Dear Friends of Mavela,

One can barely say that the temperatures experienced in the past three months are attributed to winter, par for the cooler evenings and chilly nip in the early morning air. Mavela truly is the ideal getaway during a South African winter and with the dryer conditions, water holes and dams produce optimum sightings. Despite no rainfall in June and July, the bush is looking decidely greener and the land covered with a pale, fawny carpet of undergrowth. What a stark improvement from the bare, red soil at the tail end of the drought last year.

News from the Manyoni front is that the Zululand Rhino Reserve (ZRR) Foundation, in conjunction with Rhino Art, visited 10 rural community schools in May. The aim was to spread the message of conservation in giving the children an opportunity to express themselves through art. This year, the project has reached an amazing 1698 pupils and the winner from each school is awarded the proud title of RHINO Ambassador and enjoys a wilderness camp at Somkhanda Game Reserve.

The aloes, in the Mavela camp, are in full bloom and provide a beautiful burst of colour and source of food for a variety of birds and insects. It really is a treasure to sit out near the pool deck, or on a tent deck, to observe the busy activity around both the bird baths and flowering plants.

A group of guests were privileged to watch lions hunt from the lodge deck whilst enjoying their post-drive breakfast. Lions also visited the main lodge several times in the past few months and whilst this forms part of the adventure thrill that Mavela offers, guests are reminded that safety is preeminent and that they need to adhere to the protocol administered by the field guides at all times. Guests, Sue and Judy, left this comment – “What a wonderful experience with you all and thanks too for ‘organising the lion’ outside Tent 4!!! The bush coffee afterwards helped a lot.”

Recent notable bird sightings comprise the steppe eagle and white-faced owl. Comments in the guest book display repeated gratitude to the staff for wonderful sightings, experiences and a comfortable, “family-feel” stay. Kudo’s to our small team for their hard work and commitment in making everyone’s stay feel special.

The winter sunsets have been stunning and provide a wonderful backdrop on the evening game drives and for those who wish to sit and relax on the upper deck.

Winter highlights:

  • Lions roaring at night
  • Cheetah kills
  • Stunning sunsets
  • Jackals calling
  • Lions in camp
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