Following our last amazing Makanyi breakfast our final day’s game drive once again did not disappoint. Soon after leaving the lodge shrieking magpies alerted our sharp eyed guide to a genet in a nearby tree top waving a very long black and white stripy tail reminiscent of a lemur. A little further on a little dyka (more commonly known to this group of uninformed guests as a DLT – deer like thing) darted across out path giving Riaan cause to tell us how good they taste due to their predilection to the most tender shrubs thus self-spicing! I thought he looked cuter in the bush. We also learnt how the trickier to reach shrubs are the more delicious due to lower tannin levels and how bush shrubs can deliberately increase their tannin levels when being grazed to discourage the diners – why giraffes are always seen grazing from bush to bush.
Following a break for delicious hot chocolate generously laced with amurula and home-made biscotti the remainder of the morning disclosed a mother giraffe with her 2 week old baby, complete with still dangling umbilical cord, some gentrified old daga boys (elderly water buffalo) wallowing in a muddy waterhole and a selection of beautiful birdlife including a rare red billed hornbill, bee-eaters and a majestic fish eagle.
Back at the lodge it was time to pack for our onward flights to Hoedspruit and Cape Town. Makanyi really is the most welcoming home from home in the bush and I long to return. The whole magical experience was made all the more wonderful upon learning the totally unpublicised fact that the philanthropic owners are planning to plough a large portion of the profits straight back into the Timbavati conservation project thus enabling this perfect game experience to have a long and secure future.
Game Viewed over 3 days
Cape Buffalo, Dyka, Elephant, Empala, Genet, Giraffe, Hippo, Hyena, Kudu, Leopard, Lesser Tailed Bush Baby, Lion, Slender Mongoose, Steenbok, Vervet Monkey, Warthog, Waterbuck, White Rhino, Wild Dog, Zebra