Friday, May 31, 2013

On Safari With Mark

25 May 2013

Route: Albaseni - Shabeni - Albaseni - Doispan - Albaseni - Back into camp

Sightings for the afternoon

Impala, kudu, Reedbuck, warthog, giraffe, zebra, A herd of elephant right on the road approx 2km down the doispan road from albaseni junction. Further to this we found a large herd(250) buffalo approx 3km down doispan.

We just missed a leopard cross over doispan approx 4kms down

26 May 2013

Route: Napi - Doispan - Albaseni - Nkambeni camp

Animal sightings:

Although very hot in the first part of the afternoon drive we managed to get good sightings of Kudu, steenbuck, impala, zebra,warthog, blue wildebeest, giraffe, diukers. A great sighting of rhino's resting in the heat of the day (female with her calf). Further to this we had some good sightings of elephant bulls splashing themselves with mud at a natural waterhole on Napi Boulders, and later on down the road more of them. On doispan we got mating giraffe with many different sighting of general game. Approx 1km from the numbi gate we found a young leopard that just lay in a drainage line and watched us. Don't know where mom is but will go have a look tomorrow morning.

27 May 2013

Route: Albaseni - Shabeni - Voortrekker - Napi - H3 - S113 - H3 - Napi -Doispan - Albaseni - Nkambeni

Animals seen:

Once again general animal sightings were good today despite the slight change in weather (cooler). Giraffe, Kudu, zebra, impala, waterbuck, blue wildebeest, warthog, steenbok, diukers, reedbuck. We got a busy honey badger on albaseni and sat and watched the little guy with his daily search for food. A fantastic breeding herd of elephant near pretoriuskop entrance. Great photo opportunity. On the S113 we got a pride of 11 lions (7 female and 4 cubs). Apparently the 2 males just moved off into the thickets as we arrived. 4 buffalo bulls next to the road just before doispan junction. Distant visuals of rhino throughout the day. Tried to find the female leopard and cub on albaseni, with no luck.

Keep watching for more!!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rhino Poaching Update

#RhinoPoaching Update: The number of rhino poached in South Africa since the beginning of the year has increased to 367. The number of people arrested in connection with poaching now stands at 114.

The Real Lionman Kevin Richardson With 38 Lions!

Kevin Richardson, a good friend who is also known as the lion whisperer. I don't think there is anyone who knows lions better than Kevin he owns and runs "The Kingdom" close to Johannesburg South Africa.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

May Photos

Wild Dogs
Male Lions
Southern Ground Hornbill



SANParks Ranger Shot And Wounded In The Kruger National Park

South African National Parks (SANParks) today announced that a ranger was shot and wounded during an operation to apprehend suspected poachers in the Kruger National Park on Friday evening.
In a joint operation between SANParks and the SANDF there was a contact with a group of suspected poachers north of Letaba at around 7pm yesterday evening, and Houtboschrand Section Ranger Andrew Desmet was shot and wounded in the stomach. He was subsequently airlifted to a medical facility in Nelspruit, where he underwent an operation late last night and his condition is stable. This morning an assessment is being done at the scene of the contact and further investigations are continuing.
While this incident was unfolding, another group of rangers made contact with a second group of armed poachers approximately 2 km away where a shoot-out ensued. During this fire fight the poachers managed to escape into the bush in the darkness and no arrests were made. A 458 heavy calibre rifle and other poaching equipment were recovered at the scene.
The CEO of SANParks, Dr David Mabunda, has extended his well wishes to Andrew on behalf of all staff in SANParks. According to Dr Mabunda “Andrew is a long serving member of our ranger corps. We have always said it is a war out there, and we wish once again to thank Andrew and all our rangers who are in the front line of the battle. We thank all those who played a role in getting Andrew to safety and we wish him a speedy recovery. SANParks remains committed to doing everything in our power to roll back the scourge of rhino poaching, and to ensure that those who commit these crimes are brought to justice.”
These incidents follow contacts earlier in the week in which two suspected poachers were arrested. These arrests brought to 50 the number of suspected poachers arrested in the Kruger National Park so far this year. According to SANParks Head of Communications, Paul Daphne “While the increasing number of suspected poachers being arrested in the Kruger Park may reflect the increasing numbers engaging in rhino poaching, it also indicates that the measures that SANParks has put in place are making an impact. In 2012 we were arresting 6 suspected poachers a month, while in the first 4 months of this year the rate of arrests has climbed to almost 12 per month. The doubling of the rate of arrests is an indication of our on-going commitment to do all that it takes to bring these criminals to book”

For previous media statements please go to
 Issued by : South African National Parks (SANParks) Corporate Communications:
Tel:             012 426 5065     

Enquiries : Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli: GM: PR, Media and Stakeholder Relations.
Tel:             012 426 5203       Cell:             073 373 4999       or email:

Isaac “Ike” Phaahla: Media Specialist.
Tel:             012 426 5315       Cell:             083 673 6974       or email:

Friday, May 24, 2013

On Safari With Dean Starting 14 May 2013

14 May 2013

Route: Out of Nkambeni - Numbi gate tar - Napi road - H3 - Quagga pan – Napi - Skukuza for a break.

