Thursday, October 31, 2013

Procedure Regarding Scattering Of Ashes In The Kruger National Park

South African National Parks (SANParks) would like to remind the public to follow proper procedures if they wish to scatter ashes of their loved ones in the Kruger National Park (KNP).
 
This practice, which has been in place for years has reached a stage wherein management now finds containers, caskets/urns, small tombstones, crosses, memorials or other symbols of remembrance placed or attached against rocks, trees, look out points and other structures in the Park; which is not allowed in a National Park.

“We would like to inform people who place such items without permission from Management that their items would be removed as they contaminate the environment and detracts from the ambience of the Park. Not only is this a contravention of the National Environmental Management: Protection Areas Act No. 57 of 2003; but it is also disrespectful to other visitors to the KNP,” said the General Manager: Conservation Manager, Dr Freek Venter.

 As per the policy, visitors are welcome to send in written requests to scatter ashes in the bush or to place plaques/benches in memory of their loved ones but permission must be granted by Management beforehand. The relevant staff will then find the proper locality for them, in line with the conditions and relevant legislation; as long as no item is left behind and there is no private ceremony that may impact on the experience of other visitors.

 It must also be noted that approval for these requests does not constitute current or future unrestricted, free access to the park nor does it allow exclusivity for family members over any other visitor to the Park.

 Issued by:
 South African National Parks Kruger National Park Communications

South African National Parks Announces New Restaurants And Key Public Private Partnerships

South African National Parks (SANParks) today announced the successful bidders for the provision of restaurant and retail services at various national parks under its management. The announcements were made at the organisation’s headquarters in Pretoria following weeks of adjudication which began with tender processes.
 
A new retail agreement was signed between SANParks and Tourvest for operations in the Kruger National Park (KNP), Tsitsikamma and Addo Elephant National Park.

 According to the CEO of SANParks Dr David Mabunda, this was done mainly to improve tourists shopping experiences and to upgrade the shops and make them eco-friendly. “SANParks has placed focus on value for money for all clients in appointing Tourvest”.

The organisation also embarked on a tender process to appoint operators for restaurants in the KNP. The bidders had several obligations to meet, such as operating, development and refurbishment requirements. They had BBBEE targets to meet as well as environmental obligations.

 It was announced that in the KNP’s, Lower Sabie; Olifants and Letaba camps Mugg and Bean restaurants will be fully operational from March 2014, while the Pretoriuskop and Satara rest camps will have Wimpy restaurants with operations expected to commence also in March 2014.

 The Skukuza Selati restaurant will be operated by Ciao! and are expected to start operations in December 2013 and the main camp restaurant and take away will be serviced by Cattle Baron and Bistro. Operations will start in May 2014 because of extensive refurbishment.
 Details were also given of refurbishments and timelines for the Skukuza Airport after an earlier announcement that airport will be serviced by the Skukuza Airport Management Company, a consortium consisting of Airlink; Federal Air; Lion Sands and Community Development Trust. The consortium will operate the airport for ten years from the commencement of operations.

 The service will operate under strict environmentally acceptable conditions. Hours of operations will be limited to between 9H00 and 15H00. Runway refurbishment commences on the 4 November. The terminal refurbishment will start early in 2014 with flights expected to commence on the 2 June 2014 from OR Tambo International.
 
Dr Mabunda congratulated all the newly appointed operators and expressed his satisfaction that all proper channels were followed. “I look forward to rave reviews from our clients on service, convenience, satisfaction and value for money, we will as always monitor the performance of our new partners and look forward to a mutually benefitting relationship’ concluded Dr Mabunda.

 Issued by:
 South African National Parks Corporate Communications

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

On Safari With Dean from 27 October 2013

27 October 2013

We picked up guests from the Africa Moon guest house and made our way onto Nelspruit, where we changed over into one of the open safari vehicles and made our way onto Numbi Gate of the Kruger National Park.

After checking in guests enjoyed lunch and then climbed aboard the open safari vehicles for a three hour drive.

Animals seen were impala, kudu, hyena, buffalo.

After the drive, guests enjoyed dinner and then it was off to bed for a good night’s rest.

28 October 2013

On this morning it was up early and after enjoying breakfast it was out on the road to see what turned out to be a brilliant day of game viewing.

We made our way out of Nkambeni Safari Camp and got elephant and buffalo on the camp road, we then made our way down the Numbi Gate tar getting more sightings of buffalo, impala and kudu. We turned onto the Napi Road and made our way in the direction of Skukuza where we planned to have a coffee break, before continuing on with the day’s game viewing.

On Napi road, we managed to get good sightings of buffalo, elephant, leopard, waterbuck, giraffe, kudu and impala.

While on the last section of Napi Road, we got a radio call about lions on the Tshokwane tar, lying in the Sand River, so we decided to make our way there before our break in order to miss the traffic. We found the lions who had moved into a very difficult sighting area, yet we were happy as we had showed the guests the big five before our break.

It was then off to Skukuza for a well deserved break and toilet stop.

After our break, we decided to take a drive down to the camp of Lower Sabie on Elloff street and see what could be found. On this route we found good sightings of hippo, giraffe many herds of elephant crossing the road to go down to the Sabie river, a leopard on lubbe lubbe bridge, thirteen lions on the road in front of our vehicle as well as thirty five crocodiles at sunset dam.

We stopped off at Lower Sabie for lunch.

