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Fair well but not goodbye

A flower I have not seen before. It looks to be an orchid of sorts. If anyone can help with the id please do!


Hi everyone!

 I finally managed to get out on drive a couple of days ago and yesterday and was hoping to have some pictures of the queen herself, but sadly she is playing hide and seek! Karula and the kids were seen down by room 8 yesterday by the staff, but by the time I could go down and look for them, the royal family of Djuma had vanished!

Carmine bee-eater. First time I have seen one at Djuma!

There is some interesting news though I had from a couple of viewers who I joined on drive on Sunday. They saw Xivindzi with her father Yambilu-Jordaan down on the other side of Gowrie dam on Sunday morning! I wonder where Karula and her son were and wish I could have seen them before I left!

The Mluwati viewing from Gowrie Main

I did go and visit the hyena den, but there was no one at home, although Pete says he saw a young hyena close to camp as he came in last night. I think they have been hanging around lately because every so often I find tracks out side on my own beach outside my room! (Oh yes, I forgot to tell you I had a river bed outside my room when I arrived back, from all the sand washing through camp!)

The river bed opposite twin dams, it is now a beach!

The lions have been active lately. We heard a couple of lions calling all through the night last night to the north of camp, who must have been the 2 Nkuhuma females that have been seen over the last couple of days and 8 of the Styx were seen at Arathusa airstrip this morning! Only 4 lionesses remained in the pride after the Majingilanes are thought to have reduced their number for reasons only known to them. I am not sure the how many of the 8 were adults and cubs but it is great to hear they are further north than Mala Mala, which is where they have been for many months now.

The younger of the 2 ladies. Notice the pink on her nose!

The Nkuhuma ladies were looking well, if not a little scarred, when I saw them Sunday evening. One is extremely pregnant, due to pop very soon! What made the sighting even more wonderful was the approach of 2 rhino (which is why I didn’t want to say where we saw the lions!) One of whom was a male we saw from the crash of 6.  The old bull who had what looked to be a very uncomfortable and peculiar swelling between his legs.

Our bull rhino

I am sure you will remember him if you have met him before! They were extremely weary, which I am not surprised about as one of the tawny cats had just toileted and believe me even I could smell it!

The elder of the 2 Nkuhuma lionesses

It took a while for the lionesses to notice the onlookers but both parties after checking the other was not going to suddenly charge, were unfazed by the other’s presence and the 2 ton heavyweights continued on their way after having a little tiff between themselves, leaving the ladies to doze a while longer!

Female telling our bull to keep his distance!

I did see the Gowrie gang very briefly again. They seem to be keeping a low profile and they are just too quick for me to get a snap shot of them! I did how ever get a nice one of the young giraffe who was out on the open area. I would say roughly around 2 years old.

 I thought I would add a few pictures in to show you the transformation of some of the Milowathi river bed and other areas. Most of the roads are drying out. Tree house dam was unchanged and I have heard Buffleshoek dam is still in tact. I think the most amazing sight is baboon pan which is now being nicknamed baboon dam!

Baboon pan, aka baboon dam! Notice the road going in!

Phillamon's dip at the pump house.

This is going to be my last blog for a while from Djuma. I do hope to return to check in from time to time on our favourite animals. While I am away I will be handing the reins over to Jaco and Texan and I for one look forward to seeing their blogs. (They have been briefed on who especially you would like to hear about as well as all the goings on in the reserve!)

Spaghetti junction, looking towards vultures nest. The tree blocks the road on the left of the frame.

Take care everyone, thank you for reading and until next time, keep smiling, people will wonder what you are up too! I will leave you with one of my favourite moments, not the best picture but to have all the family in one shot was very special!

From left to right: Karula, Xivindzi, Xivambalana, Yambilu-Jordaan.

 Written by Tara

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22 Responses to Fair well but not goodbye

  1. Tinker January 31, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    Is there an article with the Headline? 🙁 Sounds like a sad article in any event. Hope are are hang’n in there in SA.

  2. UK_David January 31, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    Any chance a a few photos showing what Gowrie dam is looking like these days?

  3. Christine Parker January 31, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    Thanks for the update Tara, glad to hear about all the animals I came to love…….missing the safari ……Take care until next time.

  4. Lori Schwartz January 31, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    Thank you Tara, I miss the Safari so much. It was nice to get a taste of it from you. Stay well.

  5. Flo January 31, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    Hope we all hear from you soon. Missing you and the gang everyday.
    Good luck and hurry back.

