Monday, August 22, 2011

Kruger Park Safari with Jim, Adrian and Ben Fama 20th - 24th July 2011

Jim and Family were picked up in Johannesburg and transferred via Nelspruit to the Kruger National Park. After completing check in proceedures at the Numbi Gate we made our way down to the camp of Pretoriuskop were the group would stay for the first night. After checking in and giving the group chance to have some lunch we made our way out on a game drive at 15h30. We took a drive down the Napi Road and found some good sightings of elephant, rhino, impala and Kudu. We returned back to camp at 17h30 after which a good dinner was enjoyed by everybody.  


The following morning, it was up early and after packing all of the luggage and enjoyed some tea and coffee before we left on the mornings game drive. We left camp and made our way down the Napi road towards the Sabie River. The mornings game drive was found to be a little cold and so fewer sightings were experienced. We made our way down to Nkulu for breakfast and after a good break we started making our way back in the direction of Numbi gate to drop off Jenna and Sam that were leaving us that morning. We reached the camp of Pretoriuskop just before lunch after having good sightings of elephant, rhino, lion and many other good sightings. Jim, Adrian and Ben decided to stay at the camp to have some lunch while I took Jenna and Sam down to the gate to get there transfer back to Johannesburg and for me to pick up the next group of twenty four that were coming into the park on a four day safari with some of our other guides assisting me. After the group had enjoyed a lunch break we were back on the road and making our way towards skukuza on the napi road when a radio message was received about a possible sighting of lions on the Marula Loop. Benno decided to go for these lions and would keep elcana and myself informed as to what was going on. We carried on making our way down the napi road getting good sightings of rhino and elephant as well as buffalo. We got closer to the camp of Skukuza and soon found ourselves on the way towards Marula Loop. It was not long before Benno let us know that he had the lions in front of him and that we should hurry as they were being chased by a breeding herd of elephants. The pace increased slightly in order to get there a little bit quicker. It was not long before we parked at the sighting with the large pride of lions sound asleep as they had used a large amount of energy trying to get away from the elephants. A great sighting was enjoyed and after being there about 20 minutes, we decided to move out to give other people chance to see the lions. We made our way back to the tar road and as Benno anf myself came onto the Mutlemuvie Bridge, we saw a young leopard female standing right next to the bridge. This was a fantastic sighting, and as we watched we managed to raise Elcana on the radio and get the message through to him about the leopard.
He moved away from the lion sighting and it was not long before he had arrived at the sighting and also managed to get a good sighting of her as well.
We finally began our trip back to the camp of Skukuza in high spirits as the group had only just arrived 4 hours ago and they had already seen the Big 5. This was awesome stuff. 


The next morning, it was up early and after the group had enjoyed tea and coffee it was onto the open safari vehicles for a three hour game drive before breakfast. We made our way in the direction of Tshokwane and after benno had checked the marula loop to see if the previous days lions were still not there we decided to push on to the Manlimahle Dam, as Elcana and myself were pulling into the dam, we got a message from Benno that he had lion just of the bridge befor Olifant's Drinkgat. We turned around and made our way in that direction. As we were not to far behind we reached the area in about five minutes and were met by a sighting of one female and two cubs playing in the grass next to the bridge. While on this sighting, we received another message this time from one of the parks officials that there were eight lions busy hunting about 10 km's up the Tshokwane tar road. We decided to go for the. After a bit of an intensive drive to get there, we got there as the eight female lions were lining up on some impala close by. However the impala saw them before the female lions could get any closer. Another good sighting was enjoyed as the females made there way back to the dam walking right past our open safari vehicles. We decided to turn around and make our way back to the camp in order that the group could enjoy breakfast. On route back we came across a good rhino bull making his way to the road as well as a good herd of elephants. We got back to the camp of Skukuza at about 09h00 were the group enjoyed breakfast, before leaving again at 10h30 for another game drive. We made our way out of the camp of Skukuza and planned to take a southerly direction as all we were looking for now was wild dog and cheetah. Some of us took the S114 and others went down the H3, and it was not long before one of the other open safari vehicles let us know of a wild dog sighting on the Randspruit road. We decided to make our way in that direction. Benno was the first to arrive on the sighting and let us know that they were two meters off the road and lying down sleeping. It was about another ten minutes before we arrived on the scene and managed to get some good photos as they were now sitting up as the vehicles were close by. After this good sighting we made our way to the picnic spot called "Afsaal"for lunch. After lunch we took a drive back to Skukuza getting many good sightings of elephant and rhino as well as buffalo on route.


