Camp Ndlovu

Camp Ndlovu

Camp Ndlovu lies within the Welgevonden Game Reserve, and sits alongside the Marakele National Park in South Africa.

These protected areas and some other reserves are collectively called the Waterberg Biosphere Reserve, which covers around 4,000 square km of bush.

Sitting just two and a half hours from Cape Town, this is a perfect place to drop into for a few days during a Cape holiday. One of the big advantages of going on safari here is that there is no Malaria, which is rare for a safari destination.

As a Big Five reserve you will have an action packed visit (cheetah are also present).

For those interested in birds there are also over 300 species that are present including blue cranes.

Camp Ndlovu is a luxurious way to do safari, and with only guests of one of the lodges allowed onto the reserve the number of cars is kept relatively low. With just five suites (one of which is suitable for families, though children under 12 by arrangement only) even when the lodge is full, it will not feel crowded.

With each suite being very generously sized and being air conditioned, they will be a welcome refuge from the heat of the bush. Each has its own plunge pool and outdoor shower and bath. They each have extra long king sized beds, and a sitting room with a fireplace. Also included is a minibar and a nespresso machine. There is also a sizeable deck around the plunge pool with comfortable pool loungers, allowing you to relax in comfort and watch the world pass by.

Despite the camps remoteness there is also WIFI within the camp. They also have extras such as bathrobes slippers and forgotten toiletries.

Each air-conditioned luxury unit suite comes complete with its own plunge pool, outdoor shower and outdoor bath, air-conditioning and fan, king size extra length bed, a lounge with fireplace, Nespresso coffee machine with complimentary coffee pods, a mini bar, outdoor shower and bath and  an extensive wooden deck with pool loungers and private dining areas. Extras include bathrobes, slippers and complimentary toiletries and Wifi.

This coupled with a history of wildlife never having been legally hunted here makes for far more relaxed animal encounters than you can experience elsewhere. Anti-poaching efforts continue behind the scenes to make sure that this remains the case as much as possible.

Apart from those animals listed so far the reserve hosts around 50 mammals in total. Night time safaries are usually the only way to see them and brown hyena, aardwolf, pangolin and aardvark are present to be looked for on night drives.

With a long history of human habitation within the area, there are also 2 san rock paintings within the reserve. There is a booking/questions form below the video, and below this is pricing information in south african Rand (at the time of writing £1 is about 20 rand


To ask questions or enquire about availability or book please fill in the form below

Fitzpatrick at Jock

Fitzpatrick at Jocks

Fitzpatrick at Jocks is a small lodge perfect for groups and hired exclusively to one group at a time. Consisting of 3 Luxurious suites each with its own viewing deck. This allows people to enjoy the luxury of a lodge, but with the intimacy of being just a small group.

Lying in the game dense south of the Kruger national park, this private concession covers around 23 miles which only your group and the main lodge will have access to. The lodge is built on the river bank, which means that often the wildlife will come to visit you so you can enjoy watching the world go by from the comfort of your suite.

Beautifully equipped and set up for a group of up to 6 to share, this is an incredible place for friends to go together or for family time away from everyone else.

With places to eat inside and out, and with its own staff, a visit can be fully molded around the group visiting- both in terms of food preference and activities.

Things to do include bush drives, bush walks (which will include learning the beginning of tracking) sun downer drinks in the bush, as well as time simply relaxing in the lodge.

Being in a game rich part of the park, it is also wonderful to lay back on a lounger and watch the animals move past.

The above video gives you a good introduction to the lodge and the area around it.

Below is a more detailed look at the lodge and the feel of the place.

Fully inclusive pricing starts at

If you are interested and would like to book or enquire about availability fill in the form below.

Madikwe Game Reserve

Madikwe Game Reserve

Madikwe game reserve is the 5th largest reserve (it covers 68000 hectares) in South Africa, but far less known than most other national parks.

