Friday, December 18, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
This is a report received from one of our guides Mark while on safari in the Kruger National
Park with Erwin doorenspleet from the 29th November to the 2nd December 2009.
Now this had to be a wacka of a trip as the first animal we came across on
entering the Kruger Park was a massive White Rino bull. This chap was big
and I estimate him at approximately 1.8 Ton easily. Massive main horn, honed
to perfection. Rather placid while the vehicle was next to him, approximately
3 - 5m away from us on the left hand side. We proceeded to Pretoriuskop to
have a quick bite to eat and to book in to the rest camp for the duration of our stay.
As you know me, I couldn't wait to get back into the bush. Fortunately as it
After a quick bite to eat we left Pretoriuskop camp, my route planned for the
afternoon was Shebeni Koppies, Albesini north to doispan Road East to River Rd
Link. Turn around and follow exactly the same route back. Later this worked in
our favor as by the time we got back to camp many animal species were seen.
On the Doispan road 1,8kms before the River link road at approx 16h15 we got sight
of a female Leopard lying in an African wattle tree facing eastwards.
Typical postcard photo). further on down the road a herd (20 plus) of elephants
crossing from south to east.
Back to Albasini, we found a herd of buffalo crossing over towards Mestal dam.
It felt good to be in the park and within 2.5 hrs we had see 4 of the "big 5".
With this in mind it was time to head back to camp.
As you all know, early rise with a cup of coffee we left camp heading North.
My idea was to head along the main road between Pretoriuskop and Skakuza.
Something that stood out for me, was our sighting of 2 Sable antelope approximately
10 - 15m off the road facing us (What a sight as I thought back to when last
I saw one so close.) We continued North and approx 1kilometer from Matekanyane
view point we had a sighting of a Black Rino bull moving eastwards.
Approx 2.2kms past the H3 junction which goes down to the Malalane gate, we spotted
2 Female Lion sleeping in the open. Not the best sighting as I would estimate them
to be approx 30m of the road. As we crossed over the Sand River, I decided to take
the Marula Loop road and 500m down came across 2 humongous black mained male Lions.
Both were lying on the edge of the road and brilliant photos were taken.
Up to the Tshokwane picnic spot we saw lots of general game and fabulous amounts of
birds were encountered. After eating a brunch (very late breakfast - due to the
amount of animal sightings we had enjoyed) we moved Eastwards on the H10 to Lower
Sabie. While on this road a number of good sightings were encountered of rhino,
buffalo, elephant and general game.
At the junction to Mlondozi Dam off the H10, we came across a pair of mating Lions.
Good to see nature is still on the go and the Lion is still king.
Looking up into the east, I could see a cloud build up and decided to head back
to Pretoriuskop. After a visit to the camp of Lower Sabie, we made our way back to
Skukuza, stopping off at various sightings of elephant and buffalo as well as
general game along the way. After a short stop at the camp of Skukuza, we made our
way back to camp for the night and the potential of some heavy rain.
The night sounded like a battle field in the sky's as the thunder roared. This was
confirmed the next day with little animal movement and sightings. What also played
a major role was the sudden drop in temperatures. Even the new Impala lambs where
aware of the change in weather.
We decided that we would take advantage of the weather and visited many different
historical sites during the course of the day. Always enjoying the general game
viewing as we spent our time in the African bushveld.
The night was cold and the next morning after our last game drive before leaving
the park, we had breakfast at Pretoriukop. On leaving the park its always
interesting to see what is the last specie of animal is, to come out and say
goodbye. Strange to this we had a sighting of 8 Sable antelope,
wishing our guests
" Goodnight, God bless and Goodbye".
