Makanyi Lodge goes green with the first electric safari vehicle in the Timbavati

Makanyi Lodge goes green with their first electric vehicle

https://youtu.be/3F7_hjgGW7Q

Makanyi Lodge has officially taken ownership of an electric safari vehicle, which is a first for the lodge, as well as a first in the Timbavati Nature Reserve. We at Makanyi Lodge have always looked at ways to ensure that we preserve our beautiful natural environment and when we heard about Electric Safari Vehicles doing conversions of game viewers, we jumped at the opportunity to convert one of our Land Rovers - and the results have been astonishing! So much so, that we look forward to having our entire fleet converted in the near future.

Below are a few images taken during the handover of the electric vehicle at Timbavati Main Gate

Handover of the electric vehicle at Timbavati Main Gate

 

Handover of the electric vehicle at Timbavati Main Gate by Electric Safari Vehicles

 

Founder of Electric Safari Vehicles, Steven Blatherwick and General Manager of Makanyi Lodge, Rico Demetriou

So what difference does an electric vehicle have over a normal aspirated vehicle during safaris? We asked our Our GM, Rico, and head ranger, Sean, who have been using the vehicle this past week for their safaris, and this is what they had to say:

General Manager ~ Rico Demetriou

https://youtu.be/YN_aTXDbS6Y

Head Ranger ~ Sean Savage

https://youtu.be/aTZXfrk7RvM

We also asked our guests who were on the vehicle with Rico and Sean for their feedback, as they had experienced both types of vehicles during their stay here at Makanyi Lodge:

The electric vehicle is smoother and quieter and also better when approaching animals. Better for the planet, more healthy for the staff and guests, and also very comfortable. - Lorraine and David

 

At Makanyi Lodge, we had an amazing experience on the electric Land Rover! It was so quiet and it made my experience even better as you can get closer to the animals without disturbing them. -  Jayne Wallace

 

Having been on many safaris, I was given an opportunity to go on an electric vehicle during my stay at Makanyi Lodge. The overall experience was amazing, from the smooth ride without vibrations, and also when stopping to view the animals. For a photographer, asking the ranger to move silently forward or backward when the animal moves,  in a normal motor he would have to switch the vehicle back on and at times the animal / bird reacts to it and moves off. With the electric vehicle it was not a problem as the vehicle is always on and, when stopped, there is no noise or vibrations  - making it ideal should we need to move a tiny bit for a better angle. Well done Makanyi Lodge, the experience was amazing! - Tanya Harris

For a more in-depth analysis of our electric vehicle, Steven Blatherwick founder of Electric Safari Vehicles, gives us a breakdown of the 2009 model Land Rover Defender that we have converted to electric:

https://youtu.be/6s_OBNpGe5E

We are excited to have this vehicle in our fleet as we believe that this is the future of safari vehicles and the experience that we are able to give to our guests, not to mention the amazing benefits for the environment. We look forward to having our entire fleet converted as the benefits of having an electric vehicle are immeasurable.

 

For more information about electric vehicles, you can visit www.electricsafarivehicles.com or email Steve directly on enquiries@electricsafarivehicles.com

 

All images and videos were captured by Massimo Da Silva from Hospitality Online 


A buffalo calf finding its feet

The African buffalo forms part of the Big 5 animal group, an old hunter’s term given to the 5 most dangerous animals to hunt in Africa. These majestic animals reach shoulder heights of up to 1.5m and weigh up to 750kg and are primarily grazers (grass eaters). The breeding season generally takes place during the months of March through to May and the gestation period is roughly 11 months where the female will give birth to a single calf.

 

As the sun started to rise and the guests had finished their pre-safari coffee, we headed out for our morning safari in search of some amazing wildlife. After tracking their footprints we came across a beautiful herd of buffalo. Upon further inspection, we noticed a baby calf that had just been born moments before our arrival. Guests were left speechless as we spent some time watching this adorable calf trying to find its feet.

Watch the adorable footage our GM Rico took of this buffalo calf trying to stand for the first time.


Makanyi Safari Lodge Launches its new Experience Weeks

The award winning Makanyi Lodge in South Africa, is pleased to announce its new “Experiences” for its guests. Located in the southern sector of the Timbavati, an area of prime game viewing, this lodge offers more than just your typical safari. Those who hire out the 16-person lodge for exclusive use, are able to create their own bespoke safari experience, with programmes consisting of Energise, Photographic Safaris, a kids Bush’Ed and Experience South Africa.

