Shipandani hide & Letaba, March 2017

After spending two and a half years completely focused on fixing up and selling one house and building another, we were finally settled and ready to go back to the bush. So when March gifted us with a long weekend, the only choice we had to make was where we would go.

Having checked availability, which was limited due to the short notice and weighing a few options, we decided on Letaba, mostly because we had never stayed there before. But of course – the first night had to be in a hide, and since we’d already “done” Sable dam, we decided to keep the theme of exploring new things, and book Shipandani.

Final itinerary:

  • 17 March: 1 night in Shipandani hide
  • 18-22 March: 4 nights in Bungalow number 63 in Letaba

Packing was an interesting challenge. I used to pride myself on having packing for Kruger down to an art, but… two and a half years is a long time! Fortunately I had saved my lists, and by following them closely, everything got packed and nothing forgotten. Yay for saving packing lists!

So, at 6:00 in the morning (impressively, only an hour behind schedule!) on Friday, 17 March, the loaded Fortuner pulled out of the garage and hit the road North, to Polokwane, Tzaneen and finally – Phalaborwa gate.

Having only ever passed through Letaba before, we had no idea what to expect. We knew the camp was surrounded by Mopani veld, so game would not be as abundant as in the South. We also knew that after the excellent rainfall in December and January, the bush would be lush and green and the grass long, which would make spotting game even harder. So we went with low expectations, with a target of 75 bird species as our only goal. Little did we know how far this trip would exceed our expectations…

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