Friday, November 27, 2009

Kruger National Park Safari with Savonne Caughey and Alexis Taylor 23 - 26 November 2009

Savonne and Alexis joined us on a safari to the Kruger National Park as it was there first visit to the continent of Africa. After arriving at the Kruger National Park after a pleasent drive from Johannesburg, the girls were booked into there accommodation in Pretoriuskop rest camp. We departed on our first game drive of the safari at 15h30. Just outside of the camp we came across a heard of kudu busy browsing on the new foliage that had become quite dense after the prior week of rain in the area. We carried on with our drive coming across a huge bull elephant in the road. We decided to wait and see if he would pass close by to us without any problems, but this was not to be as we had to soon take evasive action as he proceeded to mock charge us in order to get us out of the way. After a few short breaths from the girls, order was restored and we went on our way coming across a hyena den next to the Napi road with a juvenile hyena lying outside for some good photos. We also got to see it's mother that was lying close by.
The morning of the 24th saw us leaving camp at 05h00 after having tea and coffee and making our way down the Napi road in the direction of Skukuza. On the early morning drive we had good sightings of Elephant and rhino as well as lots of sightings of general game such as zebra, kudu, impala, wildebeest and warthog.
We made our way to Nkhulu picnic spot for breakfast and after a welcome break we proceeded down what is known as Eloff street to the camp of Lower Sabie. On the way to lower Sabie we had good sightings of elephant, buffalo, baboons, bushbuck and hippo in the sabie river. We stopped off at sunset dam to watch the four large pods of hippos as well as spoon billed storkes and some large crocodiles. After visiting the camp of Lowe Sabie we decided to start making our way back to Pretoriuskop in order for the girls to have a rest as the tempretures in the park have climbed significantly since the start of the rainy season. On route we came across a pride of lions lying close to the road. They were very uninterested in us as the temperatures had already started to climb and they just wanted to have a sleep, something lions do quite often and very well.
After a welcome rest we decided to take a drive to Shebeni Kopies to look for the pride of lions in the area of the koppies. Our search was abruptly brought to an end when we received a call of a leopard sighting some 10 Km's down the Napi road. We decided to try our luck and see if we couls see this guy. We drove down to the sighting of the leopard that had just killed a Banded Mongoose and lying in the shade. We made our way back in the direction of Pretoriuskop coming upon a sighting of nine Rhino's with a four month old calf. We carried on with our drive in the direction of the camp only to have us find more lions very close to the camp of Pretoriuskop at around 18h10. We proceeded to watch these lions before having to leave them there to get back to the camp before the gates closed.
On the morning of the 25th, the day started pretty much the same as the day before making our way for the picnic spot of Tshokwane for breakfast. While on route we encountered good sightings of elephant, buffalo and general game. After a welcome stop for breakfast we decided to take a drive down the H10 towards lower sabie, about 13Km's down the H10 we came across a large heard of Zebra and Wildebeest, upon closer investigation we saw that both of the herds were acting very strangely and all looking in the same direction. After a while the herds started running in our direction, we suddenly saw that there were two cheetahs walking in our direction right behind were the two herds of Zebra ans Wildebeest had been. we watched the two cheetahs make there way towards us and then started walking towards the junction of the S128. When they reached the junction, the cheetahs decided to mark there territory by climbing onto the road marker, the two girls aboard our open vehicle managed to get some really good photos as we were stsnding right next to them while they were doing this.
After we had finished at the sighting we carried on our way getting good sightings of Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino before reaching the camp of Lower Sabie.
After a break we made our way back to the camp of Pretoriuskop as the girls were going on a night drive that evening.
While on the night drive Savonne and Alexis managed to get good sightings of general game as well as two different sightings of lion close to the vehicle.
After breakfast on the 26th we took our leave of the camp of Pretoriuskop and the Kruger National Park and made our way up the Panorama route were we visited Gods Window, Berlin Falls and the Three Rondavels.

Both guests really enjoyed themselves and are hoping to return to South Africa if they win a competition running in the USA for tickets to the 2010 Football world Cup in June next year.

For more info on our safaris, please visit our Nhongo Safaris Website
For more info on our 4 Day Budget Safari, please visit our 4 Day Budget safari itinerary 

