For many Londolozi guides, a bush walk will always hold a special place in our hearts. Having the privilege to explore the reserve on foot and experience the beauty of the bush is the best way to spend any morning. Walking in the bush allows us to connect with nature on a deeper level through the heightening of all of our senses, taking in all the small details that often go unnoticed. The act of walking allows us to see and feel the environment the way the animals do, becoming true participants in the natural world. Stepping away from the vehicle with friends has created one of my most memorable mornings.
How it Started
A few of the rangers had a morning off, and grabbing the opportunity with both hands we thought it would be a great idea to pack in a few sandwich ingredients, grab the jaffle-irons and head down to walk along the Manyeleti Riverbed. The aim was to walk the length of the riverbed that runs through the northern parts of the reserve, a place not easily accessible to vehicles, and of course enjoy these tasty toasted treats at the end. The crew consisted of alumni Guide James Tyrrell (who took all these photos), Chris Taylor, Nick Tennick, Robbie Ball, Kate Arthur and myself.
Starting off from where the Manyaleti River enters onto our property on our Northern boundary, the river meanders south and east towards our eastern boundary. The river passes through (and itself creates) arguably some of the most scenic areas on the reserve. The walk was around 8km, through thick sand and dense vegetation, so although stunning we had to remain on high alert the entire time due to the possibility of encountering any animals.
With Robbie and Kate taking the lead for the walk, James with his camera in hand and Chris and myself with binoculars at the ready we had some special bird sightings, found some beautiful mud wallows, the odd hyena and an awesome encounter with a hippo, all helping to build up an appetite.
For those who do not know what a jaffle is, firstly you need to try one! Secondly, jaffles are delicious toasted sandwiches prepared within a castiron jaffle-iron, seated in the coals of a fire. Cooked just to perfection, they are a delectable mid-bush walk treat.
While each ranger will argue the optimal jaffle combination, we settled on the winner: Bread and butter filled with cheese, bacon, caramelised onions, chutney and black pepper. It’s moments like this, with friends, food and a few good laughs while in nature that will stay with me forever and epitomise the Spirit of the Londolozi family.
With the lodge being slightly quieter at this time of year, I for one won’t miss any opportunities to embark on another bush walk, especially if there is a jaffle stop at the end. I hope that you will be joining in on the next one…
Filed under Birds General Nature Ranger
How wonderful to see James Tyrrell once again out for a bush walk with you fortunate rangers who had a day free from guiding. I can’t think of anything better than a group of friends out for some good times and the promise of a jaffle stop along the way. I had the good fortune of two brunches provided for me during my last trip, but my favorite was the jaffle brunch prepared by James Souchon, complete with Bloody Mary’s in the Maxabene Riverbed. Our special grilled sandwich was a Caprese, but your bacon, cheese, caramelized onions, chutney, and pepper combination could be a new “must try” – just need a jaffle maker!!
Sounds like the perfect day with friends!
Walking in the bush is one of the best things you can do. Love it.
And a nice bush breakfast after such a walk is the cherry on the cake.
Is it possible? Please, please tell us that James is back at Londolozi . . . for good! All the best to all of Londolozi from Arizona, USA.
That walk down the river looks like so much fun, interesting sighting of everything so up and close. Look at the little barn swallow and tortoise that you would of missed riding the the Land Rover. Oh the Alumni Ranger James Tyrrell that everyone loved so much with his humorous sayings, who can forget that incredible Ranger. You are so privileged to be in the open there on foot , having the experience of eating the famous Jaffels. I am sure it is also dangerous being there on foot, but the exhilaration experience can not be bought, only experienced one on one.
Lovely! “Your ” barn swallows will become “our ” barn swallows in a few months… so nice to observe one of them that close. Here they typically nest in stables under the roof
Sounds like a great day and now I’m craving a Jaffel sandwich….
Keagan, it sounds like a lot of fun was had by all.
Now I’m hungry. For a bush walk. And, a jaffle!
Will make the request for a similar experience when we visit in August!
Great to see James, and firing up the sandwich press tonight in your honor Keagan!
Walking in a riverbed is special. Having good friend is even more and enjoying a jaffle (we call them boepensbroodjies) creates memories.