Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kruger National Park Budget Safari with Leslie, David, Ann, Kristin, Maggie and Lakota from the 2nd - 4th March 2011

Leslie Young, David Bradner, Ann Grover, Kristin Hawk, Maggie West and Lakota Beckhorn were picked up from a guest house in Boksburg. After loading all of the luggage in the trailer, it was off on our way firstly to Nelspruit and then onto the Kruger National Park. After stopping off on route for a toilet stop it was onto Nelspruit were we changed vehicles and hitched the trailer onto the back of the open safari vehicle. We left Nelspruit and made our way to the Numbi Gate of the Kruger National Park. After gate formalities and a briefing from me, we were off to the camp of Pretoriuskop for a lunch break, before moving on to the camp of Skukuza which would be our home for the next two nights.

After lunch it was back on the road and out to find some good animal sightings. The group had named there trip to South Africa the “African Shenanigans” and they have a facebook page that kept everybody at home informed of what they were getting up to while on vocation. On route to our next camp we managed to find some good rhino, elephant, impala and kudu and with a little bit of on and off rain we still had some good sightings. After arriving at the camp of Skukuza, we checked in and made our way to the “Safari Tents”, were we would stay for the next to nights. Guests went and took a walk down to the river that flows past the camp, and I got the dinner on the go as the guests wanted a “Barbeque”, which in South Africa is known as a braai.

After cooking all the meat, everybody enjoyed a traditional South African braai of numerous different meats, Salads, Garlic bread and Wine.

The following morning, it was out early, and after waking the guests at 04h45, we enjoyed tea and coffee and left the camp to find some animals. I decided to take a drive down the “Napi road” and then turn onto the H3 and see what was going on down there. After finding some good elephant, buffalo and rhino, I was keen to try and find some lions as the group were only with us for a very short time. We turned off the H3 and made our way down the 112 finding more elephant on this road. I decided to drive a short distance down the N’watimhiri road to see what was going on. We had only travelled down the road for about 6 Km’s, before we ran into a pride of lions (two Females and seven cubs) lying right in the road. As we were the only vehicle, we pulled to the side and had a wonderful sighting. Guests got to take a number of photos with the cubs playing with one another. We stayed at this sighting for more than an hour, and decided to leave once we heard that the other open safari vehicles were close by and on route to the lion sighting. We slowly made our way to our breakfast stop, after which we would be looking for more animals.

After breakfast we took a drive down to the camp of “Lowe Sabie”, on route getting good sightings of elephant, buffalo, rhino, as well as giraffe, hippo and crocodile.

After a good morning of game viewing, we had a lunch stop and then started making our way back to the camp for a short rest, before the group would depart on there afternoon / evening safari. The group left on there safari conducted with “National Parks Rangers” and had good sightings of rhino, hyena, elephant and buffalo together with lots of owls. While the group was on there safari, I busied myself with getting dinner prepared. Guests got back at 20h15, and went straight into there dinner. There was not a lot of time to sit around the fire, as everybody had to be up early at 04h30 to go out on a bush walk. Guests departed on the bush walk at 05h00 and got to see a leopard lying in the tree, some good spoor of lions and leopard, rhinos as well as a number of spiders, including the golden orb spider. Upon getting back into the vehicle to head for camp, we got to see another leopard close to the vehicle as she crossed the road slowly. A short distance up the road, another leopard crossed the road, this time a lot quicker than before leaving little chance for any photos. Upon returning back to camp, we made our way to breakfast. After breakfast was enjoyed, it was time for our last game drive on route to the “Numbi Gate”. After the last couple of photos and a toilet stop, we were off in the direction of Nelspruit were we changed vehicles back into our minibus, and headed for Johannesburg. The vehicle was very quite on the way back as many of the group was quite tired for there experience and the early mornings that they had to get up.

Feedback from the group, was that they had an awesome time and loved every minute of the safari, and will be returning to us in order to do another safari in the future.

African Shenanigans Facebook Page

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A short video of one of the Sable Antelope found in the Kruger National Park

below is a short video clip taken while on safari to the Kruger National Park of a "Sable Antelope. The park is home to only a very few of these antelope and it is always a special sighting when one comes across one.

Kruger Park Safari with Andrea Differding 17th - 19th February 2011

After picking up Andrea from the Balalika Hotel in Sandton where she had been stating for the last week on business, it was time for me to show here what a wonderful place the Kruger National Park was.

