Which Accommodation Best Suits You?

Mabalingwe Nature Reserve offers a wide variety of accommodation options, fit to cater for any person or group’s needs. Whether you prefer a more tranquil spot from which to listen to the soul-soothing sounds of the bush, or if your family wants to be in on the action and near the hive of activity at the Main Entertainment Centre; we have it all. So tell us, which accommodation best suits you?

  1. Ingwe Camp

Ideal for families looking to breakaway and spend quality time together, Ingwe Camp includes all the necessities for a home-away-from-home. Each unit is perched comfortably on a rocky outcrop, providing visitors with beautiful views over the Waterberg Valley to enjoy over a tasty meal alongside a crackling fire; surrounded by loved ones.

Pax.: 4/6                      No. of Units: 86

Ingwe Camp

  1. Kwalata Camp

Another well-situated camp for families, Kwalata Camp provides guests with stunning views of the dense Mabalingwe bush and is situated a short drive from the main pool area where families can frolic in the sunshine and splash about in the cool swimming pools.

Pax.: 4/6                      No. of Units: 20

Kwalata Camp

  1. Phiri Camp

This smaller camp is a great place for couples or smaller clusters of friends to enjoy one another’s company under the African sun, while still having a private unit to retreat to. The camp has its own unheated pool, baby pool and lapa; perfect for cooling off during the day and spotting wildlife in the nearby shrubbery while immersed in laughter under a twinkling night sky.

Pax.: 4             No. of Units: 15

Phiri Camp

  1. Kubu Camp

Kubu Camp is situated approximately 3km from Reception to provide guests with privacy and tranquillity in the heart of the bush. A wonderful spot for a reunion of friends; a spot from which to view passing game, relax poolside at Kubu’s unheated swimming pool, or to chat and share stories of the days adventures around a fire at Kubu’s lapa.

Pax.: 6             No. of Units: 12

Kubu Camp

  1. Kalahari Bush Camp

This permanent-tented bush camp is a great family or large group escape. Surround yourself in the thicket and spend time listening to the stridulating of beetles or call of the jackal. Kalahari Bush Camp is so named for being situated closely to the local Bush Pub, and is a great base from which to explore all the Reserve has to offer. Each tent is well-appointed, and the group shares common areas, such as; a fully-equipped kitchen, lapa/braai area and ablution facilities.

Ablution: Yes                           Pax.: 2             No. of Units: 5

Kalahari Oasis Camp

  1. Pitsi Bush Camp

An idyllic location for some much needed rest and relaxation, Pitsi Bush Camp offers five units with a communal kitchen, outdoor toilet and shower, lapa, and small splash pool. This camp is situated further away from the main activities at Mabalingwe and is a great spot for guests wishing to kick back and enjoy the lovely warm weather.

Ablution: Yes                           Pax.: 2             No. of Units: 5

Pitsi Camp

  1. 4X4 Camp

This camp is the most rustic of the accommodation available to guests and caters specifically for the adventurous few, who revel at the idea of “roughing-it” for a completely unique experience. Braai and ablution facilities are provided, but there is no electricity and the camp is only accessible by 4X4 vehicles. The camp is in an isolated section of the Nature Reserve, which is any camping lover or gadget guru’s paradise.

Ablution: Yes                           Pax.: 4             No. of Units: 7

4X4 Camp

Mbali Day Spa’s Sultry Shower Steamers

Summer is in full swing at Mabalingwe Nature Reserve and the hot African weather can sometimes leave you feeling drowsy and in need of a pick-me-up. While a hot bath might be great for just this reason in the winter, the warmer months tend to be isolated to short and sweet showers. So just like that – the Shower Steamer was created! These little pockets are packed full of your favourite aromas and when placed into the corner of the shower while you’re scrub-a-dubbing, can get you feeling uplifted and energised again. We’ve used Cinnamon and Orange Essential Oils to boost brain function for the hot day ahead while nourishing dry skin and creating a feeling of happiness! So here it is – our recipe for Mbali Day Spa’s Sultry Shower Steamers:

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Bicarbonate of Soda

1/4 Cup Tepid Water

5 Drops of Cinnamon and/or Orange Essential Oils

Shower Steamer Ingredients

VARIATIONS

  • You can really get creative with these little fizzies! Try using different moulds, or add a drop or two of a colourant to make them more playful.
  • Essential Oils come in a range of exciting scents and each has their own benefits. Trade these Essential Oils for Lavender Oil for a calming or relaxing version, or perhaps Peppermint Oil to clear your sinuses and to help you feel energised.

