For the past 18 years of my life in and out of the bush, I have been fervently searching for a jewel, and at last I have found one. It was late Friday afternoon when we were heading into a valley, south of the Taaibos River. Our attention was fixed on a cheetah female that we had not seen for some time and had been sighted about 10 minutes away from where we were. This is the female cheetah we featured in April this year on our blog. Her cubs left her on the evening of the 27th of June and became independent, and we have not seen her since then, although her cubs have been sighted regularly. I was keen to see how she was and if she was showing any signs of new cubs being born. But, I digress.
Makweti Safari Lodge has been proud to sponsor two very worthy charities over the recent months. These charities are close to our hearts and we know that every bit of support – no matter how big or small – has an impact.
It’s October 2016 and Jessica and I are sitting in our small rental apartment in Northern Johannesburg wondering why on earth we had decided to give the “big city” a try after so many years of living and enjoying the bush and game lodge environment.
We had been working in lodges and boutique hotels for 15 – 18 years, and had come to the realisation that we were definitely not “city people”.
There’s something incredibly exciting about a meal prepared in a tagine. It feels authentically African. This method of cooking originated in the Maghreb region of Africa, along the Mediterranean Sea coastline in the far North-West of our continent. Countries like Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya are all known to infuse ingredients together like this in a tagine, creating an amalgamation of flavour that is second to none. Of course, Chef Phillip has replicated this method of cooking in his own way, bringing to life the Makweti Chicken Tagine. If you don’t have a tagine, you can make it in a regular casserole dish.
We are privileged to live in such an amazing environment and are reminded of this daily. Makweti Safari Lodge is not only home to our incredible team and a home-away-from-home for our guests, but we also share this space with several resident camp creatures.
On occasions at night whilst heading back to the rooms, guests will catch a glimpse of the shy Jameson’s Red Rock Rabbit, which lives amongst the rocks and boulders of the camp and surrounding hillside. Like the other species of the Lagomorph Order of Mammals (Rabbits and Hares), they are mostly nocturnal, although not exclusively.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; the people of Makweti Safari Lodge are a huge contributing factor as to why guests come back time and again. We are so fortunate to have an incredible, dedicated and passionate team, even if they eventually do move on to other ventures.
Kevin Holroyd was one such person. He worked at Makweti many moons ago as a safari guide and lodge manager; in fact, it was where he began his career. He has always looked back fondly on those times, so we asked him to write an account of his experiences on the Welgevonden Reserve and at Makweti Safari Lodge.
One of our guests had this breakfast at Makweti Safari Lodge last month, and made a special request for the recipe. Since we are in the habit of sharing Chef Phillip’s culinary secrets, we decided to make this delectable breakfast our focus this month for the benefit of everyone!
Get your own taste of the Makweti magic by making this at home. We’d love to hear how it turns out so connect with us on our Instagram page for more recipes and interesting bushveld anecdotes.
Many guests are tempted to skip the morning drive and have the proverbial ‘lie in’, but few are willing to forego it in fear of missing out on whatever may be seen. Two days ago, one of our guests decided to skip the morning drive, but in doing so was fortunate enough to witness a cheetah kill, a mere three meters below the deck of their pool!
Very few (if any) of our guests are aware of the “behind the scenes” activity that takes place as we while away the day or night in camp. There is so much activity that we miss and are unaware of.
Ever since I started guiding and conducting trails, I have been fascinated with the precision, commitment and consistency that the shy and seldom seen Brown Hyena goes about during its daily routine. Brown Hyena lead very secretive lives, which we hardly ever get to witness. Often, we will happen upon signs of their activity all over the Welgevonden Reserve, indicating just how active they are.
Richard Moyo was born in Salima, a small town in Malawi close to Lake Malawi. It’s a good 1730km’s from Makweti, so he is far from his birthplace, but fortunately Makweti is now his home away from home and we are so lucky to have him as part of our family! Richard is used to being part of a big family, coming from eight siblings consisting of him, his three brothers and four sisters. It was with them that he found his love for the bush.