Ngwenya Lodge

Ngwenya Wildlife Photography Competition Winners

Ngwenya Wildlife Photography Competition Winners

We would like to extend a big shout-out and heaps of thanks to everyone who participated in the Ngwenya Wildlife Photography Competition! Your enthusiasm and undeniable talent transformed this competition into an extraordinary celebration of the awe-inspiring moments captured in the Kruger.

The inspiration behind this competition sprouted from the remarkable wildlife photos shared by our guests on social media. Witnessing the beauty of the Kruger National Park and Ngwenya Lodge through your lenses motivated us to create this opportunity for your photographic masterpieces to shine. The response to the competition was nothing short of incredible, and we are truly humbled by the wealth of creativity and passion displayed in each submission.

Without further ado, let’s give a virtual round of applause to our monthly winners!

March: Zahn Kruger

April: Vivienne Ruiter

May: Marijke Claassen

June: Zahn Kruger

July: Jackie Boshoff

August: Jordan Scorgie

September: Francois Smit

October: Daniélle Van Romburgh

November: Chris Rossouw

A sincere thank you to every participant for generously sharing your photos with us; it is your passion and enthusiasm that made this competition something special. Continue to capture and share your Ngwenya and Kruger moments, as we eagerly look forward to sharing them with the entire Ngwenya Lodge community!

Submit your photos to us via email or WeTransfer:

myholiday@ngwenya.co.zaWeTransfer

Posted by WSC_Dev in Kruger National Park, Ngwenya Lodge, 0 comments
Ngwenya Lodge Gives a Hoot

Ngwenya Lodge Gives a Hoot

We love that we so often get to fall asleep to the sound of owls hooting, here at Ngwenya Lodge. This time, however, the hooting was a little too close to home…

Barn Owl found in a unit at Ngwenya Lodge

This beautiful little guy, a Barn Owl, somehow found his way into one of the units, where he was discovered by our housekeeping team. We’re not sure just ‘hoo’ was more surprised…

The housekeeping team enlisted the help of the maintenance team, who carefully and calmly, manoeuvred him into a corner where they could safely gather him up. They then duly removed him back to the great outdoors and left him in the fork of a large branch, in a dense, shady tree away from any populated areas.

Barn Owl in the bush

Interestingly enough, Barn Owls don’t actually hoot! They make a harsh, eerie-sounding shriek. This, combined with their somewhat spooky appearance, especially in flight, and their fondness for abandoned buildings, is what has led to the nickname ‘ghost owl’.

Barn owls are one of the most widely spread species of birds and are the most widely distributed owl in the world. Western Barn Owl breeding pairs are monogamous and mate for life. They are nocturnal predators, usually setting off to hunt just after sunset and returning to roost just before sunrise. The owl’s facial disk helps to channel sound to its ears, which are located on either side of the face, and they can zone in on sounds with extreme accuracy. Another remarkable adaptation is their silent flight, thanks to specialised feathers that muffle the sound of their wingbeats. This silent flight enables them to surprise their prey, making them highly efficient hunters.

Barn Owl hunting at night

In addition to the threat of loss of habitat which owls face, through deforestation and land conservation for agriculture, owls are at risk from pesticides and rodenticides, as these chemicals can accumulate in their prey and affect their reproductive success; or often kill the owls outright through secondary poisoning. Unfortunately, over the course of time, Western Barn Owls have been linked to unfounded beliefs in a tragic manner. They are believed to represent death and are seen as bearers of misfortune for humans, often associated with practices like witchcraft. It is widely believed that if a Western Barn Owl is spotted resting on a house’s roof, a family member will die the next day. These baseless superstitions and the subsequent bias against Western Barn Owls have resulted in their senseless and cruel killing by some humans.

The African Scops-Owl is the smallest Southern African owl, and is smaller than a dove

Fortunately, more enlightened folk hold these magnificent birds in high regard and understand and appreciate their role in the ecosystem.

Rats and mice are notorious for destroying crops and can cause ill health to humans through the zoonotic diseases they carry. As predators of rats and mice in both rural and suburban areas, Western Barn Owls have an important role to play.

Owls play a vital role in maintaining the delicate balance of the Greater Kruger Park Lodge ecosystem. As top predators, they help regulate populations of small mammals and birds, preventing unchecked growth and potential imbalances. By controlling rodent populations, owls indirectly contribute to the health of the region’s vegetation, as excessive plant consumption by rodents can disrupt the ecosystem extensively.

Pel’s Fishing Owl, another local resident considered one of the Kruger birds Big 6

We wish you many happy hoot spots on your next visit to Ngwenya Lodge, but hopefully not in the lounge!

Posted by WSC_Dev in Kruger National Park, Ngwenya Lodge, Ngwenya Sightings, Wildlife, 0 comments
Ngwenya Wildlife Photography Competition

Ngwenya Wildlife Photography Competition

Ngwenya Lodge is full of awe-inspiring pulchritude that provides an extra frisson of grandeur to every guest that drives past our welcome wall into their home-away-from home.  And the greatest source of all this magnificence is the abundant wildlife that occurs on the boundary of our unbeaten location. Being situated on the southern boundary of one of the biggest and best-known wildlife sanctuaries in the world – the Kruger National Park – has provided our guests with an unmatched game-viewing and birding experience without even having to leave the Resort gates, so guests never miss an opportunity to capture and share in these special game-viewing experiences.