After lunch, we made our way back on Elloff street getting more good sightings of giraffe, and more herds of elephant. Nearing the end of the route near to the camp of Skukuza, we got a call about a cheetah together with her five cubs on the H3' so we decided to make a turn down there to see if we could find her.

We finally got onto the H3 and at 3.2 Km's down, we found her about eighty meters off the road.

After a great sighting we made our way back up to Napi Road in the direction of the camp as time was moving fast.

At about 1.2 Km's from klipspringer koppies, we came across another young female leopard lying next to the road, she suddenly got up, walked past the front of our vehicle and
proceeded to catch a Crested Francolin and then sit next to the road and our vehicle and eat it, after which she got up and gave the guests the best chance for photos that anybody could get.

We made our way on and got the same leopard lying sleeping next to the road that we had got earlier in the morning.

We were told that there were three more cheetah lying further up the road, so we went looking for them, only to find them in the grass lying watching us.

We went on getting more good sighting of rhino, elephant, buffalo, hyena and a nice herd of sable antelope.

We made our way onto camp getting in at 18h00.

29 October 2013

Today it was our early again for the guests final drive, while out on the drive, we had good sightings of rhino, buffalo, elephant, kudu, impala, hyena and common duiker.

We left the park at 09h00 as guests had to catch their shuttle through to Dullstroom where they were going to do some trout fishing over the next couple of days.

Guests had a good time, and were amazed at the amount and the quality of animals that they saw while on safari.

Keep watching for more!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Poachers Arrested

On Monday, 28th October 2013, rangers in the Satara section of the Kruger National Park made contact with a group of three suspected rhino poachers.
 
All three suspects were arrested during the operation.
 
One of the suspects was wounded in the initial contact and has been hospitalised.
 A hunting rifle, ammunition and poaching equipment were recovered.
 
Issued by:
 South African National Parks

Poachers Update 28/10

#PoachersUpdate: 28/10 - #Vlakteplaas, Rangers, backed up by the #SANParks helicopter made contact with 3 suspected rhino poachers. During the incident, 1 suspect was fatally wounded, the 2nd was arrested, and the 3rd suspect managed to escape arrest and is still being sought. Ammo, firearm and other related poaching equipment were recovered.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Poachers Update 26/10

#PoachersUpdate: 26/10 - #CrocodileBridge field rangers had contact with 3 #suspectedpoachers this morning. During contact, one poacher was fatally wounded, 2nd suspect was arrested and the third suspect managed to escape into Moz. A.458 rifle, ammo and poaching equipment were recovered.

Poachers Update

#PoachersUpdate: 25/10 - at 18h00, the third suspected poacher from earliers incident has been arrested by the Rangers. Let us continue to stand by the rangers as they continue with this war against rhino poachers. Indeed the huge role they play in fighting to keep our heritage alive, should be noticed by all. #ThankYouRangers

Historical Collaboration Brings Hope To Rhino Plight

A ray of hope has been cast on the crusade to save the rhino in the form of a historical joint collaboration between South African National Parks (SANParks), Bavaria 0.0% and South Africa’s Big 5 Retailers – Woolworths, Spar, Shoprite Checkers, Massmart and Pick ‘n Pay. Amidst the growing concerns surrounding fundraising schemes exploiting the current heightened rhino awareness, the ‘Adopt So Our Rhinos Don’t Die’ historical campaign is the first to bear the official SANParks Fundraising Seal, which ensures peace-of-mind that all funding will go directly to rhino anti-poaching activities.
 
SANParks CEO, Dr David Mabunda, said, “As the custodian and sanctuary for the majority of Africa’s rhino population, and 91% of the world rhino population, it is distressing to report that with the exception for the Honorary Rangers’ initiatives during 2012, SANParks has not received a cent from independent rhino fundraisers this year. We are in a crisis situation that requires funding for expert human and technical resources.

“This historical joint collaboration brings hope to the crisis. All money will be held in a ring-fenced trust fund that is managed by Rand Merchant Bank under the audit of the National Treasury. The trust fund will also be made available to any rhino conservancy that applies for assistance to ensure that we are able to help as many rhino as possible”.

Ms Edna Molewa, Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, endorsed the Adopt So Our Rhino Don’t Die campaign by saying, “It is an honour and privilege standing here on the brink of history, but I am filled with mixed emotions. I am filled with extreme sadness based on my knowledge of the carnage we are currently facing with the senseless slaughtering of our rhino, and the fact that we have lost over 500 rhino to illegal poaching since 1 January 2013, more than the days in the year. On the other hand, I brim with jubilation to know that help is at hand and that at last South Africans across the land will unite and stand together to make a difference, and protect the world’s natural heritage for generations to come”.

With a 300 year family legacy that is immersed in preserving heritage, Bavaria 0.0% is more than just a brewery and has shown its commitment to ensuring that the rhino is preserved for future generations by being the enabler of the Adopt So Our Rhinos Don’t Die campaign. This decision falls directly in line with Bavaria’s intrinsic value of 0.0% tolerance to rhino poaching, the illegal killing of any wildlife or humankind and to drinking and driving. The partnership also sees a decision by SANParks to clamp down on irresponsible alcohol-induced behaviour in its Parks.

 Stijn Swinkels, Family Board Member of Bavaria Brewery, commented, “Brewing is in my blood. My whole family grew up with it, but why should our sense of responsibility stop there? The plight of the rhino really touched me. This is about keeping your identity and national pride alive. It is about future existance. If we can deploy something as simple as our product’s reach and accessibility to make people stop and think about this, then I want to stand up for that.

