After a wonderful stay recently with her mum and dad, adventurous 10 year old Jodie Ramackers wrote us a lovely review of her stay at Ulusaba, highlighting all the exciting and surprising activities she got up to. Thanks so much Jodie for writing this blog for us. Come back and visit anytime.
Ahhhh… Ulusaba Rock Lodge. Just the name makes me excited. Upon arrival at Reception, situated at the airstrip, we met our ranger, Philip and our tracker, David. Our luggage was loaded onto a game drive truck and we headed towards the camp. A steep uphill climb to the camp leads to an amazing view. At the top we were greeted by our gracious host, Anel. As you walk into the restaurant you find yourself staring at the bush. Wide and open, you have a view of a waterhole where hippos are lying all day long. Two comfy chairs, a pair of binoculars and you’re ready to watch giraffe, zebra and rhino going to drink.
We checked into our room, Makwela Dusk. Our beautiful swimming pool has a view of the next “koppie”. I opened my Ulusaba Cubs Club backpack, which contains a film camera, pencils, an activity book, a Cubs Club peak cap and some choccies. I even got my very own welcoming letter! I started sending postcards like crazy!
In the early evening, we left on a game drive. First we drove past the old airstrip where we saw some wildebeest and zebra. After that Philip said he had a surprise for us. As it got dark we arrived at the most amazing sighting: a leopard lying in a tree with an impala kill and hyenas lying in wait to steal the kill.
The next morning we awoke to the most beautiful sunrise and then we headed to morning tea and after that embarked on our morning game drive. Our first sighting was a journey of giraffe, a troop of baboons and then a female elephant grazing with her two calves. The one calf was extremely inquisitive and stuck out his trunk to sniff us. We headed to a “surprise” as Philip stated it. The Ottawa pride of lions: two females and three cubs. They were lying there in the bushes, very peacefully. We found a leopard going to drink and a female appeared as if out of nowhere watching him from the other bank. We stopped for a tea break and I drank hot chocolate. On the way back we saw some dwarf mongoose! We also saw a herd of buffalo. After a delicious breakfast hosted by Philip, we headed back to our room.
Later in the morning I was taken on a Cubs Club experience. I sat on the tracker seat! How exciting! I found tracks of hippo, giraffe, impala, waterbuck and wildebeest and Philip taught me how to use plants for an emergency. David showed me how to make rope from the bark of a silver clusterleaf tree and he even made me a bracelet from it. We saw hippos lying on the banks of a dam. We headed to the Safari Lodge where we shopped in the curio shop. At the curio shop we met friendly Sarah. As part of my Cubs Club experience, Philip had organised that I learn some skills in the kitchen, where chef Shane taught me how to make pizzas. We had a nice lunch (I ate my pizzas of course).
After lunch, I went to swim in the heated swimming pool and after that in the smaller one on our deck. An elephant was grazing right by our pool! That was awesome!
Going on the evening game drive we saw a cheetah on an impala kill. Suddenly two hyenas closed in and stole the kill! We observed the most magnificent sunset. At the same spot where the Ottawa pride was we found the lions again! They had not moved. We returned, ate dinner and went back to our room, exhausted.
On our morning game drive we stopped by the river to have a look at the hippos, birds, waterbuck and crocodiles that were there. Philip said he had another surprise for us – a female leopard calling for her cub. How special is that! On the way back we saw a kudu and a memory of elephants blocking the road. We headed back to camp.
David drove us to the curio shop at the Safari Lodge and we bought a lot of stuff. Sadly, we had to say goodbye. We drove to the airstrip and loaded up our luggage. That was one of my best experiences ever. I will never forget it.