Saturday, November 7, 2009

World renowned game park steps up the fight against poaching

With the appointment of 57 new Field Rangers, the world renowned Kruger National Park (KNP) has stepped up the crime fighting ability against the brutal poaching of animals.
This according to South African National Parks, Chief Executive, Dr David Mabunda, who said the new recruits, will be adopting a multi-disciplinary approach and will draw on the skills and expertise of various law enforcement agency involved in the fight against poaching of South Africa’s fauna and flora. “We as a conservation agency and the public at large are paying a high price with these senseless killings of our animals, while some leader of a syndicate is winning the minds and hearts of ordinary and poor members of society to be on the frontline of these evil operations.”
Dr Mabunda was speaking at the Pass-Out Parade of 57 new Field Rangers held in Skukuza this morning. He said we want to send a stern warning on these criminals that their days are numbered. “We are on their trail and closing up quickly on them.”
He said the country continues to lose some of its precious animals in the hands of poachers; animals such as rhinos are highly on demand on the poachers radar screen. “Since the beginning of the year the country in general has lost a total of 94 rhinos, In which 38 was lost in KNP, 7 in Gauteng, 9 in Limpopo, 5 in Mpumalanga, 10 in North West, 4 in Eastern Cape and 21 in KwaZulu-Natal.”
However, the loss of animal lives has not been in vain as to date 22 poachers have been arrested by SANParks rangers and are appearing before various courts in the country, said Dr Mabunda. “Our cross-border operations which include patrols with members of the South African Police Services, and our counterparts in Mozambique have yielded huge successes.
The parade was inspected by SANParks top rangers, Dr Mabunda and high ranking officials of the SAPS and SANDF border patrol units. According to Dr Mabunda a total of R5.2 million has been invested in the fight against poachers. “The funds allocated have been used to acquire amongst others motorbikes, bicycles, a bantam aircraft, to be used in patrols and high tech night vigil surveillance equipment…“we want to own the night as well, as these senseless fugitives tend to focus their operations at night.”
He said this is the fight we are planning to win; Mabunda also applauded the Environmental Affairs Minister and her provincial counterparts for their pro-active discussion around a possible establishment of a national unit or strategy that will deal with the scourge of environmental crimes including poaching in national, provincial as well as in private lands.
Dr Mabunda also welcomed the decision by the South African government to return the military to patrol the 450km national border on the eastern boundary of the KNP as the exit of the military three years ago had created even more pressure on the work of the rangers. “Discussions with the military are already at an advance stage and an announcement will be made soon on the reintroduction of their patrols in the borders of KNP.
In conclusion, Dr Mabunda wished all the new recruits well in their work and encouraged them to work with honor as they carry out their tasks in this fight. “We must let the poachers know that we will seek them out, we will find them and they will be dealt with accordingly. This is a war that we plan on winning,” he warned.

For more info on our Kruger Park safaris, please visit our kruger Park Safaris Website

Monday, November 2, 2009

Letter received from Seppo and Tuulikki Murto from Finland on their safari to the Kruger National Park

Dear Verity, Dean and Mark,

Many thanks to you and, of course and especially, to Mark and Dean for a superbly arranged and conducted safari.
It was a great and rewarding experiance into the African Wild Life. We wish you all the best and further success with your safaris.

Kind Regards
Seppo and Tuulikki

Kruger Park safari with Asaf Kwaja, Linda Lee and Alexandra Cabral 28th - 30th October 2009

The 28th afternoon drive saw sightings of Cheetah, elephant and buffalo close to the vehicle and within a radius of 10km's from the camp. On leaving the camp the following morning the clients got a good sighting of leopard on a rock near the Shabeni Kopie area on the S7 road. The leopard was only a few meters from the vehicle. Further along the road we turned onto the S3 and about 5km's down got the same cheetah as the day before, but this time it was walking in the road ahead of the vehicle. We continued down the S3 and turned onto the S1 encountering good sightings of elephant and general game.

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 Alan Rumary that was on safari with us from the 6th - 9th July 2009

Hi Dean & Verity 

Now that I'm safe back home in the UK I thought I'd drop you a short note to say thanks. I cannot tell you just how much I enjoyed the trip and Dean's company. I think that you are one of the most professional companies I have ever experienced - nothing too much trouble, you do what you say you are going to do and when AND you really look after your guests well. Not only was all the info on the animals really interesting it was also very intriguing to find out what the "cultural" climate of SA is like from the inside. 

Many, many thanks. Hope to see you again some time in the future.
I will pass on your name to friends and colleagues who may visit SA too!

Kind Regards
Alan Rumary

Letter received from Carita Neethling of Life Church (Cape Town)

Hi Dean, Verity and Mark

Chatted to the team and they LOVED the safari. They said you were the best hosts and they enjoyed every moment of it! Thank you so much for the good job that you did! You really blessed not only the team, but also me. It makes my life so much easier knowing that people like you are taking my team around and spoiling them.

I am looking forward to doing business with you in the future!

God Bless

Carita Neethling

Letter received from Justin and Michelle Leegsma who were on safari to the Kruger National Park with us.

Hey Dean and Verity,

Thanks for another absolutely incredible time! As always it was everything I had hoped for and better. Those picnic spots were so great. Looking forward to the next one.

All the best, see you next year

Kind Regards
Michelle and Justin Leegsma

Letter received from Katie Krivan who was on safari with us from the 12th - 15th August 2009

Dear Dean, Verity and Mark

I would like to thank you for the wonderful 4 days safari I had. Being so personal made it a much more memorable experience and I had heaps of fun.
No amount of questions was too much trouble to answer. And you seemed to know everything! I enjoyed all the animal stories and learning more about Johannesburg too. I will be recommending you to everyone I know!

I have attached some photos I thought you might like, including one of Mark holding rhino dung!! I wish you the best for the future and I'm sure your business will grow fast due to all the positive feedback.

I hope to see you both again soon!

Kind regards,
Katie Krivan 

Letter received from David Van Buskirk that was on safari to the Kruger National Park from the 26th - 30th July 2009

Dear Dean, Verity and Mark,

Thanks again for a great time in Kruger. It exceeded my expectations by far.
The animals were fantastic. I managed to get some great photos. Let me know when you are in Texas. Send my regards to Mark. 

Take care!

David Van buskirk 

Letter received from Sue and Di from Tazmania in Australia that were on safari with us

Dear Verity, 

Just a short note to thank you, Dean and Mark for an unforgettable experience that was our 6 day safari in Kruger National Park, in early March.
Di and I thoroughly enjoyed our time with Mark, and found him to be an informative, interesting and entertaining guide. We saw the "big five", and every day was a new experience. I would highly recomend this safari to anyone wanting a reasonably priced but top quality tour. 

Please say hello to Mark for us, and thank him for being such a professional and helpful guide.
Thanks again to you and Dean for operating such an efficient company, and please feel free to use any of our comments in any promotional material. 

Sue and Di