Animals seen were elephant, buffalo, rhino, impala and kudu.

After our break at Skukuza we took a drive up the Tshokwane tar and onto the high water bridge and back down Elloff street to skukuza for a lunch break.

Animals seen were elephant, rhino, crocodile, hippo, impala and kudu.

After lunch, it was down Doispane to see if our leopard cubs were to be seen, but no luck so we made our way back to Napi road down the H3 to see if the lions had not come out, but no luck, so we made our way back to camp on Napi road.

Animals seen were elephant, rhino, impala, kudu and buffalo.

15 May 2013

After changing clients it was into Pretoriuskop for lunch and then out onto Napi road to see what we could find.

Route driven was Pretorouskop camp - Napi road - H3 - Quagga pan - Napi road - Nkambeni tented camp.

Animals seen were zebra, elephant, rhino, impala and kudu.

16 May 2013

Today the route driven was somewhat different for a change, we left camp and made our way down Albasini road – Doispane – watergat - Napi road - Transport Dam after hearing of a leopard about two kilometers past the dam junction - Skukuza camp for a break.

Animals seen were rhino, buffalo, elephant, impala, lions, two leopards, kudu and Klipspringer.

After our break, it was down the S114 onto little Jock road to Afsaal for lunch.

Animals seen were elephant, warthog, giraffe, impala and kudu.

After lunch it was up the H3 and onto Napi Road back to camp.

Animals seen were rhino, elephant, impala, kudu, waterbuck.

Dean then exits and re-enters the Park on the 21st May 2013

21 May 2013

Route: Numbi gate - Pretoriuskop camp for lunch - Napi road - H3 junction - back to camp.

Animals seen were impala, kudu, elephant, rhino, buffalo, giraffe and common reedbuck.

22 May 2013

Route: Albasini road – Doispane - Paul Kruger Gate road - Skukuza for a break.

Animals seen were buffalo, zebra, impala and kudu.

After our break, we drove down the S114 to Ngwatimiri road and went 6.6 km's down to a mating pair of lions and then back to Napi road, down Elloff street to the low water bridge and back to skukuza for lunch.

Animals seen were impala, kudu, warthog, mating pair of lions, elephant, crocodile, hippo, giraffe and buffalo.

After lunch it was back to camp on Napi road.

Animals seen were elephant, buffalo, impala, kudu and ground hornbills.

23 May 2013

Today guests went on a bush walk before leaving the Kruger National Park

Rhino Poaching Update

Rhino Poaching Update - The number of rhinos poached in South Africa since the beginning of the year now stands at 350. The Gauteng province lost its first rhino to poaching this year during the past week.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

On Safari with Mark

17 May 2013

Route: Albaseni - Doispan - Napi - Nkambeni road - Fiya loop - back to camp

Animals seen:

1 female cheetah at cheetah pan walking parallel with the road( very relaxed as there was no other cars with us to bother it). Zebra, warthog, waterbuck, kudu, giraffe, bushbuck, steenbok, klipspringer, rhino, buffalo, many herds of elephant.

No sightings of Lions or leopards due to the drastic change in weather (very cold)

On camp road we had 2 female elephant, 1 sub adult and a very young baby
elephant. Brilliant sighting as the youngster discovers vegetation around it. (Ripping tree's and breaking plants everywhere it walked).

18 May 2013

Route: Napi - Tshokwane tar - Marola loop - Doispan - Albaseni - Nkambeni

Quiet day, with very few sightings of animals close to the road. Distant visuals of elephant, rhino and buffalo. Got a call from a college regarding mating lions and responded to it. 600m down marola loop we found the mating lions and spent some time with them.

After a late lunch we headed up doispan with great sightings of Kudu,buffalo, elephant, waterbuck, impala, steenbok, diukers, klipspringer's, warthog, giraffe, bushbuck, white back vultures and many various eagle's. 1kms from Albaseni junction we had 9 lions walk out in front of us and walked over road heading towards river road.

