I am an enterprise development facilitator and my work has taken me all over South Africa, to the metro poles, big towns, small towns and rural parts of the country. http://www.lifeintheiconicbush.com started when I became the project manager for an initiative aimed at developing rural small medium and micro enterprises from communities located along the border of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in Mpumalanga. The greater Bushbuckridge area is commonly referred to as “the bush” or “e bush” by the local people. I refer to it as “the iconic bush” as it is a truly unique and special place in South Africa, home to the world famous Kruger National Park and the Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo). The area attracts a great number of first time and return visitors from all over the world, making travel, accommodation, wild life, people and small businesses, integral parts of the local eco-tourism and wild life economies.
http://www.lifeintheiconicbush.com documents my observations and experiences as I consistently interacted with people who live and work in the communities around the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and Kruger National Park, in particular small business owners working to make a living and managers and staff that operate and work in the many, world famous private game reserve and national park establishments dotted around the area.
The Buffelshoek Trust presents a collaborative effort between a local sory teller, based in the village of Utah, K.D. Mabunda and two musicians, Daniel Eppel fromEdible Audio Studios, Cape Town and Craig Charnock (Quite a White Ou).The Rhino song will help create awareness about this endangered species. Wach the promo video, check out the village of Utah and listen to a taste of traditional song infused with contemporary beats here https://vimeo.com/146610778
A morning or day drive in the iconic bush in Kruger National Park is sure to reveal some gems. Keep your eyes peeled as you drive within the 50 km speed limit, or you might miss a sighting or two. We nearly did not see this hyena mom and baby as they both blended so well with the brown and dark earth.
Hyena mom and little one
We nearly missed this little one crossing the road on an overcast, drizzling kind of day. Small and beautiful.
Small turtle crossing
Tortoise at the yellow line.
Bhili Sibuyi, is a local, game ranger from Utah village, with more than 20 years of experience conducting village based tours into the Sabi Sand Game Reserve for tourists and local school children. He uses the shell of a larger tortoise as a sun visor. He says they call him “The tortoise man”. A day game drive with Bhili’s MzsingitanaTransport &Tours Services is sure to guarantee you some interesting sightings in the iconic bush. Plus, he will share stories about the history of the area.
Bhili with his game drive vehicle wearing a tortoise shell sun visor
Be patient and more importantly, be humble here. Creatures rule. Respect for the abundance and beauty of life in the iconic bush is demanded.
This family of rhinos did not mind the on lookers. Going on about with the business of living in the iconic bush.
A solitaire zebra reminds us of the sharp contrast of its Black and White stripes. How can we forget?
The Springbok are bountiful and all about.
What about the little blue bird? It blends in well with the green shrubbery and the grey, light blue clouds.
The Pfunanani (Xi Tsonga for “lets help each other”) Enterprise Development Project works with small and micro enterprises in select villages in the iconic bush.
This dance troupe is located in the village of Utah (GPS coordinates: -24.70 latitude, 31.44 longitude), near Gowrie Gate (www.sabisand.co.za/ssw-access.html). The troupe often performs for guests at lodges in the Sabi Sand, showcasing traditional dances and songs.
Eager and adventuresome guests visiting the Sabi Sand Game Reserve are demanding a village experience where they actually go out into the villages and experience the vibe. Working together with lodges in the Sabi Sand, this businesses, known as Bekaamqalayo (which means, “watch the one who provokes you”) Cultural Renaissance, will be included in village tours.
The owner of the business, is a singer and story teller with extensive knowledge of the history of the village and its surrounding areas. The village of Utah is one of the last villages in South Africa, before Mozambique. The Kruger National Park, (www.krugerpark.com) separates the two.
This blog is about life in one of the most iconic bush velds, home to one of the most visited national parks in the Southern Hemisphere, namely the #kruger national park and also home to some of the most visited, luxury,private game reserves in the world, today.