“Hopefully our children will take over the brewery and therefore I understand how important it is to fight for survival. I hope that later our children will brew with the same passion, while at the same time realising that what they are holding in their hands is more than a malt drink and that outside of the brewery we can also make a difference”.

Bavaria 0.0% has extended the reach of the campaign into South Africa’s Big 5 leading retail chains and as front-runners to the consumer, each retailer will create the adoption ‘route’ for the public. From every purchase of any six-pack of Bavaria regular or fruit flavoured malt drinks, both the Big 5 retailers and Bavaria will match a massive margin sacrifice to fund the consumer’s adoption certificate cost and this money will go directly into the SANParks ring-fenced rhino fund.

 Swinkels adds, “We were so touched by the rhino plight, that the cause became greater than our risk to enter a new market and sacrifice our profit margin. We would like to thank the Big 5 retailers for joining us in this collaboration in aid of the rhino, who is the real hero.”
Ivan Oertle, Woolworths Specialist Buyer, commented, “We at Woolworths have always believed in doing the right thing and in this case it is collaborating with Bavaria, SANParks and our competitors to bring hope to the world’s last remaining wild rhino population. We urge our customers to support the Adopt So Our Rhino Don’t Die initiative. Never before has saving the rhino been done in a way that is so easy, such fun and so safe, as this the first campaign carrying the official SANParks Seal of Approval for a ring fenced fund”.

Mark Robinson, Group Liquor Manager, The Spar Group Ltd, said, “On behalf of the SPAR Group Ltd I would like to applaud SANParks, Dr David Mabunda and of course Bavaria 0.0% for what is undoubtedly and hopefully an initiative which will go a long way in protecting one of our country’s very rare and threatened assets and a part of our heritage. Hopefully this will make a meaningful contribution to the protection of our rhino and we thank you for including us in this initiative”.

“This is a fantastic initiative by Bavaria 0.0%. We are pleased to join other retailers in assisting SANParks to make a difference in the fight against rhino poaching,” added Jonathan Koff Makro Liquor Executive, Massmart.

 Dr Mabunda, concluded, “I believe that the ‘Adopt So Our Rhino Don’t Die’ campaign will ignite the nation, and the world, into a cohesive drive to adopt and protect the rhino against poaching. Bavaria’s contribution towards funding the consumers’ rhino adoption cost will lead the way in providing the much needed funding in our crusade against illegal poaching and wildlife trade”.

Poachers Update

#PoachersUpdate: 25/10 - #MooiplaasRangers made contact with a group of 3 suspected rhino poachers. Two suspects have been arrested and the third suspect managed to escape. A firearm, ammo and other poaching equipment were recovered.

SA AND LAOS TO SIGN AN AGREEMENT TO PROTECT AND CONSERVE RHINO

The signing of the MoU will be accompanied by the endorsement of an Implementation Plan putting into immediate action concrete steps to, among others, eradicate wildlife crimes through government-to-government and security initiatives, educate the public and raise awareness.

Follow the link to view more http://bit.ly/18SGGK5


Friday, October 25, 2013

New Guards Boost Security In The Kruger National Park

As part of wider security strategies being implemented in the fight against rhino poaching, Kruger National Park (KNP) Management inaugurated 128 new security guards at the passing-out parade today, 24 October 2013 at Skukuza.

“The new recruits are meant to mainly manage access control at the entrance gates, provide asset security, monitor and control movement control throughout the Park as well as to conduct other policing duties that are safety and security related. As custodians of wildlife and its conservation, we warmly welcome this step as it will provide the much needed boost to the current team of ranger corps and should be seen as a necessary measure to top-up on our anti-poaching efforts”, said the KNP Managing Executive, Abe Sibiya.

 The pre-selection process which took place in August 2013 required hopeful guard trainees to go through the vetting process such as language proficiency tests, criminal record checks; medical and physical fitness screening and they had to portray dedication and the right attitude; as well as team work spirit to qualify for the job.

 Those who succeeded went on holistic, rigorous and intense month-long security training, followed by the passing out parade today. The deployment to the various strategic areas throughout the Park is with immediate effect, starting today.

 For the past ten years, the Park outsourced its security service at the entry/exit points to private companies, as such was not totally involved in the guards’ selection and training process. “It is an absolute must that we prioritize the protection of this heritage and use every tactic which can assist in ensuring that the total control of all entry and exit points are managed by those tasked with the upkeep of the area integrity, concluded Sibiya.

 Issued by:
 South African National Park Communications

128 NEW GUARDS BOOST SECURITY IN THE #KNP

The new recruits are meant to mainly manage access control at the entrance gates, provide asset security, monitor and control movement control throughout the Park as well as to conduct other policing duties that are safety and security related. Follow the link to view more http://bit.ly/1cfJNje

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

On Safari With Dean From 16 October 2013

16 October 2013

We left camp at 15h15 and made our way down the Numbi Gate Tar getting four different herds of buffalo, impala and kudu. We turned onto the Napi road and got some good sightings of more buffalo, elephant, warthog and kudu. We made our way down the Voortrekker link and got more kudu, reedbuck, impala, vervet monkeys and more buffalo.

We herd via the radio that there was a sighting of hyena with the pups, so we drove down the Numbi Gate tar and were blessed by a great sighting.

We carried on getting more good sightings of buffalo, wildebeest and zebra. Upon arrival at Numbi Gate we found the staff huddled together watching a huge elephant bull set about breaking of branches from the marula tree and consume them.

