Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Welgovenden Game Reserve

Rob & I stayed at Taaibos River Lodge http://www.taaibosriverlodge.co.za/ for a week in October.
 We were visiting Welgovenden Game Reserve http://www.welgevonden.org/about/about.htm to see whether it would be suitable for us to jointly purchase a game lodge for both our families to use & enjoy. I had been doing a lot of research recently & had finally decided that Welgovenden G.R. could be the place for us. Please click on the above links for full information on the two sites.
 I contacted Shaun McCartney the Chief Warden & he was a really good source of excellent information & extremely helpful in all respects. Shaun put us in contact with the Chairman of the reserve, Francois Spruyt, who owns the Taaibos River Lodge & it was agreed we would stay there.
By coincidence, Francois could pick us up from the airport & drive us out to Welgovenden. Everything worked like clockwork, Francois was charming & after a drive of three hours, we arrived at the gate of the game reserve & transferred to the lodge's game viewing vehicle. We then enjoyed a nice late afternoon drive, seeing the commoner plains game along the route.
The impressive entrance to
Welgovenden Game Reserve.
 Taaibos River Lodge


African Rock Martin
Red-headed Weaver

 Fantastic views over the river valley.

 October is the end of the dry season here.
Cape Buffalo

The lodge itself is perched on the side of the gorge which had been cut by the Taaibos River. It is a spectacular building, in a spectacular location. Once inside, we were shown to our rooms & given a tour of the lodge. It was a first class facility in every way - this was going to be a good week!
Rob, setting out for the day.

After a very comfortable nights rest we were off early the next morning to traverse a piece of land adjoining the game reserve, which was up for sale. The idea being for us to purchase it & incorporate it into the existing reserve. It was a glorious morning & we set off to meet the owner & start the tour. Driving was difficult as the trail was not well defined, but the scenery was spectacular & we had a great day out.
 The track followed the course of the small river.
 At one location a dam had been built.

A stiff hike was required to
view the bushman paintings.

Several paintings were on the rock walls,
all in sheltered locations, to guard against the sun.

 Driving down the river became increasingly difficult.
 Gradually, we climbed out of the valley onto a rocky plateau,
 which gave good views of the surrounding landscape.

 Female White Rhino with calf.
A light snack!
Shaun & Andrei: this is what happens when
 you keep eating light snacks!
OK, I was caught at a bad moment!
Photo courtesy of Rob.
The next few days were spent exploring the entire reserve from north to south. Most of the reserve is very scenic & it is sometimes hard to believe that this entire area was farmland & ranch land not so long ago.


Red-crested Khoran.
 Blue Wildebeest.
Red Hartebeest.
Lion, one of seven hidden in the long grass.

 African Elephants, having fun!


 Rob, catching up on his bird notes.
Wonderful, open vistas.

 Southern African Giraffe.
Burchell's Zebra


Elephants in a wonderful setting.


Our trusty game viewing vehicle.

The scenery is quite simply superb.
Our week here, came all too quickly to an end. But, we had had a fantastic time exploring what was for us a new area. And we certainly had a lot to think about.

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