You are here: Blog // Southern Africa Bush Tails

Top 10 Family Safaris

- Thursday, November 20, 2014
Travel+Leisure has recognized us in the prestigious World’s Best Awards (safari outfitter to plan family safaris) and in their A-List for a 5th year in a row. Also chosen 11 years in a row as one of the World’s Top Travel Specialists in Conde Nast Traveler, Mark Nolting is the “go to” person for family safaris! Let our team of consultants begin planning.



Top 10 Family Safaris 
We love working with families and helping them design their dream safaris for multi-generational trips. 



~Priced from $2750.00 per child (ages 6-16) / $6495.00 per adult
Brooks Kamanakao is our “go to” guide when booking a private Botswana safari. Let him regale you and the family with Run Rhino Run stories about conservation efforts for the rhino that are in place through Wilderness Safaris and Great Plains in the Okavango Delta.



12-Day Wildlife Safari to Southern Africa
~Priced from $5250.00 per teen/ $5850.00 per adult
Mashatu, in southern Botswana, has been part of the Northern Tuli Predator Project started in 2007. It focuses mainly on the study of lions and leopards. Additional large carnivore species have also since been selected for further studies, including spotted hyenas and cheetah. The local guides will identify many of the Predators during your family safari.



15-Day “Diamond Skies” Safari to South Africa
~Priced from $9195.00 per adult
Tswalu Kalahari is a pristine Reserve that offers a safe haven for many endangered and rare species while protecting an area of unique diversity and beauty. They were awarded the World Wildlife Fund - Lonmin Award for environmental conservation. From meerkats to porcupines, Tswalu is an awe inspiring destination!



16-Day Iconic Visions Safari to Southern Africa
~Priced from $6095.00 per adult
Discover whales and penguins in Cape Town, the big and little 5 at a private game reserve in Kruger, village visits at Victoria Falls, the “Elephant without Borders” project that is active in the Chobe River ecosystem, and the iconic sand dunes of Sossusvlei of Namibia.


14-Day Family Adventure to Zimbabwe
~Priced from $4895.00 per teen / $5450.00 per adult
Victoria Falls is one of the 7 Natural Wonders and is your stepping off point for this Adventure safari. Explore the Zambezi River by boat, rock climb through the Bushmen art in the caves of Matobo Hills, and experience sitting, surrounded by elephant at a watering hole hide in Hwange. A great trip for families who also want to include a day to volunteer at a school or orphanage.


14-Day ‘Family Wildlife and Wilderness’ Safari to Tanzania
~Priced $4650.00 per teen / $7295.00 per adult
Two highlights include 1) Kisima Ngeda where Chris and Nani do so many wonderful things for the Hadzape and Datoga people living in the area to improve their lives. 2) Sleeping Under Canvas on the Serengeti Plains – an ever important ecological environment that needs your support to stop the pressure of development around the park.


12-Day ‘Under Tanzania Skies’ Safari
~Priced from $6450.00 per teen / $6995.00 per adult
Traveling on this safari supports the Ndarakwai Concession. Situated in the foothills of Kilimanjaro, it is the perfect start for a family embarking out on their safari. Thomas will guide you through the Masai villages and schools, affording you an outdoor classroom lesson on the community working in partnership with conservation. The ideal place to do a day or two of volunteering!



12-Day Mara Explorer to Kenya and Tanzania
~Priced from $4450.00 per person / based on family of 3
Guests stay at Mara Intrepids where we will to request Samson as your guide. He has been in the area for many years and is the King of Story-telling and how nature plays out in the open plains of the Mara ecosystem. Let him introduce you to the Mara Marsh Pride of lions!



14-Day Kenya Explorer Privately Guided Safari
~Priced from $5750.00 teen / $6475.00 per adult / based on family of 3
Experience first-hand the efforts of Ian Douglas Hamilton and Save the Elephants in Samburu, the Jane Goodall Chimpanzee Sanctuary at Sweetwaters, the conservation of Black Rhino in the Mara Triangle, and finish with a visit to Dame Daphne Sheldrick and her elephant orphanage in Nairobi!



14-Day Lodge Safari and Rwanda Gorilla Trekking
~Priced from $6550.00 per adult
Gorilla trekking is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. For those 15 years or older, venture off into the Volcanoes National Park - home to over 10 habituated families of gorillas. There is much good work being done in Africa to conserve the forest habitats for both gorillas and chimpanzees – give your support too!



