Friday, February 22, 2013

Safari Starting 14th February Ending 18th February 2013

14th February 2013

Dean picked up Dr Rou and his wife at the airport and made his way to Nelspruit. After changing  into the open safari vehicle they travelled the last bit to Numbi Gate. They then made their way to Pretoriuskop for lunch, and took a drive down napi to transport dam and back again. Animals seen were elephants, rhino, kudu, impala and giraffe. After this they made their way to Nkambeni for the evening.

15th February 2013

After breakfast Dean packed the bags and drove down napi, then down the h3 onto the s112 onto the James Stevenson Hamilton and then onto the s114 after which they went onto skukuza. Animals seen, elephant, rhino, giraffe, impala on napi, rhino, lion and wild dogs on the s114.

After a break at skukuza, they made their way up the tshokwane tar, over the high water bridge and back down elloff street to camp for a rest before going out again in the afternoon. Animals seen on this route was hippo, crocodile, elephant, buffalo and lots of birds.
They departed skukuza late in the afternoon for an afternoon game drive, going down the Paul Kruger Gate Road and onto doispane. Not much was seen except for elephant, buffalo, impala and kudu.

16th February 2013

On this morning, it was out early down the S114 right onto the S112 up the H3 and then down the napi to have breakfast at Pretoriuskop.

A great sighting of three male lions three kilos down the s114 and then another three lionesses 2.7 from the James Stevenson Hamilton on the s114 was the highlight of the day.  Also got a great sightings of rhino with more elephants and buffalo on napi.

After picking up the other guests from Numbi Gate they made their way down albasini to doispane and then onto skukuza, getting elephant, rhino, buffalo, impala, kudu on the way. After a good lunch, it was back onto napi towards Pretoriuskop camp for the night. A great sighting of a leopard on a marula tree 1,7 kilos from deleport waterhole was experienced as well as more elephant, buffalo and rhino. They then made their way to Pretoriuskop camp for the night.

17th February 2013

Today it was out early, and after going down napi as well as the h3 with nothing other than elephant, and rhino seen, we decided to make our way back to Pretoriuskop for breakfast as Mark was coming in and Dean was leaving with the current guests. On their way to the camp they came across a female cheetah about 5.7 kilos from transport dam, walking towards the road. After watching her for quite a time, she crossed the road and disappeared into the bushes. They continued on and took the Napi Boulders road, only to come across a great sighting of a serval cat walking on the side of the road. After enjoying this sighting, they made their way back to camp and a good breakfast was enjoyed.  After breakfast it was off to Numbi Gate to change over so guests could come back to Johannesburg.

Guests were collected by Verity early morning in Melville Johannesburg  and transferred through to the Kruger National Parks Numbi Gate., where Mark was waiting for them.

The route travelled for the day was:  Albaseni - Doispan - Napi - H3 - Napi - Pretoriuskop

The sightings for the day were the following:  Elephant bull approximately 5m away from the car 1.8km down albaseni, Herd of buffalo (approx 50) crossed over albaseni just before the junction to doispan. Down doispan we had numerous sightings of general game namely, giraffe, waterbuck, kudu, zebra, duiker, steenbok and blue wildebeest. Throughout the day we had very good sightings of elephant (mainly bulls), buffalo and rhino. We returned to Pretoriuskop camp before gate closing. No lions, leopard or any other cats were spotted and this is what we will concentrate on tomorrow.

18th February 2013

What an action packed day was experienced by Mark and his guests!

Route: Napi - H3 - bergandal tar - H3 - Napi - tshokwane tar - doispan - albaseni - preotiuskop

Game viewing was great today with the following spotted. Total elephant (62) Rhino throughout the day with the largest crash been 6 together lying on the road sleeping. 1.8km from the flat rocks on napi a massive male leopard walked out next to us and for approximately 1.5km walked along the road sent marking his territory. While this was on the go a female cheetah walked out on the road and got into a fight with the leopard. With a couple of swipes she was off back into the bush only for the leopard to carry on with his morning walk. 1.2km from watergat junction we had another leopard and as we were watching her so we got a glimpse of her cub on the opposite side of the road. Both turned out to be great sighting. Leopard no4 was spotted on the H3 at the first drainage line from napi and then moved into the bush where she lay down in some shade of a sickle bush. Down to Bergandal tar, as there was lions spotted there but no luck on finding them. We moved back up to Skukuza where we got a report of mating lions just past the sand river. Got to them and enjoyed the sighting. On delta we found 2 lioness and 1 cub lying in the tamboti thicket enjoying  the shade. Further to this we had great sightings of general game throughout the day. Must of been one of the best days so far this year. We will see what brings us on the next safari...

