Roberta Writes – Thursday Doors: Tau Game Lodge, the watering hole #elephants #lions #buffalo

Welcome to Thursday Doors, a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time).

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We recently visited Tau Game Lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve. We happened to arrive on an unusually hot day for August and were treated to an amazing show of animals who all came to drink and swim in the watering hole. We walked up to the viewing point at the other side of the grounds and saw elephants so close you could reach out and touch them (which, of course, we didn’t because that would be dangerous and disrespectful to the animals who are not remotely tame or trained).

I love this video of the animals coming to the water hole to drink. It was simply amazing to watch.

Side door to the bar at the viewing point

One of the elephants reversed right up close to me standing near the fence.

We went out for a game drive in the afternoon on the first day. We saw lions and buffalo.

Our Safari vehicle with its high doors that latch closed

Here is a short video of the lion rolling over:

My blogging friend, Wayne, from Tofino Photography (if you don’t know Wayne and his amazing wildlife photographs, I suggest you go over and take a look around made a comment about animals heads on the walls of game lodges. I have never visited a game lodge that displays heads of animals as we go to places dedicated to conservation of wildlife, but such lodges do exist where they do canned hunting (which I abhor). Anyhow, Wayne’s comment inspired this poem which will be included in the poetry book I’m working on called Lion Scream which is about the plight of animals in Africa. Thank you, Wayne, for the obscure inspiration.

Horny Burden

The lead buffalo stands

Majestic, on guard

Surrounded by cows, their calves, and lessor bulls


Weighing heavily


A formidable pair

of horns deck his head

A natural defence, also a burden

In this fake man-made world

Where greed dominates


The hunter lines him up

Prepares for his shot

Bang! The bullet strikes, animal slumps forward

His magnificent horns

Will soon grace a wall

Before I depart, I must share this song by Flanders & Swann called The Gnu. It is about the head of a Gnu (which we call Wildebeeste) on the wall:

I must admit that I love Flanders & Swann and always have. I was a mighty odd little thing my grandma said.

89 thoughts on “Roberta Writes – Thursday Doors: Tau Game Lodge, the watering hole #elephants #lions #buffalo

  1. You have the wild kingdom in those videos. The lion roiling is a reminder that cats are cats no matter how big or small. For a lot of people GNU is the Free Software Foundation’s GNU Project and software license agreement.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Timothy, I must admit, I do like the first video. It was like a movie setting but it was real. And yes, cats are cats, I got some super cheetah pictures which I will be sharing. I don’t know that form of GNU. We call them wildebeeste and I didn’t even know that term until I looked it up after hearing the song.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree, I love their music. I think my Grandma thought I was odd because I was only 6 or 7 when I used to sing these songs which my mom introduced to me. I took Greg to the theatre to see Hats Off at the theatre when he was 7 and he loved it too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m A Gnu was popular with kids here. When I was little there was a radio show at Saturday breakfast time called ‘Children’s Favourites.’ It was a request show and that was often played. Good to know you’re continuing the tradition!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What an amazing experience, Robbie. The number of animals you saw is awesome. Your poem, unfortunately tells the sad tale of how humans treat these magnificent animals. Love the song too, it made me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I took notice of your excellent panning skills Robbie! You did a slow steady pan,which is what pros do. You aren’t hand holding that are you?
    Thank you for the shout out Robbie! I agree with everything you said except that it is all caused by greed. The hunter does it for ego while the guides do it for greed.
    Love the poem!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Wayne, you are right because ego is a factor. A hangover from the Victorian age maybe. I’m glad you like the poem. I wrote it on the game drive right after our chat. I did pan hand holding. Is there another way to do it? Thank you for your encouragement, I appreciate it a great deal.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The videos are really incredible! Such sharp detail, awe-inspiring. I like the sound of your new poetry project and the sample poem. It’s always painful to read of animals being hunted for sport and machismo.

    I enjoyed the Flanders & Swann gnu song. I think you’ve posted at least one of their songs before?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Liz, I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures and videos. Great patience is required to get good animal shots. Despite my fast, flat shoes, I do have great patience for photography and my sons. Michael has taken to telling me he loves me very, very much so I think it has paid off over the years, but I never had anything but patience for him.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Robbie, I always enjoy seeing these wildlife photos and videos. I’ve never been to a place like this, only zoos where the animals are sometimes out in their habitat, but often in a man-made space. We were at a zoo last summer and giraffes roamed the grounds. Definitely not their natural habitat though.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for the Gnu song I love this song and haven’t listened to it for aeons…The videos are awesome such marvellous creatures to see them just doing what they do is a fabulous sight it must have been an awesome experience, Robbie x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the difference your photographer friend pointed out in your comment thread between ego and greed, but there’s another stark difference here between the comical song and your tragic poem about the same creature. Wonderful photographs as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. wow – some amazing photos and I appreciate the videos. What a scene it must have been to see all those animals heading for a drink. The elephant walking backwards reminded me of Michael Jackson..

    I also liked your last video; Clive (a fellow blogger from London) introduced me to Flanders and Swann; they are quite creative, and funny…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That video of the animals approaching the watering hole is amazing, Robbie. How wonderful to see them all up so close. I am pleased the animal parks you visit care for the them. Your poem about the buffalo is so sad, but so well expressed. I enjoyed the song about the gnu too. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. How awesome to see all those wild animals up close, Robbie. What a wonderful experience. I’m surprised how open the safari vehicle is. A lion could just hop right in. Lol. And I totally agree with you about hunting for any reason other than to feed the family. It’s gross and cruel. I’d much rather watch them being their glorious selves in their natural environment.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. What an adventure and opportunity to see these fascinating animals up close, Robbie. I’d love to be able to do this someday. I agree with you about hunting, your poem is profound, and the issue is beyond heart-wrenching. I look forward to reading your book too. I also loved the videos. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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