Till next time and we meet again,
Senior Guide Nhongo Safaris
Friday, November 27, 2009
For more info on our 4 Day Budget Safari, please visit our 4 Day Budget safari itinerary
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Letter received from Seppo and Tuulikki Murto from Finland on their safari to the Kruger National Park
After a stop for breakfast, we left Skukuza and made our way onto Eloff Street ( H4-1) were only 3km's down the clients got there first sightings of lion in the the Sabie river bed. The game drive carried on with sightings of elephant, buffalo, rhino as well as general game being encountered on a regular basis. The day was cold and rainy with the first big rains being experienced by all. Clients got back to camp in the mid afternoon wet and cold for a short break before climbing back onto the open vehicle for a night drive. Sightings on the night drive started with a good sighting of lion prior to it getting dark and was then followed up with sightings of elepbhant and buffalo.
On the final morning of safari we left camp at 06h00 and made our way to Shabeni kopies looking for lions, we got a large herd of buffalo on route with a size estimation of around 600 animals, shortly after that we got a good close sighting of elephant on the Shabeni loop before making our way to Manughu Kopie. Upon closer inspection we found a fvemale lion on top of the kopie sitting and checking out the scene, she was seen to be carrying large amounts of milk, so it is thought that she has cubs in the area of the Kopie.
The drive continued with other sightings of general game as well as elephant and buffalo being encountered.
Clients feedback was that they enjoyed themselves and would be returning for another visit, but just longer the next time. Alexandra is also going to return, but this time with his wife that could not accompany him on this trip.
For more information on our Kruger Park safaris please visit our Kruger Park Safari Website
For more information on our 3 Day Kruger Park Safari, please visit our 3 Day Kruger Park Safari Itinerary
Letter received from Justin and Michelle Leegsma who were on safari to the Kruger National Park with us.
Letter received from David Van Buskirk that was on safari to the Kruger National Park from the 26th - 30th July 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Some Photos taken by Kyle Olsen while on safari in the Kruger National Park from the 2 - 6 October 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
The morning of the 23rd we left camp a little earlier and after good sightings of white rhino. After a short distance we came across a sighting of lions, one male lion with two lionesses at the Deleport water hole. The lions were quite relaxed showing little interest in the tourist presence around them. we continued conducting game drives for the duration of the day getting good sightings of elephant, buffalo, hippos, crocodiles, zebra and wildebeest. Upon our return journey to camp, we came upon a sighting of Sable antelope, these sable are seldom seeing in the park due to there low numbers in the region.
Our last morning game drive was spent around the camp of Pretoriuskop seen large herds of Zebra, Rhino and also seen our first impala lambs of the summer season that had just been born.
All in all this was a memorable safari for Sabine who wants to return to go and do some volunteer work at the Moholoholo wildlife centre in the near future.
For more info on our safaris to the Kruger national Park, please visit our Kruger Park Safaris website
For more info on our 4 Day Budget Kruger Park Safari, please visit our 4 Day Budget Kruger Park Safari Itinerary
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Two Photos from a Lion sighting with Nhongo Safaris at klipspringer Kopies
For more info on our Kruger Park safaris, please visit our Nhongo Safaris website
Two photos of a leopard taken while on safari with Nhongo Safaris.
For more info on our Kruger Park safaris, please visit our Nhongo Safaris website
Friday, October 16, 2009
Game Viewing on this safari was excellent, from the first day lion sightings were encountered on a regular basis. On the first morning out of camp lions were found on the Napi road just a short distance from the camp. We had our first sighting of Sable moving back towards the camp. After breakfast we decided to take a drive down to the camp of Lower Sabie and en route found our first leopard in a tree. We continued down the road stopping a various sightings of Elephant and Buffalo and stopping off at Sunset dam. After a break at the camp we made our way onto the H10 and came across our second leopard with a kill under a fallen Leadwood tree. We continued on with our drive stopping off at many different sightings. Upon arrival at Siloweni dame we found a heard of about 800 buffalo crossing the road to drink at the dam. We continued with our drive stopping off for lunch at Skukuza. After lunch we started making our way slowly back to camp, only to find a third leopard for the day walking in the drainage line close to transport dam. The following day was pretty much like the first, going from one sighting to the next with various sightings of lion, Elephant, Buffalo etc.
