Leaving Morokuru we stumbled across 2 bull elephants having a tussle in a nearby watering hole rather sobering to see these two huge animals tussling with one another, their tusks scarily close to one another’s eyes. We were taken to Jamala Madikwe Royal Safari Lodge and again, wow! Rodney and Nico welcomed us with open arms. Leading us through to the shade of the main mess area, we were hit slap bang in the face with the most amazing welcoming committee including Elephant, buffalo, zebra, impala and pretty much almost any other animal under the sun. Jamala have the most impressive watering hole meters from the front of the lodge with an endless flow of wildlife, sofa safari for sure!

We were shown to our beautiful rooms, sumptuous double four poster bed with white sheets and mosquito net, inside and outside shower, the picture and art work is also superb – there was a display of safari hats in the loo – I mean I don’t want to take the pithe……! a plunge pool outside which you can view the watering hole from. We reconvened back at the main area for a bite of delicious tea – there was a fresh green salad on offer or cakes and sandwiches as well as iced tea, coffee and fresh orange juice. We ventured out into the reserve and this afternoon had a theme of elephants, they were everywhere, it was bliss! As the sun was setting the light on the landscape and the animals was stunning. On returning to camp, we were met by a wall of dust created by around 200 buffalo coming down to the water hole to quench their thirst.

We met Rodney and Nico for a small drink before we headed down to supper. Supper was laid up in their boma down beside the watering hole, with pretty lanterns dotted around the walls creating a truly relaxing atmosphere. Impala steaks were on the menu this evening and a delicious platter of cheese to finish. Our supper came with lots of wildlife entertainment too – Jamala lights up the watering hole with soft lighting and we saw black and white rhino meeting face to face which was something, followed by jackal, hyena and a small family of elephant.

Throughout the night we could hear the noises of the bush come alive, form the eerie hyena howl, to lions roaring in the distance and the occasional splash and trumpet from an elephant getting a fright in the watering hole!

The next morning I was woken by the noise of two elephant fighting just outside my room, it was a abrupt wake up but worth it, as I was lying in bed watching the drama unfold in front of me, front row seats or what! The entertainment didn’t stop there, we enjoyed a sofa safari from the main mess area (all complimentary and included in the price….!) enjoying a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit, homemade yoghurt and granola, along with our elephant friends tussling with one another in the watering hole.

Madikwe translates as ‘Place of blood’ and the area in general has a fascinating history. There is a place near Madikwe reserve called Mozili Carti where the reverend Moffat and his daughter met Dr David Livingstone whom she subsequently married. Jamala is a totally unique lodge with a plethora of wildlife flowing down to their waterhole. Nico was joking that the elephants keep digging up the pipe, which provided the water, and that they need to concrete this in as they are getting closer and closer to the main camp! The 76,500 hectared reserve was began in 1991, when the largest translocation of animals took place with the introduction of over 10,000 animals, named Operation Phoenix.  Madikwe today is regarded as proof of the finest conservation area in Africa with lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, rhino B&W, wild dog, cheetah, hyena, cheetah as well as all the plains antelope species.

Madikwe lies in a transition zone on the edge of the Kalahari.  This is a true African safari with the interaction of many species, where nothing can live in isolation and where survival is not only life but also death. This is the savage reality of the African wilderness and it is beautiful.

We leave Jamala and journey towards the nearby airstrip to catch a small flight to Johannesburg.