We have seen all of your photos of herds of elephants with their calves in tow, crocodiles sunning themselves down along the riverbanks and the eagle dominating the sky with its majestic wingspan, and we thought we’d just have a bit of fun with all of you and host a photo competition on our Facebook page where you get to share your best and favourite wildlife photos with us for a chance of being featured as our Facebook cover photo for an entire month!

All you need to do is submit your favourite top-quality high-resolution photographic masterpieces to us at myholiday@ngwenya.co.za or via WeTransfer and we’ll choose the best ones to feature on our page for every month in 2023! Who doesn’t love bragging rights?

Competition Rules:

  1. Poor quality photos and videos will be disqualified.

Take note:

– Images submitted must be in high-resolution only.

– Images submitted must be above 1MB in size; any images below that size will not be accepted.

– Images and videos submitted which are pixellated or blurry will not be accepted.

– Images and videos submitted via Facebook or Instagram will not be considered. Please email or WeTransfer all submissions.

  1. Imagery submitted should only reflect wildlife and holidays at Ngwenya Lodge and the Kruger National Park; no photos of other holidays or at other game and wildlife facilities will be accepted.
  2. By entering this competition, the participant warrants that the submissions do not violate any copyright, nor the rights of any third person.
  3. By entering this competition, the participant agrees to give Ngwenya Lodge, as well as all affiliate companies, unrestricted access to make use of the submissions for marketing purposes, even if they are not the winning entries.
  4. Ngwenya Lodge reserves the right to cancel this competition at any time, if deemed necessary.
  5. The judges’ decision is final.

Sounds pretty simple, right? So start scrolling through your camera rolls and show us your best captures. We can’t wait to see them:

myholiday@ngwenya.co.za | WeTransfer

Posted by WSC_Dev in Kruger National Park, Ngwenya Lodge, Ngwenya Sightings, Wildlife
Hear the Kruger Call

Hear the Kruger Call

Hear the Kruger call: the shrill cry of a fish eagle gliding over the floodplains; the rumbling sound of a lion as dusk settles in; the thundering hooves of a buffalo herd fleeing into the undergrowth from a predator. These are all nature’s melodies. These are all sounds that resonate in our souls, and that which we know to be synonymous with an authentic bushveld experience. But, there is so much more to the songs and calls of the wild than this. From communication to foraging, wildlife have evolved their own languages into a range of patterns and frequencies across the spectrum of species (many of which humans do not yet fully understand).

Ngwenya delves into the intricacies of wildlife communication:

Hyena

Hyenas are highly intellectual creatures that operate in large clans. These clans have social structure and a range of rules regarding their territory, hierarchy, the hunt and protection. Naturally, this means they require complex communication to uphold their system; one of the widest ranges in communication found in mammals, as a matter-of-fact. The most well-known of the hyena’s sounds is probably the hoot-laugh and giggling, which has dubbed the species with the name “laughing hyena”. While humans associate loud laughter with joy and relaxation, to hyena’s it actually signals distress and tension. The other most prominent call is the whoop which is a loud call that ranges in pitch. The whoop is used to communicate when out of visual range and can actually distinguish hyenas from one another. It is believed that these calls can signal the sex, age and status of the hyena to others. Scientists continue to study the vocalisations of hyenas, with growling being the most obscure. Hyenas are believed to use growling and body language in different combinations to communicate different meaning, the intricacies of which are still being uncovered.

Coucal

The coucal is one of 27 species of the genus Centropus, though you may be more familiar with the term cuckoo. Many of these medium-to-large birds are named for the sounds they make, or the birdsong they imitate. The two species most prominently found in the Kruger National Park are the Burchell’s Coucal and the Black Coucal. Coucal’s are widely known for the gurgling sound that accompanies their song, which many associate with a babbling brook. In fact, their local name in Kenya translates to “The Water Bottle Bird”. Their birdsong not only imitates water but has been closely studied and revealed to be linked to periods of downpour. Coucal’s will often sing before or after rain, when humidity is at an all-time high. Coucals, and birds in general, are able to produce their melodies due to an organ that only they possess: the syrinx. This vocal organ is found at the base of the trachea and produces sound when air is forced through it. The membranes of the syrinx walls vibrate when this happens; causing an oscillating effect that produces intricate birdsong.

Elephant

Elephants are known to have some of the most complex language systems amongst all wildlife. They are able to produce a range of idiosyncratic sounds, ranging from vibrations and rumbling to barks and snorts. Elephants mostly communicate using a low rumble which is produced at such a low frequency that it is seldom heard by human ears. The low rumble can be heard or felt as vibrations, by other elephants, up-to 10km away! This form of communication travels as vibrations with sound pressures reaching 117 decibels. The receptors of an elephants’ feet, known as Pacinian corpuscles, are highly sensitive and share a direct link to the somatosensory cortex of the brain, which is responsible for processing touch. The PC receptors are localised around the edges of the foot; elephants have been documented pressing their feet more firmly onto the ground to enlarge the surface area of contact so that they can hear better!