We travelled from Johannesburg via Nelspruit, where we changed over from our transfer vehicle into one of our open safari vehicles. After a short break in Nelspruit while changing the vehicles it was off via the little town of "White River" and then onto the "Numbi Gate of the Kruger National Park. After the formalities at the gate were completed, we made our way down to the camp of Pretoriuskop which would be our camp for the next two nights. After checking in, we had a bit of a break just to get to know the surroundings and a chance to have some lunch.

At about 15h30 and after a briefing from me, we left the camp and made our way down the "Napi Road", which is known to be good with animal sightings late in the afternoon. We managed to find Rhino and then elephant as well as impala and kudu on the route down. I wanted to leave the return journey as late as possible in order to try and find some lions that night have been on the road in the late afternoon. After taking a short drive down the H3, we decided to turn around and start making our way in the direction of the camp. After turning back onto the "Napi Road", i got a call on the radio about lions that had been spotted on our road, so we decided to speed it up a bit and see if we could find them. We got to the area after about five minutes, only to have 14 lions in the road in front of us. We pulled off the road and watched, keeping one eye on the clock as we were still quite a way away from the camp. After about 5 minutes, the lions got up and came to lie right next to our vehicle, only to find that we were totally surrounded by them. At this stage Andrea was taking quite a number of photos as well as feeling quite scared by the closeness of these big cats.
We had this wonderful sighting for about another 20 minutes, before the lions got up and started making for the bush on the other side of the road. It was truly a wonderful way to start a safari getting that close on the first afternoon.

Early the next morning, after waking Andrea up a 05h00, we enjoyed tea and coffee, and then it was off to see what we could find. The road was a bit quiter this morning, but as we were driving down the road, we came across 5 male lions lying next to the road. This proved to be a short sighting as they moved further back into the bush after seeing a large number of open safari vehicles stopped around them. After leaving the lions we made our way down the road, and got some good sightings of elephant, buffalo and rhino. As we were driving further down the road, we came across a leopard lying in the Marula tree, he did not look happy with us, and only stayed around for about 5 minutes, before climbing out of the tree and disappearing into the long grass. We made our way onto "Transport Dam" and after a short stop, we carried on. As we passed the intersection between "Napi Road and the "H3", we came across wild dogs in the road busy hunting, this was a wonderful find as these dogs cover large areas in a day and are very active hunters. After having a wonderful sighting, we went onto breakfast, arriving a bit late but in good spirits after having some wonderful sightings.

After a good breakfast, it was off to see what else we could find. We took a drive in the direction of the "Kruger Tablets", two commemorative plaques embedded in a rock remembering the formation of the first "Game Reserve" in the world in the year 1898.
On route we came across a large herd of female elephants and there young busy bathing in a mud bath next to the road. This was absolutely amazing as it was not 5 meters away from our vehicle. We stayed and watched them for almost an hour and after seen some of them move off, we decided to make our move as well. The rest of the day was spent driving around and getting good sightings of the animals found in the park. we arrived back at camp at around 18h00. After a good dinner, it was off to bed for a good rest before another early start the next morning.

The next morning after enjoying tea and coffee, it was off to find some animals on Andreas last game drive. We got some good sightings of buffalo, rhino and elephant while on the drive, before returning to camp for breakfast. After breakfast, it was time to prepare the vehicle to leave the park as well as pack all the kit.

We left the park at 11h00 and made our way to Nelspruit were Andrea met Mark, and then was transferred back to Johannesburg in time for her flight back to Germany.

Please find a letter, as well as some photos received from Andrea

Hello Verity and Dean!!

Thank you very much for your mail! I had indeed a very nice time in Kruger! Dean was awesome, very professional and answering the million questions I had :-). Everything was better than expected, especially because I got to see many animals. It was very exciting, a wonderful place and I was very comfortable with the accommodation.

I send you here some pics of the lions and also from the Leopard we got to see the last day, it's incredible how camouflage works with these animals! I made lots of pics, many more from the lions, from elephants playing in the mud, from wild dogs, hippos, giraffes,landscape, Kudu, etc,etc! I can send some others if you like.

Thank you very much for such a great experience, very well organized!

I wish you success and also fun with all visitors!

many regards,


(`*·.¸ (`*·.¸¤ ¤ ¸.·*´) ¸.·* )

..::¨`·.¸** Andrea ** ¸.·`¨::..

.(¸.·*(¸.·*´ ¤ ¤ `*·.¸)*·.¸).

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Letters of THANK YOU received from recent guests that were on safari with Nhongo Safaris

Below are some "Thank You" letters received from some of our recent guests that were on safari with us to the Kruger National Park.