Wellness: Guests can tailor their Makanyi stay to focus on health and wellbeing as well as providing a retreat to heal the mind and soul too. Activities such as yoga, HIIT, healthy eating and spa treatments are available to all guests as much or as little as they wish. The bush is renowned for being a very calming and spiritual place for the mind and body to switch off and fully engage with the natural surroundings. Meditation, mindfulness and consultations with nutritionists and Makanyi’s very own fitness expert, Yvonne Wake, are also offered at Makanyi. Not only do guests have an opportunity to watch incredibly beautiful wild animals living in their natural habitats, but also the sounds, smells and sight of the sunrises and sunsets are simply enough to realign and rebalance each person that visits the sensational Makanyi Lodge.

Photographic Safaris: Makanyi’s professional wildlife photographers are available to accompany guests on safari, and give their expertise, advice and knowledge on taking photos of wildlife in differing lights on the plains of the Timbavati, home to the “Big Five” as well as the renowned, albeit elusive White Lions. Guests will be taught camera settings, lighting, and editing at all levels, to take the best pictures in the most incredible setting.

Bush’Ed: An educational programme for children, where they can learn about conservation, survival skills, and tracking animals. They are also given the opportunity to fish by a peaceful dam, or learn about the astonishing solar system, with a ranger being a guide to the beautiful sights completely free from light pollution, where they can see the stunning constellations of the Southern Hemisphere and an enjoy an unspoilt view of the Milky Way.

Experience South Africa:  Makanyi offers special excursions for their guests to nearby attractions, such as the Blyde River Canyon. Indulge in a luxury South African wine tasting evening or craft gins, panorama tours and much more. All the best experiences to fully delve into what South Africa has to offer.

 


Amazing cheetah sightings

We have been fortunate of late to have some incredible cheetah encounters while out exploring the magnificent Timbavati Landscape. With an estimated 7100 left in the wild and only +-120 left in Kruger / greater Kruger national park spending time and sharing some interesting facts about them is a truly unforgettable experience for our guests. Below are just a few facts about these endangered animals that we like to share with our guests:

  •  Unlike other big cats such as lions, cheetah's never roar but rather purr and often make a chirping-like sound to communicate with each other.
  •  Its fur is of tan color that allows it to blend easily into their environment. Its entire body is covered with black closed spots whereas a leopard has rosettes.
  • The pattern of spots in every cheetah is different, making each one of them uniquely identifiable.
  • They have a characteristic ‘tear stripes’ that stretch all the way down to their nose starting from the corner of their eyes.
  • Cheetahs can run at a speed of 70 miles (112km) per hour and can accelerate from 0 to 60mph (96km) in just 3 seconds.
  • Though this cat is the fastest land mammal it cannot run at top speed for a long time. It can sprint at that speed for 100 yards, beyond which its body gets overheated and can reach up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit or 41 degrees Celsius.
  • The cheetah uses its long tail for balancing and steering while on the hunt. The tail actually helps it to take sharp turns in any direction while running at its top speed.
  •  They use their non-retractable sharp claws to successfully take down their prey to the ground and then use a suffocating neck bite to kill their prey.
  • Once they successfully hunt, they need to make sure that they eat their food quickly to prevent scavengers from getting hold of it. Jackals, vultures, leopards, lions, and hyenas often take away their kills.

Below are some of the images taken by Warren Jacobs recently while on safari. 

 


Spiny Flower Mantis

A visit to Makanyi Lodge will leave you wanting more as you never know when the next unforgettable sighting /  photographic opportunity will happen. While walking around the lodge our GM, Rico, spotted this beautiful Spiny Flower Mantis close to reception. It is such a beautiful insect that we thought we would share some interesting facts with you as well as some beautiful images captured:

Some interesting facts about a spiny flower mantis:

  • This tiny insect measures between 2.5cm to 5cm (1-2 inches) and is native to Southern and Eastern Africa.
  • When they're first born, they are mostly black and look almost like ants.
  • It takes seven molts for a female to reach maturity, and six molts for males.
  • When threatened, the insects raise their forewings, which makes them look like a much larger insect.
  • Instead of searching for prey, they prefer to "snatch" its meals—usually pollinating insects—from the air.
  • Like other mantis species, the Spiny Flower Mantis is cannibalistic. It's the males who have the most to fear


Marks marriage proposal to Melanie

We had the privilege of hosting a wonderful group of guests here at Makanyi Lodge, however, there was a big surprise for one of them. As the guests headed out for their afternoon safari the team got into action to ensure that everything was perfect for the proposal. They arrived at a beautiful set up where Mark played a beautiful song and got down on one knee and asked Melanie to be his wife to which she replied YES! The team would like to wish them a long, happy and blessed marriage. Below are a few of the magical moments captured by Kimberley Byars:


World Frog Day in 2018

Frogs are important and sadly they do not get enough recognition. Save The Frogs Day aims to raise awareness about these wonderful amphibians and everything they do for us.

Unfortunately, frogs are endangered, the number of frogs has been decreasing since the 1950's. It has been believed that over a hundred species of frogs have vanished from the world just since the 80’s! Save The Frogs Day works to raise awareness about the dangers they face, and the repercussions of living in a world without frogs.