We enjoyed this sighting for about half an hour until we had to leave in order to get to the camp in time for the closing of the gates.

17 October 2013

This morning we left camp at 06h00 and made our way out of Nkambeni Safari Camp getting buffalo, elephant and impala on the camp access road. We made our way down the Numbi Gate tar having good sightings of buffalo, elephant, hyena and pups, kudu and impala.

We turned onto the Napi road making our way down the Napi for about twenty five kilometres getting a great cheetah sighting. We turned around making our way back on the Napi Road in order to get guests to Nelspruit for their transfer back to Johannesburg.

On the return journey great sightings of elephant, rhino, reedbuck and another sighting of cheetah was enjoyed.

We exited the park and made our way to Nelspruit for the guests transfer to Johannesburg.

18 October 2013

Today we made our way out of Nkambeni down the Camp Road getting Buffalo, elephant, waterbuck, impala and kudu.

We turned onto the Numbi Gate Tar getting four different herds of buffalo enjoying the new grass as well as elephant.

We Proceeded onto Napi road getting good sightings of giraffe and a distant visual of sable antelope. We then got a radio call about a leopard at the end of boulders exit. We made our way in that direction faster than normal and found him walking parallel with napi road we watched him for about 10 minutes before he walked off into the bush.

We carried on driving for another 6 kilometres getting buffalo, elephant, impala and zebra. We then turned around and headed back to the gate getting the same leopard who had moved onto a rock and after 5 minutes he climbed down and walked away.

Just before leaving the park we managed to get a sable antelope sighting closer to the road.
After this we exited the park and headed back to Johannesburg.

On Safari With Mark from 14 October 2013

14 October 2013

Route: Numbi tar - Shabeni koppies - Albaseni - Nkambeni Tented Camp

2 large herds of buffalo (1 on the Numbi tar and other approaching mestal dam).

The Hyena den is still active with all four youngsters out playing around the entrance to the den.

General animals spotted:

Impala, waterbuck, common duiker, kudu and hippo's.

15 October 2013

Route: Nkambeni - Napi - Skakuza - Napi - Nkambeni

General animals seen:

kudu, waterbuck, warthog, common duiker, steenbok, klipspringer, zebra, hippos and vervet monkeys.

Large herds of buffalo's grazing on short grass in burn area at mestal dam.

Small herd of elephant near the buffalo. Matriarch wasn't happy with their presence around her young so performed a mock charge. Great sighting for guests and they could get great photos.

Further to this the day has been quiet with no cats spotted yet.

16 October 2013

Route Nkambeni - Napi - H3 - Napi - Albaseni - Doispan - Napi - Nkambeni

General animals seen:

giraffe, zebra, warthog, impala, chackma baboons, waterbuck, kudu, rhino and hippos

Great herd of sable just before Voortrekker link on the napi

4 hyena at the den on Numbi tar

Only elephant bulls seen on drives today.

Fantastic herds of buffalo on camp road and Numbi tar and napi. Largest herd seen was
approximately 300

Got a call for a female lions and cubs on alpha loop. She was lying in the dry riverbed enjoying the shade with her 4 cubs

On our return to camp we had a male leopard walking parallel with napi just before the flat rocks

17 October 2013

Route: Napi - H3 - S112 - S114 - Napi - Nkambeni

General animals seen:

kudu, warthog, zebra, impala, giraffe, hippos, crocodile, buffalo, elephant and waterbuck

Male leopard just past boulders exit. Walked parallel with the road and then turned off back into the bush.

4 lioness and 1 male seen eating an impala 300m before the S114 on the napi.

Females got up and walked towards deloport dam.

After lunch we found the same pride of lions lying at the dam.

On our return to camp we found a young male leopard lying in a Marola tree just before the S65.

No herds of elephant found today, will look for them tomorrow.

18 October 2013

Route: Albaseni - Shabeni - Fiaya loop - Albaseni - Doispan - River link - River road - Kruger gate road - Napi - Nkambeni

General sightings:

warthog, rheed buck, common duiker, impala, kudu, hippos, chackma baboons, waterbuck, elephant, rhino and zebra

Still large herds of buffalo on Numbi tar. They not moving around because of the new grass growth.

No large herds of elephant only the individual bulls along napi

3 lioness and 1 male lion walked off the rocks and headed towards river road, approximately 2km from Kruger gate. We lost visual as they entered the reeds between road and river.

Not fantastic sightings today due to weather being cold and raining.

We try for a leopard for new guests tomorrow morning before they leave for JHB.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Elephant Tusks Valued At R1.6 Million Seized At Beitbridge Border Post

Police in Zimbabwe intercepted a luxury bus carrying four elephant tusks valued at R1.6 million.
 
The tusks were found stashed in a secret compartment on a Citiliner coach.

 Limpopo police spokesperson Hlangwani Malaudzi told the media the two bus drivers were arrested at the Beitbridge Border Post and taken to court in Musina.

 Only one person was found guilty and fined R8,000 for smuggling and the illegal possession of ivory.

 The South African Police Service (SAPS) told state media in Zimbabwe they want to clamp down on ivory smuggling syndicates.

 It’s not clear whether the tusks were from Hwange National Park, where syndicates used cyanide to kill over 100 elephants.

 Four people convicted recently for illegally possessing ivory in Zimbabwe have each been given 15-year jail terms.

 Earlier this month, the man who supplied the cyanide used to kill the elephants was released on R1,000 bail.