Containing the big 5, as well as cheetah and wild dog there is plenty of wildlife to be seen. With a variety of biomes, including grassland, forest and the rocky Tshwene hills, the reserve plays home to a variety of wild animals. These include the big 5. The reserve also has a population of  wild dog and cheetah, animals often not seen in smaller reserves such as this.

The reserve’s grassland, forest and rocky Tshwene Tshwene hills are home to a variety of wildlife and you can spend hours watching the local wildlife. Hundreds of bird species include ostrich, vultures and the large kori bustard. Animals often gather at the Madikwe Dam to drink at sunset.

It sits just 40km from the Botswana border.

Jamala Madikwe Royal Safari Lodge

Jamala Madikwe Royal Safari Lodge Is set  in the Madikwe Game Reserve, a reserve covering 290 square miles. This malaria free reserve contains the big 5, as well as a range of other interesting animals waiting to encounter you each time you venture out of the lodge. It was used as a cattle ranch until 1991 before being transformed into the wonderful reserves that is there now. The big 5 are present, as well as some wild dog if you are lucky.

The lodge is well known for its fantastic food, it also has a wonderful location, right beside a watering hole. This means that even when not on a safari drive, there is a constant flow of animals nearby, so it is possible to sit in a chair and watch the as the animals come to you. As this is a private reserve, you can be sure that there will be few few other guests and that you will therefore experience the wilderness away from the crowds.

In terms of the lodge itself, it only has 5 villas each for two people. If you are travelling as a group the lodge can be booked for private use, but this is not necessary to have a fantastic time. The lodge is big enough for groups to spread out and have their own space if they wish.

If you don.t feel like leaving the lodge, you can sit in the shade, in the heat of the day as you watch the animals coming for a drink. Indeed some have said it is among the best “sofa safari ” destination there is.

With fantastic chefs, the food and drink you will eat will be impressive and will make you forget how wild a place you are in.

To see ask a question, there is a form below the video. Below the form is pricing information. Please note that while all efforts will be made to keep these up to date, pricing should be checked on booking. Pricing is in rand, which is currently valued at roughly 20 to a pound (14 to a USA dollar) though this will get out of date quickly.

Hermanus in Walker Bay, east of Cape town


Hermanus is one of the worlds best places to watch whales from the land, and therefore is well worth some time if you are visiting the Cape of South Africa.

Sitting on the beach watching the whales play in the bay is an experience that long stays in the memory. Generally the whales (in this instance Souhtern right whales) are present from June to December, though on occasion they do appear as early as April. However, the whales are not the only thing to enjoy in Hermanus.

We currently have one area for people to stay in Hermanus though it is rather special. 

With a variety of flowers and birds found within the reserve and in the surrounding area, and whales and sharks viewable from the coast, this stay can be nature packed.

You can also simply spend time on the reserve and enjoy the beach.

A variety of activities including kayaking, biking, quad biking and shark cage diving (all sorts of marine wildlife can be seen on these trips) can also be undertaken. Boating and kayaking is also available

Beyond the border of the reserve, there are caves to explore and more beaches to visit among many activities.

There are two places to stay within the reserve, Mosaic lagoon house consisting of a family suite and a suite for a couple, and the Perivola house a 4 bedroom place for the sole use of one group at a time.

Mosaic lagoon lodge consists of a family suite (couple plus 2 small childre) and a luxury couples suite
Perivoli Lagoon House, a 4 bedroom house for the exclusive use of one group at a time. Space for everyone to enjoy the reserve

Mhondoro Safari Lodge & Villa

Mhondoro Safari Lodge & Villa

Mhondoro Lodge and villa is set within the Welgenvonden Reserve and is set on a hill looking out across the plains.

There is a watering hole in front of the lodge, and uniquely this is connected to the lodge by an underground tunnel allowing guests to visit the hide in safety, without disturbing the animals they are there to see. This allows incredibly intimate views of wildlife that is completely relaxed

The main lodge has 5 suites, two deluxe rooms for 2, two deluxe suites with 2 bedrooms each, perfect for families or friends travelling together and the separate Villa, which sleeps 6 (the Villa comes with its own staff and can be completely separate from the lodge).

