Frequently asked questions
Who Is Tusk Bush Lodge?
Tusk Bush Lodge is a small Private Luxury Self-Catering Safari Bush Lodge set in the wildlife holiday town of Marloth Park. Established and built over in 2013 by Wayne Holloway, a leading Australian Commercial and Wildlife photographer who has spent over twenty five years travelling through most of Southern Africa, exploring and photographing as I go.
All the Photography and some of the furniture has been made by me, along with the styling and layout of Tusk Bush Lodge, it has been a long love affair with South Africa, its Wildlife
Landcape,and people, and I feel that this is reflected in Tusk Bush Lodge, my home away from home.............and hopefully yours too.
Since opening it has became an extremely popular destination for travelers looking for luxury private accommodation with a close relationship with the local wildlife, and minutes to the mighty Kruger National Park.
Tusk Bush Lodge offers our guests a relaxing environment with the comforts of home and the added excitement of being close to the wildlife of the area, it comprises three large well spaced luxury private bungalows and a large relaxation decked area plus pool and pool deck, with custom made furniture and fittings, all in a quite bush setting and surroundings.
We regularly have Zebras, Giraffes, Kudus, Wildebeests, Warthogs, Impalas, Bush bucks.
In fact there is an amazing amount of "Non Dangerous" wildlife in the area that roams through Tusk Bush Lodge, in saying that no animal should be treated like a pet and all should be respected and enjoyed from a safe distance.
It gives our guests great Photographic opportunities both for wildlife and birdlife, from the comfort of our raised decks and relaxation areas.
Where is Tusk Bush Lodge?
Tusk Bush Lodge is nestled in the holiday town of Marloth Park, a Wildlife conservation area close to Kruger National Park, as a matter of fact it was once part of KNP, not that long ago.
We are in the Lowveld and the start of the"Wild Frontier" in Mpumalanga, South Africa.
The Mpumalalnga region ( "where the sun rises" in Swazi ) is the gateway to adventure.
The region is known for its natural beauty from Blyde River Canyon to Kruger National Park and inbetween, it is about a five hour drive from JHB.
Marloth Park shares its border with KNP with the Crocodile River being our boundary, you can walk, drive, cycle along the banks of the Crocodile River safely due to a 12ft electric game fence, which is designed to keep out dangerous game, you can expect to encounter a wide variety of game sightings along the length of the river, Elephant, White Rhino,Cape Buffalo, Waterbuck, Lion etc.
The Crocodile River Gate is the most Southern gate in KNP and the Southern region is regarded as the home to the "Big Five" Lion, Cape Buffalo, Rhino, Leopard and Elephant.
Close to Marloth Park and the Croc Gate is the small border town of Komatipoort, a bustling busy colourful hive of small street venders and shops catering to the Mozambique and local population, it has two very modern and recently built shopping centres, the town also has doctors,dentists, hairdresers, petrol stations, supermarkets, it also has golf courses, and a few really nice little restaurants, Tamborina is my favourite for portugese style king prawns, in fact most everything that you would need is available and is only 15 minutes from Tusk Bush Lodge. It is the last town before you get to the Lebombo Border post and enter into Mozambique.
Just on the outskirts of town is the huge Komati River where you can organise a Tiger fishing
experience, Swaziland is also close by and accessible via the Menanga gate, Hlane National Park is only about a hours or two drive.
Please remember to check if you need visas to enter Mozambique or Swaziland.
Can we organise Transfers?
We can recommend a trused service provider for pick ups and drop offs to and from JHB, Kruger / Mpumalanga International Airport etc.
We always advise our guests to hire a vehicle if they can, as there is so much to do in the area, the drive from JHB takes app five hours and gives you the chance to view a wide range of the country side, the roads are a pleasure to drive, and most drivers are extremely courtious.
We recommend a few trusted local operators, so please feel free to make an enquiry with us.
As we are located in the bush there is no public transport, so getting around can be difficult, depending on your needs, luckily most amenities in Marloth Park such as the
Marlothi shopping centre are walking distance km2,5 from the lodge.