Davison’s Camp - June 2014

- Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Climate and Landscape
Not many of us can remember an April that was as green as this year in Hwange – the vegetation is still thick and only now do the grasslands have a hint of soft gold as the tops of the grasses dry out. There are still little bursts of colour with the dwindling wild flowers – Pretty Lady, Witch Weed and Blue Comelina to name a few. The waterhole in front of camp is still thick with reeds, home to a little family of white-faced ducks, a lone grey heron and some very noisy Egyptian geese. The tiny cream-green flowers of the false mopane have been pollinated and fat shiny bean-like pods have taken their place, while the velvet chocolate brown pods of the teak trees are already well on their way. The remaining natural waterholes and puddles are becoming muddy spas for a multitude of game, much to the indignation of the resident terrapins.

And just when we thought the rains had moved on, the crisp blue April skies clouded over and we had a number of late showers – 83 mm in total! With Hwange winters renowned for their chill, these surprise downpours cooled things down much quicker and much earlier and guests were delighted to find a hot water bottle in their beds in the evenings once they had torn themselves away from the fire. Midday temperatures were still pleasant, even reaching 30 Celsius at the beginning and end of April, which meant sarongs and shorts by the pool during the hottest time of the day, and then beanies and scarves as night-time temperatures dipped as low as 10 Celsius. One evening while guests were still on their night drive back into camp, they saw the most incredible shooting star, a large pale green light falling to the south with a trail of white sparks following it.

Wildlife
Despite the rains lingering and the thick flora, sightings this month have been unbelievable and the lions certainly have taken centre stage. There are a number of prides around and within the Wilderness Safaris concessions in Hwange, and all have been seen on numerous occasions. 

a lion hunting group of lioness

One lioness which seemed to have been separated from her pride was seen feasting off an adult zebra kill one morning – a testament to the strength of these cats that she managed to bring it down by herself. When the guides went out in the afternoon, the clouds were heavy with rain and it was drizzling as they got to the carcass – which was now dominated by six hyaena, with the lioness watching cautiously from the sidelines. When the rain came down in earnest the hyaena disappeared and the drenched lioness reclaimed her meal.

The two young black-maned males who took over the pride usually seen at Linkwasha have been exceptionally vocal in and around camp. Wake-up calls were a matter of form, not necessity, quite a few times as these two made their presence heard, with deep roars before the sun had even peeped over the horizon. Their pride of 18 consists of about five beautiful females, some sub-adults and cubs along with two tiny additions. Often guides would pick up the flick of an ear or tail in a blue bush and spot one of the pride hidden away. Then, after stopping the vehicle and allowing guests’ eyes to become accustomed to the mottled light, the shapes of lion after lion would emerge. 

There hasn’t been much evidence of successful hunts and we were all concerned about the cubs getting nourishment, until one evening when two guests and their guide were coming back into camp and they heard a commotion in the thick teak woodland they were driving through. They couldn’t see what was happening but the cracking and rustle of small bushes, the loud bellows of a buffalo and the low growls of the lions painted a pretty clear picture of what was taking place. The following day the lions arrived with very round stomachs to drink from the waterhole right in front of camp.

We had a succession of amazing wild dog experiences over three days in April too. When first spotted they were attempting to bring down a waterbuck but they were unsuccessful; however the following day they were seen again with full bellies and in a heap of snoozing bodies in the shade of a leadwood tree. The next day we couldn’t believe it when one of the housekeepers came from the staff rooms at the back of camp saying that the dogs had sprinted past him in hot pursuit of a kudu – everyone ran to see if they were still close by or if anything could be heard but there was only spoor left. We went back to the office only to be called by one of the waiters saying the dogs were in front of camp and had made a kill! Guests and staff were lucky to see the dogs tucking in and then some running off with scraps of meat to enjoy on their own, until finally all eight went to lie in the shallows of the pan to cool off as the day heated up.

Plains game has been abundant with a small dazzle of zebra making its home right in front of camp. Good herds of eland were seen a few times at Ngamo vlei and lovely sable sightings were recorded too – once a herd of over 20, including small brown calves. Herds of buffalo have also been seen frequently, their great charcoal shapes plodding out of the treeline towards the pans. The elephant are all looking very round and healthy, clearly still enjoying the abundance of food and water available. Some guests were lucky enough to have had sightings of roan and gemsbok, as well as the smaller crowd-pleasers like bat-eared foxes, dwarf mongoose and genet.