19 May 2013

Route: Napi - H3 - afsaal - Voortrekker - Albaseni - Doispan - Albaseni - Nkambeni camp

Animals seen today on the drive were:

Rhino, elephant, buffalo, kudu, giraffe, waterbuck, steenbok, diukers, hippo's, impala, zebra and warthog

Highlights of the day:

A herd (5) of sable antelope just past shithave, bull and cows all looking very healthy.
While on Napi, 7 wild dog came running past our open vehicle appr 300m past the boulders entrance. 1 of them was carrying a head of a male steenbok.

20 May 2013

Not much to report today as mark leaves the park with guests.

Keep watching for more updates!

Friday, May 17, 2013

On Safari from the 14 May 2013 With Mark

14 May 2013

Route: Napi - Napi boulders - Napi - back to Nkambeni

Not much happening out there. Very little general game seen.  1 very nice elephant bull on the road just before Napi boulders entrance. Good photo's taken by the guests. Many different sightings of rhino's throughout the drive with the largest crash of 7 together.

15 May 2013

Route: Napi - S65 - Tshokwane tar - Doispan - Albaseni - Nkambeni road

First animal seen was a large rhino bull lying sleeping 5m off the road. Napi was rather quiet this morning with only Kudu, warthog, impala, giraffe and waterbuck seen all the way along to the S65. A college informed me of wild dog 3.1km from napi on S65. We got to the sighting just for them to move right into the road and all 13 lie down 5m from our open safari vehicle. Fantastic photos taken. Received another call for a leopard at transport dam but no luck. While down there we had a brilliant sighting of a female hippo with a calf in the shallow water. This calf couldn't of been older than a couple of days. After stopping at skakuza, we drove up to marola exit and on the way got 2 lioness and 1 male lying in the river bed. Also very nice to sit and watch this for a while. Good general birding during the drive, with secretary bird, and southern ground hornbills been some of the species seen. No elephant or buffalo spotted on our trip until we got closer to camp where we at least got a small herd of elephant just before concluding the game drive for the day.

Guests are out on a sundown drive this afternoon and so we'll pick up with them again in the morning.

16 May 2013

Route: Albaseni - Doispan - S65 - Napi - S114 - little jock - H3 - Napi

At numbi gate we got a buffalo bull just lying enjoying the morning sun. Great hippo's at mestal dam. Just before mestal we got a small herd of elephant approx 50m off the road. Many different sightings of general game on Doispan - giraffe, kudu, impala, diulkers, warthog and zebra. Got a call regarding a pride of lions lying on the rock 8.3km down the S65 we took a drive and found the male, 2 female and 4 cubs. I know they part of the pride of 13 in total. Sure they were all there, just couldn't see them. We then heard about a male leopard lying on a termite mound approx 4kms from transport access road on the napi. On our way there Dean and Frank informed me that they have a leopard on the road and we got good visuals of that. We went down to the second leopard and also had good visuals of that. It moved of the termite mound and lay in the shade of a tree.  After skakuza we went down the S114 not much seen on the road just a couple of elephant , and general game. After lunch we headed up the H3 and at the S113 junction we found 4 cheetah lying under the shade of a gwari bush. Spent some time with them and then headed on towards camp. Distant visuals of herds of elephants near shithave dam and further to this it was rather quiet.

Wildlife Photos

Southern Ground Hornbill



Thursday, May 16, 2013

Rhino Poaching Update

Rhino Poaching Update: Four people were arrested for poaching in the Kruger National Park during the past week as the total number of rhino killed for their horns increased to 313 nationally.
The latest arrests in the Kruger National Park bring to 98 the number of people arrested for rhino poaching and the smuggling of rhino horn since the beginning of the year. The Kruger National Park lost 13 rhino in the past week, increasing the number of rhino poached since January 1 to 229. In the North West province a total of 25 rhino have been poached, while 24 have been poached in Limpopo, 20 in KwaZulu-Natal and 15 in Mpumalanga. SANParks said two poachers were arrested, and a third fled, during a shootout near Pretoriuskop on Tuesday. In a SAPS driven operation supported by Kruger National Park rangers, one of the alleged poachers was wounded in a shootout with rangers. A .458 hunting rifle, silencer, ammunition, axe and knife were recovered. Investigations into the incident are continuing. KwaZulu-Natal police said three alleged poachers appeared briefly in the Ubombo Magistrate’s court on Monday on charges of possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition after they were caught near Jozini Dam with the weapons suspected to be used in rhino poaching. The police are still investigating whether the suspects are linked to other cases of poaching in the area. South Africans are urged to report incidents of poaching and tip-offs to the anonymous tip-off line at  0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime-Line at 32211.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Nhongo Safaris

Leopard Leap By Chad Cocking

The Kruger National Park is full of wonderful surprises as Chad Cocking found out on his visit to the park in 2008. Chad had the unbelievable luck of witnessing a leopard and her cub as they crossed the Sabie River.