Animals Of Africa By Different Photographers Part 2

Baby Leopard

Great timing for this photo

Female Lion and her Cub

Thank you to these photographers for these great photos of our African Wildlife

Animals Of Africa By Different Photographers



Leopards having words in the tree

Thank you to these photographers for these great photos of our African Wildlife

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Kruger National Park Catches Poachers

It has been a great 24 hours - during the evening of the 18 February, rangers in the KNP managed to arrest one suspected rhino poacher with a rifle, silencer and ammunition. Last night (19 February) the SANParks investigation unit with support from SAPS arrested 5 suspected rhino poachers outside the park who are believed to have been heading for the Kruger National Park, in possession of a hunting rifle, silencer and ammunition which were all recovered. We say well done to our colleagues for a job well done.
Head of Communications, wanda mkutshulwa

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

SANParks Dispels Beeld Nuus Report On Destroyed Rhino DNA Samples

SANParks dispels @Beeld_Nuus report on destroyed #RhinoDNAsamples

The South African National Parks (SANParks) would like to refute a report made on Beeld newspaper (Monday, February 18, 2013) regarding rhino DNA samples. The paper’s report is based on an unnamed source within the Kruger National Park (KNP), who alleges foul play and deliberate switching off of fridges storing the samples, a claim...
rejected by the Kruger National Park Environmental Crime Scene Investigations Unit representative, who said that data was never lost.

KNP spokesperson, William Mabasa said on the weekend of 13 October 2012, only seven collected DNA samples decomposed due to a power failure experienced at Skukuza Airport and not 60 as reported in the paper. “It is important to note that the samples that went off included blood, tissues and part of a rhino ear, and as result of this loss a new sample was collected to replace the one that decomposed.”

Mabasa said apart from the samples that are prone to decomposition other samples can be collected from tail hair and toe nails which would not in any case decompose. “Therefore an insinuation that data was lost is far from the truth and misleading based on hearsay.”

According to Mabasa measures have been put in place to ensure that when power failure is experienced an alarm will go off to alert the authorities. “It must be noted that samples are not kept indefinitely at this facility in KNP. “The facility is merely used as a holding place until they are moved to Ondestepoort in Pretoria for further process and data collection.”

The fight against rhino poaching will not be detracted by this side shows, designed to create confusion and mistrust. “We are confident in winning this war and invite members of the media to verify their facts before publicizing,” concludes Mabasa.


Released by: Reynold Thakhuli: GM: Media Liaison, Telephone: 012 426 5170 Mobile: 073 373 4999 e-mail:

For Media Enquiries:

William Mabasa, Kruger National Park: Head of PR & Marketing, Tel: 013 735 4363 Mobile: 082 807 3919 e-mail:

Ike Phaahla, Media Specialist, Tel: 012 426 5315 Mobile: 083 673 6974 e-mail:

Friday, February 15, 2013

Safari 12 February to 15 February 2013

12th  February 2013

Mark Collected his guests from the City Bug Shuttle which we use from time to time if  we cannot transfer guests ourselves.  Once guests arrived it was a wet drive to the Numbi gate of the
Kruger National park.  On arrival at Numbi Gate Mark drove the following route for the afternoon

Route traveled: Napi - boulders - napi - nkambeni

Not many animal sightings this afternoon due to bad weather as it was still raining quite hard fro the afternoon. First sighting for the afternoon was a tower/journey of giraffe just before  Shebeni turn off on the numbi tar. (6 female in total) A few sightings of Kudu down the napi road. A elephant bull next to the road just before Boulders entrance.  A very distant rhino sighting as well.  On our way to Nkambeni Camp we had a small herd of elephant walking in the road just before numbi gate. The herd was protecting to very small elephant  that couldn't of been more than a month or two old.
That's all for the afternoon drive, before making his way to camp for the evening, so lets see what tomorrow has to offer.