While this explains how elephants can hear one another, how exactly do they vocalise? Until recent studies conducted by the University of Vienna, scientists weren’t sure if elephant’s communicated through electrical impulses, known as AMC or active muscular contraction, or by the MEAD or myoelastic-aerodynamic method. Domestic cats use AMC to purr, while humans communicate via the MEAD method. While it is difficult to test for AMC, as it requires muscle contractions produced by brain signals, Christian Herbst at UV was able to test MEAD. His team obtained a deceased elephant’s larynx, which they connected to an airflow system. In this way, they could move air over the vocal cords of the larynx, which in turn mimicked the low rumblings and thus put the debate to rest on how elephants vocalise.

This is just three species’ ways of communicating and vocalising, but every wild animal has its own language to communicate with one another, ward off danger or to simply add a sweet song to the chorus of the bush. Wildlife also make use of a number of tools to effectively communicate that surpass sound, and these intricacies will continue to interest scholars and enthusiasts alike. All we have to do is pause and listen to the sounds of the Kruger.

Posted by WSC_Dev in Kruger National Park, Ngwenya Lodge, Ngwenya Sightings, Wildlife
Winter Warmer Drinks

Winter Warmer Drinks

There is nothing better than curling up with a steaming hot drink to ward off those winter blues! Here are some of our favourite winter drinks. Try them on your next winter breakaway!

Slow-Cooker Hot Chocolate

This recipe is perfect for a family of chocoholics.

Ingredients

  • 1l milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 200g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 100g milk chocolate, chopped
  • scorched marshmallows or mini marshmallows, to serve
  • softly whipped cream, to serve
  • grated chocolate, to serve

Method

  1. Pour the milk and double cream into the slow cooker. Add the dark chocolate and milk chocolate, then cover and cook on low for 2 hrs, stirring halfway through cooking.
  2. Remove the lid and stir again, then continue to cook for a further 15-20 mins. Ladle into mugs and top with the marshmallows, dollops of cream and grated chocolate.

Tip: Add 25ml of your favourite liqueur or spirit to each mug for a warming kick.

Recipe adapted from www.bbcgoodfood.com

Caramel and Apple Hot Toddy

This is the perfect winter drink – a delicious balance of fruity sweetness and spicy cinnamon with a kick for extra punch!

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
  • 2/3 cup (165ml) apple juice
  • 4 cinnamon quills
  • 2/3 cup (165ml) apple brandy
  • 4 star anise pods
  • Ground cinnamon, to dust

Method

  1. Place sugar in a medium heavy-based saucepan over high heat with 1 tbs of water. Cook, swirling pan, for 5-6 minutes or until a golden caramel-like texture forms. Using a metal spoon (and being mindful of the steam), stir in 2 cups (500ml) water and swirl pan until caramel and water are combined. Stir in apple juice, star anise pods and cinnamon quills, then stir in the liqueur.
  2. Divide among glasses and dust with cinnamon to serve.

Recipe adapted from www.delicious.com.au

Sweet-and-Spicy Mulled Wine

This sweet and spicy mulled wine recipe is guaranteed to warm up your whole body! This traditional holiday drink made of red wine and spices can even be zooshed up a bit with a dash of brandy for those really cold nights.

Ingredients

  • 2 (750-mL) bottles full-bodied dry red wine
  • ½ cup black peppercorns
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 orange peel strips (from 1 orange)
  • 1 (2cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cinnamon stick, plus more for garnish
  • 2 whole star anise
  • Orange slices

Method

  1. Stir together wine, peppercorns, sugar, orange peel, ginger, cinnamon stick, and star anise in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over high. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Taste, add more sugar or honey to taste. Strain and discard solids.
  3. Pour evenly into 8 glasses and garnish with orange slices and cinnamon sticks. Serve warm.

Recipe adapted from www.realsimple.com

Posted by WSC_Dev in Ngwenya Lodge, 0 comments
VOTE FOR NGWENYA – South African Tourism Awards

VOTE FOR NGWENYA – South African Tourism Awards

Your home-away-from-home, Ngwenya Lodge, has been nominated with a chance to claim a South African Tourism Award!

We would love to take this opportunity to encourage you to vote for your beloved holiday destination.  Simply click ‘vote now’ below to cast your vote for Ngwenya Lodge:

VOTE NOW


Have your say in selecting the top holiday destinations across South Africa by casting your vote. Not only does this afford Ngwenya Lodge a better chance at shining as a prestigious Resort amongst the best, but voters also stand a chance to win a dream holiday and/or travel vouchers! The South Africa Tourism Awards recognise and reward tourism businesses who work passionately to improve South Africa as a tourist destination; not only for international travellers but for our “lekker locals’ who enjoy exploring the wonders of their own country. These awards bring positivity back into the hospitality sector after the hardships of the past few years while casting a spotlight on stunning destinations.

We appreciate your vote!

Posted by WSC_Dev in Ngwenya Lodge