welcome sign

dung beetle sign


In February my mom and I packed the car and headed out to Sondela Nature Reserve, near Bela Bela, for a week in the bush. All we wanted to do was get out of the city for a bit, put our feet up, read, do arts and crafts and do some animal watching. We’d had such a crazy busy week before we drove out on Monday afternoon and on the drive there we couldn’t wait to get there and have a G&T. We stayed in a gorgeous chalet and made ourselves at home immediately. The patio was my favourite and where we spent most of our time relaxing.


2014-02-04 01.16.40

main room

We couldn’t get over how tame the animals were! On our first night there the Nyala females walked right up to us and I fed them pellets that the reserve had left in the chalet for us. The next day my mom and I bought some more pellets in anticipation of many more visits by the Nyala. It was such an awesome experience as they ate right out of my hand! The animals all came right up to the patio and during the heat of the day would sleep under the trees surrounding the chalet.

me feeding nyala

nyala females 5

feeding male nyala

nyala males 2

We had a few other visits from a family of warthogs, male nyala and some birds. It was extremely hot there and the one morning the cleaning lady filled a bucket of water and put it outside. When I asked her what she was doing she said she was giving the Nyala some water to drink. As she walked away from the bucket the Nyala walked right up to it and started having a drink. I am sure they were only too grateful for that in the heat. We went for a drive through the reserve but found that we saw more animals while sitting on our patio.


nyala drinking water

At night while we sat on the patio we could hear all the sounds of the bush especially the zebra calling out to each other. The bush sunsets are breathtaking and the peace and quiet so relaxing.

evening in the bush

me braaing

Another mindblowing experience for me was walking for an hour with 3 lion cubs! I have ridden an African elephant as well as an Asian elephant, walked with a baby hippo and held a vulture and bushbaby. I grew up in the bush and was exposed to many amazing animals. I’m going to do another post all about walking with the 3 lion cubs with some great pics.

tan with cubs 6

The week away was exactly what we needed and when it got to the Friday we wished we had one more week there. I will definitely head out there again before the end of the year.