Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lemon Syrup Recipe

We have had numerous requests for the recipe to make our Lemon Syrup which is enjoyed by all Guests at RiverBend Lodge at sometime during their stay. Well here it is:


1 lt Freshly Squeezed Lemon juice

1.5 lts water

200gms sugar

1 Table spoon Epsom salts

1 Table spoon Tartaric acid

1 Table spoon Citric acid


Boil water and sugar, remove from heat once sugar has dissolved, add Lemon juice and other ingredients. Stir until everything is dissolved. Cool, bottle and refrigerate.
To serve - 1 part Lemon Syrup to 3 parts iced water or to taste. Garnish with a slice of Lemon and a sprig of Mint. It has been known to be enjoyed with a tot of Vodka added ....called A Gorbachov Cocktail!

Something else that is proving to be really popular from our Kitchen at RiverBend is Chef jonathan Hodders Curried Monkfish with Onion Bhaji.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Eastern Red - Footed Kestrel (Falco amurensis)

We recently posted that we were expecting more summer avian migrants.....the Eastern Red - Footed Kestrels are here, and indeed, all over the Eastern Cape......remarkable birds!!

These Raptors (also known as Amur Falcons) "perform the most extraordinary migration of any raptor occurring in Africa: from it's breeding grounds in Eastern Asia via India across the Indian Ocean (over 3 000 kms of open ocean) to Eastern Africa and on to Southern Africa, where it spends the Southern Summer. Far migrating birds are considered good eating by some African communities. Gregarious at all times, often perching on telephone wires or fences."

"Breeding: Breeds in Eastern Siberia, Mongolia, Northern China and Korea. Uses the tree nests of mostly ravens and magpies. May breed in loose colonies"

Source: Sappi Raptor Identification Guide by Ulrich Oberprieler and Burger Cillie


Female in flight


We  will do our best to bring you a photograph of a Male....but as in all Wildlife Photography, we cannot promise!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Black Rhinoceros

Some Black Rhinoceros behaviour.

Marking territory

Battle scars

We at RiverBend Lodge intend joining the crusade to 'Save the Rhino', and to this end we will be announcing some form of Competition to raise funds for this worthy cause within the next few months. Like our Facebook Page to keep abreast of developments.

(These images were not necessarily taken at RiverBend Lodge)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Steppe Buzzard at RiverBend Lodge

We have been promising images of a Steppe Buzzard (Buteo vulpinus) last we have some.
Steppe Buzzards arrive late in October or early November and depart again between February and April. Some migrants to look forward to in the coming months are European Rollers and Amur Kestrels. We will (hopefully) get some images of these visitors to post on this Blog.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Reflections on Africa's Elephant by Martin Meredith

After reading Africa’s Elephant – pictured above…..I dwelt on two paragraphs, which related specifically to the Cape Province and, more specifically, Addo, in the Eastern Cape.

Elephants have been subjected to “periods of brutality and persecution” yet were described by poet John Donne as “Nature’s great masterpiece, the only harmless great thing”.

By 1760 Elephants could no longer be found south of the Oliphants River on the western coast of the Cape Colony; on the eastern coast the nearest Elephant strongholds lay 500 miles distant from Cape Town. They remained plentiful in the eastern frontier region for a short while longer. A travelling Swedish scientist, Anders  Sparrman, referred in 1775 to incredible numbers there. A government official in 1797 reported a herd 400 strong. But by 1830, when Elephant hunting in the Cape Colony was banned, only two small herds were left in the Eastern Cape, one hidden deep in the Knysna forest and the other in the Addo bush country. Out of a herd once estimated at 25 000 (some believe more), no more than a few 100 survived. It was the first mass extinction since Roman times.” Page 62 Africa’s Elephant

The survival of the few remaining Elephant herds in South Africa was still precarious, however. When the small herd in Addo in the Eastern Cape, forty miles from Port Elizabeth, began raiding citrus crops on neighbouring farms, the authorities ordered their extermination. Extermination was seen as the only solution to the growing conflict between Elephants and farmers expanding into territory where they had once roamed freely. A professional hunter was hired. One by one, some 120 Elephants were killed. By 1919 only 16 were left.  But this tiny band held out, hiding in impenetrable thorn thickets. After twelve years of intermittent incidents, the government gave in and in 1931 proclaimed Addo an Elephant National Park. Eleven Elephants had survived the campaign.”  Page 124 Africa’s Elephant

Today the Addo National Elephant Park is home to nearly 500 Elephants in the main Park and on the adjoining Nyathi Concession, on which RiverBend Lodge is situated. What struck me, after reading Africa’s Elephant, was the enormity of our responsibility. Even more so when examined in the light of what is happening to Rhino’s today. At RiverBend Lodge we take our responsibility seriously. Our Guides love sharing the story of what can only be viewed as one of the most successful Conservation stories of modern history. We realise we play, when viewed against the bigger picture, only a minor part in this extraordinary story. We are thankful for this custodianship….and we love sharing this with Guests. Coupled with the other elements we offer – your visit could be a life changing experience.