Safari Experience: Day 2

On the second day aka final day, finally we have got the opportunity for a bush walk. Bush walk means walk around the wilderness which belongs to the animal kingdom. This activity is not possible if you pay for your own game drive inside the Kruger National Park unless it is privately run. In this case, our morning bush walk is guided by rangers of Tshukudu Lodge.

The first stop is for Mtombi, a female cheetah. Luckily she is resting.

A chance to pat/touch a cheetah Such a great experience. No, she is not sedated, she is not tame or been domesticated, she is actually wild, however she is friendly towards human. 
I also had the opportunity to feed Mtombi with water. 
Mtombi even followed us for the bush walk. You could notice that there is a belt on her neck. That is an electronic tag as a research and wildlife protection purpose.
This is Wildebeest even though it looks like a buffalo, an African Buffalo is actually much bigger in size.
Next we have managed to catch a sighting of a mother Rhinoceros and a 2 months old baby rhinoceros. Ever wonder why these two rhinos have lost its horns? it is not due to illegal poaching, instead, it is a measure against illegal poachers. Illegal poachers will kill the rhinoceros at night and the rate of poaching has been increasing exponentially. One of the best way is to ‘dehorn’ the rhinoceros. The horns will fully grow back in two years time. The horns on the other hand will just be kept in the national vault and will not be sold off. Even so, SANParks (in charge of managing South Africa National Parks) will have to pay the national vault which is a waste of money as keeping or having possession of rhinoceros horns is against the law. Another suggestion from the rangers is to legalise the sales. Through the sales, the money can be used back for education and to work out the task force against illegal poachers. The price of the horn can also be reduced in order to fight against high price demanded by illegal poachers. At the same time, some parts of the Kruger National Park are already purchasing and using sentry guns in replacing rangers who have to risk their life at night patrolling against the illegal poachers.

Remember the tiger cubs we discovered on the first day night? We have managed to go back to the place they were in yesterday. On the right hand side you could see a 2 months old tiger cub resting with its dad, the King of the Pride Lands guarding on the left.

As we got nearer (on the truck instead of bush walk), the lion decided to take a sunbathing nap. Wild animals are usually active at night.
Back to the lodge, we decided to visit the luxury lodge section. To our surprise, there was another cheetah at the entrance. Yes this is real. It is not a statue. The name’s Hunter, one of the brothers of Mtombi. Some visitors might get freaked out actually. haha 
Meet Floppy the other brother of Mtombi
you can actually go near him and pat him without any problems. One of our friends managed to make it yawn as well. 
The two brothers together at the lodge area. Only one of them is tagged because they are always together
You must be wondering why are the three cheetahs acted so friendly towards humans? Tshukudu Lodge is also famous for animal rehabilitation. Rehabilitation does not mean that those three cheetahs were brought from the zoo. They were part of the Tshukudu Lodge. Years back, three of them, Mtombi, Floppy and Hunter were discovered as 3 helpless cubs after their mother has been killed by a lion. The Sussens family (the owner of Tshukudu Lodge) brought them back and took good care of them. They grew up and hunt in the wild but occasionally they will just return back to the lodge for a visit or for a rest. At times due to hot weather, they will just hop into an empty room to cool themselves down. There were some incidents whereby, a Dutch couple got freaked out when they saw a cheetah in their room upon checking in. haha. Just a word of caution, babies or infants are not allowed to be near to the cheetahs as they will think the infant or baby as a food due to its small size.

a photo of the Floppy and Hunter during their chubby time 😀
And so at night, our usual activity, gathered around fire while enjoying wine in the cold winter night.
finally for an avid stargazer and photographer, you can try capturing the star trail. Tripod and remote control are highly necessary. Set your camera to a manual and bulb mode. ISO is to be set at lowest possible. By using bulb mode, try at least 30 minutes of exposure time. Be sure to use a power supply or fully charged battery as the 30 minutes exposure time will drain the battery by 50%

That’s all for now. You can also visit Tshukudu Lodge’s website for more information about their wildlife and daily diary at http://www.tshukudubushcamp.co.za/ or http://www.tshukudulodge.co.za.

6 thoughts on “Safari Experience: Day 2

  1. Shirley Tay

    OMG, you’re so lucky to visit the safari! During my pregnancy, my team of crew got to visit Johannesburg & went to a safari. I was green with envy! It was a chartered airline that I joined after I left SIA. Region Air is no longer around, but most of the crew were ex-SIA married with kids.

  2. Diana Diane Teo

    Introduce to me your friend next time if I make my way to SA… Hiak hiak..Never thought u can go so nearer to the cheetah. I also want! They looked so adorable and chubby when they were young.