Posted by: gardner310 | March 17, 2009

Thanda Private Game Lodge

Thanda Lodge

This place is over the top.  My room is a building!  It goes on forever and I am here as a single.  The Lodge has 9 buildings (rooms) and I was in #8.  You cannot walk alone between the lodge and your room in the evening because the resort is not fenced.  Thanda is a private fenced reserve of about 7ooo hectares.  This is a small reserve at the moment but they have plans to add more land over the ext few years.  Compare this to Kruger Park, the most well known park, which is bigger than Switzerland.   9 rooms, 3 vehicles and the park all to ourselves, it doesn’t get better than that.    No crowds at the sightings and plenty of opportunities for photos and just staring at the animals

As usual it took hours of driving and another flat tire before Monika and I arrived but we make it for tea prior to the game drive.  Game drives depart at 430pm and you are out for between 3-4 hours,

Thanda Lodge Bedroom Section

Thanda Lodge Bedroom Section

 depending on your luck.  I discovered I brought all the wrong clothes.  I could have left most of the shorts and short-sleeved shirts at home and substituted another pair of long pants and a few more long sleeve shirts plus a heavier windbreaker.  It is cold at 7pm and at 530am!

 

Ben was our guide and Nbeki was our tracker.  We got off to a good start with impala, zebras, white rhinos, giraffe, birds, warthog, wildebeest and even a leopard turtle (one of the Small five).  The experience of actually tracking lions and then driving through the bush to get next to a Cape buffalo or a rhino is breathtaking. 

Once you do a game drive I can see that the local zoo will have less appeal.  Ben and his wife are both guides at the resort and he was very knowledgeable about the area and the animals and photography.  We were 4 in the land rover and our companion had a camera with a huge lens that was new.  Ben was great about giving him tips on ISO and F stops so I poached some information to use on my new video/still shot camera.  It is my belated Christmas that Michael does not know he is buying me yet.  Made it much easier to get photos in low light at the end of the drive.

Dinner was in the boma with the staff providing the entertainment, Zulu singing and dancing.   A boma is an outdoor location where people gather to eat and socialize.  The food is what is served at a traditional South African braii or barbeque.  We had impala, crocodile brochettes and warthog sausages plus vegetable sides.  I ate it all.

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