Chad recounts: "I went to Kruger not to see big cats, but rather just to enjoy the big herds of general game and varied landscapes that I never get to see in the Timbavati.

"One day we approached a bridge crossing the Sabie River (at the confluence of the Sand River) and saw four or five cars parked watching something to the east. Expecting it to be elephants or hippos, we tentatively pulled up alongside the railing where we saw a leopard lying on a rock island in the middle of the river. The leopard was clearly not alone – continuously calling for her cub. A few minutes passed before the young cub of about four months emerged from the reeds on a larger island to the north. The problem was that the mother and cub were now separated by about four to five metres of rather fast flowing water without a land-bridge to cross, and the only way to get across was to swim... We sat and watched with bated breath as the cub slowly plucked up the courage to jump into the water and swim across! With all its effort, the cub leapt into the water, but its little legs only carried it a short distance, leaving it to swim a fair way to get to the rocky island on which the mom was waiting. We were all quite relieved when the cub made it across to its mom – albeit looking more like a drowned rat now than a leopard cub! Our relief was short lived as mom promptly led the cub to the edge of the rock island and sprang a couple of metres across another torrent of water to the safety of the southern bank, but again, it was just too far for the little cub to make in one go. For the second time in a matter of minutes, the little leopard plunged itself into the river and thankfully managed to swim safely to the shoreline where it joined up with mom  before they left the area."

"This scene left us all grinning at a far more wonderful leopard sighting in the Kruger than I could have imagined (made even more impressive by the fact that mom had only one eye!)."

About the photographer:

Chad Cocking is a passionate wildlife photographer and field guide. He has six years' working experience at the Motswari Private Game Reserve in Greater Kruger. His passion for photography has increased over the years, as has the size of his camera!

Wild Card Blog

Rhino Poaching News

#RhinoNews 14/5. In a SAPS Intel driven operation supported by Rangers, 2 suspected #rhinopoachers were arrested in #Pretoriuskop - 1 of the suspects was wounded when he tried to shoot at Rangers during the incident - a .458 hunting rifle with silencer, ammo, axe and knife were recovered with the suspects - a third suspect managed to escape arrest. Investigations are underway.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

On Safari With Dean Starting 8 May 2013

8 May 2013

We Left Johannesburg and entered the Kruger National Park through Numbi gate we went to Pretoriuskop for lunch and then took a drive down Napi road –H3 - Quagga pan - Nkambeni safari camp.

Animals seen were elephant, rhino, buffalo, impala, giraffe and kudu.

9 May 2013

Route: Nkambeni tented camp - Napi road - Skukuza for a break.

Animals seen were elephant, buffalo, rhino, kudu, impala and stenbuck.

After our break we took a drive down the H3 as there had been lions seen close to Quagga pan, but none were found by us. We then made our way to Doispane as there had been a leopard spotted about a kilometer from Watergat, but he also made a getaway before we got there. After this, we made our way to camp for lunch and the guests went out on their night safari.

10 May 2013

Route: Nkambeni tented safari camp - Numbi gate tar - Napi road - H3 - Napi road - Skukuza for a drink and toilet stop.

Animals seen were rhino, elephant, buffalo, impala, kudu, warthog, two males and two female lions walking with full stomachs down the H3. We managed to follow them for about two kilometers, before they went off the road and into a culvert to sleep. About 5.2 kilometers on the Napi road we came across three hyena trying to catch a warthog who also managed to get into a culvert were the hyena's could not get into.

After our stop at Skukuza we went up Tshokwane tar and across the high water bridge and then back on Elloff street.

Animals seen were elephant, buffalo, crocodile and rhino.

We decided to go down Doispane before going in for lunch as we were looking for a leopard. We drove down Doispane about 2.8 km's past Watergat and came on two leopard cubs playing on the rock. Mommy was not there, but after a hour of watching these little guy's it was considered a good leopard sighting.

We went to Skukuza for lunch and then made our way back to camp on Napi road, getting more elephant and buffalo.

11 May 2013

Today there was no drive due to the clients going on their bush walk. We then left the park and headed back to Johannesburg.

