10 June 2020
Welcome to my weekly blog!
I must start off by saying how much I miss all our visitors and guests. I didn’t realize how much life you all bring into Inkwenkwezi, as a whole, until we had to lock-down and life as we knew it ended!
I miss all the smiling faces and the excited chatter as my guests anxiously wait to depart on a game drive or to head off to our accommodation lodge. And that’s not even to mention the throngs of happy faces that arrive at the Inkwenkwezi restaurant every Sunday – ready for a feast!
Mmmm, I often think of the heavenly butternut soup – ooh and the smell of freshly baked bread – and the roasts, veggies and CRUMBED CHICKEN STRIPS – OK, now I’m just making myself hungry!
These are all aspects of our normal daily life at Inkwenkwezi that we sometimes take for granted, I didn’t realize how much of an impact it makes until we locked down and suddenly I was sitting on four and a half thousand hectares of beautiful reserve wondering when I will be able to greet my next guests and share it all with them again.
Luckily, there are many tasks keeping us busy and helping us to stay sane during this difficult time; checking on the animals and the reserve in general, doing maintenance etc.
One of my favourite things has been to go out on a solo Game Drive or hike and take photos of my sightings, animals and interesting plants, that I have then shared on all our social media platforms; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumbler. It’s been my way to give you a daily dose of the beauty that the reserve has to offer – that you can enjoy from the comfort and safety of your own home. (Until you are able to come back and experience it for yourselves again!)
Another thing that has really been different and exciting is making short YouTube videos of our Umtiza Forest Trail and some short game drive videos. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4Pc45oMl-pew2KNaFcY_OQ
To be perfectly honest with you, the first time Willem helped me film my introduction, we must have had to re-do it over fifty times. I really struggled to talk into the camera, it felt sooo awkward. And now when we go out filming, we almost never have to re-do anything, which is great, it comes naturally and I’m having a blast doing it! For those of you who don’t know, Willem is my fiancé, we are both Rangers at Inkwenkwezi and are inseparable which is why we do the videos together.
You may also have seen the videos that I have put together with the footage from one of the Inkwenkwezi’s trail cameras. Checking on this footage is incredibly exciting! You never know what animals may have passed by, so every time that I look through the footage I am literally on the edge of my seat waiting in anticipation for an elusive Leopard photo, or the rare photo of a Spotted Genet amongst many other things.
That is the one thing about a Game Reserve, everything is always changing. There is never a guarantee that you WILL see a certain animal, as they are always moving around and going about their normal day to day survival. They really couldn’t care less that we want them to stand out in the open so we can get those NatGeo photographs of them. (Although, we all wish they would.) Even now when I go out taking photos, even though I may be the only one out on the reserve in a vehicle there are some days where I might see a total of about forty animals driving around the whole day and most of them are impala! But then I have days where in the first two hours I will see over two hundred animals comprising of loads of different species. You always need to keep an open mind, keep your expectations to a minimal and appreciate the little things as well.
I hope you all enjoyed my first blog, I look forward to chatting to you all again next week.
Stay safe and I hope to see you all soon.