After breakfast we were called over the radio and told about a leopard close to the camp of Skukuza in a Jackalberry tree, we decided to make our way in that direction. We got to the sighting to find the leopard sitting up looking at some Impala close by. After this sighting we decided to take a drive back up to Siloweni Dam to find the buffalo as we were sure that they would stay close to the dam. En route to the dame we came across two male lions and one lioness lying close to the bridge in the cool of the morning After arriving at the dam we were treated to a sighting of around 800 buffalo, two herds of Elephant and a pod of hippos close to our vehicle all utilising the dame to cool down.
On the final morning of the safari we left camp for our final game drive, only to have two male lions in the road not a 100 metres from the camp. The guests on the vehicle really got some close shots of these two wonderful male lions. The morning also produced some sightings of Elephant, Buffalo, Zebra, kudu and Rhino
All in all the guests had a wonderful time and expressed a willingness to return In the near future to visit the Kruger National Park again.
For more info on or Kruger Park safaris, please visit our Kruger Park Safari website
For more info on our 4 Day Kruger Park Safari, please visit our 4 Day Kruger Park Safari Itinerary
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Nhongo Safaris had the pleasure of hosting Kyle Olsen from the FAA in the United States and Andy Green from the UK on safari to the Kruger National Park from the 2nd to the 6th of October 2009.
Game viewing has moved up a notch due to the dry conditions being experienced in the Kruger National Park over the months of October and November. Regular sighting of lion, elephant, buffalo and rhino were enjoyed by all. the highlight of the safari was when Dean found a female leopard and her two cubs near the main road between Skukuza ans Lower Sabie who had just killed and Impala and were starting to eat it. Unfortunately there was high numbers of local visitors to the park, so the sighting grew rapidly in size.
The female leopard and her cubs were quite unperturbed by all of the traffic and just carried on eating as if nothing had happened.
The following day, we proceeded to return to the area, where we managed to get more good photos of the cubs and mother while they proceeded to finish the kill off.
On the last morning we took a drive down to Kwagga Pan on the main H3 road to the Malelane gate, only to come upon two young male lions being chased by two very dominant older lions in a territorial battle. This proceeded to play its self out over a period of about 45 minutes, with the victorious dominant males being the winners and successfully chasing the two young males away from the re territory.
All in all this was a wonderful safari for everybody, with the highlight being the leopard and fighting male lion sightings.
We at Nhongo Safaris are greatfull to have given Kyle a wonderful safari, as it was his second safari with us and has expressed a willingness to bring his wife with him on the next safari when on business to South Africa
For more info on our Kruger Park Safaris, please visit our Kruger Park Safaris website
For more info on our 5 Day Kruger Park Safari, please visit our 5 Day Kruger Park Safari Itinerary
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Be certain to have with you:
* Valid passport
* Valid visa - if required
* One other picture identification (e.g. driver's licence)
* Photocopy of passport page to carry in wallet
* Air tickets
* Expense money
* Comprehensive Travel Insurance Policy
Dressing for Safaris
On safari, most people wear shorts and a T-shirt during the day and put on long sleeved shirts and long pants in the evening for warmth as well as protection from mosquitoes. Should you be particularly sensitive to the sun a loose cotton shirt is essential during the day. Khaki, brown, olive and beige colours are best for and safaris and game walks.
White is not a suitable colour for these activities, as it increases your visibility to wildlife you want to get a closer look at and it will get dirty very quickly. Fleece or sweater and a windbreaker for game drives, because it is highly possible that you may go out on a hot day, but be faced with a chill evening on your return. Remember that layering your clothing will keep you warmer than relying on one thick item.
