Media Release: Immediate. 16 December 2008 (Mossel Bay Tourism)
Elephants Arrive at Local Game Lodge
The arrival of two young elephants - Selati and Kidibone - brought an early Christmas this year for Albertinias Garden Route Game Lodge.
They came from the Selati Game Reserve in Limpopo - where elephant numbers had increased beyond sustainability, said Garden Route Game Lodge owner, Anthony Doherty.
Usually this would have meant culling or sale by tender to outfitters, but well-known elephant operator Rory Hensman contacted Selatis management and offered to relocate twenty of the elephants to his operation in Tzaneen - and we were able to access two of them.
Wildlife vet Douw Grobelaar and his team brought our bull and cow to us on the 2nd of December - and all the neighbouring farmers came to watch the spectacle as they were safely offloaded.
Theyve since proved to be real characters and have quickly become favourites among both guests and our staff.
The Garden Route Game Lodge recently launched a new restaurant and day visitors centre and, besides accommodation, offers various programmes for children and young people from around the world.
Serengetis Restaurant and our Day Visitors Centre were built on a ridge overlooking a breathtaking valley, said Mr Doherty, and the Lodges position just off the N2 near Albertinia makes this a unique and convenient midday stopover for people looking for an la carte or buffet lunch in an African setting.
The facility was designed to accommodate coaches, tour groups and independent travellers. It has a bar and a curio shop - and a comfortable deck from which to watch the wildlife.
The Lodge, which offers 2-hour game drives, is also an ideal venue for safari weddings, conferences, functions and break-away weekends.
Our Children's Programmes - which operate over weekends and during school holidays - are amongst our most successful attractions, said Mr Doherty. They include bush survival skills, children's game-drives and guided bush- and insect walks with our professional caring staff.
We also run the Indlovu Adventure Student Program, which offers gap year students an opportunity to immerse themselves in the African environment. Our reserve lies alongside the Langeberg mountains in the Renosterveld of the fynbos biome - which has more than 6,000 species of plants and a wide variety of birds - and we now have the Big 5 (lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard) as well as animals like cheetah, giraffe, bontebok, zebra, eland, kudu, red hartebeest, springbuck, impala and bushbuck.
The arrival of any new citizens to the Garden Route is always a special occasion, said Mossel Bay Tourisms chairman, Neels Zietsman, but Selati and Kidibone are particularly welcome because theyve already become attractions in their own right - and in time theyll add to the educational value of the Garden Route Game Lodge.
I know that Deon Hignet and Rhet Hiseman of Cape Nature - as well as Rory Hensman of EFAF - all made valuable contributions, and from Mossel Bay Tourisms side, wed like to thank them for the confidence theyve shown by helping to bring these elephant to the area.
ENDS 522 WORDS
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