A Rare Encounter with the Bactrododema tiaratum.

A remarkable event unfolded as a seldom-seen creature, the Bactrododema tiaratum insect, also referred to as the “Stick Insect” made a surprise appearance at Moditlo River Lodge.

Known for its scarcity in sightings, this particular insect captivated our Guide Janno on Thursday, the 3rd of March 2024, with its distinctive size!

Janno measuring the Bactrododema +| – 25cm.

You can see the distinctive appearance characterized by a shield-like structure covering its thorax, the Bactrododema tiaratum boasts a unique and striking appearance that sets it apart from other insects.

The Ecological Significance

Beyond its captivating appearance, the presence of the Bactrododema tiaratum holds ecological importance. It plays a crucial role in nutrient cycling and plant diversity within its habitat. Additionally, it serves as prey for a variety of predators, further highlighting its importance in the local food web.

Habitat and Behavior

Typically found in semi-arid regions with sparse vegetation, where it can blend in with its surroundings due to its cryptic coloration. Primarily nocturnal, it exhibits fascinating behaviors during the night, including mating calls and foraging activities.

Conservation Status

Due to its rarity and limited distribution, the Bactrododema tiaratum is considered a species of conservation concern. Habitat loss, climate change, and other anthropogenic factors pose significant threats to its survival, underscoring the importance of conservation efforts to protect this unique insect and its fragile ecosystem.

The sighting of the Bactrododema tiaratum served as a reminder of the incredible biodiversity found in the untamed Lowveld. This extraordinary encounter not only enriched the experience of those present but also highlighted the importance of preserving and cherishing our natural world for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.

Experience. Explore. Embrace.

Exploring Nature’s Tapestry: Bushwalks in the African Lowveld

Step softly into the untamed beauty of the African lowveld, where each stride carries you deeper into the heart of nature’s symphony. At Moditlo River Lodge, we offer a soulful invitation to partake in an authentic exploration!

Immersing in Nature’s Melody

Amidst the rustling leaves and gentle whispers of the breeze, bushwalks at Moditlo River Lodge offer a serene immersion into the essence of the bushveld. Led by our seasoned guides, each footfall unveils a new chapter in the natural symphony, where every leaf, branch, and bird song tell a story of the land’s ancient past.

Tracing Nature’s Footprints:

While the primary focus of our bushwalks is to connect with the rhythms of nature, there are moments when we are graced by the presence of wildlife. Guided by the expertise of our knowledgeable trackers, you may chance upon the subtle signs left by passing animals – a faint paw print in the soft earth, a trail of broken branches hinting at a recent visitor. These fleeting encounters add a touch of mystery to the bushwalk experience, inviting individuals to become part of nature’s intricate dance.

Guided by Nature’s Wisdom:

Our guides serve as stewards of the land, sharing their deep reverence for the natural world with each step of the journey. While we occasionally have the privilege of a tracker joining our excursions, the essence of our bushwalks lies in the intimate connection with the environment – a gentle communion with the earth beneath our feet and the sky above our heads.

Savoring Nature’s Gifts:

You are invited to pause and savor the simple pleasures of the bush – the delicate beauty of a wildflower, the intricate web of a spider glistening with morning dew, the mesmerizing flight of a butterfly dancing on the breeze. These moments of quiet reflection offer a profound appreciation for the intricate web of life that surrounds us.

Embracing Nature’s Timelessness:

The rhythm of nature sets the pace and the wonders of the wilderness unfold at their own leisurely tempo. Whether tracing the ancient footprints of wildlife or simply basking in the gentle caress of the sun, each moment is a celebration of the eternal bond between man and nature.

If you are seeking a deeper connection with the natural world and a genuine immersion into the heart of Africa, you have come to the right place! 


Photo courtesy of Kontent Mint.

Soaring Elegance: Suncatchers Hot Air Balloon Excursion

"Hot air balloon" flying over the "Lowveld", situated in  "Hoedspurit""Drakensburg",

The Suncatchers Hot Air Balloon Excursion stands out as a truly magical experience.  

Let’s delve into why this aerial adventure is a must-do, among the countless of activities available at this captivating lodge, promising unforgettable moments against the backdrop of the stunning South African landscape.

A 39 minute drive away from Moditlo River Lodge. Upon your arrival, enjoy a cup of coffee as you witness the meticulous inflation and preparation of your eight-story-high balloon for flight.

Watch your eight-story high balloon being inflated and prepared for flight

  • A Sunrise like No Other:

Imagine waking up to the gentle whispers of the African bushveld, the sky painted in hues of orange and pink as the sun begins its ascent. The Suncatchers Hot Air  Balloon Excursion provides a one-hour scenic hot air balloon flight with an unmatched opportunity to witness the breathtaking sunrise. The first rays of light illuminate the landscape below, casting a golden glow on the extensive Lowveld section of the Blyde River, 15 km west of Hoedspruit. 

  • Panoramic Views:

Hoedspruit is renowned for its rich biodiversity and you are treated to a bird’s-eye view of the abundant wildlife below, offering a unique perspective!

  • Serenity in the Sky:

The quiet hum of the balloon’s burner is the only sound that punctuates the stillness, creating a peaceful and meditative atmosphere. It’s an opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with the beauty of the natural world.

  • Expert Guidance and Safety:

After a safety briefing you should be airborne. Experienced and certified pilots guide the balloons, providing informative commentary on the landscape and wildlife. The height above ground will vary between skimming the tree-tops to as high as 2000 feet, as the pilot changes altitude in search of favorable wind directions and speeds. 

  • Unforgettable Memories and Photography Opportunities:

Whether it’s the surreal sunrise, the majestic wildlife, or the expansive landscapes, the hot air balloon provides a photographer’s dream canvas. Guests can immortalize their memories against the backdrop of the African sky, creating a visual diary of their unforgettable journey.

The Suncatchers Hot Air Balloon Excursion is not just an activity; it’s a journey into the heart of Africa’s natural wonders. For those seeking a unique and enchanting adventure, this excursion promises an unforgettable voyage into the skies, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of all who embark on this
extraordinary excursion.

Photo courtesy : Suncatchers Hot Air Balloon

About us
Moditlo River Lodge sits at the heart of the Blue Canyon Conservancy, a stretch of protected land in close proximity to the world-renowned Greater Kruger National Park, and is home to an astonishing array of fauna and flora.
24 28’53.90″S 31 01’48.51″E

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