With the fall of much needed rains, the Black Rhino reserve has exploded into a lush, green oasis. This brings the wonder of new life not only in the expanse of vigorous green leaves but in the dozens of young impala, wildebeest and Red hartebeest that are dropped in abundance. With their umbilical cords barely dry they run with their mothers, nursing in between cavorting and jumping on their fragile-looking legs! Their light-colored fur keeps them well camouflaged as they take an occasional nap under their mothers’ belly. Always protected they’re herded into a central “nursery” area surrounded by the adults, where they can bounce and jump for joy in safety until they’re about 3 months old.
Last month we were excited by the news that “Tale ” our much-loved resident cheetah had given birth to 3 healthy cubs. She’s naturally keeping them well hidden, so only time will tell but judging from the past, she will make a success of raising these little fluff balls.
Evan, our ranger, is always a mine of information and this time we learnt fun facts about surviving in the bush. We tasted a sweet “raisin” fruit which the elephants love and were shown how to make “toilet Paper” from the Weeping Wattle by stacking about 9 leaves face down in a circular fashion, then turning them over to find they had formed a silky-smooth wad of “paper”. A word of warning though, it’s best to choose leaves from a large tree so as not to get confused with the smaller common hook thorn which has a similar leaf but sports a ridge of tiny, hooked thorns along its veins!
We had a wonderful sighting of a Black Rhino wallowing in the mud and then scratching his “nose” on the rough bark of a tree. Such a rare sight! What a blessing! Even Evan was amazed as it’s only the second time he’s seen Black Rhino on Black Rhino in two years!
We also experienced abundant rain – 33mm in 45 minutes! Rivers were made in minutes! Thinking the storm was over, we went out only to find several minutes later that the heavens opened again! Needless to say we got soaked, returned to the lodge, changed and went out again to be greeted by an enormous rainbow which arched right across the sky from end to end.
Another bonus was a herd of Elephant at our water hole with their young in tow. We watched as a young calf knelt at the water’s edge trying to manoeuvre his trunk to slurp up the water rather like a baby learning to use its hands. What a joy and a privilege to be able to enjoy the bush in such a beautiful setting!
Come and join us!
From all the owners and our Staff at Buffalo thorn lodge, we wish you a blessed Christmas and a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2022.
The BTL team