Clothing to Pack for Safaris:
* 2 pairs khaki cotton pants
* 2 pairs khaki shorts
* 2 long sleeved shirts/ blouses (for sun protection as well as warmth)
* 1 light sweater or sweatshirt
* 1 lightweight, waterproof windbreaker
* Swimming costume
* Sturdy walking or hiking boots
* 3-5 short-sleeved shirts or T-shirts
* 5 changes underwear and socks
* Hat with a brim (baseball caps might cover your nose but not your ears and neck)
* Gloves (if you really feel the cold)
* Down vest or jacket (if you really feel the cold)
* A sarong or kikoi type garment
Most lodges and safari camps offer laundry as part of their service. Hotels all offer laundry, at additional cost.
* Toilet kit including shampoo and soap
* Insect repellent
* Good quality sunglasses plus protective case
* Hand wipes or 'Baby wipes'
* Stuff-sacks or plastic packets; to compartmentalise items within your travel bag
* Repair kit: needle and thread, nylon cord, rip-stop tape
* Camera, film or memory card
* Spare batteries. Film and batteries can generally be obtained at lodges, but at a price of course, so please be sure to have sufficient supplies for your needs
* Paperback reading, writing material (keep weight at a minimum)
* Sunscreen or block
* Moisturizer, lip balm
* Personal first-aid kit (headache pills, antihistamine cream etc)
* Large towel and washcloth (thin, quick-drying) - if required for camping/overland safari
If you take prescription medication, be sure to bring a sufficient supply with you. If you are on a lengthy holiday, we suggest that you carry a copy of your prescription with you.
Luggage for a Mobile Safari:
For Safari travel, the best type of luggage to bring is a soft bag, or backpack with an internal frame. As packing space in Safari vehicles is limited, only one bag is allowed, but you should also have a daypack for all of your personal items/camera/binoculars. Hard suitcases are usually scuffed or damaged in transit and are inappropriate for a game safari.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
while Mark our senior guide was working on the male lion.
Road: 1.3kms from
Word got out about the happenings on the road and during the course of the afternoon, the Lion was monitored closely. Feedback from other guides on the sighting saw the two male Lions join up again and move off into the bush at approximately 5pm.
Glad to help you Kitty Cat
Senior Guide Nhongo Safaris
The Development of Tourism
At the time of their proclamation, both the Sabie and Shingwedzi reserves were very poorly developed.
Only in 1916 with the appointment of the Game Reserves Commission under chairmanship of JF Ludorf, the possibility of tourism was raised for the first time in the official report of 1918. This commission, which also placed significant emphasis on the possible merging of the two reserves and to proclaim it as a national park, made it clear that the primary objective of the two reserves was the conservation of nature. The development of tourism facilities could also be considered as it would not necessarily be in conflict with the primary objective. As motivation for this point of view, emphasis was placed on the educational and research opportunities that the reserves offered, and in this respect especially the opportunity that the general public would be offered to see nature in its pristine state.
The First Tourists
Initially, nothing came of these recommendations, and it was only in 1923, when the South African Railways (SAR) implemented a tour to the Lowveld and bordering
Stevenson-Hamilton’s pleas resulted in the excursion were scheduled so that the trains would travel from Komatipoort to
At the time of the proclamation of the
The lack of accommodation facilities in the park created a significant problem. Early in 1927, the South African Railways (SAR) approached the board with the request to erect quarters and to rent it to them (SAR). Nothing came of this scheme, and in the same year, the board, through the mediation of Stevenson-Hamilton, reached agreement with the SAR to work on a joint strategy for the development of the tourism industry. The board accordingly agreed to the building of roads, rest huts and other facilities, provision of guides and protection services and to refrain from promoting independent traffic. The SAR, in exchange, undertook to provide all transport, by rail and road and to launch advertising campaigns, catering services and to pay the board a percentage of the income received.
To initiate this scheme, four two-track roads were initially provided; from Crocodile Bridge to Lower Sabie (built by CR de la Porte), from Acornhoek to the Mocambique border (via Satara), from Gravelote to Makubas Kraal (near Letaba) (latter two were built by TEBA) and White River to Pretoriuskop.