Wildlife percentages for April: lion 63%, eland 37%, elephant 97%, buffalo 80%, giraffe 73%, sable 17%, side-striped jackal 53%, leopard 7%

Birds and Birding
As it starts to cool off the summer migrants are all starting to move north, but the birdlife in and around camp is still fantastic. The saddle-billed storks and spoonbills are still wading through the pans, stirring up something to eat, while the teals, white-faced ducks and Egyptian geese leave little wakes as they paddle across the water. A juvenile African harrier-hawk has been loitering around camp and has been seen a few times with his talons and beak reaching down into holes and fissures in the trees in search of insects and reptiles hidden away. 

bird drinking water beautiful relaxing view from the camp

A pair of eastern black-headed orioles was seen perched on the top of a false mopane – the male a gorgeous, bright, daffodil yellow with a black mask. We’ve also seen racket-tailed rollers on a few occasions, the magnificent colour of these birds distracts from their not-so-melodious song, while the watery warbles of the Retz’s and white-crested helmet-shrikes are much softer on the ears as they’ve been seen flocking through the trees. The martial eagles this month have displayed their strength and size – one was seen swooping down on an unsuspecting francolin, there was a burst of feathers on impact and then off he flew with his prize. Another was seen in an act of sheer arrogance attacking a kori bustard, the heaviest flying bird – and the martial won!

Camp Activities
April started in a frenzy to complete the new main lounge and dining areas, as well as a new front deck and upstairs viewing platform. The varnish had just dried and the last wood chips swept away as our first guest arrived and it’s been all systems go since! We welcomed another new member to the team, professional guide Elliot Nobula, who has vast experience in this industry and we are very happy to have him on board.

camp activities lounge area camp activities chairs and lounge


Toka Leya Camp

- Monday, June 16, 2014
Climate and Landscape 
The wet season is nearing its end although we experienced quite a rainy fortnight at the beginning of the month. We now have beautiful blue and starry skies, the norm in Africa’s dry season. Once again it has been wonderful to be out in the evenings looking at the stars, though most of all we enjoy being able to sit around the fire and catch up on the day’s happenings without fear of being caught by the rain. 

Wildlife 
The Zambezi River came down with very brown water for a while before the colour changed. We noticed a very rapid rise of the levels and this has created a fantastic new habitat for the waders. The mighty Zambezi is currently the perfect place for birders – all of whom have all come back to provide us with very healthy lists of both new and old sightings. 

elephant bathing in water a monkey on a tree branch bird on a perch
hippopotamus bathing in toka leya camp giraffe in toka leya camp, africa-adventure

Not only is the river the place to see feathered characters but all sorts of different species have also been recorded on the game drives, either perched in the lovely, lush green trees, flying around or in the multitude of newly-formed waterholes which are still brimming. Coming back to camp from an afternoon sundowner stop on the Zambezi, guides were amazed to spot a huge crocodile, way inland from the river. This was a great learning lesson for some of the young guides who had never seen a croc away from the river. Although this seemed unbelievable these creatures do frequently move from one water source to another and several sightings have been recorded. 

Whilst we have not seen too many elephants around Toka Leya this month, we have recorded some of the most sightings ever of elephants crossing the river or moving from one island to another. Many guests actually expressed concern about the strength of the current relative to the size of some of the elephants that braved the strong currents and crossed from one side of the river to the other. 

What we didn’t see in elephant numbers around the camp has been more than compensated by the number of giraffe sightings recorded at Toka Leya. These beautiful animals have been very cooperative, allowing some great photographs without bothering too much about our presence. As usual the hippo sightings on the Zambezi are arguably amongst some of the best in the country. 

The news of Toka Leya sightings would be incomplete without the mention of the wonderful baby rhino which we couldn’t get a great view of last month as the mother was so protective. With time she has become much more relaxed and cooperative and we had some of our greatest moments with this little beast who we are all wishing long life in the park. 

As usual we have had a few guests who have been on safari for a couple of weeks and seen all the cats and elephant, etc., but buffalo have eluded them somehow (possibly due to the tall grasses at this time of year). The size of the park works in our favour as most of these travellers complete their sightings at the end of their trip here with probably one of the best buffalo sighting of their safari as the buffalo herds here are very relaxed and used to the vehicles. The park also offers a wonderful opportunity for white rhino sightings.


