Heine's Ramblings and Rumblings

2012/02 Tembe Elephant Lodge/Tartaruga Camp Ponta Malongane/Mbuluzi Reserve

Bud and Cath Morris organised this trip as a valentine’s weekend, so if you’re expecting to read a hard core trip report, then you’re going to be disappointed.

I thought it would be a good shake down for Bo in any case so we decided to drive ourselves as opposed to going with Phillip Sprules as originally intended.

Day one Wednesday 7 February

We left at about 3.30 in the morning ,destination Tembe Elephant Reserve , just north of Pongola

The initial going was very slow due to extremely thick fog and plenty of road works on the N17 . We stopped for breakfast at the Wimpy in Pongola and then headed on to Tembe , arriving just before lunch.

In the afternoon, we went for a game drive in the vehicles provided , but unfortunately didn’t see much .

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Our accommodation

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Inside the tent

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One of the lounges

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The most important building – the bar

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Another lounge

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Dining area

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An (oil)slick (copyright Phillip Sprules) of landys (Hennie,Craig and Bud)

Day Two Thursday 8 February

Got up early for another game drive . Had a lot more luck thus time and managed to see 4 lion , 2 rhino and some elephants around the same waterhole .

Game Viewer

Lion

Lion 2

Rhino

(Pics courtesy Phillip Sprules)

Returned to camp for breakfast and spent the rest of the day around the pool as it was pretty hot .

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Pretty warm

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Visitor at the pool

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Campfire

 

Tembe Webcam

Day Three and Four Friday 9 /Saturday 10 February

Left after a late breakfast for Tartaruga which is just north of Ponta Molangane . The border crossing was very quick and easy , and didn’t take us more than fifteen minutes which was a nice surprise .

But Mandy was also ripped off by the visa guy. As she is travelling on a UK passport , she had to pay about R700 for a visa. He then said that the computer was broken so he couldn’t issue her with a receipt . I didn’t think to check her passport , and when we left Moz on Sunday (via a different border post) , I discovered that no visa had been issued in her passport. Fortunately , after much debating the immigrations official stamped her passport and let her through . Not sure what would have happened if we had been pulled over by the cops somewhere .

Spent the next two days pub crawling and shopping,as the sea was too rough for the dive boat to launch .

Come to see

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Come to see restaurant and bar

Rum robots

Where we invented Rum Robots. From left to right : Rum and Rasberry, Rum and Fanta Pineapple , Rum and Creme Soda .

Instant hangover guaranteed . Also my tongue and throat felt like I’d swallowed hot potatoes the next day

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Outside Fernando’s bar

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Where we bumped into this bunch

Below are some shots of our accommodation at Tartaruga

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Tent deck

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Our tent

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The inside

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The bathroom

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Firepit

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Swimming pool

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Communal dining area and kitchen / pantry

Day Five Sunday 11 February

Some of the group headed home , but we continued on to Mbuluzi Game Reserve in Swaziland , where we stayed in one of the lodges overnight .

Due to quite a lot of rain overnight , we had some interesting driving up until the border

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Our fearless leader

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Some people will knit anywhere

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Some pictures of Ingwe Lodge

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Day Six Monday 12 February

We left the rest behind to explorer Mbuluzi and Hlane as we had to head home

I would like to thank Bud and Cath for organising this very special (if soft) trip , which gave us a good mix of surf and turf and was only just over 1400 km of travelling. Also the accommodation was excellent for what we paid.

I must make sure our next trip is hard-core bush camping , so that we don’t get too used to how the rich and famous do it

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