How to Celebrate Frog Day:

The first thing you can do is find out what kind of frogs live in your area, and what kind of danger they may face. Once you have obtained this information you can then share it with neighbors, and friends to try to learn more about them and how your community benefits from them and how you can ensure they thrive.

Below are some interesting facts about frogs:

  • A person who studies amphibians is known as a batrachologist.
  • Amphibians are found on all continents except Antarctica. Although they prefer warm, moist areas, there are some species, e.g. the Desert Rain Frog, that have adapted to life in deserts.
  • South Africa’s largest frog is the Giant Bullfrog.
  • The smallest is the Northern Moss Frog found only in the Groot Winterhoek Mountains in the Western Cape.
  • The world’s largest frog is the Goliath Frog which lives in Western Africa. They can grow to be over 30 cm long, and weigh over 3 kg.
  • The world’s smallest frog is Paedophryne amanuensis that’s found in New Guinea. At just 7.7mm long it’s said to be the smallest of all known vertebrates.
  • Not all frogs have tadpoles. Many terrestrial frog species emerge as froglets directly from the egg. Paedophryne amanuensis is one such species, as is the Bush Squeaker of KwaZulu-Natal that lays its eggs in moist leaf litter. About four weeks later, the fully metamorphosed froglets emerge. Similarly, all Rain Frog species in South Africa complete metamorphosis in an underground nest. A good reason not to rake, dig or use a leaf blower!

Images captured by Warren Jacobs.


A wine tasting sundowner stop

It was that time of day again when guests excitedly left for their sunset safari through the African landscape. After getting up close and personal with some amazing wildlife encounters they arrived at a spot and were pleasantly surprised at the set up of award-winning South African wines to which they could indulge in while watching the African sun set behind the magnificent Drakensberg mountain range. Some of the wines included:

La Vierge | La Vierge The Affair Pinot Noir ~ The Affair Pinot Noir is a refined style of Pinot Noir showcasing the love affair between the soft, feminine side of Pinot, being the floral notes, hints of spice and silkiness; and the masculine linear strength of the tannins, hints of oak and brooding dark forest floor aromas. The palate is both silky and textured, displaying a lovely roundness as well as soft, integrated tannins and length.

Mourvèdre Rosé ~ An elegant dry wine of a sophisticated salmon colour and delicious hints of raspberries and rose petals. A sip leads to a delightful discovery of creamy strawberry yogurt, the sweet airiness of candy-floss and a subtle punch of acidity.

First Light Chenin Blanc ~ The nose is complex with aromas of apricots, pears, limes, oranges and litchi with undertones of almonds and fynbos bring a savoury element. The palate is fresh and limey with a zesty acidity. A gentle spice and light lees character brings length and polishes the palate off.

Alvi’s Drift RESERVE DRIFT FUSION ~ It is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinotage. AD Drift Fusion is a classic cape blend is full of ripe blackberries, mulberries and plums, integrated with vanilla and cashew nut characters through careful oak maturation. A perfect partner for red meat, game, duck and mature cheeses. This wine will continue to improve with age for 5-8 years.

To accompany the wine our talented chefs made sure that there were some delicious light snacks for our guests to enjoy while sipping away. Below are some the moments captured:


Makanyi Lodge made the 2017 Condé Nast Readers Choice Award for the second year running.

WIth more than 300,000 travelers took part in 30th annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey—setting yet another new record—submitting millions of ratings and more than 100,000 comments to help them create a list of winning favorites. We are delighted that Makanyi Lodge was voted the 21st top resorts and safari camps in Africa. We would like to thank all our guests that voted for us, your support is greatly appreciated.


Adorable 3 week old wild dog pups pop out

We have been fortunate to have a pack of wild dogs (which is currently the second most endangered mammals in Africa) den close to the lodge. This has resulted in us spending most days getting to know the pack as we encounter them on a daily basis while out on safari. On one particular day, we had new guests arrive at the lodge and they had never seen wild dogs before. We knew we would see them during their stay but decided to start off their safari with a bang and headed to the den to see if there was any activity. Upon arrival, our guests were delighted to see the pack and we spent some time watching and talking about these beautiful creatures that were lying around under the shade and having an afternoon siesta. After some time viewing them we were about to head off in search of other animals when one of the adults emerged from the shade and headed to the den. After making a few noises in the den, 7 of the most beautiful (roughly 3-weeks old) wild dog pups made their appearance and interacted with each other and started to suckle on mom before heading back down the hole. Needless to say that the rest of the game drive we spoke about this unforgettable sighting and the amazing images we all managed to capture.

Below are some of the images as well as a video of the special sighting:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSqJxdVmRKo