Tag Archives: Madikwe Safari Lodge

“Mud, mud, glorious mud!”

This was certainly the case at Madikwe Game Reserve last week. In a show of sympathy for all those devastated by recent floods around the world, Johannesburg and surroundings have been drenched in downpours over the past while. Madikwe is a mere 3-odd hours’ drive from here, and seems to have shared in the rain too.

Luckily for us, we sneaked into a window of great weather and had the BEST time. Well, probably not better than the African Wild Dogs, who made a meal of the left-over puddles:


AFRICAN WILD DOG wallowing in mud – Madikwe Game Reserve, SA


AFRICAN WILD DOGS cavorting in the road – Madikwe Game Reserve, SA

It wasn’t all rosy, though, like one morning when a Landcruiser got stuck in the mud πŸ˜€ Our ranger saved the day, so we witnessed the good deed:


LANDCRUISER stuck in the mud – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


BUSH RESCUE – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

This was the reason for venturing off-road, which caused it all – understandable really!


TRACKS UNDERWATER – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

Later, we struck it lucky, courtesy of more puddles, when two lionesses squatted to drink right beside our vehicle. Tell me it gets any better than this!


LIONESSES drinking – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

There was more magic in store, thanks to the rain. The pan was a sea of yellow flowers:


RHINO & ELEPHANT in a sea of yellow flowers – Madikwe Game Reserve, SA

This is our head-ranger mate, Marc (of my previous post fame ;-)), getting down low with his Nikon. Don’t you just love it?


MARC LINDSAY-RAE in action – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

As you can imagine, we had plenty to talk about at the gourmet dinner every evening:


MADIKWE SAFARI LODGE dining area – Madikwe Game Reserve, SA

I could carry on, but instead here are links to my Facebook albums, which tell a lot more: Handful of Highlights – MADIKWE, Jan 2011 Playing on the Pan – MADIKWE, Jan 2011

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A gift that keeps on giving…

Big thanks to the lovely ladies at Well Designed Journeys for featuring a two-post interview with Dave on their beautiful blog, sharing his advice on wildlife photography: Wildlife Photography Tips for Travelers on Safari: Interview with Dave Estment and Wildlife Photography Tips for Travelers on Safari: Part II

This passion has blessed us with countless incredible trips into the African bushveld. It’s one of those gifts that keeps on giving. In fact, we’re off to Madikwe Safari Lodge again tomorrow, courtesy of their head ranger, Marc Lindsay-Rae – a fabulous friend and fellow photographer, who has just won the 2010 Africa Geographic/Canon Photo Competition for rangers and safari guides (with an awesome shot of a mother and calf black rhino charging him). Way to go, Marc! Here he is, with his winning photo (for the month and year):


MARC LINDSAY-RAE with his winning wildlife photo!

For those who don’t know, black rhino’s are endangered, which makes that pic all the more exceptional. We were treated on a previous visit to Madikwe to a spectacular sighting of three together, and a pack of endangered wild dogs on the hunt. It was too dark for decent photo’s, but regular readers of this blog will have seen plenty more wildlife pics in the past. Some stunning ones of Dave’s are included in those two posts at Well Designed Journeys, and here are a few other highlights just for fun:


AMARULA HOT CHOCOLATE – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


MORNING BREAKING – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


BREAKFAST FOR TWO – Madikwe Safari Lodge, South Africa


MARC, CLAIRE & GREG ENJOYING SUNDOWNERS – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


AFRICAN SUNSET – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


HEAVENLY SUITE – Madikwe Safari Lodge, South Africa

. . . and a quote from another photographer (as well as actor, artist and writer):

β€œI have never been in a natural place and felt that was a waste of time. I never have. And it’s a relief. If I’m walking around a desert or whatever, every second is worthwhile.” – Viggo Mortensen

Wishing you all a wonderful few days, until we return with more wild magic to entice you to visit the bush soon too πŸ™‚

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Pending Trip of a Lifetime with Hills of Africa Travel!

Soul Safari 2009
Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

‘Thank you, Amy, for your excellent suggestion!’ Because of it, we’ve become a group within a group. Threaded together through our shared passion for photography, we’re allocated our own vehicle. Oh, the lush abandon of unreserved agreement to linger with wildness! Indulgence permeates our journey like French perfume. We’ve barely left the lodge when we spot our first subject. My heartbeat accelerates. This is unusual. Sitting a seat away from Dave, I feel his same response. All hands on board close around cameras.