  6. AnnieUK January 31, 2012 at 3:19 pm #


    Thanks so much for the update.
    We will all be hoping things go well for you, and Djuma and all, and we will all have to be so patient!
    Bye for now…

  7. Gayle Cook January 31, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    Thanks or the update, Tara. As Flo said, we’re missing you every day. Best of luck in your new position. Must say though, though they’re lucky to have you!

  8. Joan Bloodgood(big cat or retired jb) January 31, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    Tara….you really are a light in this world! Your enthusiasm and optimism are very much appreciated. I wish you well on your journey and hope the road you follow brings you back to us! God speed and thank you being part of a joyous experience in my life and I am sure as well in many others!

  9. Jeannine January 31, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    Thanks, Tara. We will forever miss you. But, who knows, when things get settled down, maybe there will be a safari at another time.

    Is this ever a possibility? Everyone misses it so much, hopefully someone will pick it up. The sooner the better.

    See what an impact you guys made on all of us.

    Thanks and keep up the blogs.

    A follower.

  10. Robin Matthews January 31, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    Thanks, Tara! Post again when you’re able. I look forward to hearing about the happenings at Djuma from Texan and Jaco!

  11. Judy Dearing January 31, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    A few tears on my cheeks, but so glad to hear from you and see the pictures or our beloved animals…….like a letter from home that I miss so much.
    I am in failing health and meager income so all dreams of visiting Africa will ramain just that. Please continue to update us on your travels, Tara and hope Jaco and Texon understand the importance of continuing to update us on the goings on at Djuma.
    Best wishes and blessings

  12. Agnes January 31, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    I really miss the big team.
    Tara — Seb — Marc

  13. Birdsie January 31, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    Hi Tara–great to hear from you!

    That orchid at the beginning looks like a phalenopsis orchid–the kind commonly sold in the USA–smiliar petals and architecture.

    Love the photos and update from the floods!

  14. Doris Charles January 31, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

    Thanks Tara for your updates, i will miss your blogs there are so interesting i am very sorry you missed seeing Karula and her babe, take care enjoy your new adventure try and keep in touch somehow with us from time to time when you can.

    Regards Doris Charles

  15. Karen January 31, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    Thanks for the updates Tara. Ditto, we miss the drives so much. What are you going to do now? I must have missed the job update. Does anyone hear from Marc?

    Take care

  16. Penny Corcoran February 1, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    I am unable to express my gratitude for the blog. I’ve been reduced to watching old vids. Some I have memorized. Your blog was so well written and gave me just enough of a boost to carry on. Best to you and all the others who have given us such pleasure at Djuma. I’m looking forward to hearing your news once you are settled. Thank you so much.

  17. Red Robin February 1, 2012 at 4:55 am #

    Thanks again, Tara. So well spoken and the photos are treasures. Will keep up with your other blog and thank you for your friendship and attention to us around the world. Looking forward to Texan and Jaco as they take up the mantle. Thank you Tara and thank you Djuma. Diane

  18. Elaine Green February 1, 2012 at 7:48 am #

    Thank you Tara for your words and pictures. We would have been lost without you. You have taken the time and trouble to keep us informed and bless you for that. God speed and good luck – and come back soon.

  19. AnnieUK February 1, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    Hi again Tara.

    It sounds as if you have a new position?
    I gather this from one of the accompanying blogs.
    Some of us do not know about this , so we can only guess?
    I hope that Marc and Seb are also settled?
    We look forward to any bits of news in future, and really look forward to a return visit to Djuma!
    We wait and we wish you the very best.
    Thanks so much for everything and hope to hear from you before too long.

  20. littldov February 1, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    thanks tara for the update, we will miss you, we miss Marc, Seb, Patrick, Rex, and most of all the Safari with Karula and kids, the Gowrie gang. and all the other denizens of Djuma. Each morning I think how nice it would be to sign on to Safari and travel through the bush. Maybe some day again.

    Good luck in what ever you have chosen what to do, will miss you blog, but I know the others will do just as good as you. If you see Marc, given him our Love please, and also a big hug from us.

    God bless!! From Joyce Morgan aka littldov

  21. Tinker February 2, 2012 at 4:12 am #

    So glad I checked back! Thanks for the wonderful update. Looks like things are starting to dry out in the area. I look forward to future updates from Jaco and Texan. When we get one from you Tara, it will surely be a pleasant surprise. Take care until you write again!

  22. Dawn February 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    Tara, I may need that kleenex back when I look at the damage to Djuma! I wish you the very best in what you pursue. What happened to the Lodge? Is it still up and running? Remember your source for a healthy safari,( kleenes, clorox wipes, Purel, etc) and keep us posted on what and where you end up so we can follow you. My best to Marc and Seb if you hear from them.

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