Dear Dean

Thank you very much for a wonderful 5 days safari into Kruger National
Park 12 - 16 March. You were a fantastic guide and host with the bonus of seeing on the last day the elusive leopard!

We will sing your praises for a long time.

Thanks again,

Les and Christine Corfield.

Dear Dean, Verity and Mark,

We enjoyed our visit to Kruger this past week and mark was a fine guide. Many thanks for providing such excellent service. We have had repeated problems with email here in Madagascar.
Many thanks in advance,

Steve Goodman

Hello Verity,

I just wanted to thank you and Dean for the Safari experience. We really enjoyed it and will definitely recommend Nhongo for anyone that is travelling to Kruger. We were able to see: lions, impalas, buffalos, jiraffes, and even a cheetah... Please find attached a nice photo of a Rhino we saw at the road.



Hi Verity/Mark

Jake and I would just like to thank you both so much for the amazing trip we had at Kruger.
It is the most beautiful and amazing place and Mark was fantastic, knowledgeable and fun. Thank you also Verity for driving us all the way from J’burg to Kruger – what a trip! If was great to be able to ask you questions about live in South Africa and about the park.

We will definitely be recommending Nhongo Safaris to friends and family.

We certainly felt like to left as friends.

Thanks again

Adelle & Jake Van Der Linden
Melbourne, Australia

Dear Dean and Verity,

I would just like to thank you for the unforgettable safari I have had two weeks ago. It has been the envy of my colleagues in Switzerland as well as in South Africa. I hope we can repeat the exercise some time soon!

Kind regards,


P.S. I'm really looking forward to your Biltong recipe.

Please find below links to our Facebook, Twitter and Trip Advisor Pages

Nhongo Safaris Facebook Group Page

Nhongo Safaris Facebook Company Page

Twitter Page

Trip Advisor Page

Thank you Letter received from the Crutchfield Family

Dear Dean, Mark, and Verity:

On behalf of the six members of my family who were on a safari hosted by you on 9/26/09 through 9/29/09, I want to thank you for a memorable experience. We truly had a great time, and we got some great photos of animals and the scenery as well. We have hundreds of photos to keep our memories sharp for a lifetime.

Mark was a great guide as he mixed in humor with his expertise regarding the park. Our consecutive sightings of a leopard and its impala kill, two female lions and their zebra kill, and another leopard with its cub and its impala kill, plus another male and female lion were very exciting. These sightings all happened within thirty minutes of one another.

We had seen the Big Five, plus sightings of hyenas, crocodiles, a mother baboon holding her baby, a chameleon (at night), and ostriches, including one with her ten chicks. We saw a jackal during the daytime, which was unusual since it normally is a nocturnal animal.

The scenic views along the rivers were awesome in their beauty with the elephants and crocodiles matched against their natural backgrounds.

Dean, I had extreme pleasure discussing your country and the world's problem spots in route from the park to Johanessburg airport. My family thought that you were humorous too. Many thanks for getting us safely and on time for our flight. May your son have the best of time and experience in the USA!

Mark, I offer my thanks to you for getting me to a safe haven with my stomach cramps. You would make a great emergency vehicle driver.

Kruger National Park is an amazing place to visit. Your country should be proud of it. I would recommend it to anyone in the world.

If I return to Kruger, I will seek you as my host.

In Christian Love from the USA (Pennsylvania),

Critchfield's -- Richard, JoAnn, Becky, Jim, Susie, and Sascha

Some Video Clips taken while on a day safari in the Kruger National Park

Above are some video clips that have been put together in a short video of what a visitor can experience while on safari with "Nhongo Safaris". This video was taken from the start of the day when leaving camp and was ended by the mid afternoon of the same day. In the video one can see just how close we can get to these animals as they just carry on with there daily lives of living in an African National Park.

If any of you are thinking of visiting the Kruger National Park in the near future, please take a look at our website for details of our safaris and how we can make your visit to the Kruger National Park a success.

The Law of the wild say's "Kill only when you are hungry"

Photographer Michel Denis-Huot, who captured these amazing pictures on safari in Kenya's Masai Mara in October last year, said he was astounded by what he saw:

"These three brothers (cheetahs) have been living together since they left their mother at about 18 months old,' he said. 'On the morning we saw them, they seemed not to be hungry, walking quickly but stopping sometimes to play together. 'At one point, they met a group of impala who ran away. But one youngster was not quick enough and the brothers caught it easily'".

These extraordinary scenes followed.

And they just walked away from him.................