Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Thought about Rhino's!

The horrific thought struck me whilst on a Game Drive with my son that there is every possibility (based on current figures) that my Grand Children may well ask "Did you take that photograph Pop's....and what happened to them??" and how will you answer when they ask what you did to help?

What part can you play in preventing the extinction of Rhino's???

The slogan says ...."They can't make it without you"!

Monday, March 19, 2012

That Lion Look

Thought we had to share this photograph which illustrates the 'look' in the Lions eye when locked on to prey.
We were watching the Lions, which were on the right of the Game Drive vehicle,...when this Lion became aware of a Warthog on the other side of the vehicle on our left. He got up for further investigation  and this photograph says everything about his intent.

Click on the image to enlarge.

(All images on this Blog are the property of River Bend Lodge and are not to be used without permission)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lions, Elephant and Buffalo......close up and close by!!

All of these images were taken within 1 kilometre of either River Bend Lodge or Long Hope Villa this week!!
Many thanks to Darlington Chaonwa and Michael Mouton for their input!

This photograph was taken by Mikey Mouton using a Canon 450D and the kit lens....55mm - 250mm
Excellent shot by him.....well done!

Lions in front of Long Hope Villa which is an exclusive use facility which sleeps 6.
This photograph courtesy Darlington Chaonwa.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Eastern Red - Footed Kestrel update....

On the 10th of January we posted a Blog about the arrival of the Eastern Red - Footed Kestrels (Falco amurensis). The challenge was to get a photograph of a male, as all the footage we had was of females.....alas we cannot bring you one this year, but we managed to get this one of another female feeding on a rat. It would appear that they begun their long trek back to their breeding grounds in East Asia. Remarkable!!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

European Roller's put in fleeting appearance

European Roller's (Coracias garrulus) normally make their appearance in our area between the end of January to early March. This year, for some reason, they have not been here in the numbers we have become accustomed to, and those that were here put in only a fleeting appearance, with very few sightings recorded. We did, however, get some images as we did mention in an earlier Blog that we looked forward to their appearance.

Well....we will just have to wait until next year for better sightings....and hopefully better we can show you their unmistakable turquoise markings in flight.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Gratifying Comments.... and Photo's from one of our Guides

When one gets such positive comments posted in one's Guest book and on Trip Adviser it makes us want to scale even greater heights to make a stay at RiverBend Lodge a great experience.

We have taken just a few of the comments to quote on our Blog....we wish we could have posted them all. Thank you to our Guests who took the time to comment. If there is anything you think we can do to improve your visit please feel free to contact us!!

"We had a wonderful time, with brilliant game drives”. Carl & Barbara, Kent, England

“The most wonderful and memorable stay, we cannot thank Darlington enough for his enthusiasm and knowledge on the game drives”.  John and Dawn, Berkshire, England

“Fantastic! Such lovely people, seen the most beautiful animals. Special thanks to Joe for the most amazing game drives”. Bart and Anky, Utrecht, The Netherlands

"Well we said it wouldn’t be our last visit last time and sure enough here we are again for the 4th time! I think that says it all – WONDERFUL. We will be back. Gail and Gavin, UK

“Had a fabulous two days. Saw some incredible sights with our Guide Mike who was so knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The food was superb and the staff so friendly. Truly a wonderful and memorable experience”. Stevenson family, Scotland

“You are all amazing!! You go above and beyond.” Severinsson family, Sweden

“We both had a brilliant time – out of this world. Steve and all the staff were very hospitable and knowledgeable. Would highly recommend this holiday. Many thanks”. Richard and Diana, Yorkshire, England

From the moment we arrived my wife and I were treated like royalty. From the personalised attention from the staff, the exclusivity of the Lodge, to the tranquility of the bushveld, so much good can be said about River Bend Lodge. They have a small, young staff compliment who are all so eager to please that it makes it a hard place to leave.
It seemed that Luyanda was our 24/7 butler, you could never see him but snap your fingers and he was there in a flash. Now that's what I call great service! ……….

…………I would like to thank Stef, Stefanie, Steve, Luyanda and all the other staff who had a hand in our awesome stay.
It was just great and I assure you all that my wife and I will be back, with Junior!”


“We slotted a three night stay here ino our itinerary on the strong advice of our travel agent [Alasdair at Fleewinter] who promised it would be a highlight. He was absolutely right...we enjoyed every minute. Well, okay, didn't positively enjoy the early morning starts [when Mike tried to get us to rise at 0430 to see some jackals we went on strike] but all the rest.
All those things that are less good about holidays: rushing round, noise, crowds, pressure to do stuff,using the little grey cells,making decisions...there isn't any of that. In a peaceful spot where the nightlife consists of looking at the Milky Way, this is an extrordinarily restful way to spend a few days. The rooms are beautifully done, the food is first class, and there is a pretty swimming pool. The focal point is of course the game drives; we were really impressed both by the set up and by our guide, Mike - either the luckiest guide out there or very good at his job. We saw all and more than we expected; our favourite being the evening we followed the lions on their evening promenade. Or was it the baby elephants trunk-wrestling...or the giraffes..or all those comical warthog families? Or perhaps the rhinos? Or the sight of about seventy elephants on a route-march?
We appreciated not being herded around with too many other people; in fact there were never more than four of us in the jeep. Each drive lasted about four hours, and took our preferences into account; the last evening we did a scenic drive right up to the hill-tops.
Three days was a good length of stay, although longer would have been even better...”
Finnbarr Surrey

Photographs on our Blog today courtesy of one of our Guides Michael Mouton

Watching Buffalo in evening sun.


Whether he was successful with the kill or not we do not know - but he got a quill in his jaw for his efforts!!!!

Early morning coffee in the bush!

You know what they say about what you find at the end of a Rainbow!!

We have recently added another Activity ......."Walking with Giraffes".....

.....and our Guests are giving us wonderful feedback!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Elephant calf - born 3rd March 2012!!

Darlington alerted us to the to the arrival of a new Elephant calf born last night.

After patiently waiting for a good few hours I managed to get a clear image - of both the new born calf and one or two others. As any photographer will testify it takes a great deal of patience to photograph Elephant calves as the are always concealed by the family group or hidden between the mothers front legs.

Here is a series of images taken this morning - the last one being the newest arrival!!

Somewhere in that Group is the new calf!!


Now what is this??

Some 'hide and seek'!

'Wow, this grass is long'!

The cause of all the excitement.
If you look carefully you will notice traces of dried blood below the 
calf's eye.
What a privilege.

Click on the image to make it larger.