 It’s unclear where Elvis Mncube got the cyanide from.

 By:
 Eyewitness News

Man Arrested In Kruger National Park For Possession Of Poison

A man was arrested after he was found in possession of poison in the Kruger National Park, management said on Saturday.
 
The man was arrested on Thursday after being searched by rangers in the park.

 "He entered the park through the Phalaborwa gate en route to Mozambique," spokesman William Mabasa said.
 
Rangers found four bottles on him and questioned about the contents, but found the man's story to be inconsistent.
 
The rangers called police and the man was arrested.

 Police could not immediately confirm the arrest.

 Earlier in the week, French news agency Agence France-Presse reported that a Zimbabwean court sentenced a poacher to more than 15 years in prison for poisoning and killing elephants with cyanide.

 This was the fourth conviction relating to poisoning wildlife in the country in a month.
 According to the report, the Parks and Wildlife Authority said 100 elephants were killed for their ivory with cyanide in one national park in just over a month.

 Three other poachers were sentenced in September to a minimum of 15 years each for poisoning 81 elephants.

 By:
 Times Media Group

Contact Made With Three Poachers

On Saturday, 19th October 2013, rangers in the Pafuri section of the Kruger National Park made contact with three suspected rhino poachers, close to the Eastern boundary.

During the incident, one suspect was arrested and the other two suspects managed to escape back into Mozambique.

A .375 hunting rifle, ammunition and an axe were recovered.

 Issued by:
 South African National Parks

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Rhino Alive

Putting a price on those who slaughter our rhinos - R100 000 reward for a poacher and R1 million for the kingpin.

SMS tip-offs to 32211    #SpreadTheWord   #NoToPoaching

This Is Why We Love Kruger By Arno & Louise Meintjes

"We were sitting with a lion pride of 19 @ about 16h00, only us, no other cars.
 

They were relaxed and sleepy as the temperature was 44 degrees Celsius.

 All of a sudden everyone was sitting, staring down the river bed and that is when we saw the Black Rhino.

 The Black Rhino casually used his horn and feet and dug for water in the dry riverbed.

 He found water and spend a while drinking.

 As the Rhino was leaving, passing the lions, the lions all got up and sped to the freshly dug waterhole.

 All 19 lions had a very good drink of water.

 In a matter of 40 minutes we saw nature at it’s very very best with one animal supplying water from a dry riverbed to 20 animals in total."




Three Suspected Rhino Poachers Appear In The Skukuza Magistrate’s Court

Three suspected rhino poachers appeared in the Skukuza Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, a Sapa correspondent reported.

They would remain in custody until October 21, when they would apply for bail in the Kabokweni Magistrate's Court. They had not been asked to plead yet.

Mpumalanga police first arrested Edwin Mdluli, 23, and confiscated a bag containing two fresh rhino horns during a stop and search operation between KaNyamazane and Mbombela last Thursday.

 On Monday, police raided a house in KaNyamazane where they arrested Bheki Mdluli 36, and later Ralph Mlambo, 25.

 Skukuza police spokesman Warrant Officer Oubaas Coetzer said Edwin Mdluli was arrested when police stopped a Nissan single cab bakkie.

“There were five people inside. As it stopped four suspects got out and fled on foot. The driver of the bakkie remained inside and police conducted a search and found a rifle and 12 live rounds of ammunition wrapped in an overall,” he said.

 When police searched the vehicle further they found two rhino horns in a bag.

“Bheki Mdluli and Mlambo were also linked to the rhino poaching case and are believed to had been travelling together with Edwin when they were stopped. The two other suspects are still at large,” said Coetzer.

 Coetzer said the rhino was believed to have been poached in the Malalane section of Skukuza. He said Mlambo had previously been implicated in rhino poaching cases. The two rhino horns retrieved apparently matched a carcass found at Skukuza.

 By:
 South African Press Association

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

On Safari With Dean From 12 October 2013

12 October 2013

Today we picked up the clients at The Genesis Hotel and made our way to Nelspruit were we changed vehicles and headed towards Nkambeni Safari Camp.

Guests were then given time to have lunch and a rest before going on their first game drive.

We left camp at 15h30 and made our way down the Numbi gate tar getting good sightings of zebra, buffalo and impala. We turned down onto Napi road and got more sightings of buffalo, impala and kudu. We made our way around the Napi boulders and then onto Shithave dam getting waterbuck and impala.

Rhino sightings were also enjoyed thought the afternoon drive.

As it was getting late we made our way back to camp while on the way getting great sightings of more rhino, buffalo, sable antelope, impala, waterbuck and two hyena and there pups.

We returned to camp a bit late for the gate, but having experienced some great sightings.

13 October 2013

We left Nkambeni Safari Camp at 06h00 and made our way up the Numbi gate tar, getting good sightings of buffalo, hyena and kudu. We turned onto Napi Road and immediately got a good sighting of buffalo and Sable antelope. We made our way on getting more good sightings of elephant, impala, kudu, waterbuck, wildebeest and rhino.

Just after the Transport dam turnoff, we came across a clan of eight hyena laughing in the road trying to coax out the pups from the culvert. After having a good sighting and after pulling away, we got a call of a leopard sighting two kilometers from the Watergat junction, upon arrival we managed to get into a good position and enjoyed a good sighting.

While on the leopard sighting, we were told of some lions lying a couple of kilometres down the H 3. We made our way in that direction and were blessed to find a lioness together with her cubs lying next to the road. After the sighting, we made our way back in the direction of Skukuza for a break, before carrying on with another drive.

