Close encounter with a lion

Before our first gamedrive in Madikwe, our safari guide asked us, “What do you want to see?” Well, we had just been in Pilanesberg and seen both lions and leopards on multiple occasions, but always from far away or hidden in the bushes. So we said, “The big cats, but a little closer!” And boy did we see big cats! “Is this close enough?” our guide asked. It was so close that my 300mm lens almost didn’t want to focus…

Majestic bull elephant

A majestic bull elephant in Madikwe Game Reserve. These animals are so big and so impressive! I know they are often called gentle giants, but for me the emphasis is on giant, and not so much on the gentle. If such an elephant wants to go somewhere, he will, no matter whether your car is in the way…

Lioness resting

An old lady lioness lying on the ground with a full belly in the sunset. Her eyes seem to plead for some undisturbed rest. Although gamedrives keep their distance and do their best not to disturb the animals’ lives, I sometimes do feel like an intruder in their world…

Elephants coming down to drink

Every day around 2 PM the elephants in Madikwe Game Reserve come down to the waterhole in front of Jaci’s Tree Lodge. It is a beautiful sight to see these huge animals make haste to get to the water and have a drink!

Sterkfontein caves

40% of all fossil finds of hominids come from a relatively small area 60kms from where we live. It has become known as the Cradle of Humankind. Today we visited the Sterkfontein Cave in this region. Under an unassuming hill we found an impressive network of deep and roomy caves. At the end of the 19th century, these caves were mined for limestone. This limestone, made into quicklime, was used in the goldmines on the Witwatersrand. In the 1930s, the first Australopithicus (literally Southern Apeman) were found. The excavations continue until this day, and up until now some 500 hominids have been found. The hominids did not use the caves to live in. The most complete skeleton seems to have been from a boy who fell into the caves through a crack – but I’ve not been able to find whether all of them came into the caves in this way…

Sani Pass

The Sani Pass is the only route passable for motorvehicles that connects the east of Lesotho to Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa. The beginning of the Sani Pass road stands at 1544 meters, and at the top the height is 2876. Especially the final kilometers of the Pass are steep and tricky to drive – which is why only 4×4 vehicles are allowed on the road. In winter, parts of the road are always in the shadow, and streams of water turn into ice. A real adventurous journey!