METHOD

Place the bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and slowly start to dribble the water in, in small doses. Stir constantly until the mixture turns into more of a paste. Don’t panic if your mixture becomes too runny, simply add small amounts of bicarb to correct it.

Test the mix by squeezing some in your hand; the paste should have a semi-dry or damp texture.

Spoon the mix into a mould of your choice and pack it tightly, forcing any spaces or air pockets out. Your steamers should be as dense as possible. Leave to air dry thoroughly or bake at 100°C for approximately 30 minutes or until dry.

Finally, remove the Shower Steamers from the mould and store in an airtight container. Drip the Essential Oils onto a Steamer before placing it in the corner of your shower. You can now enjoy the lovely aroma of a dissolving steamer!

Orange Essential Oil

TIPS

  • Try using a silicone mould, as the finished product can be crumbly
  • You can mix the Essential Oils into the product before drying, but we find they are the most potent when the Oils are applied just before use
  • Valentine’s Day is around the corner – why not whip up a batch of heart-shaped fizzies for a loved one?

The Traditional Uses of Plants

When travelling into nature, deep into the South African bushveld, we don’t often stop to appreciate the less-sought-after elements of the biome. Most adventurers search tirelessly through the thicket along the gravel roads to spot an elusive creature or calm giant; the game life always steals the show. We rarely tend to pause and stare, not through, but at the thicket itself. To pause and wonder at how a tree so large or a sea of beautiful flowers so vast, can influence our health and set us back onto a path of healing. Do you know just how incredible nature is? Have you ever considered the wonderful healing properties of the plant life all around us? We take a look at the traditional uses of plants…

For Stomach Ache:

Pink Malva Flower
A Pink Malva flower.

Wild Malva. Brewing this prettily pink flower into boiling water and drinking the infused water can help settle a sore tummy. This plant is widely used in a range of treatments by traditional healers.
Balderjan. This plant is very similar to mint and, if sipped as a tea, is said to calm the stomach.
Pepperbark Tree. People say the bark protecting the roots and stems of this plant can be dried, ground and mixed with water to cure stomach ache, amongst other ailments.

For Headaches:

Wormwood
The blossom of a Wormwood plant.

African Wormwood. This plant is traditionally used in a variety of ways to treat many different ailments, but can also be boiled to drink as tea, or made into a poultice to treat a headache.
Horseradish. It is full of beneficial properties and, when ingested, helps to alleviate pain.
Devil’s Claw. People infuse the plant with warm water as a long-standing practice for treating headaches.

For Aching Muscles:

Aloe Ferox
The vibrant colours of an Aloe Ferox.

Wild Malva. People not only use this little flower to ease a stomach but adding the leaves of the plant into bath water is said to help relax stiffened muscles and achy joints.
Aloe Ferox. This plant is widely used, even in popular cosmetics lines today, and has anti-inflammatory properties; perfect for soothing tired muscles.

For Flus and Colds:

Wild Garlic
White Wild Garlic flowers.

African Ginger. Chewing on segments of the roots of this plant has the same effect as store-bought ginger, and is commonly used by traditional groups.
Everlasting. People say that a tea brewed from the leaves of this plant treat the symptoms of flus and can still a terrible cough.
Wild Garlic. The bulbs of this plant can be boiled and ingested, much like the African Ginger, to treat coughing and sinuses.

There is a wide range of plants and trees throughout South Africa with various uses and applications which are rather interesting. Many of which have their own place the Traditional Uses of Plants. When you next visit Mabalingwe, consider accompanying our Eco-Tainment Team on the Live Long and Eco Trails to learn more about the incredible biome which is home to our most beloved Nature Reserve.

*This article was written for the sole purpose of creating intrigue into the plant-life in the biomes of South Africa. None of the above-mentioned plants have been proven to cure ailments of any nature, and anyone seeking medical advice should enlist the services of a qualified medical professional.

12 Best Sounds of the Bush

Journeying into the bush, across South Africa, isn’t only about seeing wild animals in their natural habitat – it is about the whole ecosystem and the plant life and biome which are the foundation of the habitat, it is about spending time with loved ones to create special memories and to get away from the bustle of the city, and it is also about experiencing the bush, undisturbed by man, and listening to the music of nature. Thinking back on wonderful times spent doing just that inspired this list of the 12 best sounds of the bush:

 

Crackling Fire

Fire cracking

How peaceful the sound of flames licking wood, while you get comfortable in a camping chair around the boma, is. At the start of the breakaway, it signals relaxation and at the end of one, the feeling of being grateful to have spent time in the veld. Crackling logs and shifting embers are the perfect background noise to families talking and laughing by the glow of the fire – this sound holds a special place in our hearts.

