Guest Post by Tilly Smith.
Situated in South Africa’s fourth largest game reserve, Madikwe Private Game Reserve, which is recognised for its wealth of history, Tau Game Lodge is an ideal 5-star romantic, corporate and family safari destination, where the state-of-the-art conference facilities and the Tau Cubz Club children’s programme are further enhancing features of this welcoming lodge.
However, it is Tau’s commitment to eco-tourism which has earned the lodge return visits from many international guests who choose to stay only at eco-friendly lodges when on safari. With many lodges losing credibility with such visitors to our country, offering canned hunting and ‘staged’ kills by predators, Tau has taken its commitment to creating a sustainable safari destination to be treasured by future generations seriously.
Such programmes include: sponsoring university education of learners who are promising students in the community; supporting local schools and community industry; looking into an environmental alternative as an energy source for the future; educating the community to be self-sufficient by example, such as growing organic vegetable crops to sustain their families; Tau rangers have contributed to conservation by planting indigenous trees and guests are informed of the trees’ origins, ecology, African folklore and any medical purposes – one of the eco-safari projects at Tau includes a tree conservation fund, involving guests’ planting trees and getting their name plaque on camera and displayed in the lodge; supporting and stimulating the performing arts by employing local community choir and dance group to perform at the lodge for groups and special occasions.
The endangered African wild dog, which this reserve is world-famous for, are often seen at a kill, where puppies are flourishing in their natural habitat and wild dog pack numbers remain steady here.
The Tau Spa Oasis utilises natural aromatherapy massage oils to add to the eco-conscious tourism Tau has become known for, incorporating the healing powers of Aloe Vera, Marula and the immune system regulator, African Potato and the myriad skin soothing properties of Rooibos. The Spa has successfully embarked on a community driven project by training women from nearby Supingstad as therapists, who are now qualified and employed here.
Tau therefore offers much needed skills training as well as income to members of this rural community.
On the ‘lighter’ side, with the help of Tau’s imaginative barman, the rangers have created delectable drinks to warm their guests this winter, with brews such as:
Tau rude awakening, comprising: hot milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, coffee and hot chocolate, topped with Amarula or Khalua; and Tau hot Russian, including: hot milk, Khalua, Absolute vodka and Orange Cream liqueur….mmm. The drinks are exclusively available to guests while rangers concentrate on their driving, enabling guests to simply enjoy the ride and relax!
Game drives at Tau are fun and informative, guided by well trained and qualified rangers. Should guests wish to relax in the privacy of their room-decks overlooking the waterhole it becomes a unique and relaxing experience while the animals approach the waterhole from the opposite side. Water monitors and a wealth of birdlife reside here, over and above the game, big and small, frequenting the waterhole. Birds not often encountered, such as the spur-winged goose and the spoonbill, are regulars.
Tau accommodates up to 60 guests in the 30 air-conditioned chalets and larger groups are often accommodated at various surrounding lodges situated in a 15-minute radius. The conference facility is ideal for small groups as well as delegates of up to 150. See more at www.taugamelodge.co.za.