Despite being in such a remote place, you can expect to be pampered during your stay, with fantastic food and drink, incredible wildlife encounters and a comfortable place to sleep. With a fantastic team of chefs and quality food and drink the wildlife is not going ot be the only thing you remember about your stay.

However, while your stay will be luxurious, that is not the reason you come to africa. As you see from the video above, there is significant amounts of wildlife that live on the reserve including the big 5 though there are 60 other mammals to look out for.

One of the advantages of a private reserve like this, is often you stand a greater chance of seeing rarely seen mammals, such as aardvark and aardwolf and brown hyena (an animal almost never seen in the Kruger)

Jock Safari Lodge

Jock Safari Lodge

Jock Safari Lodge lies in the south west of the Kruger national park, on a 6000 hectare exclusive concession.

This part of the park is one of the most game dense within the park. However, coupled with the exclusive rights given to guests of the property, you can experience them without the traffic jams that occur on the roads in the surrounding area.

This leads to a wonderful laid back life. Whether sitting in the lodge or out on a drive or on foot, you never know what is going to happen next.

With incredible views in all directions, the house has been designed with plenty of places to sit comfortably and watch the world go by, when you are not out exploring the park

The price for this place is all inclusive

If you have any questions, or would like to enquire about availability or book fillin the form below.

Camp Hwange

Camp Hwange

Camp Hwange lies in a concession within Hwange national park. This gives you the flexibility and more relaxed feel of a private reserve, but because it is within the national park the animals are truly wild and don’t see humans every day, furthermore the ecosystem that they live within is large enough to support a healthy population-  Hwange national park actually lies within the largest conservation project ever undertaken, the Kalahari-Zambezi transfrontier park, an area of around 250,000 square km of wilderness, stretching across 5 countries.

With the ability to do both walking safari, and go out in the car there is incredible flexibility. Also expect to go on night drives, giving you the chance to see nocturnal animals rarely sighted.

With the camp only consisting of 8 Chalets, even when full it will not feel crowded. The camp is set around a watering hole, so you will not only see wildlife during your trips, but can watch wildlife when ever it comes to visit. You can also expect fantastic food and other creature comforts during your stay.

With knowledgeable and interested guides, you will be fascinated by what you see, and it will all be explained by your guide, while they also keep you safe.

At camp Hwange, you can expect to be spoilt rotten both with fantastic creature comforts but also incredible wild encounters both when you leave the camp to explore, but also from your home base.

Pricing information is below the form

To ask questions or enquire about availability please use the form below.

Mosaic Lagoon Lodge

Mosaic Lagoon Lodge

The Walker bay nature reserve has an incredible range of wild flowers, and is a fantastic birding location, with a wide range of south african birds present across the year.

With its wildlife not including the big 5 this is a more hands on safari destination. It is a perfect place for a family to come and explore what wildlife you can find. There is also 3km frontage onto the Hermanus Lagoon

Mosaic lodge is a luxurious place to stay within the reserve.  with only 5 suites available it will never feel crowded.For the ultimate private getaway, LAGOON LODGE captures the essence of tranquillity  scattered through an ancient milkwood grove. A pampered stay here is all-inclusive of meals, adventure activities and house beverages/wine/beer/spirits. Relaxing massage, skin and nail treatments can be indulged in at the Mosaic Rain Spa (either indoor or outdoor), using organic Rain Africa products (additional charges apply). The 5 suites include both double or twin depending on the need, and a family suite for a couple with 2 children. These suites are spread through an ancient Milkwood grove (beautiful trees, but also shading the suites keeping them cool). Spa treatments are availabile  (though some may incur an additional expense)

After a touch of bird watching from a secluded veranda, head down the boardwalks under a canopy of trees to the heated plunge pool overlooking the mountains and lagoon, where favourite water birds can be spotted. Drinks and meals are shared outdoors or in the dining room by a fireplace that will warm one’s soul.W


Activities at Mosaic include being immersed in awesome fynbos flowers and bird-life of the Cape Floral Kingdom, lagoon cruises, stunning beaches, fascinating marine life and some of the world’s most beautiful wine lands. This is topped off with warm smiling staff serving fresh cuisine paired with delicious South African wine. Mosaic is also centrally located to whale watching, marine tours, shark cage diving and exploring the Overberg Wine Region, and the perfect location for nature and activity lovers.

