The Garonga Diaries: Cats, Cakes and the Bright side of Life with Bukani!

Dear Diary,

My name is Bukani and I am the Assistant Administrator here at Garonga. I will be giving you a brief highlight of what transpired during the week.

It has been exactly 105 days since the Lockdown started but here at Garonga we are positive and looking at the brighter side. The week started off a bit quiet and the weather nice and warm, Wednesday was a bit windy and cold but we got our nice hot breakfast and it was business as usual.

Happy, Safari, Welcome
Bukani showing off her dazzling smile as she turns her talents to this week’s diary entry! ©Loraine Weitsz

Administration
With month-end stocktakes finished and books closed for the month we finally got a little breather although admin never stops functioning. It is that time again for the admin to change cycles with myself and Marietjie going on leave and Sanlè, Elia and Loraine taking over. As such, we have started working on our handovers.

Maintenance
There is always a loose screw, a burst pipe or general upkeep that needs attention. Our maintenance team is always on standby for such tasks. Like any other week the team has been busy fitting the shelves at the new Safari Wendy House, attending to a heater pump at the Chiltern Suite at Little Garonga, and making sure that our Sleep Out deck is still intact by reapplying some termite repellant where it is necessary (if you haven’t seen our sleep out deck before click here to find out more!) and lastly fixing a burst pipe up at Bernie’s house!

Housekeeping
With the new protocols in place, housekeeping has an important role to play by ensuring that everything is kept 100% clean. Dolphine and Damaris have been busy disinfecting and spring cleaning all the rooms throughout the week with necessary chemicals and making sure they have their proper personal protective equipment on where necessary to perform their duties!

Safari, Luxury tent, Holidays in South Africa
Dolphine keeping the rooms fresh and clean with her PPE carefully in place! ©Marietjie

Safari

Lion, Big 5 Safari, Luxury Safari
One of the younger members of the Garonga Pride keeps a watchful eye on us whilst the pride sleeps off its latest meal! ©Sophie Barrett

Our Safari team always have the best experience out in the bush. Below is a narration by Sophie of what they came across during the week.

“With the full moon in the middle of the week most of the week was filled with animal monitoring drives with just a dash of bush clearing in the mix. After the usual thrill of the chase we found the Garonga pride together with the two dominant males doing what lions do best and having an early morning nap with very full bellies looking like they had made a kill the night before! It was a week filled with cat activity as we also came across a huge drag mark left behind by a leopard dragging its kill to somewhere safe to eat. Leopards often drag their kills along the ground and then up a tree to keep them safe from other predators. Rubbing our hands with excitement we followed the trail. The leopard had left an incredible trail for us to follow – at least 100m long! Interestingly we found the remains of the duiker that the leopard had caught not up a tree but nestled in a concealed den-like area in the long grass deep inside one of the drainage lines. The perfect spot to feed and rest without needing to worry about being spotted! Unfortunately the leopard heard us coming and the we only got the quickest glimpse of the animal itself. A great discovery nonetheless though!”

Lion, Big 5 Safari, Luxury SafariLeopard Trail, Big 5, Safari

Catch up on some of this week’s cat encounters with this slideshow! ©Sophie Barrett

The Safari team has also been busy with their therapeutic organization of their stock in the New Safari Storage Wendy House.

Kitchen
Virginia was busy spring cleaning our kitchens and disinfecting all surfaces as well as weekly food stocktakes and orders for the staff. We can never have enough cake! This week Virginia made us an extra large chocolate cake Mmm!!

Chocolate Cake, Safari, Spoilt, Luxury Safari
Virginia and her mouth watering giant chocolate cake! ©Marietjie

That’s it from me this week, have a wonderful weekend and stay safe until next week.

Cheers,

Bukani