Mahove means “Fish” and it is also the name of a special camp on the wild Runde River….
Here is an afternoon view of the that wild and fish-filled river from Mahove tent number 4, just to whet your ‘appetite”!
comfy tents create a warm welcome…
The rich Runde waters are home to fish, crocodiles and turtles galore, which brings to mind food, prey and predators, catching and eating….
…some edible soft-shelled turtles are highly prized in Changana culture, presented to the Chief who confers favours on lucky subjects after such a gift…
Giant Kingfishers nest in the steep bank below tent 1 at Mahove camp, belonging to Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, and here is the male, resisting the attempts of a coucal to pinch his bream meal..
Saddlebills and African skimmers…yellowbills and martial eagles, vultures and parrots, egrets and owls…all can be seen from the “lounge” on the banks of the Runde at Mahove! birds galore …
Elephants abound…here is a majestic bull with Kundani Hill as a fitting backdrop…
and shortly after come some buffalo….
as we sit having a cheeseboard snack in camp…
Lala Palms and baobabs grace this place….
Vegetable ivory drops from the palms to decorate the camp, here in a view towards tent 2,3 and 4…tucked away in the riverine trees and hardly seen!
even elephants hardly acknowledge the presence of the tents, and here a pachyderm strolls past tent 4..
wake up early to a view that beckons…
every walk reveals gorgeous flowers..such as this Morea edulis
and baobab landscapes delight in every direction…lots of inspiration for my field sketches..
Baobab ridge near Mahove:
Exploring the areas around the camp are fascinating now at the end of a very wet season…waterlily pans abound…populated by waterbirds and fish, seething with life….
The prolific white waterlilies that we see this year are subject for a painting:
White waterlilies diptych, acrylic on loose canvas:
here is a close up:
Thinking fish and food…. here is my Grannie’s recipe for something delicious, adapted by me and cooked by camp chef Titus over a slow bush fire….
Mahove Pickled Fish
2 kg Tilapia, tiger fish or any firm fleshed fish- preferably thick fillets, skin off.
4 large onions, thinly sliced
1 heaped tablespoon curry powder, or to taste.
(for the brave, add fresh chillies if desired…!)
2 bay leaves
10 curry leaves
Gently fry the onions in a little oil in a frying pan/saucepan, till translucent.
Add curry powder, bay leaves and curry leaves, fry a few minutes more to release the flavours of the curry and leaves.
Layer this onion mixture with the fish fillets in a fireproof casserole dish, using water or fish stock to cover.
Season the layers with salt and pepper. Cover and gently poach for about half an hour over a slow flame.
Remove from heat, carefully drain the stock into a bowl, keeping the cooked fillets
To the stock add 1 cup good quality malt vinegar, plus chutney, apricot jam, or gooseberry jam to taste. Add a tablespoon of sugar if necessary, to achieve a good sweet/sour flavour…
Mix 1 tablespoon flour or cornflour to a thin paste with some of the stock, then stir it into the stock, and heat gently till simmering and nicely thickened in a separate saucepan.
Pour the thickened sauce over the cooked fish fillets, shaking gently to evenly distribute the sauce. Pack into sterilized glass jars to keep in the fridge up to one week, tasting better every day as a cold salad dish.
preferably eat this whist having a glass of chilled wine on the banks of the Runde River….