still busy with our ND Nature Conservation and hope to finish within the next 2 years and then we’ll wait and see what the future has in store for us!
From the Rangers desk !
One morning this past week , Gert and I went out on a drive to see where we could build new roads, do some scouting and check-up on the fences. We stopped at Maphutu Dam to take a break and enjoy the beautiful scenery when we saw a lioness and her two 9 month old cubs. We decided to stay and enjoy the sighting of these magnificent cats, when suddenly something caught her attention. The lioness got up, slowly and cautiously started walking in the direction from where she heard or sensed something.
Patiently Gert and I waited in silence, not wanting to disturb the lioness or whatever she was pursuing.
After a few minutes, which felt more like ages to the two of us, there was a short distress call followed by an eerie silence. We knew she had made a successful kill.
Without hesitation, the two cubs got up and headed towards their mother, where they knew a hearty meal was waiting for them.
Only when we were sure the cubs were reunited with their mother did we approach the area where we heard the distress call from. When we got there, we saw that she had killed a female kudu. Without much effort, the 2 cubs started pulling the carcass underneath a thicket. In the morning heat, we clearly heard the crunching of bones and tearing of flesh as they were enjoying their meal.
Lions normally would drag a carcass into thick area or underneath a tree in order to hide their meal from the prying eyes of vultures, which would eventually give away their position and possibly even attract other lions, but they allowed us to watch them enjoying their meal and once again we were struck at what a privilege it is to be able to work where we do and watch the wonders of nature at work.
Hope we see you soon to share some of our great experiences with us Regards Nick
When giraffes are born, their horns, or osicones as they are more correctly known, are loose and not fixed to the skull. This is to aid in the birthing process and become fixed to the skull after 4 years in the case of males and seven years in the case of females.
Some of our guests comments:
The African dream came alive here. We will Always remember the elephant and Lion and the magnificent hospitality. Thank you so much.
Hilary & Graham Pask – UK, 9-12 Feb
Great service. Lovely day. Thank you for the birthday touch. See you soon.
Hans & Caroline Matata – Swaziland, 11 Feb
Too sad to be leaving. Fantastic, carried on your hands. Could not have dreamt of better.
Johan & Marquarite van Zyl – Cape Town, 21-23 Feb
What a wonderful stay, great gamedrives.
Jaap & Ditty – Amsterdam, 26-28 Feb
Wonderful stay. Incredible animal experience, delicious food! A memory for life!
Inger & Peter Reader – Norway, 2-6 March
Thank you. It was almost like heaven! Ngiyabonga!
Astrid, Jacques, Yvonne & Ruud – Netherlands, 7-9 March
Our bush treat this week is one of my favourite ,,,,
African Bush Potjie
- 1.2 kg veal knuckle
- Sea salt, milled black pepper
- Vegetable oil
- 1 large chopped onion
- 1 bunch of herbs (bay leaf, parsley, thyme, oregano)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 759g skinned baby onions
- 500g baby potatoes
- 500g ripe blanched, skinned and chopped tomatoes
- 250g baby carrots
- 500ml beef stock
- 300ml wine
- 20ml brown sugar
- 5ml ground cumin
- 3ml ground coriander
- 1ml ground cloves
Trim the meat and season with salt and pepper.
Heat a little oil in a large sauce pan and brown the meat in batches
Then add the chopped onion to the pan and fry until golden
Put the meat into a traditional African black pot and add the beef stock, red wine, sugar, herbs, coriander, cumin, cloves and cinnamon.
Season with salt and pepper, cover the pot and allow to simmer very gently (slowly) for about one and a half hours until tender.
Add the baby potatoes, baby carrots and baby onions, cover the pot again and allow to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. If the pot is to watery, cook for another 10 minutes with the pot uncovered.
This looks great in small individual black pots. Garnish with crumbed feta and serve with rice.
You can also use lamb of beef instead, just be aware the cooking time will vary, so keep an eye on it.
Make sure you don’t rush the cooking time, just keep a coal or two under the pot to keep it simmering, not boiling.
Bush Special /Photo Safari
Easter Holiday Special
PAY ONLY R 2200.00 per person per night sharing, fully inclusive:
Normal rate R3300.00 pppns SAVE R1100.00
- Accommodation in our luxurious River Suite
- 3 Meals excludes drinks.
-2 game drives per day with qualified guides
VALID TILL 30 April , for NEW bookings only, min two night stay subject to availability and to specified dates . T&C apply
Amakhosi Safari Lodge - Pongola - South Africa Phone 034 4141157 -
Email: email@example.com NEW NEW NEW !! Photo Safari Anita de Villiers
is a professional photographer and freelance photojournalist, specialising in nature and wildlife photography and will be hosting a photo safari at the lodge 9-13 May 2012 along with Greg du Toit
who is a professional wildlife photographer and specialist photographic safari guide. His work has recently been exhibited by National Geographic in London and his image titled 'Golden Rhino Forest' is currently part of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition in London's Natural History Museum.
If you are interested in joining please see details on the following website http://www.anitadevilliers.co.za/amakhosi_game_reserve.htm
We apologize for the delay but finally we have our photo competition winner!! Our independent Judges from Foto First Umhlanga have chosen , the choice was tough as all the photographs sent in all depicted the uniqueness of our game and the reserve.
First Place Kirk Nalley with " Cheetah Boy"
Second Place - Dave, Kate, and Maisie Rose Smith with "a Pile of Ellies"
Third Place - Torstein Wremer with "Buck Crossing"
NEW 2012 COMPETITION HAS STARTED SO PLEASE SEND IN SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE AMAKHOSI SHOTS!! To
firstname.lastname@example.org in Jpeg
Thanks so much look forward to some more wonderful pictures Regards Esther