Fascinating water birds are all around, and you can simply sit and watch from the comfort of your suites veranda.

Food is also spectacular. With a chef, baker and gardener you can expect delicious food prepared fresh, often from ingredients grown within a few miles of the lodge, all paired with wonderful local wines. The cuisine at Mosaic is fresh, delicious and the creative mastery of our team and local producers is easy to see. Breakfast is a hearty fare with freshly baked muffins, homemade jams, fresh fruit and a hot meal.  Lunch is served gourmet picnic style outdoors or around blazing fires when there is a chill in the air. Sumptuous dinners are prepared by the chef and built around organic vegetables from the garden and local seasonal ingredients…and best paired with fine South African wine from the Mosaic cellar!

And as evening falls, exquisite colours of the sun setting over the lagoon and the glorious expanse of the star-filled South African sky are witnessed.

Depending on the weather, meals can be had indoors beside a roaring fire, or outside watching the sunset, and enjoying the stars.

Both includes:

All-inclusive of all meals, welcome drink, house beverages/wine/beer/spirit, prices lie below the form

Family suite
Couples Suite

If you have an questions or are interested in visiting (or indeed would like to check availability), please fill out the form below

Forest of Dean

Forest of Dean - Boar Watching

The Forest of Dean is perhaps one of the biggest and healthiest woodlands within the UK.

Part of this is down to its significant population of wild boar.

Before humans hunted wild boar to extinction, they were a highly important part of our ecosystem, and generally woodlands in the UK show their absence.

What do I mean? One of the benefits of wild boar is that their rooting behavior. While humans often do not like this, as this rooting behavior can destroy gardens or picturesque roundabouts,  areas that have had this treatment are perfect for trees to germinate and start to grow.

Indeed we were astounded walking around the forest to see so many small copses of new tree nurseries. In this sense wild boar fulfill a similar niche of being ecosystem engineers as beavers in rivers.

Apart from the boar, there is a healthy population of deer. Roe deer exist here naturally. Fallow deer were introduced by the Normans and this is the most common species to see. In recent years Muntjac deer have also recently become established and are fascinating. There are a small number of red deer that still exist though seeing these is a lucky day.

Adult rooting with boarlets (or as some call them Humbugs)
One of the big advantages of boar presence is a reduction of ground cover

Wild boar are surprisingly large animals and we have had a couple of encounters with them on our visits.

The best way to spot them is by driving some of the back roads in the early evening.

I have once spotted a family from the car, and this year two boar ran past while we were walking a forest path.

Both were in a similar location. I will put together a page of information that will be sent with any booking made from the accommodation further down the page, or I can provide just this information for £10 if you have found a place to stay elsewhere.

The Forest of Dean is a truly wild woodland. While it is scattered with villages and towns, this is the only place I have seen beetles actually behaving as dung beetles, in the UK.

The government has also started a process of translocating pine martens to the area, and while the animal is shy, signs of its presence will increase over the next few years. If the translocation is successful, then it will also slowly remove the grey squirrels from this wood, which apart from being good for the health of the trees, will allow red squirrels to recolonize.

Visiting a place like this allows you to hunt for signs of the animals such as tracks, as well as spotting the actual animal itself.

Boar are highly intelligent, and fascinating to see. Care should be taken as they can be dangerous, particularly when they have young.

Places to stay

Below is a variety of lodgings which are close to wild parts of the forest. There is also a link to search all accommodation available within the forest of dean. Any bookings support the work of the site. The places we have listed are close to where we have had our sightings, however boar are found throughout the forest so do not feel restricted to just the places we listed.

Campsites will be listed below the hotels.