Ten Through the Lens of James Moodie

- Monday, June 16, 2014
the eyrefield pride playing in the sand river
The Eyrefield Pride play in the Sand River

This week’s images are through the lens of ranger James Moodie . He has captured some amazingly stunning pictures of wild cats and other game seen at MalaMala.

Enjoy!
- by: The MalaMala Ranger Team

The Airstrip Male lays claim to an impala kill
The Airstrip Male lays claim to an impala kill


cheetah siblings pose for a shot
Brother and sister pose for a shot


zebras on the western bank
Zebras on the western bank


The Airstrip Male ascends a weeping boerbean
The Airstrip Male ascends a weeping boerbean


cheetah running away from warthog
Predator becoming prey


a young cheetah at dusk
A young cheetah at dusk


A pack of fifteen cape hunting dogs
A pack of fifteen cape hunting dogs


An alert lioness watches a waterbuck in the distance
An alert lioness watches a waterbuck in the distance


a photo of cheetahs in Flockfield by Nic Moxham
The Battle of the Predators for Flockfield, by ranger Nic Moxham


Elephants and buffalo in eastern Flockfield
Elephants and buffalo in eastern Flockfield

This winter we are bound for some epic duals. As the land dries up, the struggle for territory intensifies and predators must battle for the right to prevail in one of nature’s harshest seasons while looking to stamp their claim on this bountiful piece of land in the heart of MalaMala: Flockfield.

Zebra and impala graze on a summer's day in Flockfield
Zebra and impala graze on a summer's day in Flockfield


An extremely rare sighting of a Sable Antelope in Flockfield
An extremely rare sighting of a Sable Antelope in Flockfield

Situated on the central parts of the property, Flockfield is a farm of two lights. In the west, the river promotes growth and life flourishes. The lower reaches of the Kapen River and the Tamboti Thickets are prime areas for leopards and their prey. Tall mahogany trees provide an ideal loft for an unlucky bushbuck, and the thick undergrowth presents the perfect cover to hunt. In the east water and shade give way to grass and sky as green turns to yellow. Open plains offer cheetah sufficient ground to gather speed, and lions will look to take advantage of the vast territorial space. It is prime property and predators and prey must find a way to make it their own.

The Bicycle Crossing Male sleeps soundly on a tree
The Bicycle Crossing Male sleeps soundly

So we begin with the leopards, and the boss of Flockfield: the Bicycle Crossing Male. “The Bike” – as he is affectionately known in these parts – is a MalaMala legend. He has been the dominant male in Flockfield for almost a decade now, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. He walks with obvious confidence and fears little. Recently we watched him side-stepping his way through a herd of buffalo as he tried to catch a bellowing buffalo calf. He taunted with the large bulls that were blocking his way through, and eventually he was chased off. We also found him alongside the Treehouse Male and an unidentified Female leopard at Dudley crossing last month. The female tried, in vain, to mate with the Treehouse Male and the Bicycle crossing Male chased her off several times. Eventually she realised that mating with the older male was the wiser option. He is the one that all want to be like, an immaculate example of the ultimate predator. But he is old now. At fourteen years in September, he will begin to feel the lack of exuberance and power that he once possessed in his prime. So who will benefit from the passing of this great?

Currently there are four young leopards in this area that pose a threat. We have talked a lot about the Treehouse Male and his confrontations with the Bicycle Crossing Male over the last year. But there are still more viable contenders.

The Treehouse Male with a bushbuck kill at the Treehouse
The Treehouse Male with a bushbuck kill at the Treehouse

At five and a half years old now, the Newington Male will be looking to establish a territory with available females to mate with. He is a big leopard and is beginning to take the shape of his father, the Princess Alice Pans Male. Over the past year he has been crossing east through the Sand River into Flockfield more regularly. It could be because of the pressure being put on him by his father, but he is a very valid threat to the Bicycle Crossing Male if he decides to challenge him.

The West Street Male on a tree
The West Street Male takes to a tree

Recently the West Street Male has been elusive. He has moved from his original home around West Street Bridge to establish himself in the more eastern parts of the reserve. He could also return closer to the Sand River in winter, and we wait to see if he challenges any of the younger leopards in Flockfield.