The Martial Eagle rests on a bare branch, eyeing our every move. Marc manoevres the Land Cruiser so that the sun bathes our backs. A flurry of whispered questions fires from the back, fielded by him and Dave in the front. Brand experts both, they support Canon and Nikon respectively. Not that the raptor cares. It perches just long enough to allow an explosion of shutter clicks, like popcorn passing its eruption point. Huge wings unfurl for a preliminary hop. Then with a mighty flap, the bird is airborne, becoming a small speck on a distant tree. Never to be erased from memory, digital or otherwise.


MARTIAL EAGLE ABOUT TO TAKE OFF – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


MARTIAL EAGLE ABOUT TO TAKE OFF – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


MARTIAL EAGLE IN FLIGHT – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa


MARTIAL EAGLE IN FLIGHT – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

Here’s the group of photographers, brilliantly guided by Marc, with Dave fooling around! Amy is the lovely lady second from right πŸ™‚


PHOTOGRAPHERS – Soul Safari 2009, Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

. . . and the whole happy tribe!


SOUL SAFARI 2009 – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

That raptor sighting was one of countless magical moments on Hills of Africa Travel’s Soul Safari 2009, with Oprah-featured psychic, Ainslie MacLeod. Dave and I were fortunate to be the official photographers, documenting what was truly a trip of a lifetime. Perhaps this video clip of Day 3 explains it more fully, starting with the eagle taking off:

NOW FOR THE GREAT NEWS: Our friends at Hills of Africa are planning another dream adventure for Sep-Oct 2011, also including Madikwe and Cape Town. This one will feature personal participation with Dr. Jonathan Ellerby, the ‘Spiritual Program Director for the acclaimed Canyon Ranch Health Resorts and an esteemed expert of holistic healing, spiritual counseling, and integrative medicine’. Read about all the AWESOME details here: Awakening Inspiration Safari – with our heart-felt recommendation!

To summarize in Dr Ellerby’s words: β€œAt the end of this amazing safari, participants will be culturally enriched and spiritually inspired to live a life they love.”

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More Madikwe Magic

Our recent return to &Beyond‘s Madikwe Safari Lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve was a total treat. It’s impossible to convey the full extent of the magic with only a few photo’s, so for many more highlights, have a look at my Facebook album: Madikwe – June 2010

To kick off with, here’s a pic taken in the early morning at one of the dams.

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Nature’s Art

SO much to be grateful for today, starting with the exquisite view when we awoke. Here’s a sliver of Autumn art on one of the trees that we gaze at from our bed:

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Hills of Africa Travel – 2010 Soul Safari Transformation!

This is a sincere shout-out to Sandy Salle and Meredith Hill of Hills of Africa Travel, for planning the best travel to Africa!! Based in Huntersville (North Carolina, USA), they bring visitors on exclusive, tailored trips. Dave and I were … Continue reading

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Settling in after “Soul Safari”…

It’s great to be back home and settling in again after our phenomenal “Soul Safari” with Hills of Africa Travel. What an AWESOME trip it was, from the stunning venues, five-star accomodation and food, exceptional wildlife and cultural experiences…to the ten-star group of fantastic new friends!!

Our sincere thanks again to Sandy and Meredith for including us as the photographers, to Ainslie MacLeod (author of The Instruction: Living the Life Your Soul Intended) for the insight he shared, to our exceptional hosts at Madikwe Safari Lodge and in Cape Town, and to the rest of our fabulous fellow travellers, from all over the USA and Canada. It’s been a privilege and a pleasure getting to know each of them, and witnessing their delight in a first trip to Africa πŸ™‚

The journey involved far too much on too many levels to summarize in a blog post, so instead I’ll include a group photo from Madikwe Game Reserve and one from Cape Point, as tiny representation of our two destinations, which so beautifully encompass the themes for my two novels, the African bushveld and the Sea, respectively.

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SOUL SAFARI 2009 – Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

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SOUL SAFARI 2009 – Cape Point Nature Reserve, Cape Town, South Africa

Now it’s all about processing…hundreds of images and hours of video footage…what a wonderful way to relive an amazing adventure!!

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Synchronicity

Through a sequence of synchronicity, Dave and I are delighted to be joining Hills of Africa on their phenomenal “Soul Safari” in South Africa next month, as the official photographers. This is a 9-day internal and external journey with celebrated … Continue reading

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