Hi. We live and work in the Selous Game Reserve, overlooking a wide bend in the Rufiji River. People from all over the world visit us, and tell us how lucky we are to live here. We're inclined to believe them.
Sat, Dec 31, 2016
What a year it has been here at Sand Rivers.
We have had tremendous rains that almost washed the lodge away, a tough dry season that left many hungry and the most beautiful days where everything was exactly the way it should be.
Our Wildlife sightings have been exciting and raw. We have seen life being created and life being taken away. The circle of life unfolded itself right here in our camp and on our doorstep.
We have been blessed with incredible, interesting and fun guests. We have seen friendships form here, that continued long after the holiday was over. Honeymooners came to share their love with us, children explored with us and we learnt so much from so many well traveled and experienced guests. We want to thank everyone for staying here and becoming part of our life.
The Sand Rivers family says goodbye to 2016. It has been a great year for us, a year in which we discovered the Selous, our new home. We welcome 2017 and are excited for what nature will teach us in the months ahead. We are looking forward to meeting new guests and continue conversations with all guests who are returning .
From all of us here and Sand Rivers, wishing you a brilliant 2017. We leave you with some of the highlites of 2016.
Mon, Dec 26, 2016
It has been a spectacular Christmas in the bush at Sand Rivers this year. Clients have been seeing plenty every day, but the Lions have certainly stolen the show. One of the prides, consisting of four females, have just birthed 9 cubs, and they are all doing very well. They were spotted a week ago after they had taken down a young Giraffe near Lake Segese. Clients were lucky enough to see them feeding for 2 days.
At this stage there were 2 females and 6 cubs. Once they finished off their christmas feast, they moved towards Lake Makubi, where they met up with another Lioness who had 3 very young cubs. The young cubs are no more than 2 - 3 weeks old. I have yet to see these 3 young cubs but hopefully I will soon. For now, here are some images of the 6 cubs with mama and baba.
Sun, Nov 6, 2016
When Richard Bonham stopped doing walking safaris in the 90's and decided to build a lodge instead, he really did have his choice of the best locations - and boy did he pick it. Sitting along the banks of the Rufiji River, at one of its widest points, the location has so much to offer. The sun setting in front of you, Hippo snorting in the river and all sorts of wildlife, big and small, living within the camp. This is a photographers dream!
For many, coming on safari is a once in a lifetime trip, so why not take advantage of it? Both Natasha and I have a strong background in photography, and for us, it is a way to connect with and learn about nature. It brings us even closer to a world we are already close to. We don't get out into the bush as much as we would like, but there are plenty of things happening in camp - if you look hard enough and have an interest of all things wild.
The following images were all taken around the dining area at the lodge. You don't always have to go out into the bush to see wildlife, why not just sit by the river and wait for them to come to you?
(A small grasshopper on the seed pod of a Dessert Rose (or Impala Lilly as it is also known).
(One of the Genet Cats that frequent the lodge at night)
(A Striped Skink poses on a rock near the car park. These Skinks are great for practicing your macro shots and always allow you to get quite close).
(You will often hear the cry of the Bush Baby at night and the evening is a perfect time to track them down and photograph them. They move from branch to brach looking for food so you have to have some patience).
(It has been a pleasure to watch this Sun bird go back and forth over the past few weeks, hopefully we will see the chicks soon. The nest is right in front of the dining area).
(A Southern Cordon Bleu feeding in the lawn outside our office).
(I spent about 15 minutes with this little guy and needless to say he was not camera shy!)
Wed, Oct 19, 2016
Stepping off the plane, the sun in my eyes, the warm air comforting me as I take my first steps into my new life. Pure nature and its beautiful perfume surround me as we make our way to the lodge, passing Lion, Giraffe and Impala. The Selous is a magical place, a forgotten world, that stuns you in the most simple way, like a raw uncut Tanzanite crystal. I had read about the Selous and Sand Rivers, I was shown photos and told stories, but being here, seeing, smelling and touching this wild place is an experience that can't be described. Nature was teaching me new and exciting things. As we pass the beautiful Lake Tagalala, I see bird species I have never seen before and watch how birds, crocodiles and hippos enjoy the evening sun.
We arrive at Sand Rivers in the dark, where my new family, a team of passionate, hard working and caring people, greet me with Swahili song and dance.
I am at home.
('Tis the season of babies, plenty of of young Impala around)
(Sleepy young male after a few days of mating)
(Northern Carmine Bee-eater looking as stunning as ever)
(Curious Giraffe, watching us watching him)
(African Fish Eagle perched on an ebony branch over looking Lake Tagalala)
Thu, Sep 22, 2016
What an incredible past 10 days it has been. I have had the pleasure of guiding two seperate groups back to back and we have had some incredible sightings. The privacy of all of these sightings made them all so much more enjoyable and unique. Every sighting we had (from the images below) we had completely to ourselves! This is the magic of the Selous. What a place!
(This is my first ever sighting of the beautiful Dickinson's Kestral)
(We came across this beautiful herd of 50+ Eland drinking in the early morning. When we approached, they moved away from the water, into the safety of the bush and let us get quite close. I loved the light at this time and great to see them in motion)
(We came across this Giant Kingfisher fishing in the gorge and were able to get extremely close in the boat)
(You have to make time for the small as well as the big - here you have a Striped Skink)
Over the past few days there has been a pride of Lion hunting along the banks of the Rufiji River. I am still in the process of downloading the images and footage but will share it with you all once it is all organized! Until next time.
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