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March 24, 2015

Samara – “A Curious Cheetah”

A Curious Cheetah

It was a beautiful morning with a clear blue sky. Everyone was in eager anticipation of what we might encounter on our morning game drive and as usual, Mother Nature held her best until last. Little did we know we would experience an amazing cheetah sighting. Having spent a couple of wonderful hours searching, we came across the graceful and elegant Giraffes and majestic Elands. We spotted the cheetah south of Surprise dam lying in the grass.

We approached on foot and for about 20 minutes we stared at these awesome wild creatures so close. The female cheetah, out of curiosity, decided to take a few steps to check what our intentions were. My guest did not believe how close we were and what an awesome experience it was. Africa and its wildlife continue to enthrall and surprise, yet never disappoint.
Hunting Female Cheetah
As dawn broke at Samara Private Game Reserve and the choral sounds of early morning birds was heard across the reserve, we headed out on our morning drive to see what the new day had to offer, hoping to see a young female cheetah. As I stepped out of the vehicle at the area where the cheetah was previously sighted, we saw that there had been activity in the sandy path and the guests’ eyes and ears immediately tuned in to the possibility of an up close encounter with arguably the most amazing African mammal.

As we moved off again in a westerly direction towards the boundary, I picked up tracks and signal. We walked through the Acacia Karoo bushes and there was a feeling of excitement as we made our way around the corner of a well trodden animal path. Suddenly the swish of a tail on our left caught my attention and less than 10 meters away, a young female cheetah meandered from Acacia to Acacia. She stopped as we approached and wistfully watched us before lying down. After much clicking of cameras the guest were in awe to be close to such amazing animal.
Winged Visitors

Amur Falcon – Falco amurensis
We had an amazing sighting on Kondoa Mountain, of one of the migratory birds – the Amur Falcon. The Amur falcon takes its name from its Asian breeding grounds around Amur river between China and Russia. It is a gregarious migrant usually arriving in the reserve in the company of the Lesser Kestrels in November and December, staying until the last summer rains. Amur falcons travel up to 22,000 km in a year, this being one of the longest migration routes of all birds. Before departure they often gather in huge flocks in a last communal feed before heading back north for summer in Siberia and northern Manchuria.
Bird of the Week – Cape Glossy Starling
We had a great sighting of a Cape Glossy Starling, a common resident seen throughout the reserve. The scientific name of the Cape Glossy Starling is Lamprotornis nitens; lamprotornis from the Greek which means bright and nitens from Latin means shining. That’s a bright and shinning bird and it couldn’t be more accurate. A Cape Glossy Starling seen in bright sunlight, reflects a particularly striking colour – an iridescent dark blue that shimmers vividly as the bird moves and the sun dances off its feathers. If it moves into the shade the iridescence is lost and the bird becomes rather dull by comparison. It is the bright sunlight that brings the glossy to its name.

Volunteer Update
Don’t forget that we have some spaces on our Volunteer Programme in April and July so don’t hesitate to send your request to

From our Kitchen : Onion Marmalade

• 6 large onions, thinly sliced
• 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
• 6 tbsp olive oil
• 3 tsp dried mixed herbs
• 1 tsp coriander seeds
• 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
• 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 4 tbsp dark brown sugar, preferably muscovado
• Salt & black pepper to taste

1. Place the sliced onions into a heavy roasting pan and add the garlic, olive oil, dried herbs and coriander seeds. Stir well to combine and then cook for 30 minutes at 180 deg. in the oven, stirring occasionally.
2. Stir in the vinegar and sugar and continue to cook for another 10-20 minutes until the onions have become well caramelized and quite a dark brown. Stir occasionally and keep an eye on them to ensure that they don’t burn Stir in 4 tablespoons of water and continue to cook for another 10 minutes until the marmalade is well thickened and slightly sticky. Season to taste.
3. If you are not planning on using the onion marmalade immediately, wash a preserving jar or a couple of jam jars, rinse thoroughly, then dry in a warm oven. Stand them upside down on a clean tea towel.
4. Place the onion marmalade into the jars and cover with a disc of wax paper before sealing the lids tightly.
This will last a good couple of months stored in the refrigerator.

Guest Comments for March

Findlay – We had such an incredible time. We honestly loved every minute and feel so fortunate to have stayed. Thank you everyone for your welcome.

Sven & Tessa – Beautiful setting. Loved the view from the top of the mountain, accommodation is lovely and warm. Lovely staff.

Huisamen – What a magical African experience.

Samara Zagnoieu – A truly beautiful experience. I will treasure the memories forever.

If you need any more detailed information, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time @ or visit

Category: Blog

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