It’s been a while since our last travel blog. Seeing that Winter is officially over, Meletso was very excited to have won a competition via DiningOut and selected to enjoy our prize over the heritage weekend at the Dinokeng Game Reserve. It is the first free roaming Big 5 residential game reserve in Gauteng and probably in the world – located next to an urbanized area.
Development started in the early 2000’s, It was officially opened six years ago on the 22nd of September 2011 after the introduction of four of our Big 5. The last of the Big 5, the buffalo, was introduced in latter part of 2012.
If you don’t know, The Big Five consists of the Elephant, Lion, Rhinoceros, Buffalo and Leopard however the game reserve also boasts some Cheetah and Brown Hyenas with a big variety of ungulates and Giraffe.
Dinokeng means “Place of Rivers” – this is true reflection of the name as you drive around 58 500 hectares of game reserve you will notice the many dams located around and in the reserve. Please note that Hippopotamus and Crocodiles can also be found in these dams, so be very vigilant when roaming the game reserve.
We were welcomed by the owner Derrick from Tamboti Bush Lodge, where we stayed for two nights. Tamboti Bush Lodge is a small guesthouse consisting of 6 individually decorated suites, catered and self-catering accommodation is available on site. Our wooden cabin was situated on the far end of the lodge, facing a pond. All the available rooms are named after the animals roaming the game reserve and our cabin was decorated with Zebra memorabilia, you can also hear and see a multitude of birds on the premises including guinea fowls.
We arranged a wine tasting and lunch for the Saturday afternoon which was presented by Derrick, one can understand why he owns Tamboti Bush Lodge as he is very passionate about animals.
We were serenaded by the sounds of nature surrounding lodge and the game reserve over some Robertson wines.
Later that afternoon we went for a game drive with Derrick who is also a skilled and expert tour guide, during our drive we witnessed many animals including different types of Antelope, Zebra, Ostrich and wild Rabbits but the most incredible experience was to witness a herd of elephants moving across the game reserve while the sun was setting. This was a spectacular back drop for the game drive and end to our day in the bush.
One can also opt for a self-drive through the game reserve, but we would advise to join a game drive as you will receive great insight on the animals and the tour guides know where to find the animals during particular times in the day.
Meletso enjoyed our visit to the Dinokeng and hope to bring back friends and family to experience a Safari in the city very soon.
Sneak peak of the Elephants in the reserve below:
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