After our break, we made our way onto Elloff street taking a drive along the Sabie River, we got a good sighting of buffalo on Alpha loop.

We heard of a pride of lions lying next to the river further down towards the high water bridge, we made our way in that direction, and managed to get a gold sighting before the traffic built up.

We went on getting more good sightings of buffalo and elephant. The route taken after the lion sighting was over the high water bridge onto the link road and then down the Tshokwane tar back to Skukuza.

Sightings encountered on that portion of the drive was impala, kudu, elephant, baboon, lions, bushbuck.

Upon returning to Skukuza, we decided to carry on back down Napi Road to Pretoriuskop Camp for lunch, before returning to Nkambeni Safari Camp for a rest, before the guests left on the afternoon / evening Safari.

Sightings that were enjoyed by the guests this afternoon were elephant, kudu, buffalo, zebra, impala, rhino, waterbuck, sable antelope and warthog.

We returned back to camp at 15h00 for the guests to have their rest, before leaving on the next drive.

14 October 2013

On this day we left camp at 06h00am and travelled on the camp access road getting to groups of buffalo, elephant, impala and kudu.

We turned onto the Numbi Gate Tar getting four different groups of buffalo as well as hyena pups and their mothers 100m past Hendrick Pretorius grave. We carried on getting rhino as well as sable antelope 105km past the junction.

We decided to then take a drive to shithave dam getting hippo and waterbuck.

2.7km past shithave dam we spotted 10 lions who had just finished eating on a buffalo calf.
Five different rhino sightings were also enjoyed thought the morning after which we made our way out the Park gates and headed back to Johannesburg so guests could catch their flight to Cape Town.

Keep watching for more updates!

Four Suspected Poachers Arrested In KwaZulu-Natal

On Sunday 13 October 2013, at approximately 20:00, members from the Mbazwana police station received intelligence of suspected poachers in the area. Police traced the vehicle, a blue Mazda drifter Double cab and found four men in the vehicle.
 
After a thorough search of the vehicle a dismantled rifle was found underneath the vehicle next to the fuel tank. Four men, two of whom are from Mozambique, were arrested and will be charged for possession of an unlicensed firearm. The vehicle used by the suspects was confiscated by police. All four suspects appeared in the Ubombo Magistrate Court on Tuesday.

 The Provincial Commissioner for KwaZulu-Natal, Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni commended police for their vigilance. “Poaching at Game Reserves remains a concern for police and we will do everything that is within our control to bring the perpetrators to book. Detectives will establish if these men are linked to other cases of poaching in the province,” she said.

 By:
 South African Police Service

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Five Suspected Rhino Poachers In Police Custody

Five suspected rhino poachers have remained under police custody, after a second court appearance on Monday, at Lehurutshe Magistrate’s Court near Zeerust in the North West.
 
North West Hawks spokesperson Paul Ramaloko says the two foreigners and three South Africans are facing charges of conspiracy to commit rhino poaching, entering a game reserve without declaring a firearm, possession of unlicensed firearm and rounds of ammunition.

 Ramaloko says the case has been postponed for further police investigations and the five suspects will re-appear in court on October 16.

 This is a second case whereby suspects were arrested at Botsalano Game Reserve with the same charges.

 73 rhinos have been killed and dehorned in the North West province since the beginning of the year, while over 700 rhino have been killed and dehorned nationally.

 Meanwhile, a suspect who was arrested in connection with rhino poaching at KaNyamazane east of Nelspruit in Mpumalanga is also expected to appear in court.

 By:
 South African Broadcasting Corporation

Suspected Rhino Poacher To Appear In Court

A 22-year-old Mpumalanga man arrested in possession of two rhino horns is expected to appear in the KaNyamazane Magistrate's Court on Monday.
 
The suspect, from Hazyview, was arrested in possession of two fresh rhino horns during a stop and search operation in KaNyamazane outside Mbombela at around 23:30 on Thursday.

On Friday morning, the suspect accompanied police to the Kruger National Park, where he told them the rhino was killed.

Before heading to the Kruger, he told journalists and police officers that he had not killed the rhino, but had only driven his friends to the killing spot.

 "I'm not good in shooting; my friends who ran away are good at that. I only drive them there, carry their food to the site and then drive them back," said the suspected poacher.
 The poacher, who is a South African, said his four friends are also South African.

 Mpumalanga police spokesperson Gerald Sedibe the suspect was stopped with four others on the KaNyamazane road.

 He said when police stopped their bakkie, there were five men inside, but the four others ran and left the driver behind.

“The vehicle was searched and police found a rifle and two fresh rhino horns. Upon interrogation, the suspect confessed that they shot the rhino at the Kruger National Park at around 21:00 on Thursday evening.

 "After a fruitless search for the other suspects, police are appealing to the community of Hazyview, especially those from the Nyongane area where the suspects are believed to be from, to help. They must alert their nearest police station if they see them," said Sedibe.
 He said police would also establish if the bakkie was stolen.

 Sedibe said the suspect will appear in the KaNyamazane Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of possession of rhino horns and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
 Kruger National Park spokesperson William Mabasa confirmed a rhino was killed in the Kruger near the Malalane gate on Thursday.

 "Rangers discovered a fresh carcass; however there is no proof that those horns belong to the fresh one we found.

 "We must still do tests to determine if the horns which were found with the suspect at KaNyamazane are really those of the fresh carcass that we found,” said Mabasa.

