Monthly Archives: August 2012

Winter Flower Wonderland

Virtually the whole year round SIBUYA has flowers adding interest and colour to the landscape… even in the middle of winter! At the moment the forest margins and woodlands are festooned with pungently scented yellow flowers belonging to succulent creepers and shrubs, Senecio brachypodus and Senecio tamoidesCANARY CREEPER. The congested clusters of bright yellow flowers create a visual feast as they attract a host of white to deep yellow butterflies (Pieridae), which add their subtle colour range to the spectacle. These plants are sought after in traditional medicine as they may be used in the treatment of Anthrax in cattle and flatulence!

The creeper TRAVELLER’S JOY (Clematis brachiata) is in evidence everywhere. With the light behind it, as it sprawls over shrubs along the wayside, it looks like its wreathing the plants in candy floss. Gorgeous vermilion ALOE FERROX flowers are in evidence in various areas of SIBUYA … where the elephants can’t get to demolish them! The nectar of these bright robust flowers provides a feast for many species of birds, butterflies, monkeys and even elephants… all enjoy this sweetest of treats and even perhaps, the narcotic effects…


A glorious tapestry of colour

Sibuya Game Reserve

Birding enthusiasts can take a boat or canoe up the estuary to search for some of the 6 varieties of local kingfisher. Or head downstream to the beach to see the multitude of waders, terns and gulls. A walk in the pristine thicket forest is the best way to see the shy Narina Trogon and every game drive reveals a host of raptors from the common buzzards to the more rare Bateleur, Crowned Eagle or Fish Eagles. Night drives are made special by the numbers and varieties of owls and nightjars caught in the spot light.

If you are planning an African Safari, or want to stay at a Game Reserve in South Africa, or a Game Reserve near the Garden Route, or are looking for that perfect Game Reserve Wedding Venue, then why not visit Sibuya for that ultimate African Bush Experience! Sibuya is a Malaria Free Game Reserve

Chilly Winter on Safari

BRRRRR! Winter this year seems to have been colder in bursts than usual! The result of “Climate Change” perhaps? Heavy snowfalls on the mountains in the hinterland have caused us to shiver on occasion as icy winds from the north have sent us scurrying to grab our jackets. On colder nights, guests in RIVER CAMP have enjoyed the luxurious warmth of the new fireplaces in their cosy tents.

There has been unseasonal rain again so SIBUYA is still looking wonderful, with dams everywhere holding far more water than usual for this time of the year. The grasses are however mostly short, as there is little warmth to encourage growth during the winter months and the animals hunger is of course relentless.

The excitement of the annual “11 Days of Amazing!” – the Grahamstown National Arts Festival – is now on the wane as life returns to normal without daily trips up to this little University town to be inspired by the wealth of offerings from talented artists. Being the second largest Festival of the Arts in the world, second only to the renowned Edinburgh Festival, we’re exceptionally lucky to have it virtually on our doorstep. The ambiance is enhanced by people who flock from far and wide to enjoy this feast of the senses and the languages heard daily are from around the globe.


River Camp – cosy glow from the new fireplace

Sibuya Game Reserve

Birding enthusiasts can take a boat or canoe up the estuary to search for some of the 6 varieties of local kingfisher. Or head downstream to the beach to see the multitude of waders, terns and gulls. A walk in the pristine thicket forest is the best way to see the shy Narina Trogon and every game drive reveals a host of raptors from the common buzzards to the more rare Bateleur, Crowned Eagle or Fish Eagles. Night drives are made special by the numbers and varieties of owls and nightjars caught in the spot light.

If you are planning an African Safari, or want to stay at a Game Reserve in South Africa, or a Game Reserve near the Garden Route, or are looking for that perfect Game Reserve Wedding Venue, then why not visit Sibuya for that ultimate African Bush Experience! Sibuya is a Malaria Free Game Reserve

Bird Watching in the Eastern Cape

The  European Rollers (Coracias garrulus) have been in evidence in various parts of Sibuya, flashing down from conspicuous perches to feast on various insects, frogs & lizards. Their rather sluggish habits obliging guests with ideal photographic opportunities. These beautiful Palaearctic migrants  will soon be winging it back to Europe, the Middle East or Asia where they’ll breed & rest before hopefully heading back on their incredible journey to South Africa… arriving again in Mid-December.


European Roller

Guests at River Camp were fascinated by a unique experience… a breeding pair of Green Wood-Hoopoes (Phoeniculus purpureus) who made their nest in a hole in a dead tree stump adjacent to the Lapa deck. Guests could literally have a “bird’s eye view” of the daily proceedings. These loud-cackling gregarious birds provided an endless show as they busily fed their young or warded off guests who got too close or nosy! The group (usually 3-9),  generally includes only one breeding pair who are loudly assisted by the other members… sometimes even the young of previous broods… a real family affair! The loud cackling, starting off slowly, then rising to a crescendo with several birds in unison bobbing back & forth was a spectacular experience. This loud display earning them the name of “Intlekibafazi” (Laughter of Women) in both Zulu & Xhosa.


Green Wood-Hoopoe

Sibuya Game Reserve

Birding enthusiasts can take a boat or canoe up the estuary to search for some of the 6 varieties of local kingfisher. Or head downstream to the beach to see the multitude of waders, terns and gulls. A walk in the pristine thicket forest is the best way to see the shy Narina Trogon and every game drive reveals a host of raptors from the common buzzards to the more rare Bateleur, Crowned Eagle or Fish Eagles. Night drives are made special by the numbers and varieties of owls and nightjars caught in the spot light.

If you are planning an African Safari, or want to stay at a Game Reserve in South Africa, or a Game Reserve near the Garden Route, or are looking for that perfect Game Reserve Wedding Venue, then why not visit Sibuya for that ultimate African Bush Experience! Sibuya is a Malaria Free Game Reserve

Sibuya Flowers

The Weeping Bride’s Bush (Pavetta Lanceolata) was spectacular again this summer. During the height of its flowering season, we counted over 90 of these sweet-smelling flowering shrubs on our travels around the Reserve. Making a magnificent show were also the Boerboonbooms (Schotia Afra & Latifolia) which obviously responded to the wonderful timeous rains we had last year. They were abuzz with bees, butterflies and many other insects.


Pavetta Lanceolata

Truly spectacular at the moment and especially where the two are intertwined, are literally banks of sky-blue Plumbago (Plumbago Auriculata) and mauve Morning Glory (Ipomoea Family). The strong vermillion of Cape Honeysuckle (Tecoma Capensis) is adding colour everywhere too… a veritable visual feast in the bright sunlight!


Ipomoea

On much closer inspection of the bush as one travels around the Reserve, less obvious but an interesting twining perennial herb is Wild Hops (Dalechampia Capensis). The rather unusual pale yellow flowers are clustered within conspicuous petal-like floral bracts. Beware if you are tempted to try and touch these… the lobed calyx has extremely fine stinging hairs!


Dalechampia Capensis

Sibuya Game Reserve

If you are planning an African Safari, or want to stay at a Game Reserve in South Africa, or a Game Reserve near the Garden Route, or are looking for that perfect Game Reserve Wedding Venue, then why not visit Sibuya for that ultimate African Bush Experience! Sibuya is a Malaria Free Game Reserve