The next morning, it was time for tea and coffee and then it was out on the road. We decided tp take a run up the Napi Road and then down watergat and back to skukuza on the Doispane and Paul Kruger Gate main road before breakfast. The morning drive started quitely with little other than rhino and elephant seen all the way down the "Watergat Road". As we turned onto the Doispane road with Benno being a little in front of us, elcana managed to spot a leopard sitting at the base of the tree. We called Benno back and as he was making his way back the leopard started walking towards the road. We tried everything in our power to stop her from moving over the road before Benno got there, but we were unable to. As she ran across the road in front of us we could hear Benno's vehicle coming behind us. We decided to stay in the area to try and find her for Benno's guests. As it was to be, we did not have to wait long before this wonderful little female leopard climbed into a marula tree and lay there for all to see her. After this wonderful sighting, we made our way back to camp for breakfast. After a good bush breakfast and hearing on the radio that our leopard was still lying in the tree, we decided to make our way in a South Easterly direction on to the camp of Lower Sabie. We took a good drive down coming across a number of breeding elephant herds some great rhino sightings as well as buffalo crocodile and hippo's. We also came across another pride of lions that had just killed an Impala eating next to the road. about one km further on we came across another leopard sighting with it too eating an impala in the sausage tree.  We finally arrived and stopped off at Lower Sabie and after a good break for lunch started our run back to the camp. We managed to pass the large numbers of vehicles that had started to back up when we saw the lions and the leopard and continued in the direction of Skukuza. Not long after passing by the high water bridge, we came upon a large number of cars in what looked like a traffic jam, upon closer inspection we found more lions lying in the river bed on the rocks enjoying the late afternoon sun shine. After enjoying this good sighting, we carried on in the direction of Skukuza. As we got past the entrance to the Bravo loop, something moved in the grass on top of the sand bank in the middle of the river, and after turning towards it to see what it was, we found more lions lying looking at us from the sand bank. This brought the total of lions in the two and a half days on safari to thirty six. Everybody was happy to get back to camp and have some rest time, but all were very happy how the safari had turned out this year. After a good dinner, it was off to bed so that everybody could have a good nights rest before another early start the following morning before breakfast and then the long journey home to Johannesburg.

The following morning after the groups final game drive, the group enjoyed breakfast at the Pretoriuskop camp restaurant and then it was out of the park on route to Johannesburg.

Feedback from the group was that they had a wonderful time, saw loads of animals and look forward to coming back to us for another safari in the future.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Some Photos taken while on safari with the Challenge Group from Australia
























































Kruger Park Safari with the Challenge Group of Australia from the 21st - 24th July 2011

The Challenge group was picked up by our transfer buses at Baptist House on the western side of Johannesburg and transferred through Nelspruit and onto the Numbi Gate of the Kruger National Park. After arriving at the Numbi gate and after check in procedures and a safety talk as well as an introduction to the rangers that were taking part in the safari had been completed, we were off on route to the camp of Pretoriuskop for a lunch break, before continuing on to the camp of Skukuza which would be home for the next three nights. After the group had enjoyed a lunch break we were back on the road and making our way towards skukuza on the napi road when a radio message was received about a possible sighting of lions on the Marula Loop. Benno decided to go for these lions and would keep elcana and myself informed as to what was going on. We carried on making our way down the napi road getting good sightings of rhino and elephant as well as buffalo. We got closer to the camp of Skukuza andsoon found ourselves on the way towards Marula Loop. It was not long before Benno let us know that he had the lions in front of him and that we should hurry as they were being chased by a breeding herd of elephants. The pace increased slightly in order to get there a little bit quicker. It was not long before we parked at the sighting with the large pride of lions sound asleep as they had used a large amount of energy trying to get away from the elephants. A great sighting was enjoyed and after being there about 20 minutes, we decided to move out to give other people chance to see the lions. We made our way back to the tar road and as Benno anf myself came onto the Mutlemuvie Bridge, we saw a young leopard female standing right next to the bridge. This was a fantastic sighting, and as we watched we managed to raise Elcana on the radio and get the message through to him about the leopard.
He moved away from the lion sighting and it was not long before he had arrived at the sighting and also managed to get a good sighting of her as well.
We finally began our trip back to the camp of Skukuza in high spirits as the group had only just arrived 4 hours ago and they had already seen the Big 5. This was awesome stuff. 