The River Rocks Male seems to have made western Charleston his home. He is also very familiar with the advantages of being dominant in Flockfield after been raised by his mother, the Dudley Female, in these parts. He could look to challenge if he decided to push north.

It’s not only the male leopards who have their eyes on Flockfield. There is also a race between the females in Flockfield.

The unidentified female cheetah in western Flockfield
The unidentified female in western Flockfield

A particular young female leopard was first seen opposite Rattray’s Camp last year. She appears to be between 6 – 8 years old with a paler complexion than most leopards. Over the past year she has been found mating with the West Street Male around Buffalo Pans and Paddy’s Pools, and was then seen mating with the Bicycle Crossing Male more recently. With the apparent disappearance of the Flockfield Female, she is the most likely contender to take over Flockfield. She was seen recently following the Daughter of the Dudley Female around Flockfield Lookout, keeping an eye on her possible future threats. She moved off scent-marking and roaring, a sure sign of her intention to stay.

The Dudley Female and cub
The Dudley Female and cub

The Daughter of the Dudley Female has been a common sight over the past couple of months. At just over two years old she lacks experience and has a noticeably nervous demeanor. She is a beautiful young female and will most probably be spending the winter within her mother’s territory hoping to avoid any potential threats. It will be an interesting winter for her and we wait to see whether she embraces her new lifestyle as an independent cat.

Lion confrontations should also intensify this winter.

A Fourways Male in motion
A Fourways Male in motion

Historically the Eyrefield Pride spends a lot of time in Flockfield during the winter. They cross the shallow river regularly to look for prey along the watercourse. They enjoyed a highly productive season last year with numerous buffalo, giraffe and kudu kills throughout western Flockfield and along the banks of the Kapen River. They did have an encounter with the Fourways Pride during a buffalo hunt last winter and this type of interaction could be common in the future. The three strong males from the Fourways Pride are a considerable threat to the Eyrefield sub-adults, and the lionesses must be weary of this danger.

two lioness blending into their surroundings
The unidentified pride blending into their surroundings

Another pride has been seen frequenting these parts. They have nine members and generally enter in the east and make there way south through the central parts of the property. The pride consists of three lionesses, five sub-adult males and one sub-adult female. The sub-adults appear older than the Eyrefield Pride sub-adults although the males lack the emerging manes. The lionesses are also relatively small and stocky and will struggle to match the bulk of the Eyrefield lionesses.

The Manyelethi Males have also been scarce. They have been enjoying a battle with another coalition in the west and are looking to possibly take over the two remaining prides in the western sector. We will see if the lack of the males’ presence in this area encourages new young males to make it their home.

A young male lion from the Fourways Pride
A young male from the Fourways Pride


Soccer in the Wilderness in Botswana

- Monday, June 16, 2014
The Soccer coaching clinics held in Maun and Sankuyo village recently were facilitated by professional soccer player and CITW Ambassador, Gordon Gilbert. The event was organized by CITW Botswana and soccer teams from primary schools in Maun were invited:   the “Re ba bona Ha” which is a team of players from different schools who have shown potential in soccer playing brought 15 participants, Matshwane Primary, a private school, brought 16 participants and Shashe Primary School, one of the CITW schools in Botswana, brought 20 participants.  22 children from Sankuyo Primary School also participated in a clinic with Gordon.

Gordon Gilbert facilitating a soccer event for Re ba bona

The other teams which benefitted from the coaching clinic were the three teams from Wilderness Holdings - the Maun Donkeys from Wilderness Safaris, Wilderness Air team and the Northern Air Maintenance team.  The Sankoyo Bush Bucks team was invited but could not make it due to other commitments, but the Coach came for a briefing where he received some advice from Gordon on how to deal with pressure when in a soccer league.

Apart from the skills and drills the participants learned, Gordon also shared with them the importance of self-discipline and commitment when a person would like to achieve something in life. He gave a brief background on how he managed to become a professional player, and he agreed with the participants that it is not an easy task but it all goes back to an individual’s commitment.

He gave a brief talk on the importance of conservation and why the participants need to take care of the environment.   In a nutshell he encouraged the school children to take their school work seriously so that they can earn good grades which will enable them to go into tertiary schools.  Even if one is a very good athlete they still need education because an athlete’s active life span is very short: so education is the only key which can better our lives.