 By:
 News24.com

Monday, October 14, 2013

Seven Poachers Arrested

In three successful joint anti-poaching operations between the South African Police Service and SANParks personnel into adjacent areas outside the Kruger National Park, a total of seven suspected rhino poachers were arrested.

A fresh rhino horn, two firearms and ammunition were recovered during the operation.


Issued by:
 South African National Parks

Poachers Arrested

On Friday, 11th October 2013, rangers in the Crocodile Bridge section of the Kruger National Park made contact with three suspected rhino poachers near Godleni Gate.
During the incident, one suspect was injured and arrested and the other two suspects managed to escape back to Mozambique.

One firearm, ammunition and an axe were recovered. Investigations are underway.


Issued by:
 South African National Parks


Friday, October 11, 2013

On Safari With Dean From The Afternoon of 7 October 2013

7 October 2013

Afternoon Drive:

At 15h00 we left camp and made our way down the Numbi Gate tar getting more good sightings of buffalo and zebra. Carrying on with our route we got good rhino sightings as well as hippo, waterbuck, kudu, impala and elephant.

We decided to take a drive to Mentzel dam where we got a pod of hippo's playing in the water. While still on the sighting we got a radio call from Mark letting us know that he had found a den of hyena pups, so we decided to take a look. We back tracked until we found the den on the main road, taking photos as the four pups and two females played around in the cool afternoon.

After this we made our way back to camp for the evening.

8 October 2013

Today after packing all the bags for our return trip to Johannesburg, we made our way out on our final game drive, making a turn at Shithave dam and the boulders loop getting more sightings of sable, elephant and buffalo together with lots of the antelope species.

At about 09h00 we departed the park in order to get back earlier to Johannesburg so guests could get connecting flights to Cape Town.

Feedback from guests is that they enjoyed themselves and would love to return for another safari.


Keep watching for the next update!

Cara Cara Mountain Biking Event Supports Anti-Poaching In Kruger National Park

The annual Cara Cara MTB (mountain biking) race was presented on 7 September 2013 at Ruby River Resort in the Groblersdal area near Loskop Dam.

The 7th anniversary of this race attracted 323 mountain bike cyclists who participated in respective categories of 10 km, 35 km, 70 km as well as a trail run over 10 km.

The Cara Cara MTB event refers to the red-fleshed navel oranges which are common to the area and can be distinguished by their rosy pinkish to deep red flesh, locally known as blood oranges. These medium sized navels have an exceptionally sweet flavour, are low in acid and were discovered at the Hacienda de Cara Cara in Venezuela in 1976 as a cross between varieties.

The organizers of the event are two Groblersdal residents who are passionate about their community; Andrew Collett and Ruperd Venter. Each year, the proceeds of the event are contributed to a meritorious case or individual who are in need.

The plight of our rhinos is currently a highly controversial matter and it was decided to contribute the proceeds of this event to SANParks Honorary Rangers of the Highveld Region in their support to the anti-poaching project in Kruger National Park.

The route of the race had a fair mix of long rolling hills through the picturesque Loskop Valley and the beautiful Ruby River Resort was an ideal venue for this family event. The cyclists were thrilled to contribute some of their energy and sweat in support of the war against rhino poaching and thereby contributing to our precious natural heritage.

For more information:
http://www.sanparksvolunteers.org/

By:
 SANParks Honorary Rangers

Thursday, October 10, 2013

On Safari With Dean From 6 October 2013

6 October 2013

We left Johannesburg after picking up guests at the Sandton Garden Court, Sandton Southern Sun and African Moon. We travelled through to the Kruger National Park and onto Nkambeni Safari Camp, where guests could have a rest and some lunch before leaving on their game drive.

We left camp at 15h00 and made our way down the Numbi gate tar, getting three sightings of buffalo herds as well as zebra, wildebeest and impala. We drove onto Napi Road and got great sightings of sable, buffalo, elephant, waterbuck and kudu. We then back tracked to Shabeni Koppies as a leopard had been spotted there the day before, but all we found was kudu, impala, baboon and buffalo there.

Rhino sightings were also experienced thought the afternoon.

We made our way back to camp arriving with only five minutes to spare.

7 October 2013

Today it was out early making our way down the Numbi gate tar getting more good sightings of buffalo, elephant, kudu and hyena. We turned onto the Napi road and made our way down to skukuza for a break.

Animals encountered on the route was another good sighting of sable antelope, rhino, elephant, buffalo, kudu, impala, giraffe and wildebeest.

After a tea break, we made our way onto Elloff street and took a drive along the river getting impala, kudu, buffalo and impala, before getting a call of a lion sighting on the Tshokwane tar.. We made our way in that direction. We turned onto the Tshokwane tar going down to the lion sighting and came across a leopard kill hanging in the tree. The impala had been killed that morning, but no leopard was found.

We made our way on getting to the lion sighting which had somewhat deteriorated to a point that the lions were hard to see lying on the opposite side of the sand river. After a while and after everybody had had a glimpse of the lions, we made our way back to Nkambeni Tented Camp for a lunch break and rest before going out again in the afternoon.

Keep watching For more!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Skukuza Airport To Close For Maintenance Purposes

Please note that the Skukuza Airport will close for maintenance purposes from 4 November 2013 to 13 December 2013. There will be no flights allowed into the airport during this time.

Alternative airports that can be used include Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport and Phalaborwa Airport.