The next morning, it was up early and after the group had enjoyed tea and coffee it was onto the open safari vehicles for a three hour game drive before breakfast. We made our way in the direction of Tshokwane and after benno had checked the marula loop to see if the previous days lions were still not there we decided to push on to the Manlimahle Dam, as Elcana and myself were pulling into the dam, we got a message from Benno that he had lion just of the bridge befor Olifant's Drinkgat. We turned around and made our way in that direction. As we were not to far behind we reached the area in about five minutes and were met by a sighting of one female and two cubs playing in the grass next to the bridge. While on this sighting, we received another message this time from one of the parks officials that there were eight lions busy hunting about 10 km's up the Tshokwane tar road. We decided to go for the. After a bit of an intensive drive to get there, we got there as the eight female lions were lining up on some impala close by. However the impala saw them before the female lions could get any closer. Another good sighting was enjoyed as the females made there way back to the dam walking right past our open safari vehicles. We decided to turn around and make our way back to the camp in order that the group could enjoy breakfast. On route back we came across a good rhino bull making his way to the road as well as a good herd of elephants. We got back to the camp of Skukuza at about 09h00 were the group enjoyed breakfast, before leaving again at 10h30 for another game drive. We made our way out of the camp of Skukuza and planned to take a southerly direction as all we were looking for now was wild dog and cheetah. Some of us took the S114 and others went down the H3, and it was not long before one of the other open safari vehicles let us know of a wild dog sighting on the Randspruit road. We decided to make our way in that direction. Benno was the first to arrive on the sighting and let us know that they were two meters off the road and lying down sleeping. It was about another ten minutes before we arrived on the scene and managed to get some good photos as they were now sitting up as the vehicles were close by. After this good sighting we made our way to the picnic spot called "Afsaal"for lunch. After lunch we took a drive back to Skukuza getting many good sightings of elephant and rhino as well as buffalo on route.


The next morning, it was time for tea and coffee and then it was out on the road. We decided tp take a run up the Napi Road and then down watergat and back to skukuza on the Doispane and Paul Kruger Gate main road before breakfast. The morning drive started quitely with little other than rhino and elephant seen all the way down the "Watergat Road". As we turned onto the Doispane road with Benno being a little in front of us, elcana managed to spot a leopard sitting at the base of the tree. We called Benno back and as he was making his way back the leopard started walking towards the road. We tried everything in our power to stop her from moving over the road before Benno got there, but we were unable to. As she ran across the road in front of us we could hear Benno's vehicle coming behind us. We decided to stay in the area to try and find her for Benno's guests. As it was to be, we did not have to wait long before this wonderful little female leopard climbed into a marula tree and lay there for all to see her. After this wonderful sighting, we made our way back to camp for breakfast. After a good bush breakfast and hearing on the radio that our leopard was still lying in the tree, we decided to make our way in a South Easterly direction on to the camp of Lower Sabie. We took a good drive down coming across a number of breeding elephant herds some great rhino sightings as well as buffalo crocodile and hippo's. We also came across another pride of lions that had just killed an Impala eating next to the road. about one km further on we came across another leopard sighting with it too eating an impala in the sausage tree.  We finally arrived and stopped off at Lower Sabie and after a good break for lunch started our run back to the camp. We managed to pass the large numbers of vehicles that had started to back up when we saw the lions and the leopard and continued in the direction of Skukuza. Not long after passing by the high water bridge, we came upon a large number of cars in what looked like a traffic jam, upon closer inspection we found more lions lying in the river bed on the rocks enjoying the late afternoon sun shine. After enjoying this good sighting, we carried on in the direction of Skukuza. As we got past the entrance to the Bravo loop, something moved in the grass on top of the sand bank in the middle of the river, and after turning towards it to see what it was, we found more lions lying looking at us from the sand bank. This brought the total of lions in the two and a half days on safari to thirty six. Everybody was happy to get back to camp and have some rest time, but all were very happy how the safari had turned out this year. After a good dinner, it was off to bed so that everybody could have a good nights rest before another early start the following morning before breakfast and then the long journey home to Johannesburg.

The following morning after the groups final game drive, the group enjoyed breakfast at the Pretoriuskop camp restaurant and then it was out of the park on route to Johannesburg.

Feedback from the group was that they had a wonderful time, saw loads of animals and look forward to coming back to us for the eleventh time next year in July to find some new things that they have not yet seen.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Some Photos taken with Jenna Sapir and Sam Stein while on safari with Nhongo Safaris







































These photos were taken while on safari with Jenna Sapir and Sam Stein from the United States. To See how there safari went, please read the previous post on the feedback from there safari.