For the past two and a half years, I have explored the beautiful N’wanetsi Concession that is home to Singita Lebombo and Sweni, and I have had the privilege of sharing this wilderness with a number of guests from around the world.
On so many occasions, being in this wilderness area has taken my breath away. Leaving this area now is conjuring up many emotions — emotions that are ultimately being transformed into ever-lasting memories.
If I think about what makes me cherish the N’wanetsi Concession so much, I’d have to say that it’s the area’s sheer unpredictability. Nestled in the central eastern parts of the Kruger National Park, the wilderness of the N’wanetsi Concession is bordered by more wilderness. There are no other safari operators in the area, no other lodges, no other people.
Every day, we guides and trackers rely totally on ourselves to find animals. We are equipped only with a keen eyesight, tracking skills, and our knowledge of animal movements and habitat preferences.
Excitement mounts as we search for any clues that may lead us to find a specific animal. Patience is required as well. When we do find what we set out to look for, the search for animals can end up being extremely rewarding. When we do not find what we were looking for, frustration can creep in. Nevertheless, because the results are unpredictable, the search is inevitably exciting.
I have had the good fortune to work almost exclusively with Sunday Ndlovu, one of South Africa’s best trackers. His skills, passion, patience, and determination make him an incredible partner when one is searching for animals. And Sunday’s engaging personality, sense of humour, and contagious smile make him a pleasure to work with on a day-to-day basis. I retain vivid memories of our experiences together, many of which I cannot help smiling about when recollecting them. Sunday and I have made a great team, and I will sorely miss not working with him.
As I prepare to leave the N’wanetsi Concession for Singita Sabi Sand, I would like to pay a small tribute to the incredible moments that I have experienced over the past two and a half years. Here are photographic highlights of some of my favourites.