Franklin Wells for the World Community Boreholes – Zimbabwe
Franklin Wells for the World Foundation (FWWF) is a global leader in the production of water & fuelling systems. Their aim is to address the need for clean water systems and to provide long-term accessible and safe groundwater sources to at-risk communities in developing countries. In 2013 Children in the Wilderness and Rotary Club of Victoria Falls were approached by Mr Attie Jonker, Director of Franklin Electric in South Africa with regard to the donation & installation of boreholes at some of the community schools & villages that we are associated with in Tsholotsho & Victoria Falls.

villagers using installed boreholes by Franklin Wells for the World Community Boreholes

Once approval was received from the Zimbabwe Ministry of Education for exemption from import duties, FWWF successfully installed five boreholes with the necessary pumping equipment at Kapane, Mpindo, Jakalsi & Ziga Primary Schools (Tsholotsho), and Jabulani Primary School (Victoria Falls); a total project value of approximately US$77,000.00. These schools and the adjacent communities are now receiving beautiful fresh water every day; the implementation of these boreholes brings welcome relief to these dry & often barren areas and will help empower the communities to accommodate & care for themselves in a sustainable manner. During the handover ceremony a local Chief pointed out that his village had been there for almost a hundred years, but this was the first time they had access to the clear water that had been running deep below their feet.

A simple thank you does not adequately convey the level of gratitude that we all have for Franklin Wells for the World Foundation - their dedication and generosity to these five small rural communities has been humbling to say the least. Without their help, a project of this scale would quite simply not have been possible.


Ruckomechi Camp - June 2014

- Monday, June 16, 2014
Climate and Landscape
There is still plenty of water, and the bush is beautifully green. The albida trees are in bloom, and are dropping their flowers everywhere while the evergreen mopane trees and natal mahogany trees add a lush green beauty to the landscape.

April has had rather unusual weather characterised by a few storms that resulted in a total of about 12 mm of rain being recorded. The beginning of the month was really hot with temperatures recorded in the mid-30s Celsius; this was shifted by the storms however, as they marked the approaching winter season with temperatures gradually changing after the storms. By end of the month, the mornings and evenings were noticeably cooler, though daytime temperatures are still warm.

Wildlife
The month has been very productive. All activities, be it on water or land, have been most eventful. We had excellent lion sightings on a number of activities, as well as enjoying their presence in camp on several occasions. This has given our guests a truly “wild’’ experience, and combined with a touch of nervous tension; all in all, the sightings have made for really special memories.

elephants in ruckomechi camp alligator in ruckomechi camp hyena in ruckomechi camp
elephant deep bathing and blowing water from its trunk lioness resting amur falcons perched on a tree

Large herds of buffalo have also been sighted on several occasions. The Mana elephants have not disappointed our guests, and on a few occasions have wandered into camp where they have put on some exciting “performances,” leaving our guests completely in awe. The hippo continuously sing us lullabies as we sleep at night. 

Leopards have also been sighted on a several drives. It seems as if we have a mating pair that is spending time around camp, and they have been seen on a few drives. We’ve also heard them calling during the night.  

Wildlife percentages for April: Cape buffalo 70%, elephant 93%, eland 13%, hippo 100%, giraffe 100%, kudu 77%, wild dog 3.3%, lion 53%, warthog 93%.

Birds and birding
Amur falcons have started flying in their numbers making our skies beautiful. They are quite fascinating to watch as they feed on termites. The other migratory birds that have been very visible are white storks, adding a splash of colour to our vlei. But these species will be leaving us for warmer climes; we hope to welcome them back again in spring. 


Singita – First Sighting of the Hlabankunzi Leopard Cubs

- Saturday, June 14, 2014
Experience, Sabi Sand, Safari, Wildlife

leopards in singita

Last week was a very special one for visitors to Singita Sabi Sand, as the brand new Hlabankunzi leopard cubs made their public debut! The female has moved into the territory of the Ravenscourt female, who was killed roughly a year ago, and now patrols a prize piece of Singita’s 45,000 acre concession. Briefly before the cubs were spotted for the first time, Head Field Guide Mark Broodryk sent us this report:

a leopard cub in motion

“We suspect that she has her cubs under the deck of Room 11 at Singita Ebony Lodge and is as comfortable around the lodge as the Ravenscourt female was. Field guides Dylan, Ruel and I saw Mobeni’s new cubs for the first time yesterday morning, still very tiny and not exactly sure of numbers just yet. She has them close to the Khosa pan area in the Ximobanyane drainage. She seems to be a different leopard now that the Ravenscourt female has gone, she is not nearly as nervous as she used to be and we are able to view her fairly regularly. Her son has become independent and if approached correctly, also provides good viewing. Just yesterday we followed him for about 1½ hours and he curled up to sleep about 10m from the vehicle! Overall we seem to have come out on top with our leopard viewing and looks like the legacy of the leopard viewing for this reserve will continue.”

