Overview, trip report, images and reviews from our visit to Drakensberg Sun Resort.
We are privileged to own a timeshare week at Bushtime at Mabula, located in the Mabula Private Game Reserve. We visit every year to spend time with our family, to revitalize ourselves for the year ahead and to enjoy and capture the beauty of nature.
Situated at the foothills of the Waterberg Mountains in a private game reserve, is one of Africa’s hidden secrets. Whether taking a short break or a well-deserved holiday, BushTime at Mabula has it all. Situated at the foothills of the Waterberg mountains, within the 10 000 hectares Mabula Private Game Reserve, this bush resort offers prolific game which includes the “Big 5” and more than 300 recorded bird species.
The accommodation units are located in four separate camps each with its’ own unique setting. “Modjadji” has the bush and wide open plains, “Sunset Hill” has views forever and sunsets that only Africa can offer, while “Bush and Game Lodge” has magnificent views over the plains and distant hills. The chalets have been spaced to maximize privacy and enhance the feeling of being in the wild.
All the units are fully self-catering and range from one-bedroom chalets to six bedroom bush camps. A mere two hours drive from Johannesburg this malaria-free Reserve will ensure that you leave feeling rejuvenated, with memories of quality time spent with family and friends, having experienced the wonders of the African bushveld.
Travels with Tshukudu: Bushtime at Mabula Trip Report
Friday, 1 Feb – We arrive just after 15:00, in time for check-in. The timeshare office is fairly quiet compared to previous years. Our youngest son arrives at the same time. Unpacking goes quickly with the extra pair of hands to assist. Bush House 2 is spotless, like every time before. A nice surprise is the new towel origami on the beds.
Saturday, 2 Feb – We spot a rhino cow and her calf close to our unit and get decent photographs. We generally prefer to have our game drives in the afternoons when it is cooler and the light is much better for photography. Liam is our guide for the afternoon drive. Our other son and his girlfriend arrive while we are on the game drive and our party is now complete.
Sunday, 3 Feb – We have Liam as a guide again, this time for the morning drive. We have a break to stretch our legs at the memorial site at Christmas Hill, a place of remembrance for guests and staff to honour deceased family members. I prepare our customary chicken dish for lunch, after which our youngest returned home. Study duties call!
Monday, 4 Feb – We spend the day relaxing and laying about. Frans is the guide for our afternoon drive. Close to the end of the drive, we meet up with elephants in the dusk at Modjadji Hill. Things tend to get a bit hairy when you have elephants coming up the hill, with safari vehicles behind you and you being the first in line. Frans, however, kept his cool and handled the situation calmly and professionally.
Tuesday, 5 Feb – Mariaan and I go out alone with Katlego as the guide on the morning drive. We see elephants again and are privileged to find the cheetah mum and her cubs at a fresh kill. Son and girlfriend stayed behind and prepared a chicken potjie. What a feast! On the night drive with Liam, we see an owl and a civet on the plain by below BH2. We nearly drove over a sick jackal pup that lingered close to our unit.
Wednesday, 6 Feb – We have Mashudu as our guide on the morning drive. We got excellent photographs of weaver males building their nests at TPA dam. Sham is the guide on the afternoon drive. We visit all the major dams and captures nice sunsets when we stop to stretch our legs.
Thursday, 7 Feb – Up at 4:30 to go on the early morning drive. We have Mashudu as our guide. We meet Scarface, an injured giraffe. Apparently, he gets into fights often and ends up the worst off. We overheard that the sick jackal pup was reported to Wildlife Management. The rest of our party depart just after lunch. Katlego as our guide on the afternoon drive. We see lots of rhinos in two separate sightings. For the first time ever we stop at Elephant Dam for a leg stretch and refreshments.
Friday, 8 Feb – Sadly, time to pack up and go. As is customarily we go to the curio shop to buy some mementoes and say goodbye to a group of British tourists which we have gotten to know and frequently meet on game drives.
Things that stand out on this trip is the number of animals we saw grooming each other – the most unusual being young Impalas! Perhaps as a result of the number of ticks around due to the heavy rains and luscious grass.
There were lots of baby animals after the good rainfall and the bush was green and lush. All the dams were full. We saw more than 25 different animal species, the most ever on a trip to Mabula.
As always, an incredible trip. The magic of Mabula is good for mind and soul.