Safaris & stories
Africa Geographic
Wildlife . People . Travel
Africa Geographic Travel

Written by: Jaci van Heteren

After a restless night’s sleep I really did not feel like getting up. The thought of a lie-in was much more appealing. Then I remembered the Terrapin Hide at Jaci’s Lodges.

I did the “terrapin shuffle” and settled into my second home in the waterhole. I marvelled at the view from inside the Terrapin Hide and walked from one window to the next to scope out what was around me; anticipating what might pop over the horizon.


The woodlands kingfisher had found a mate and they both flew to the tree perch and showed their brilliant blues to each other.

The wasps were building their nests in the corners of the hide and I tried to capture one flying in with a mud ball.

A terrapin popped up and looked at me from such a close distance that I could see right into his nostrils and look into each of his bright eyes. I was too scared to move to take a photo, for fear of frightening it away, so I just enjoyed making eye contact.

I managed to take a few great pictures of the glossy starlings bathing – in pairs and on their own – with others watching or deciding if they were going to follow suit.


Some oxpeckers also flew in to have a drink, which made me think that the buffalo would soon be on their way. So when the oxpeckers left, I waited.

Then I heard a sound – ‘click, click, click’. My first thought was that it was the sound of eland, but over the hill popped a zebra, followed by another.


Then over the hill appeared one eland, followed by another and another. Eight cows and one bull, together with several zebras, including a very young foal, came into view and moved towards the water.

eland-zebra-foal eland-waterhole

I adjusted my lens length and snapped a few close up shots before they walked back over the hill and were gone.


What an exhilarating and breathtaking moment. And to think that I would have missed it if I had slept in! Tomorrow I’m going to be up even earlier and plan to stay even longer…

Travel with us
Jaci's Lodges

Situated in Madikwe you can expect friendly and personal service assuring an African Safari to be remembered. Jaci's Lodges are vibrant combinations of colour, canvas, shaggy thatch and breathtaking raised walkways. Imagine fire cooked & starlit meals - heaven indeed! Perfect for romantic safaris and that bush escape.