13th  February 2013

Mark departed from Nkambeni after breakfast and this is the route followed for the day.

Route traveled: napi - H3 - little jock - S114 - napi - Nkambeni

This morning provided great results with regard to general game viewing  along the napi (giraffe, warthog, kudu, waterbuck, blue wildebeast, zebra  and many of the small antelopes were seen). We responded to a leopard sighting 300m from transport dam access rd on the napi.  Unfortunately with no sighting of this amazing animal. As we turned onto the H3 we had a magnificent sighting of a herd of elephants walking along the road. 1.9kms from the H3 on the little jock we came across 2 male Lions, 2  lionesses and 6 cubs on a zebra carcass. All the stomachs were full and the lionesses started to move off once traffic and the heat of the day started  to increase. We had lunch at the
golf course as this was a surprise for our client, which  is the owner of a golf course in France. They absolutely loved the place and  couldn't believe we play golf out here in the wild Africa. The afternoon drive back to camp proved to be rather quiet with the occasional sighting of general game. Our guests left on a sundowner this afternoon and we wait in anticipation to  see what is seen.

14th  February 2013
After a good hearty breakfast at Nkambeni guests departed for the day on a drive.

Route: Albaeni - Doispan - thsokwane tar - S114 - Doispan - Albeseni - Nkambeni
A total of 55 Elephant seen throughout the day. Mostly seen on Albeseni and Doispan. Great dazzles of Zebra also seen on Doispan. We missed a lioness carrying her cubs 1 for 1 from Klipspringer Koppies. A herd of buffalo (300) at Deleport Dam, they must of spent the night there  waiting for first light before the herd moved on. Very little happening all the way up to Jones Dam. While on the Tshokwane tar we got a call about a leopard at the experimental tar. We drove to the sighting to find it kill a young impala and eat it on the ground right next  to a false marola tree.

After lunch we headed back to camp and on the way we had another leopard  sighting but rather far from the road. She was enjoying the shade in the heat of the day. Rhino sightings were plentiful today with these magnificent animals approximately 5m from my car. Our clients are impressed with the sightings today and came back to camp to lie around at the swimming pool. Tomorrow morning is our clients
bush walk and hopefully this could provide good results.

15th  February 2013
Guests will return to Johannesburg this afternoon  as they fly back to France this evening.

Mark will re-enter the park on Sunday with new guests.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Update On The Rhino Poaching Statistics

South Africa National Parks
Update on the rhino poaching statistics:
The total number of alleged poachers arrested in the Kruger National Park has risen to 23 from 14 last week.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

SANParks CEO's Message

South African National Parks
#SANParksCEO'sMessage: The CEO says that "after almost 5 hours up on the air with 3 teams of rangers on the ground, looking for the suspects in this thick bush has been like looking for a needle in a haystack. He says, I don't only understand, I now know firsthand the frustrations my people have to deal with on a daily basis but we will not give up."

News Flash...

South African National Parks
 #NEWSFLASH-In a dramatic turn of events, typical of the current war on rhino poaching, the CEO of SANParks while on a helicopter flight to observe flood damage had to divert to chase suspected poachers currently running towards the Mozambican border.

View of poacher pursuit area from the helicopter

Monday, February 11, 2013

Unusual Lion Behavior (With 2 Sets of Roaring) - 14 January 2013 - Lates...


The South African National Parks (SANParks) today announced the arrest of four suspected poachers in the Kruger National Park (KNP).

To date the KNP has borne the brunt of rhino poaching in the country, with the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Ms Edna Molewa, having announced last week that the Kruger Na...
tional Park had lost 61 of the total 82 rhinos lost to poaching in the whole country.