Link to search all available lodgings listed on throughout the Forest of Dean
Inglewood House Monmouth, prices from £90
Demense Farm Guesthouse, monmouth, prices from £122
Raglan Lodge, Monmouth, prices from £40
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Forest Walk Coleford, prices from £60
Lodge rooms, Coleford, prices from £80
Bell Hotel Coleford, Prices from £60
Angel Hotel Coleford, Prices from £99

Campsites coming soon

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Devon river otter – beavers

River Otter in Devon - Beavers

Beavers can be seen once again, living wild in the UK. This is fantastic news for the cleanliness of our rivers. Despite rumours spread about their impacts on fish the beavers return is fantastic for the health of the river. Furthermore, beaver dams often make great nursaries for fish fry.

Young beaver, sighted in the middle of the day

The UK is missing much of its wildlife, that once lived here. Humans have gradually eliminated much of the mammals that we once shared this country with. In particular, in England we have lost almost all large wilderness ecosystems, which makes it hard to reintroduce mammals we pushed to local extinction.

However, beavers are an exception. Being water mammals, they live in rivers – places that we cant grow crops anyway.

People have argued that they would dam large numbers of rivers, and flood vast landscapes, making it impossible for fish to migrate up stream (bizarrely forgetting that beavers and fish have coexisted in the UK and the rest of Europe for millions of years). However in Europe, one of the most useful things that Beavers do, is reduce the height of flooding, and largely eliminate flash flooding. Indeed, a village in Wales that had been flooded for three years in a row, set aside 10 acres above the village and introduced a family of beaver, and there have been no floods since then.

Back in 2008 a family of beavers appeared on the River Otter. The government immediately said that they needed testing for diseases, but would not be allowed to return regardless of the outcome. The village complained, and eventually the beavers were given five years of living on the River Otter, during which time a study would be carried out.

Initially, there was concern we did not know the origin of these beavers. Genetic analysis showed that they were European beavers, and a health check showed them to be clear of illnesses that can afflict them.

As expected, the beavers were highly beneficial. They have thrived on the river, and now around 30 lives in the original stretch of river, there are now thought to be between 300 and 500 living wild in Devon and this number is only increasing. They have increased biodiversity, slowed river flow and improved water quality. Recently they were given the right to remain permanently by the British government. Given the space, beavers will likely return to all parts of the UK in the next few decades.

A clear view of the young beaver's tail
We could see these beavers in the entrance to their lodge

Beavers are wonderful animals to watch. As environmental engineers they change the river and surrounding area, and these changes are often highly beneficial for other animals. In Europe, beaver pools are often very good for fish nurseries, as well as being highly popular for both water voles and otters.

The beavers on the River Otter are no different. I recently spent some time with my family on this river watching the beavers.

As with any wildlife trip, I had done extensive research so knew roughly where to look.  However we found it surprisingly easy to find them.

Beavers make a  fantastic introduction to wildlife watching for small children. This is because they are reasonably predictable, most active in the early morning and early evening.

Also, given their security of being safe in the water  you can sit or stand on one bank and watch them on the  opposite bank, and they will happily get on with their own lives.

My children are six and eight and in a weekend we saw the beavers perhaps six times for a total of around an hour. Their excitement was wonderful to see

A walk along the bank of the River Otter may well lead to a sighting. However if you are in the right place, you are highly likely to see them. 

Below are a series of links for you to use on your visit. These should help you find a place to stay nearby.

I will put together some brief information about where we have encountered beavers, and where we found the dams. The cost will be £10, though if you book accomodation through one of the links below it will be reduced to £5. 

The area where the beavers live is covered in villages. Generally these are small so staying anywhere in the area is good. The maps hows all listed places, or indeed use the blue enclosed search link.

Places within Ottery St Mary

Tumbling Weir Hotel, Ottery St Mary. Click image for more
The Wheel House, Ottery St Mary, click image for more
Search for devon hotels

This is a rural area, so hotels are not exactly where the beavers live. However, beavers have spread throughout the river otter valley, and there are now thought to be around 30. Use the above link to access rest of the hotels in the area, and the map below to see what is available

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