two leopard cubs

Lion Line Up – Sabi Sand, Wildlife
This photo of the Mhangeni pride walking in what appears to be military formation through Singita Sabi Sand, was taken last week by Field Guide Ross Couper. Of the unusual and entertaining sighting, he says: “As the honey coloured morning light filtered through the mist on the horizon, we knew we were in for a very good morning.” Ross’ stunning photo was even featured in the Cape Times a few days later, aptly captioned “Dawn Patrol”.

a lion line up in military formation


Tafika Camp

- Friday, June 13, 2014
White Wildebeest – Guide: Gareth Broekhuizen
During an airport transfer we spotted a single white Cookson’s Wildebeest in amongst a herd of 45 individuals. An albino adult is rarely seen let alone a herd of 45 wildebeest so the transfer was put on hold to enjoy the great sighting.

Many thanks to Heather for the super images.

hered of wildebeest
hered of wildebeest

Tafika Camp – Action in the Air
We’ve had some great game viewing this past week – both in the air and on the ground. John Starr has generously shared some of his spectacular images with us from his stay at Tafika Camp.

Aerial action…

A Lilic-breasted Roller mobs a Martial Eagle

A Lilic-breasted Roller mobs a Martial Eagle
An immature Fish Eagle attempts to steal a meal from a Yellow-billed Stork
A Marabou Stork zooms in for landing at the Yellow-billed Stork colony
A Tawny Eagle devours a Slender mongoose posted by Jennifer Coppinger
A Lilic-breasted Roller mobs a Martial Eagle

An immature Fish Eagle attempts to steal a meal from a Yellow-billed Stork
An immature Fish Eagle attempts to steal a meal from a Yellow-billed Stork


A Marabou Stork zooms in for landing at the Yellow-billed Stork colony
A Marabou Stork zooms in for landing at the Yellow-billed Stork colony


A Tawny Eagle devours a Slender mongoose
A Tawny Eagle devours a Slender mongoose

Kaingo camp, South Luangwa, wildlife photography, wildlife safari, zambia safari

- by: return guest Phil Branham.

A friend of mine from The Netherlands told me that he liked the Zambia animal articles I have been inserting in my company’s newsletter and did I have any hippos, well the answer is yes and this is a hippo story!

In July of 2012, Patrick and I were on the bank of the South Luangwa River watching hippos when two of the males started fighting in the water. They went at it pretty hard until the larger male jabbed the other one under the jaw with his two large teeth that face forward.

two male hippos fighting in the water

They then separated and went to the sand bank away from us. Patrick and I went down and into the great hippo hide that Shenton Safaris has there because Patrick thought they might keep on fighting. We were only there a few minutes when they started fighting again and it was amazing. I took 35 shots of the land fight and pulled out a couple to show you.

two male hippos fighting with open jaws

They charged each other with wide open jaws and went at each other. The hippo on the left was the main aggressor and left his feet three times during the fight.

two male hippos fighting with open jaws

Their jaws matched up fairly well and if you did not know better, it looked like they were kissing

The energy from their fight is incredible since they are fighting for mating rights and a spot on the river.

The tusks are long enough to puncture organs if they attack from the side. The photos below give you a little idea of the ferocity of their attacks.

two male hippos fighting with open jaws two male hippos fighting with open jaws
closer look of male hippos wide jaws while fighting

They separated for the third time and after a couple of minutes they started back for each other again. Only this time it was not to be. A small female that had been lying next to the fighting males jumped up and struck the aggressor in the neck under his jaw.

female hippo breaking up the fight

When that happened the fight was over the male on the left that was attacked by the female turned around and left. We were speechless; I could not imagine that happening, another incredible moment! Look at the small baby hippo on the right side watching. After this happened the hippo on the right turned and stared at me almost like he knew I was there! Another incredible shot!

closer look of hippo broken mouth after a fight

This guy was the winner but it had to hurt! This is one of my favorite moments of all my trips! You don’t see this every day!