According to Wanda Mkutshulwa, SANParks Head of Communications, four suspected poachers were arrested while on their way to Mjejane, a SANParks contractual park adjacent to the Malelane section of the KNP on Saturday the 9th of February . During the operation a hunting rifle, ammunition as well as other poaching related equipment were recovered

In a second incident on the same day at around midnight, a two man SANParks Ranger routine patrol turned into a full scale fire fight when they made contact with a group of armed suspected poachers in Letaba. Three of the armed suspected poachers were fatally wounded, one was seriously injured and is receiving medical care but his condition has been described as critical. The other suspect managed to escape into Mozambique. Two heavy caliber hunting rifles, an AK47 assault rifle, a pistol and an assortment of ammunition were confiscated. A posterior rhino horn and other poaching related equipment was also recovered. “This was a fierce fire fight in which our two rangers did very well to hold their nerve and prevail. All indications were that the poaching group of six were well trained, well-armed and were attired in battle camouflage fatigues. The sheer number, equipment and tactics presented by the poaching group indicated their aggressive intent. Conditions are currently really difficult and urgent cooperation from our counterparts in Mozambique to ensure stability in the KNP is required,” Mkutshulwa elaborated.

Earlier on in the week, Mahlangeni rangers made contact with another group of armed suspected poachers and one of the suspects was fatally wounded. “These incidents now bring the number of armed contacts between the KNP Task Force and suspected rhino poachers to five in the last week. It is only the sheer dedication, commitment and training of our rangers that has prevented any injuries or fatalities on our side” said Mkutshulwa.

“We have seen an escalation of incursions north of the Olifants River towards the border with Zimbabwe. This is a vast area covered by SANParks rangers alone, as the military has not deployed in this area as yet but is expected to do so soon. Poachers have been taking advantage of this situation, however, with SANParks having changed its strategy to the current military command deployment we have put special focus and emphasis on these areas and are beginning to see results, though they are not significant at this stage,” said Mkutshulwa. “We have also received intelligence information that indicates that with the decision by the Mozambican government to relocate communities currently residing inside the Limpopo National Park, the Mozambican component of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, the poachers within those communities have gone aggressive on poaching rhino horn in order to amass large quantities of stock before the move.

The Chief Executive Officer of SANParks, Dr David Mabunda, congratulated all those involved in the operations saying, “this shows true commitment from our men and women in uniform, who endure harsh conditions and a difficult and vast terrain , for the protection of our parks and we thank them for their committed service. Our wish is to see a significant increase in the police’s successful arrest and conviction of the various syndicate bosses, as they are the masterminds, sponsors and drivers fuelling this scourge. We are prepared to fight fire with fire but also believe that a solution also lies in the Mozambican law enforcement authorities cooperating fully with the South African law enforcement and conservation authorities to bring this matter to a close.”


Released by SANParks Corporate Communications, Telephone: 012 426 5170
For Media Enquiries

Reynold Thakhuli, SANParks GM: Media Liaison, Tel: 012 426 5170 Mobile: 073 373 4999 e-mail:

Ike Phaahla, Media Specialist, Tel: 012 426 5315 Mobile: 083 673 6974 e-mail:

Friday, February 8, 2013

Safari 5th February Ending 8th February

5th February – Guests departed from Nkambeni early morning on a Bush Walk until 10h15am, having a very exciting walk with the highlight being an African Rock Python eating a Common Grey Duiker.  Great photos were taken and everyone in the group returned happy and ready for a great breakfast.  After breakfast some guests departed for Johannesburg with our shuttle and new guests arrived on safari.  Dean and Mark then left down Napi and onto the H3 and S112 getting numerous sightings of Elephants , Rhino, Buffalo as well as some lions on the S111, more lions were found on James Stevenson Hamilton that had killed something but due to the grass being so long they could not make out exactly what they had killed.  Both Dean and Mark then made their way to Skukuza for lunch.  After lunch they took a drive down the Paul Kruger Gate road after hearing about a Leopard close to the Phabeni gate.  Along the way more Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino were spotted with lots of general game such as Impala, Zebra, Wildebeeste and Giraffe sightings .  We then were able to find the Leopard in a Sycamore Fig tree , but it was not such a great sighting until it eventually moved down the tree and gave us a better view.  After lots of photos and a great sighting we departed down Albasini for camp.
6th February – Once again after breakfast it was back on the road going down Napi back onto the H3 with sightings once again of the Big 5.  We came across two female Lions with two younger males and watched how a young Elephant Bull tried to chase them away without any success, after this we made our way towards Skukuza with a lovely sighting of a female leopard walking along the road marking her territory, she then decided to climb into a jackalberry tree right next to our Open Safari vehicles, we then stopped off at Skukuza for a break before making our way back to Numbi gate to allow guests to depart back to Johannesburg and Mark to collect three new guests that had been picked up in Pretoria.  Mark collected the new guests from Verity and then departed back down Napi towards Skukuza for lunch with  a herd of Buffalo crossing the road near boulders.  There were many general game sightings along the way .  Lunch was enjoyed at Skukuza before departing down the Paul Kruger Gate road to Lake Panic bird hide for some great photo opportunities of birds.  After this we departed back to camp with sightings of Impala, and general game.
7th February -  This morning Dean left the park with four guests and made his way to the Panorama Route and Mark continued the day with six guests.  The route he took for the day was as follows:  Numbi tar - circle road - Napi - doispan - watergat - napi - H3 - napi - back to camp. On numbi tar we had 3 large elephants with 2 calf's he then did Circle Road and found a large Buffalo Bull with many different sightings of Rhino during the day.  On Stevenson Hamilton road there was a fleeting sight of a female Leopard but she disappeared very quickly in the long grass.  We were then told of another Leopard sighting on Napi, so we went to have a look but he was nowhere to be found.  By then the general game-viewing had decreased due to the day being quite hot.  We continued back to Doispane and then found that Watergat was once again open after the heavy rains but very little was found on this road so we decided to go back on Napi again to look for the male Leopard and found him lying right next to the road.  After spending 10 minutes with him he got up and walked across the road next to our Open Safari Vehicle and then back into the bush.  After this we made our way onto the H3 where we got two male Lions lying next to the road Sleeping, this was a great sight to see and all the guests enjoyed their day before heading back to camp for the night.
8th February -  Today is Marks last day in the Kruger National Park with his three Dutch Ladies before departing back to Nelspruit so that guests can return to Johannesburg, Till meet again next week with our next safari departing on the 12th February have a great weekend!…..

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Update On Rhino Poaching

Update on the rhino poaching statistics: The total number of rhino poached since the start of 2013 is 82 with 61 in the #KNP. View the link to get the full media release 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Safari Starting 2nd February 2013

 2nd February 2013
Mark collected guests from Nelspruit at 11h00am and then made his way to Pretoriuskop for lunch before departing on an afternoon drive.
Route: Napi - H3 - Napi
Sightings for the afternoon were 3 x Elephant bulls at voortrekker link 1 x elephant bull in altercation with a dazzle of zebra. He chased them around for approximately 20min until the zebra's gave up and moved off. 2 x lioness and 3 x males lying on the road on the H3 300m from S113 Herd of buffalo near boulders exit on Napi.  He then made his way to Nkambeni for the night.

3rd February 2013
After breakfast Mark made his way back down Albasini. Below is the route that he took.  He met up with Verity at 11h30am to collect another four guests that joined the safari.
Route: Albaseni - Doispan - S114 - S112 - Napi
Sighting for the day were 1 x Musth elephant bull just before mestal dam 2 x Lioness at Stevenson hamilton in the shade 5m off the road. Distance visual of herd of buffalo just before transport dam. General game viewing (kudu, waterbuck, giraffe, zebra, warthog and birding) was good over the past two days. No Rhino or leopard as yet.
Dean enters the park with 6 guests who were picked up at the Life Hotel. After entering the Kruger at Numbi Gate his route wwas as follows:
Route:  Numbi gate, up Napi to about seven kilometres past the boulders exit,  Pretoriuskop and then onto Nkambeni.
Sightings on the drive were elephant, impala, kudu, buffalo and cheetah seven kilometres past the Napi boulders where we had a great sighting of a female cheetah with her two juvenile cheetah cubs. After a toilet stop at Pretoriuskop we headed out for the camp of Nkambeni.
 4th February 2013
Route:  Nkambeni,  Numbi tar, Napi, H3, Afsaal, S112 , Stevenson Hamilton, S114, Skukuza, Paul Kruger gate road, Doispane , Albasini and into Nkambeni.
After lunch at Skukuza we headed out. Animals spotted were loads of elephant, impala, kudu and giraffe. As well as rhino and buffalo. A very slow days game viewing. Lets see what the next few days bring........