In August 1927 the board decided to open the Pretoriuskop area for tourists. This concession would however require that prospective tourists first needed to acquire a permit (which could be obtained from the secretary of the board in Pretoria, the warden at Skukuza or the game ranger at Pretoriuskop stationed at Mtimba or from White River) and tourists needed to return on the same day as no overnight facilities were provided and that only revolvers would be carried for personal protection.
The arrangement to acquire permits was confusing for many visitors and they often passed Mtimba (Post of Ranger Wolhuter) without reporting. In 1929 the Board appointed A Moodie as agent at Moodies Kloof to issue permits until 1931, when a full-time gate official, Captain M Rowland-Jones, could be appointed at Numbi Gate.
By the end of 1927 various additional proposals were considered or made by the Board in order to increase tourism traffic. The Board rejected a proposal from the SAR to build a hotel at
The First Tourist Facilities
It was only in 1928 that the provision of amenities for tourists commenced with sincerity. The first three so-called “rest huts” were built at Satara, Pretoriuskop and Skukuza (then still known as Reserve or
Construction on the rest camp at Olifants Poort already commenced in 1929. The activities were continued in all sincerity in 1930 and besides the two additional rondavels in Skukuza, four were erected at Pretoriuskop (where there were already four), fifteen at Satara, twelve at Letaba, six at Balule, one at Olifants Poort and four at Malelane. At Lower Sabie a five-bedroom guesthouse of wood and steel, which previously served as the ranger Tom Duke’s quarters, was restored and made available to tourists.
All the rondavels that were built during that time were according to the so-called “Selby” construction style (which can currently still be seen in Balule camp). Paul Selby was an American mine engineer who also served on the Board. He designed a hut with a gap between the wall and the roof and also a small hole in the top half of the original stable door. The hole in the door was meant to serve as a peephole to see if there were any dangerous animals between the huts before alighting from their rondavels – at that time the rest camps were of course not fenced. These Selby huts rapidly enticed criticism as they were too cold in winter, too dark as a result of lack of windows and also because people could peep in through the holes in the door. They also provided easy access to mosquitoes! From 1931, all new rondavels were provided with windows.
In the early thirties great progress was made with provision of additional tourist amenities. The old guest house at
In 1931 use was also made of tents for the first time. These tents, each with four beds, were initially commissioned at Skukuza and subsequently at Satara.
Besides the rest camps already mentioned, six other rest camps were established during this period. In 1931, construction was commenced at the Rabelais Gate. In 1932 the first huts in the new rest camp at Punda Maria were built. They were of the traditional wattle and daub type as cement could not be afforded at that stage. A small rest camp was also built at Malopene in 1932.
A small temporary rest camp comprising tents was erected in 1933 next to the
The roof and external wall structure of these huts as well as others built subsequently, are still in use today.
In 1932 the first ablution block – a unit with four bath and four shower cubicles – was built in Skukuza. During the same year the rest camps were fenced for the first time.
There was experimentation with a new hut design in 1935. At Skukuza,
The last two rest camps that were opened to tourists before 1946, were
In many ways the development of the tourism business in the
The Boards close link with the Transport Services in establishing the tourism industry has already been reflected. In 1930 the Board undertook to build a rest camp for the SAR in the vicinity of Skukuza, once its own building program had been completed. As a result of the hectic building program, the Board could not meet this commitment and in 1931 the undertaking was withdrawn.
Notwithstanding that hot water is taken fore granted in all public facilities in rest camps today, it was certainly not the case in the early years. Only after the completion of the road between Punda Maria and Letaba, a request was tabled to the Board that ablutions in both camps needed to provide hot water. The road between the rest camps was not only very long but also dusty. (This road for most of the distance ran over dusty black peat soil and could not be graveled during construction). The then chairperson of the Board, Senator Jack Brebner, was not all pleased with the proposal and turned it down on grounds that it was just an unnecessary luxury. The discussion was continued and in 1933 it was granted with some resentment on condition that tourists would pay one shilling (10c) per bath.