March 2010 – Nkurru Newsletter

Hi,

It was great seeing everybody at the AGM.  Nice to catch up and discuss the coming year at the lodge.

We have already sent out a short summary of everything that was discussed at the meeting but if you still have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at the lodge.

Madikwe Sunset

We have had a few days open at the lodge during which time we have taken care of quite a few maintenance issues.  None of these were included on the CapEx list as we still need to collect all the monies and also arrange for a maintenance week during which to tackle all the larger projects.  Some of the projects we completed the last week includes:

  • Wooden Screens –We broke down and rebuilt many of the wooden screens around the lodge, the main one being the one around the generator which was half falling into the driveway.
  • DSTV – In stead of calling in a contractor we decided to first chop off the tops of the trees which were blocking the satellite dish’s view of the sky.  Saved a lot of money and the TV is back to perfect working order – just in time for the Super 14!
  • Staff Village – As discussed at the shareholders meeting, the staff village needs attention.  During this week the staff not only cut all the trees at least ½ meter away from the building and roof but also started a garden and boma.  Looking good so now the challenge is to keep it up.
  • Showerheads – We have replaced the showerheads in 4 of the 5 rooms – again.  Until we install the water descaling system we are going to have to keep on doing this so the sooner the better.
  • Lodge Floors – Once every few months we strip the built up polish off the lodge floors so during this last week we carried all the furniture out of the lodge, cleaned the floors and put everything back.
  • General – With a few days open we also did a lot of general maintenance around the lodge and rooms.

We have started arranging a few of the CapEx projects already and will keep you posted as things develop.  One of the main items discussed at the shareholder’s meeting was the purchase of a new game viewer.  We have gotten all our ducks in a row and have quote for new Toyota Land Cruisers as well as the conversions but the first step is to find a buyer for our current vehicle.  If you know of anybody who might be looking for a second hand game viewer please let us know!  Trying to get this one sorted out as soon as possible.

From a staff point of view we are slowly implementing all the new staff scheduling as discussed at the meeting.  We are taking things step by step so that the staff know exactly what is expected of them.  Should you need more clarity on this when you get to the lodge please don’t hesitate to ask.  As soon as we have finalized the ‘What to Expect From Nkurru Staff’ document we will send it out to all shareholders.

Maropeng Youngster

On the wildlife & nature side of things it has been lions everywhere!  The lion reductions has begun and to date three lions have been removed from the park with another 30 or so to go.

Sebaba LionessThe highlight of the last few weeks is the fact that the Tshabalala females have been bringing the 4 month old Maropeng youngsters out into the open more regularly.  These five little guys make for absolutely fantastic sightings and if you are lucky the two Kgala-Etali males also join in on the fun.

For the last 3 weeks the pride has been hanging around the Western airstrip which means we get fantastic sightings of the youngsters out in the open and because it is so far South the sightings are never really busy.  On numerous occasions we have sat watching and photographing the youngsters as they play around in the early morning sun.  Gonna be great to watch these little guys grow up.

Further North, the Tshola Mateya coalition have pretty much settled into the Tau concession with an occasional trip down to the ridge.  Mateya is still in bad shape and it seems that during the last few weeks his condition has gone a little backwards.  Still a beautiful animal, we can just hope that his brother can take care of him for a little while longer.

The two Sereti males have been chased all over the place and seem to be settling in around the Wonderboom area.  Pretty big for their age, it’s great to have to males around our lodge and in time these boys should turn into a force to be reckoned with.

The Etali female and her two youngsters have been seen around Tlou Dam for a few weeks now and it still seems that she is keeping them away from all the males in the West.  Not sure wehre she is going to end up but will keep you posted.

Leopard sightings have been rather quiet but we still get the occasional spotted cat.

With summer drawing to a close, we can see an increase of animals to the waterhole.  Rain has been quite spread out which means there is virtually no surface water or seasonal puddles around.  Even Tlou Dam is rather empty for this time of year so let’s hope it gets pumped this year.

The bird life is still not bad but during the next few weeks the migrants will signal the beginning of winter when they start their journey up north.

In general we have had fanatstic sightings, both on drive and at the lodge, and if you would like to see more wildlife images you can head over to Photo-Arica.  Some of the posts from the last few weeks include:

If you are keen on improving your wildlife, or any other type of,  photography let me know as later this year I will be running various workshops and photographic safaris.  These workshops will take place in Johannesburg, Pretoria and later this year in the Cape Winelands as well.  Keep an eye onPhoto-Africa for more details as it becomes available.  Also, between 18 and 31 March Adele and I will be in Johannesburg and during this time I will be doing various hospitality and lifestyle shoots.  If you would like to have a lifestyle portrait shoot done during this time please let me know so that we can book a date!

Zebra Close Up

One last thing before we end it off.  Could we ask that all shareholders please take a few minutes to send us your updated contact details.  In between a PC crash in January and very old mailing lists it is time that we update our contacts list.  Thanks!!

If you have questions, comments or suggestions please don’t hesitate to contact us as the lodge.  Alternatively we look forward to seeing you ant Nkurru!

Warmest regards,

Gerry, Adele & the Nkurru Team