A "Did you know" For The Day.....

Did you know that snakes eat their pray headfirst because the limbs of the victim fold flat against the body making it easier to swallow.

Monday, February 4, 2013

SANParks Beefs Up Security At The Entrance Gates Into the KNP

South African National Parks
SANParks beefs up security at the entrance gates into the #KNP

The South African National Parks (SANParks) announced in a statement today that new security measures at the iconic Kruger National Park are being implemented.
According to Wanda Mkutshulwa, Head of Communications at SANParks, the measures are meant to enhance current security arrangements when guests, visitors and contractors ente...r the iconic KNP. “We have taken a decision to deploy a crop of newly trained rangers to assist with policing and security at all our main entrance gates. These rangers will help with search and seizure duties where necessary, as well as the arrest of offenders. She said this deployment is part of a wider security strategy being implemented in the fight against rhino poaching. “We are at war and every single tactic will assist in ensuring that total control of all entry and exit points are managed by those tasked with the upkeep of the area integrity. It is no secret that the KNP has borne the brunt of these activities in recent times. Therefore if we are serious about winning this war all commands must be marshaled from one point.” According to Mkutshulwa the deployed rangers have been trained in customer etiquette and also in the handling of sniffer dogs. “Our tracker dogs have been instrumental in the many successful anti-poaching operations that we have decided to utilize sniffer dogs at our gates; we are in a fortunate situation where individuals and companies are assisting us with training and donations of these dogs. We are not pulling out any of our tracker dogs from their missions but have specially trained sniffer dogs ready for deployment.” The deployment is with immediate effect and is part of rolling out the many security measures that are being implemented in the KNP. The measures are meant to bring down the number of animals that are being lost to illegal hunting emanating mainly from the KNP’s eastern border with Mozambique.

Released by SANParks Corporate Communications, Telephone: 012 426 5170
For Media Enquiries

Reynold Thakhuli, SANParks GM: Media Liaison, Tel: 012 426 5170 Mobile: 073 373 4999 e-mail:
Ike Phaahla, Media Specialist, Tel: 012 426 5315 Mobile: 083 673 6974 e-mail:
isaac.phaahla@sanparks.orgSee More

Friday, February 1, 2013

Safari Starting 29th January Ending 31st January

29th January

Dean collected guests from their hotel at 07h00am in Johannesburg and then started off for Nelspruit.  After changing over vehicles, it was on to the Numbi Gate of the Kruger National Park and then to Pretoriuskop for lunch.  After lunch they travelled down Napi which is now re-opened and to the H3 where there were a pride of lions eating on two Buffalo that had been killed.  On the way to the H3 sightings of Elephant, Rhino and Buffalo as well as general game sightings were good.  We then made our way to Nkambeni  which was our camp for the next two nights.

30th January

The following morning after a hearty breakfast we set off from camp once again down Napi getting a great sighting of 25 Wild Dogs and more sightings of Rhino and Elephant and a good sighting of Lions at Klipspringer Kopjies.  We went back down the H3 to see what was left of the Buffalo carcasses and found the lions walking away from the remnants of their meal.  Dean then turned around and went back towards Napi, getting a troop of Baboons, Impala and Kudu.  After a break at Skukuza, it was off to Eloff along the Sabi River to the High water bridge, and then down the Tshokwane tar where there was not much to be seen.  We then returned down Napi towards Pretoriuskop as guests were going on a night safari and we were heading there for lunch before continuing on to camp for a rest before the night drive.  On the way back we were fortunate enough to have more sightings of Lion, Wild Dogs, Elephant, and Rhino.  Guests then left on their night safari at 17h00pm.

31st January

The next morning we left Nkambeni after breakfast and loading luggage and then proceeded down Napi getting sightings of Giraffe, Elephant , Rhino , Hyena, Impala and Kudu.  We stopped off mid-morning at Pretoriuskop , before departing from the Kruger and making our way out of the park and back to Johannesburg.

Our next safari will depart tomorrow the 2nd of February with Mark entering with his guests.  We will update you as the week goes by as we have more than 20 guests going in and out of the park for the next week.  Until then ..................