You might be wondering what type of animal vacates in mountains and trees or what Tshwene means… baboon! But it was rather a klipspringer pair, that occupied the surrounds during our stay and could be spotted at the watering hole from the viewing deck or from one’s private couple’s suite, adding to the romantic mood of the weekend.
Safari lodgers never miss sunrise or sunset, as it is always an opportunistic time to see the wilderness and wildlife at its best (and for me to photograph it). But also to acknowledge the beginning and end of day, to dream and reflect – accompanied with tea or coffee before breakfast and sundowners before dinner in the middle of the bush, or in the privacy of you couple’s suite or communal lodge areas such as the viewing deck. The beauty of Welgevonden’s wilderness and wildlife can be experienced wherever you are and whatever mood you are in.
It is always an exciting time to visit the bush during the different seasons and life-cycles. Towards the end of winter and brink of spring we witnessed flourishing wilderness, abundant wildlife, the Big Five and new arrivals. Apart from spotting regular game on safari game drives (Zebra, Wildebeest, Waterbuck, Giraffe, Crocodile, Hippo and so on) we were fortunate to see three sets of baby and mother rhino and learn about Welgevonden Game Reserve and their great anti-poaching efforts to keep the endangered safe.
Of course there is instant access to wifi in main areas of lodge but I always prefer a wifi detox on game drives. I enjoy taking photographs on safari game drives as much as sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea whilst browsing one of the many African wildlife photography books of the lodge’s collection – making comparisons and taking notes.
During the day (or between safari game drives), on my way back and forth to the suite, as the clouds brushed over and returned, I changed from trousers to shorts, from book to camera, depending on the weather and if an animal was passing through. Unable to capture a sunrise or sunset I focused my camera’s gaze and aperture settings at the different shades and ombre of red, orange, yellow and green tree leaves on the scenic pathway from lodge to suite – as the sun came and went. At this time I realised how the wooden and rock suites are reflective of the natural beauty and elements of the surroundings, existing in harmony. Every morning I woke up in our gorgeous couple’s suite – in a canopy of trees and elevated on a mountain – with an Ernest Hemingway Africa quote in mind, ” I never knew a morning in Africa when I was not happy”.
At night time, a bubble bath with candles and Healing Earth is a relaxing way to end the day and prepare for a candle-lit dinner next to a chimney-lit fire (option to dine separately from other guests). Of all the romantic things to experience on a bush breaks (from sunrise to sunset, as well as unfenced wilderness and wildlife), my safari partner and I love lying on pool deck chairs, looking at a full sky of stars – something you don’t see everyday.
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