Gys, our guide greeted us after our long, over night flight from Heathrow to Johannesburg. There we met up with the other 12 members of the group and boarded our coach. It was a 4 hour drive up to the Entabeni Game Reserve, the first stop on our trip. Entabeni is in the Waterberg Mountains in Limpopo Province in northern South Africa. We were staying on the upper escarpment at the Lakeside Lodge.
The dominant feature as we approached the lodge was the towering Entabeni a craggy orange sandstone mountain. The scenery of this area is spectacular as the mountain rises vertically from the flat, open grassland. We left the coach at the entrance and were collected by our rangers in the landcruisers we would be using during our stay at the Lakeside Lodge. The lodge as the name implied was along the shore of the lake. After a welcome drink we were shown to our lodge. It was very clean and comfortable with a small outside terrace with beautiful views over the lake.
Within minutes of arriving a Grey Headed Kingfisher appeared perching on a branch outside and Vervet monkeys and Impala roamed the grounds. As we sat enjoying a pre lunch drink two Elephants came down to the opposite shore to have a drink. Already a promising start before the afternoon drive.
After lunch it was time for our first game drive on the upper escarpment. The Elephants we had seen drinking had now been joined by more and there was now a group of them on the edge of the lodge. This provided us with a chance to get some close up photographs before one of them decided to mock charge the vehicle. Time to make a quick exit.
Entabeni’s Upper Escarpment
On the open grassland, Wildebeest, Zebra, Warthogs and groups of Impala females grazed. There were also a number of Black Impala amongst the herd, which the guide told us made them targets for poachers.
A pair of Eland, the second largest antelope, stood majestically observing us as we drove past. Hartebest, Blesbok and Nyala grazed near the track. Red Billed Franklin and Helmeted Guinea Fowl scratched furiously in the dust and darted away as we approached. As we drove into an acacia scrub two Rhino appeared, ignoring us they continued to graze.
As the light started to fade we headed back to the lodge, having our sundowners as the sun disappeared behind the Waterberg mountains.