Spotted Hyenas

Guest photo of a hyena

There are few sounds as distinctive as a hyena laughing, a sort of odd high-pitched giggling that makes us picture a certain animated version of this creature, depicted as rather silly in a favourite children’s film about lions. But hyenas are actually rather intelligent and communicate using a number of sounds – some of which you may encounter while in the bush. The loudest of these sounds is laughter, which normally signals distress of some kind, and a whooping noise used to gather the clan. Hyenas also grunt and growl at one another.

Thunder and Lightning

Thunder and lightning storm

This just had to make the list. A thunderstorm swallows up the land, engulfs the sunshine, and pours down on the bushveld. A chorus of thunder and lightning, accompanied by the pitter-patter of large water drops smacking the ground starts and finishes within an instant. How incredibly powerful and dramatic these storms are, nourishing the bush and settling the dust before giving way to bright blue skies and crisp, fresh greenery to behold.

Hippopotamus

Guest photo of a hippo bellowing

Hippo’s are incredible creatures and can communicate above and below water simultaneously to determine territorial grounds and locate other members of the pod. Hippos send sound through their nostrils above the water, as well as vibrations through a fatty deposit on their necks below, while receiving messages above water using their ears, and absorbing the vibrations below water through their jaws. Most commonly heard are the bellows hippo’s make while splashing around in the water, another great sound of the bush.

Beetles and Crickets

Guest photo of crickets

Buzzing, chirping and stridulating of beetles and crickets – these sounds arrive with the setting of the sun, as the cool night air and twinkling stars envelope everything. It is lovely to sit in absolute stillness, if only for a few moments, to hear the insects of the bush rise from the grass and communicate with one another across vast distances. Many of these insects create these fascinating chirps by rubbing their legs together at different rates.

Birds

Guest photo of a hornbill

The sound of birdsong gently wakes you from sleep while on holiday, and unlike the harshness of an alarm, this sweet song is welcomed at the start of the day. When in the bush, a variety of bird sounds and chattering can be heard at different times of the day – a Fish Eagle soaring overhead, a hornbill startled from the road or an owl waking for the night.

Jackals

Guest photo of a jackal

Jackals produce a loud call that breaks through the silence in the evenings as we sit about and chat, causing everyone to shush and listen carefully. Jackals bark and howl to communicate, piercing the cool night air. Their calls are used to communicate with mates, as well as other jackals in the area and can be used to signal territories.

Elephants

Guest photo of an elephant

For the most part, the sounds we hear when in the presence of elephants are those of snapping branches and ears flapping to cool down in the heat, but elephants have a unique set of sounds you might be lucky to hear once in a while. Elephants trumpet to express emotions of distress, or joy if they are engaged in play. These creatures can also roar to intimidate unwelcome visitors. Mostly, however, elephants will communicate through vibrations in the ground and can sometimes rumble so loudly that the noise can be faintly heard.

Lion Prides

Lion roaring

A roaring lion or lioness in the dead of night can be frightening and awe-inspiring. Their call echoes far and wide and the sound can travel up to 8 kilometres. Lions roar to announce their presence to other large cats as well as to stake claim to their territory. Lions can also purr, like domestic cats, only this sound can make the ground feel as though it is trembling!

Impala

Ecotainer photo of a rooibok

A surprising sound of the bush would be that of an Impala alarm call. An Impala barks to alert others in the herd of danger and this sound can often seem like that a dog would make. Another sound created by these graceful antelope that needs mention is that of them running, or bounding across the plains. They push off from the ground to gain speed, and when a large herd take-off at the same time, their hooves contacting the ground can make quite the noise.

Frogs and Toads

Frog in grass

Taking a game drive in the evening can turn out to be a unique adventure, as many animals of the bush appear in the cool protection of the moonlight. Something you may not have noticed while on one of these drives is stopping by a watering hole or river, not for the sights of big cats, but rather to listen to the deafening croaking and chirping of the frogs. Frogs surface at night, when many birds have gone to roost and their music fills the night air to accompany the insects in the grass – a melody of the bush.

Baboons

Guest photo of baboon in a tree

This one sure is a sound that could make you jump out of your skin if you weren’t expecting it! Baboon’s barks travel across the landscape and are a display of dominance and act as a location pin-pointer for others. Baboons make many other vocalisations such as: calling, grunting and howling, but barking, in particular, is the sound we mostly associate with this creature and the bush.

Naturally, every individual would have their favourite from this list of the 12 best sounds of the bush. Having the opportunity to experience any number of these incredible sounds is an absolute treat for many avid bushveld explorers, and we are so lucky to have many of these sounds, and others, to enjoy at Mabalingwe Nature Reserve.