12 May 2013

Dean heads back to the Kruger.

Route driven was Numbi gate – Pretoriuskop – Napi - Watergate junction - Camp.

Animals seen were ten sightings of elephant, four sightings of rhino, three sightings of good kudu bulls, stenbuck, impala and warthog.

13 May 2013

Route: Nkambeni tented camp -  Numbi gate tar - Napi road - H3 - Quagga pan - Napi road - Skukuza for a break.

Animals seen were elephant, rhino, impala, kudu, stenbuck, Klipspringer and Grey Duiker.

After our break at Skukuza, we made our way down the S114 getting a sighting of a leopard about 1.5 km's in a Marula tree. Guests battled to see him due to large amount of foliage. We carried on and turned onto the Ngwatemiri road and got four lionesses lying about thirty meters from the road. We made our way on and came across another five male lions about 2.3 km's further on. After having great sightings we made our way back to the s114 and then down the s112 and up the H3 and onto Napi road back to camp.

Animals seen were giraffe, impala, buffalo, elephant, warthog, Klipspringer and kudu.

More coming soon!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Rhino News 9/5/2013

Nwanetsi Rangers with the support of SANParks Helicopter, SANDF troops and tracker dogs arrested 2 suspected rhino poachers. A 30-06 rifle, ammo and a axe were recovered. 1 suspect managed to escape arrest back to Mozambique.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

On Safari with Mark Starting 1 May 2013

1 May 2013

Route: Napi - Skakuza - Doispan - Albaseni - Napi - Transport dam – Napi.

Animals seen were:

2 elephant bulls 1.2kms from Shithave Access road, Many different sightings of rhino throughout the day, 2 male lions and a lioness 1.8kms down the H3 from Napi. We spent 10min with them and then they got up and moved into the bush. 2.3kms past S65 on Doispan we had a leopard lying in a marola tree. Very good sighting of a female spotted hyena at her den. Herd of buffalo (200) near Mestal dam on Albaseni. After picking up the new clients we went for a drive down Napi. A great herd of elephant (50) on Napi just before boulders entrance was experienced. On our return towards the gate we had a buffalo bull right next to the Open Vehicle walking parallel with the road towards Numbi gate.

2 May 2013

Route: Napi - H3 - Napi - Tsokwane tar - Doispan - River link - River road - Kruger gate road - Napi - back to Nkambeni Camp.

Animals seen were:

3 spotted hyenas came running past the open vehicle on the scavenge just before shithave. A large journey (9) giraffe between boulders entrance and exit. At the flat rocks 1 male cheetah walking in the road. 2.3km from transport dam access road we found a female cheetah 20m off the road. 700m past transport access road a coalition of 4 cheetah walking parallel with the road. They made a run for some impala but all gave up very quickly as the grass is still to long and they were spotted from a distance. 3.2km down the H3 we had a distant visual of a lioness sleeping. After lunch we heard of lions at mutlamuvi bridge so went up there and found them. 2 males and a female (mating pair). Many herds of elephant seen throughout the day as well as rhino. Large herd of buffalo (100) on the tshokwane tar just before sandriver lowlevel bridge. Brilliant visuals of goshawks hovering and diving for their prey.  Mark got some brilliant photo's of  hippo's and crocs on the sabi lowlevel bridge.

3 May 2013

Route: Numbi tar - Voortrekker - H3 - Napi - Albaseni - Shabeni loop - back to camp.

Animals seen were:

Very little on voortrekker at the moment, with distant visuals of giraffe, warthog, waterbuck, blue wildebeest, kudu and small antelope like steenbok and duikers. 2.2km from afsaal on H3 we got 13 wild dog hunting next to the open vehicle. Great sighting and guests got fantastic photo's. Great rhino sightings today with them very close to the road. A herd of elephant (20) crossed over the road 1.3km from the S113. A herd of sable antelope (9) crossed albaseni 1.7km before mestal dam. At mestal dam we had 3 elephant, swimming. What a fantastic sighting.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Rhino Poaching In The Kruger National Park

#RhinoNewsUpdate: Crocbridge Rangers again made contact with a group of 3 armed poachers last night - during the contact one suspect was fatally wounded in a shoot out & a .375 hunting rifle, silencer, ammo and poaching equipment were recovered - the two remaing suspects unfortunately managed to escape back to Moz in the darkness.

Rhino News

2 #rhino poaching suspects arrested during an anti poaching patrol by rangers in Pafuri. A .458 hunting rifle, ammo, 2 rhino horns and a variety of poaching impliments were recovered during the incident.