Hot air balloon trips (which we organise at the Vuyani Safari Lodge) have become extremely popular with honeymooners. No surprise there, for it is a breathtaking way of both seeing the stunning Kruger National Park area as well as the famous Drakensberg from its most impressive and, admittedly, romantic side.
The mountain range, basking in the red/pink morning sunrise light, offers a spectacle that is so overwhelmingly unique that it is assured to leave anyone with lasting memories.
The flight pilots are also great entertainers and one learns a lot about hot air ballooning in general. We recommend to enjoy breakfast at the hot air ballooning operators' own lodge: the hanging bridge to get to the lodge is surprising, and their breakfast are excellent. A great way of relaxing after an exciting balloon flight!
We highly recommend these balloon trips as the perfect complement to an exciting safari holiday experience at the Vuyani Safari Lodge.
Bernard - Vuyani Safari Lodge
Yesterday morning we woke up to an overcast grey sky. The temperature was sort of mild and we headed out on morning safari to see what we could find. Not long into the safari drive we came across some very fresh signs of the elephants and proceeded to follow up on them. It didn’t take long and we came across them huddled all together in a thicket munching away at a huge raisin bush. Enjoying the stationary sighting with them for about a half an hour or so, we left them to their ways and headed off to see what else we could see. It wasn’t long after that, at around 08h00, that the wind picked up, dust was flying about and tiny little whirl winds were scooping leaves and small bits of debris up into the sky. Brrrr it was getting cold ...
Carrying on with the safari drive we saw some Giraffe, Wildebeest, Impala and other general game species. Around 09h30 we headed back to the camp for a hot cup of coffee and some breakfast.
Yesterday we had a full lodge guest turnover, saying goodbye to the Pietsch family of 5 as well as Leo, Grace, Debra, Chelsey, Paul and Beth. Thanks Brooke, was great to have you around again and to meet the kids. Great week we had with you all of you and look forward to seeing you all soon for your next safari holiday! We then welcomed the Sonnetti Family back to Vuyani lodge who brought four of their friends from Luxembourg with them.
It started raining last night here on the reserve at around 05h30 and hasn’t stopped yet. We have had around 8mm of rain so far and counting. A long soaking rain which will be really good for the growth of new plants. Just really strange to be having rain at this time of year as the rainy season starts usually around late October. We do welcome it though with open arms as it will help to dampen the amount of dust we have been eating lately.
One pleasant morning, after we picked up our new guests Sandy and Katy from the airport, we saw a baby giraffe just through the Main Gate of the Reserve. The little guy was probably only a few months old and as he stood there looking very confused and dazed, we had a look around but could not see his mother anywhere nearby. Although, he was frightened, his natural instincts kept him in the same spot to wait for his mother to return. Later that day, we spotted a large, female giraffe standing high up on a termite mound. We figured it was the mother looking for her little one.
The next day Erich and the guests spotted the two giraffes together. Mother and baby were re- united again and could go on with their daily lives doing what giraffes do best, eating!
It was an awesome example of how nature ran its course.
Arran and Erich
On the 31st July we set out for our afternoon drive in windy conditions. We weren’t expecting to see much because of the blustery weather, but we were very wrong. We knew that for the last few days the lions had been in the area and we even heard them roar on the previous night safari. About 30 minutes into the drive we found some fresh, male lion tracks leading us into the old cotton fields. We also found relatively fresh female lion tracks leaving the old cotton fields, but we knew the males must still be in the area as we did not see any of their tracks leaving.
We would have to wait until nightfall if we wanted to see them, so we left and found a nice open area to enjoy our sundowners and watch the sunset. We finished our drinks, and then made our way back in the direction of the cotton fields, hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive lions. As we were moving the spotlight from side to side, looking for them we saw two teddy bear like ears peeking over a small embankment. We knew they were the unmistakable ears of a lion. We had to go off road a bit in their direction trying to make as little noise as possible without scaring them off. They were actually very relaxed and just lay there watching us. We stopped a few meters from the three males lying there next to each other with their bellies very full. We sat there and just watched them sleeping and interacting with each other. They eventually moved off after about half an hour, when they had had enough of us. What a wonderful ending to a night safari.
Arran and Warren
The Vuyani Lodge Team would like to congratulate Bernard and Beth (Neville) Koppes on the their recent marriage on Saturday the 30 of July. We wish them the most prosperous and loving future together as husband and wife. Kinders by dosyne!!
Henry, Quinton, Yolande and the rest of the Vuyani Lodge Team