Recently, Kellie and I embarked on a little adventure, heading north of Pretoria to a place called Dinokeng Reserve.

The Dinokeng Game Reserve is the first free-roaming Big 5 residential game reserve in Gauteng – and probably in the world – next to an urbanized area. It is a private/public initiative for which planning and development started in the early 2000’s. It was officially opened on 22 September 2011 after the introduction of four of the Big 5. The last of the Big 5, the buffalo, were introduced in late 2012 and they have settled in well.  [Excerpt from website]

Within the Reserve, is a most magical place called Mongena. This is what it looks like.

We kicked off with some lunch at the Kingfisher Restaurant, which we dined at at least three times over the two days. The food that we ate was absolutely breathtaking, our meals were legitimately some of the best meals we have ever had. Compliments to the chef.

We went on three Game Drives over the two days, our guide was Jaques, a seriously passionate young ranger who truly cares about what he does. He would stop the truck just to pick up some rubbish that was in the park, bear in mind the park is almost spotless. We owe the success of our weekend away to Jaques, managing to find us the largest Elephant Bull in the park named Charles, a herd of Buffalo that have not been seen in five weeks, and Giraffe practicing Osteophagia. Our tracker was Goodman, who sat on the front of the truck and did not move an inch, even when surrounded by thirty plus Buffalo. The two made us feel welcome and answered all of our questions with enthusiasm, making sure to answer in English just for us, as most asked questions in Afrikaans. See some unedited images below.

I bought a 2x extender for my 70/200, just for this weekend away and I managed to get a few shots that have made it into the portfolio. Visit the Wildlife page to see more.

We would go back to Mongena any time, it was an amazing experience with fantastic service, from people who truly love what they do. Also, I really wanted to see a Jackal....Jaques found me one.

Kellie loved her first experience in the African wild, she had a smile on her face the whole time, even in the mornings.... for those who know Kellie well, a smile in the morning is something unheard of ;)

Sunset by the lake. Photo cred / Kellie Vella

Sunset by the lake. Photo cred / Kellie Vella

Visit Mongena's website here.

We are looking forward to our next adventure.

Peace yo.