South Africa: Monate Conservation Lodge (6th to 8th of December 2013)

After a tough last half of the year, we decided to head into the bush and allow ourselves to become reacquainted. We headed to Monate Conservation Lodge just a few kilometers North East of Bela-Bela (Warm Baths). For more information go to their web site.

Late afternoon storm clouds rolling in over the Monate Conservancy.

What a peaceful place. No cellphone reception, no TV, no traffic. Just you and nature.

Monate Conservation Lodge: Storm clouds

We saw lots Zebra, Wildebeest, Impala, Waterbuck, Kudu, and even some Oryx and Nyala.

Monate Conservation Lodge: Zebra

We also saw quite a few giraffe, to my wife's delight.

Monate Conservation Lodge: Baby giraffe

Having an early morning coffee after our game drive.

Monate Conservation Lodge: Game drive coffee stop

Just chilling out.

Monate Conservation Lodge: My girls chilling out

Rejoicing after reaching the top of a "little" hill we climbed during our bush walk.

Monate Conservation Lodge: My girls celebrating thier climb

Old Max. He was not much bothered by us acting like drooling tourists, snapping away at a rhino.

During the previous day, we had three of them chomping away no more than 20 meters from us, while we were enjoying our sundowners. Amazing!

Monate Conservation Lodge: Rhinoceros

Monate is a Conservation Lodge, and they are trying to reintroduce Cheetah. This young fella is in the "hospital" after an encounter with a Wildebeest which left him with a broken back leg.

Monate Conservation Lodge: Cheetah

Does anyone remember the old Chomp advert? Here is the you tube link... I think that this might have been the daddy in the advert!

Monate Conservation Lodge: Hippopotamus

Having a sundowner with the hippos in the background. Some people were a little more cautious, and made sure there were other people and a Landover between them and the hippos. Some did not even get out of the Landrover!

Monate Conservation Lodge: Hippo sundowner

During our last night, we had a lovely dinner in a cave up on the hill next to the lodge. What an experience and an amazing view.

Monate Conservation Lodge: Cave dinner
Monate Conservation Lodge: Cave dinner
Monate Conservation Lodge: Cave dinner
It is that time of the year again, when all male Southern Masked Weaver's are busy building nests in the hope of attracting a female. It was quite amusing to watch their displays and territorial battles, as well as their amazing dexterity while weaving their nests. Monate Conservation Lodge: Southern Masked Weaver