By Terry and Michele Stewart
The winter chill is setting in here on the reserve and we have all about traded in our summer shorts and hats for long pants, beanies, scarves and warm jackets. It’s a very good excuse to light that fire in the Lodge lounge and to drink a mug of hot chocolate while warming one’s cold hands up in the early mornings!
The Impala, Blesbuck and Kudu calves have grown remarkably since their births late last year and earlier this year; they will be facing their first winter at Bucklands under the guidance of their protective moms. The tick load is much less and the days are milder during winter, yet the nights are longer, colder and more taxing on their bodies as their bodies use up fat stores from summer to keep warm. Winter is also a very testing time for mature and aging animals. We do our best to provide additional feed and nutritional licks for our growing populations and there is always water available to quench thirsts.
We will be running a Winter Special at the Bucklands Lodge for the months of June, July and August 2014. R3 200 per couple per night, and if you book to stay in the months of June, July and August 2014 we will give you a complementary night with us at the Lodge, on us!
Pssssst… our lounge deck at the Luxury Tented Camp is well underway and progress is on schedule. If you are curious and would like a sneak peak, take a look at our Facebook page and let us know what you think!
Bucklands Game News...
By Iain Stewart
Our Buffalo have been in our bomas for what seems like forever, however this is the process required to ensure that they are diseased free and pose no risk to their new homes or their neighbours. Our results are in from Onderstepoort Vetinarary Laboratories and our results show that our Buffalo are “disease free.” Our Buffalo can now be moved to their new homes. Our one (very) pregnant, and also very feisty, cow gave birth to her heifer calf in our Boma’s not too long ago. All eight of our Buffalo are looking fantastic and we are sure their new owners will be very happy with these lovely girls!
We have just released a beautiful Cape Eland bull from Shamwari onto the Graskop portion of Bucklands. Due to Bucklands, like all Private Game Reserves and National and Provincial Parks being fenced off from one another, genetics can become weaker and the health of individuals compromised in these small herds; herds do not mix like they would have done historically without the barriers of man-made fences. Bringing in selected new genes periodically helps to keep these isolated herds healthy and of high quality.
Recent Guest Comments
“A fantastic trip, wonderful food, accommodation and animals. Staff so friendly. Thank you.”
Biggins family – UK
“Fantastic stay, friendly staff and fantastic night safari! Thanks for a great stay”
James Bell – UK
“Thank you for the personal service and the family atmosphere. Also for the excellent food and interesting game drives. Thank you”
Wessoly Family - Germany
Out and About at Bucklands
Take a guess at what was seen not too long ago…
A Leopard! Terry saw one in the morning and Iain and his guests from the UK saw one in the same area on a night drive!
We always get very excited at the appearance of these very shy and secretive cats! Cape Leopards have huge territories, and it’s normal for one individual to wander throughout different properties.
Grahamstown Arts Festival
11 Days of Amazing, 3 – 13 July 2014
Programs are circulating and its best to grab a copy ASAP! Shows are booked far in advance, especially the very popular comedy shows like Boet and Swaar and The Very Big Comedy Show. With a variety of dance and music shows, theatre shows, drama and kids programs to choose from, there is something for everyone in the family; its best to book your shows in advance and accommodation accordingly to avoid disappointment! Remember you can stay at Bucklands and visit the festival only 45 minutes drive away!
Owen Ackerman joins us from the Queenstown area as a ranger/field guide, sharing his stories as he takes you around our reserve. Owen has a degree in Conservation from Saarsveld and he brings with him a vast knowledge of flora and fauna and their uses.
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
a few sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
carrots, scrubbed and chopped
6 rashers smoked streaky bacon, chopped
2 red onions, peeled and chopped
3 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ dried chilli, crumbled
200 g dried lentils, a mixture of green and red
1 organic vegetable stock cube, optional
410 g tinned cannellini beans, drained
extra virgin olive oil
Place a large saucepan (with a lid) on a medium heat. Add a lug of olive oil and the bacon. Fry slowly until the bacon has started to release all its tasty fat and goes crispy, then add the dried thyme, dried chilli, onion, carrot, celery and garlic.
Cook gently with the lid on for about 15 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft, then add the lentils and 1 litre water or vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer until the lentils are soft. (Check the packet instructions as different types of lentils vary in cooking time. If you're mixing your lentils, cook for the longest amount of time to make sure they are all cooked properly).
Add the tin of cannellini beans and, if the soup's a little thick, some more water. Bring back to the boil and simmer for another 10 minutes, then taste and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Feel free to puree or half-puree the soup, or leave it all chunky, depending on how you like it.
Ladle into bowls and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the chopped parsley. Serve with hunks of bread.