Aside from luxurious accommodation, great food and friendly staff,
The Bush House has a “secret weapon”…
can you spot it behind the elephant on the left?
Have you figured out what it is?
If not, look carefully at the “slit” at ground level
behind this elephant…
The Bush House is the home of the first hide in Madikwe!
This is the passage that leads guests safely to the magic that awaits.
Although it can seat 4 guests, there is room for a couple more.
But SILENCE and PATIENCE is what is required
from all those who spend time here.
Pull up a chair and let me share some of my images with you
My wife watching a herd of elephants that were
less than an arms length from her.
The animals that frequent the waterhole in front of the hide
are aware if there are humans present.
But they do not seem to be intimidated or afraid.
Watching young elephants using their trunks can offer
“laugh-out-loud” moments…and visitors here have to control
the impulse to do exactly that.
However there are often shared “DID YOU SEE THAT”
whispers that cannot be stifled.
Elephants “own” a waterhole when they come to drink.
Sit in the hide long enough and you will realise that there
is a definite order in which they approach the water.
If there are individuals that are “out of line”,
then the matriarch will quickly reprimand them.
How many people can claim to have been this close
to the largest land mammal in the world?
And there are no bars or fences in between this colossus and my lens
By not shouting or banging on car doors to “attract it’s attention”
the animal is relaxed and can be observed as it goes about its business.
The waterhole is home to the largest flock of Red-billed Quellia
that I have ever witnessed.
To watch them swoop and change direction, seemingly without command
puts aerobatic teams to shame.
How these birds manage the complicated flying patterns defies description.
It is for these tusks that elephants have been slaughtered over the centuries.
Why humans decided that it was “fashionable” to have ivory jewellery
in beyond my comprehension.
An elephant’s trunk has 40000 muscles!
Humans, by comparison have between 656-850 in total.
This means that elephants have the muscles of about 55 people
in their trunks alone.
Even though the animal is so huge, it is capable of picking
up vegetation as small as a toothpick.
A cool drink on a sunny day…
THIS is how close they can get to the people in the hide…
I was told that guests regularly get sprayed with mud
when the elephants decide that wallowing is an option to drinking.
The herd knows when the hide is occupied
and this one seemed to be staring straight at me.
Perhaps wondering who/what I was.
At no stage did I feel threatened or in danger.
The elephants “allowed” this female warthog and her piglets
the opportunity to have a drink.
At night, the waterhole is lit
which allows guests to experience the herd differently
In the subdued lighting, they come and go
in an almost ghost-like fashion
A long cool late night drink!
Buffalo seem to look at you as if you owe them money,
even when they are in near darkness…
The hide is easily and safely accessible from the
garden in front of the main lodge.
The facility is open 24/7/365.