Tswalu

- Friday, June 13, 2014
New departure point for Tswalu guests at OR Tambo opens soon

OR tambo International Airport

Tswalu will soon be moving its Johannesburg departure point to Fireblade Aviation, the first 7 Star VIP aircraft facility at OR Tambo International Airport.

a picture outside of OR Tambo International Airport

The facility will open in the next few months, and will offer a world class FBO service which includes:

- International and domestic arrivals and departures
- Customs and immigration
- Safe aircraft parking and /or hangarage
- Fuel facility
- Luxury lounge services – restaurant, private lounge, spa, day rooms, VIP rooms, gym
- Private meeting rooms
- VIP and crew transport
- Aircraft support services
- Operations assistance
- Charter services
 
ZS-KAL airplane

What this means for our guests is that they will have full access to our private lounge when travelling to or from Tswalu, including an à la carte restaurant; luxurious relaxation lounge; private terrace; a gym and spa with shower facilities; meeting venues; a boutique; exclusive VIP relaxation venues; complimentary Wi-Fi; and complimentary transfers to and from the main terminal.

We will update you in the next few weeks with more details on the offerings ….. watch this space!

Sleep under the stars at Tswalu’s Malori sleep-out deck
Tswalu’s Malori sleep-out deck

Imagine sleeping in a luxury king-size bed on a raised deck in the middle of a game reserve, surrounded by the calls of nocturnal animals, with nothing between you and the brilliant stars of the Kalahari night sky!

Tswalu Kalahari’s sleep-out deck, The Malori (meaning ‘dreamer’ in Tswana), offers guests the unique experience of a safari sleep-out on a magnificent 100,000 ha five star private game reserve.

The Malori deck bedroom

The Malori deck boasts a raised platform with a thatched overhang for protection should it rain. Guests can choose to sleep under the thatch or further along the deck where it is completely open. The quaint bush suite also has weather-proof blinds which can be rolled up or down according to preference.

woman and outdoor shower of The Malori deck

There is no compromise on luxury. The king-size bed is dressed with exquisite Aldona linen. Luxury towelling robes and slippers are provided and an adjacent outdoor toilet, basin and shower are just a short distance away along a lighted walkway. A simple fold-up table and camping chairs and a cushioned couch complete the barefoot luxury.

nice view from The Malori deck  bedroom

The Malori deck is built to maximise the exquisite surroundings and has panoramic views of the vast plains of the Green Kalahari. It is orientated to showcase the incomparable Kalahari sunsets.

Guests are escorted to the sleepout by a guide on a game vehicle from either The Motse or Tarkuni Private Villa. On arrival, the guide will introduce you to the facilities and help set up drinks and snacks and a pre-prepped dinner.

The Malori deck dining area

Guest are then left to begin their Kalahari sleep-out experience, with sundowners, dinner and a cheese and biscuit platter to enjoy with a night cap.

Lie in bed and count the shooting stars while you listen to the call of the wild. Wake at sunrise to birdsong and the sounds of the early morning in the Kalahari. Help yourselves to tea or coffee from the camp station before radioing your guide to fetch you for breakfast at The Malori.

Or you can choose to take a horse ride, walking trail or game drive back to the main camp, stopping for a picnic breakfast along the way.

Tswalu also provides children’s camping beds, so the whole family can enjoy an exhilarating Kalahari sleep-out under the stars.


Little Kulala

- Thursday, June 12, 2014
Climate and Landscape 
We have had some more rain and the area is looking better every day, especially around the camp. More rivers have been seen flowing through this desert area, although we are wondering if these are the final rains for the season. Nonetheless we are enjoying the cooler, cloudy days.

climate at little kulala cloudy day at little kulala gray clouds surround little kulala

Wildlife 
We have had a number of interesting animal sightings including a gemsbok (oryx) and her calf near camp and sociable weavers collecting grass for their enormous nests.

sociable weavers collecting grass view of the moon from little kulala camp
a gemsbok (oryx) and her calf near little kulala camp

Guest Comments 
“Everything was a highlight especially the Sossusvlei, Quad biking, Hot Air Balloon. Landscape and Setting and the kindness and warmth of the lodge team” 

“Dune climbing, animals, BBQ-Party, Nature colours, stars and the Milky Way!” 

“The overall experience was unique and unbelievable. Thank you” 

“What an exceptional experience. Wonderful” 


Next |

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

follow us on: