The lodge is situated in the bush- no fences - only small electric fence in front of the deck at each chalet to prevent the elephants from damaging the deck. (I felt a little more at ease with the electric fence!) The lodge is really tucked in the trees on a small rocky hill in the Madikwe. Everything is open to the bush and you really feel a part of nature. Reece had very big eyes and gave Leon a knowing look when the game ranger cocked his rifle before walking us to our room each night after dinner. (You aren't allowed to walk around unescourted after dark).
We saw 4 of the Big 5 - all except a leopoard. A very close encounter with a very brave elephant got us a little nervous. I've never heard a game ranger talk in a stern voice to an ellie before- telling him to back off! Then I knew we could be in a spot of trouble! Luckily when he reversed slowly, the elephant also kept coming slowly and eventually moved to the side and carried on eating. I was so nervous I didn't even dare pick my camera up off my lap to take a pic for fear of startling Jumbo!
Leon spoilt himself with a back massage and me with a facial and facial massage at the Etali Spa - absolute bliss! Definately worth it, even though it cost a fortune!
Reece found the cutest 'Shoobeedoo' jacket for himself in the lodge's boutique. He saw it through the window and decided then and there it was his! He was so thrilled with it he even wore it when it was still 30 degrees C outside! Let me put you in the picture here- it was 30 degrees C after dark there! Oh boy was it hot during the day! - 45 degrees! When we saw the wild dogs I was so hot that I couldn't wait to leave them - and this is not something you see everyday. Wild dogs are extremely scarce. There are only 5000 left in the world today (including in captivity). Even when the open game vehicle was moving it was hot!
We returned home really relaxed and looking forward to the preparations for Christmas.