We can start this month’s news with a great note: the bathroom upgrades for all our standard twin and double rooms has been completed! Gone are the tiles of yester-year and guests can now enjoy fresh looking facilities. Along with this, the rooms have been given a new lick of paint, adding a slight touch of vibrancy to the each of the standard rooms.
The wait for our annual deluge, however, is still being drawn out painfully although we were granted the light sip of a misty drizzle not too long ago. The animals are still in great condition, however, the lack of rain does not rule out other means of fatal occurrences; as we have yet again been reminded. This month brought the unfortunate death of one of the Birmingham male lions, a soberingly sad reminder of just how delicate the “King of Beasts” actually is and it is a stark reminder of the reality of bush-life: Survival of the fittest.
But, with small tragedies come small victories – in this case, for our leopard enthusiasts, the flourishing of Inkanyeni and her two cubs, detailed and captured in the previous blog. Mvula has still not been seen, but the Torchwood pride of lions have made an appearance after nearly six months of occupying other territories across the border and the remaining Birmingham males are still trying their luck with the Styx females.
As April ends and May begins, the change in temperature has become very absolute. Cheetah Plains staff members have pulled out their fleece jackets and Andrew, Myke and Ephraim have shaken out their thick ranger jackets for the chilly morning and evening drives. For photographers and keen enthusiasts, this is good news because of the crisp sunrise/sunsets which add a touch of dramatic air to any form of subject matter whether it is the silhouette of a lone Marula Tree or catching the rich, bronze gleam of a Cheetah’s deep-set eyes. Although we can say a temporary goodbye to the harsh afternoon heat, we will say hello to the harsh dryness of the Autumn/Winter months. Sunscreen is still a good idea and the addition of applying a light skin cream (which is provided in the rooms) and lip-balm is highly recommended in order to keep yourself from relating to our reptilian friends.
Although the demand for a cosy mug of hot chocolate will be high on the guests’ request list, the few who still enjoy the golden bitter goodness of a cold beer will be quite interested to know that we have added a new local beer to our menu: Growler Ale. Folks can enjoy a freshly poured draught of either a pale ale or a rich red ale (depending on availability), 100% South African made. So when visiting our little corner of the Sabi Sands, be sure to have Sakhile, Lucas or even Gary to pour you a cold one!
Getting back to the subject of photographers, us at Cheetah Plains would like to extend our thanks to all the guests who have taken the time to forward us their photographs and stories of experiences had. It is lovely to relive those moments from a guest’s point of view!
And a big Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful women out there!!