If you are hiring a car you can ask for an entry permit from the hire company for the car to enter Swaziland.
Prices vary so please email email@example.com for full details and prices etc
Can we organise Kruger Park Safaris and side trips?
Again yes we can, no problems.
We use the best operators in the area to provide our guests with the best service and Open Safari Vehicle experiences.
Your day starts at app 5-5.30 am with the guide picking you up from our car park, for a full day in KNP, you generally return to the lodge in the late afternoon.
The guides we use have open safari vehicles for better wildlife viewing and generally carry up to nine people.
We can also organise day trips to Maputo in Mozambique, and Swazi Cultural trips.
These are conducted in closed vehicles.
Prior bookings are advisable to secure a spot for yourselves, all you need to do is advise us on the date or dates and number of people, and we can book on your behalf, payment is given to the driver on the day of your safari etc.
What to bring for your stay at Tusk Bush Lodge.
An open mind, a sense of adventure and a love of wildlife......
But seriously it all depends on the time of year that you visit, There are four seasons but they tend to blend into one another, Dry and Wet.
The dry season generally runs from April to October, and this is the best time of the year for game viewing in the parks, water holes dry up, vegetation thins out making game viewing easier November to March is the wet season and can be hot and humid.
Camera gear is discussed further on, but if possible a good pair of binoculars around the 8x30 power or bigger is very advantagious for those distant wlidlife sightings and bird viewing.
Remember to bring comfortable "sensible bush " footwear and clothing, sunglasses, phone, phone charger, correct power point adapter for South Africa, consult your doctor re Malaria advice for the Lowveld region, sun screen, personal items, depending on the time of year will dictate what clothing to bring there is ample advice online regarding this, but please feel free to contact us for further info or help.
Camera Gear Recommendation.
I could talk on this one for quite awhile, BUT this is not a Wildlife photographic lesson.
In a nut shell we can break it down to your wildlife interests, in and around the grounds of Tusk Bush Lodge you will need focal lengths of around 24mm to 150mm for most of the Antelope species, that focal length also works as an all round lens for landscapes, people
etc, so any of the small compact zooms will be more than adequate, as the wildlife generally is quite close.
Bird photography is a different kettle of fish........I would consider a focal lengths of 400mm to be a minimum, even then that can not be long enough at times, as much as I am not a proponent of the ultra long zooms ( 150-600mm ) they do have a place from a price point of view, and can offer good results IF used properly, and that means using a support,tripod, mono pod, bean bag, whatever is available.........the longer the lens, the greater the magnification, the greater the magnification the more prone you are likely to experience camera shake, camera shake interprets to blurry shots, the built in lens image stabilisation does help to a point, on saying that one of the benefits of digital is you can play the ISO settings like a piano........raise the ISO for low light, lower the ISO for bright light, the rule of thumb for long lens shutter speed for sharp images is double the shutter speed to focal lengths eg 400mm lens 1/800th but faster if possible, that is acheived by raising your ISO
which can be a double edged sword, but that is another story.
I am a firm believer in a stable support of some sort for razor sharp images ...simple!
Inside KNP a focal length of 400mm to 600mm would be your best choice, I use at least two to three Canon bodies with generally fixed focal lengths lenses a 400mm f4 Canon, 500mm f4 Canon with a 1.4 converter and the last body with a f2.8 Canon 70-200 zoom, this covers the vast majority of situations encountered in the park.
So to conclude I would advise a digital DSLR, preferably two bodies with at least 24-105mm and if possible a 70-200mm or longer as an additional lens, and a two times converter, a good camera bag, sundry cleaning gear, a small flash, spare batteries/charger, spare memory cards, UV filter on lenses and a lens hood !
I am offering our guests the opportunity of attending Wildlife Photo Workshops in 2019 being run from our lodge, one day sessions covering a broad range of subjects and equipment, the price includes the use of a Canon DSLR, a variety of lenses, camera supports for you to use at the lodge during the workshop. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
for any help or advise.