"Tree!!" was a word that was frequently shouted on the game drives at the Nkorho reserve, as we 'Bundu Bashed' through the bush. However, the chance of getting bush slapped by an Acacia was well worth it as never before had we seen game like we did there.
As the rangers habituate the animals to the vehicles slowly, introducing one vehicle to cubs older than three months, two to young adults and a maximum of three to fully grown animals, they grow up with the Landies and thus allow for up-close and personal encounters with the Big 5, including leopards which are very rarely-viewed cats. My family and I were only there for three days, and yet managed to spot the Big 5 twice in two game drives and saw a leopard on each drive that we did. Some sceptics may say that it’s planned, but knowledge of the animals, good communication and on-the-ball trackers are what led to incredible sightings.
The habituation of the animals to the game vehicles not only allows for viewers to see animals at a closer proximity, but because they are not afraid of the big green things next to them, remain as they would should we not be there at all. Memorable moments for us involved tracking a mother leopard and her two cubs and watching as they played in the grass and stalked each other, and sitting by a lion - no more than two metres away - listening to the echoed sound of this magnificent animal's roar. We also got to see an elephant in Musk, so close that you could see the stains that ran in streaks down the back of his legs, and a rhino having a mud bath.
In terms of the lodge itself, Nkorho provides an intimate bush experience. The lodge is not surrounded by fencing (apart from two lines to stop elephants from entering) and thus welcomes wildlife into the camp. The rooms are small but comfortable, and the whole lodge consists of a bar, boma, lounge area and deck; perfect for those who are happy to interact with everyone, but may leave some who would prefer more privacy left wanting. The staff are friendly and the food is delicious. Another bonus, is provided by the watering hole a stones throw from the infinity pool, so while sunbathing one can watch the wildlife quench their thirst.
Overall, I would say this is one of my top lodges in Southern Africa, as the main reason you go to the bush is to experience it and to see what goes on in it...something that Nkorho has got spot on.
Written and contributed by TashZoe