It’s hard to believe that winter is upon us and that 2020 is already virtually half over. The bush here at Abelana Game Reserve is beginning to thin out, with the rich autumnal colours slowly giving way to the browns of the dry season that will last until we get our first rains towards the end of the year.
The nights are growing cold, and early mornings have a crisp, nip to them meaning that venturing out into the bush requires warm layers of winter clothing and a certain amount of fortitude, especially in an open game vehicle, at least until the sun gets high enough to warm things up!
Our landscapes here are vast, covering a range of different biomes from the gently undulating riparian forests of the northern section of the reserve, especially along the Selati River and its various seasonal tributaries, to the dramatic rocky outcrops and towering koppies of the south.
It’s this diversity that makes Abelana so special – a diversity that also extends to the wildlife and plant species found here. Everyone knows about the Big Five (and we’re exceptionally proud to have these iconic species here) but we’re also just as fond of the less famous but nonetheless fascinating creatures that call Abelana home… Like the rock hyrax, whose closest living relative is the African elephant, or the much maligned spotted hyena whose bad reputation is not at all deserved…
Sometimes, what we do is not about spotting wildlife at all, but more about standing on top of an impressive piece of rock and losing ourselves in a view of forever… connecting to wild Africa in ways that are hard to describe and hard to fathom.
Equally hard to fathom is that we’ve been closed for more than two months now, as we weather the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated lockdown. It’s been a strange time, managing and running a private game reserve and our beautiful accommodation offerings – Abelana Safari Camp and Abelana River Lodge – without you, our treasured guests.
We’ve been using the time to patrol the reserve, getting our amazing wildlife used to a constant human presence, and undertaking ongoing training to keep our hospitality skills honed. We’ve also been preparing and putting in place the protocols and procedures that will minimise health and safety concerns once we are allowed to open which we will share with you as soon as these are finalised.
It’s important to remember that we are custodians of an incredible African wilderness here in the heart of the Greater Kruger region, and that as well as welcoming guests from all over the world, it’s our job to protect the eco-systems and fragile environments in our care, as well as the wonderfully diverse species of wild fauna and flora that call them home. So rest assured that the Abelana wilderness is waiting… and we can’t wait to share it with you.