Our apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Issued by:
South African National Parks

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

50 Years of Conservation Acknowledged

The South African National Parks Honorary Rangers was recently awarded a prestigious national conservation award by WESSA for its contribution to conservation in our National Parks.
The award was motivated as follows: “For their amazing voluntary contribution towards the conservation of all of our National Parks. For over 50 years these men and women have given freely of their time, expertise and resources to ensure the integrity and endurance of our Parks system.”

Accepting the award National Executive Committee Chairman Mr. Janssen Davies said; “I was delighted to receive this award on behalf of the 1 300 volunteer SANParks Honorary Rangers. Our members have worked with great dedication and commitment to conservation and SANParks and the National Parks system over the last 50 years.”

The Honorary Rangers has 33 regions all over South Africa from Cape Agulhas in the South to Thohoyandou in the North. They work in all 21 of our National Parks to assist the parks and promote nature conservation and public education. They provide ordinary South Africans from all walks of life the opportunity to help promote and conserve our natural heritage.

Members of the public are encouraged to join the organisation and can get more information on their website at http://www.sanparksvolunteers.org/

Issued by:
SANParks Honorary Rangers

Friday, October 4, 2013

Minister Welcomes The Arrest Of Poachers In Tshwane

The Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa, has commended police for the arrest of five alleged rhino poachers at the Rietvlei Nature Reserve in Tshwane on Monday night. http://bit.ly/19me91p

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Over 700 Rhino Killed So Far This Year In South Africa

The number of rhinos killed by poachers has hit a new annual record in South Africa, raising worries of a downward population spiral in a country that is home to almost all of Africa's rhinos.

As of the end of September, 704 rhinos had been killed by poachers in South Africa, exceeding the annual record of 668 set in 2012, according to data provided by the Environmental Affairs ministry on Tuesday.

If the trend keeps at its current pace, more than 1,000 rhinos would be killed in 2014, putting the species on the brink of a population decline that the ministry has said could lead to the end of wild rhinos in about a decade.

The greatest threat to the estimated 22,000 rhinos in South Africa comes from those trying to cash in on the black market value of their horn, which sells at prices higher than gold.

Many of the poachers come from neighboring Mozambique and sell the horn to crime syndicates to feed rapidly rising demand in Southeast Asia, where the horn is thought by some to cure cancer and tame hangovers.

"We need people to be ashamed of this. The fact that our rhinos are killed is because there is a market out there. There are people who are coming to steal our heritage," said Fundisile Mketeni, a top biodiversity official at the ministry.

He said a baby boom among rhino stocks is softening the blow, while the ministry has mounted a global campaign to shut the doors for illegal exports to places such as Vietnam, China and Thailand, which are the main consumers of the contraband.

Most of the killings are taking place in the flagship Kruger National Park, which borders Mozambique. The park covers an area about the size of Israel and has been the focus of an arms race between poachers and rangers.

The park service has been turning its rangers into soldiers, using drones to patrol airspace and sending out crack units by helicopter once suspected poachers have been sighted.

"The poaching syndicates are determined to carry on with their nefarious acts, using the poverty that is prevalent in Mozambique and South Africa to recruit poachers," said Ike Phaahla, a spokesman with South African National Parks.

Up until about 2010, only a handful of rhinos were poached but the number shot up when rumors circulated at about that time that a Vietnamese minister's relative was cured of cancer by the horn. There is no basis in science to support the claim.

 In traditional Chinese medicine, the horn was used to treat maladies from rheumatism to devil possession. Now, many newly rich Vietnamese consume it after a hard night of partying.

Rhino horn, once seen as a treatment only for royalty, is being swallowed by a small segment of the Vietnamese population who can afford prices of about $65,000 a kilogram, conservation groups say.

Due to the high costs, much of the so-called rhino horn sold at pharmacies in major cities is fake, with buffalo horn the main substitute.

"There is a small group who have the money for rhino horn. We need to get out scientific evidence to show the people of Vietnam that it doesn't work," Vo Tuan Nhan, vice chairman of the Vietnamese parliament's science and environment committee, told a seminar in Johannesburg last month.

By:
 Reuters News Agency

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

On Safari with Mark

29 September 2013

Route: Napi - Doispan - Albaseni - Nkambeni - Fiaya loop - Nkambeni

General animals seen:

Giraffe, warthog, impala, vervet monkeys, common duiker, waterbuck, kudu, zebra and hippo's

10 buffalo bulls on the camp road early this morning

Elephant bull eating  and while we were sitting watching him we had 4 rhino’s come across and graze right next to him. Great photos of two of the big 5 together.

Multiple sightings of elephant and buffalo throughout our drive today.

On our way back to camp we came across 2 male lions walking on albaseni heading towards the doispan junction.

On fiaya loop we had a sable bull in the drainage line grazing just a couple of meters off the road.

Great sightings of rhino on the afternoon drive.

On our return to camp we had 3 elephant bulls just outside of the camp entrance.

Hopefully weather clears up tomorrow and we can get some good cat sightings.

At the moment very cold and rainy

30 September 2013

Route: Voortrekker - S118 - little jock - H3 - Napi - Nkambeni

General animals seen today were:

Kudu, giraffe, zebra, warthog, waterbuck, common duiker, steenbok and hippos

Large herd of elephant just past the first historical sight on Voortrekker

Regular rhino sightings throughout the day.

Female leopard with a impala kill in a apple leaf tree 10m off the road. Spent 45mim with her and guest could get great photos

We got a honey badger 400m down boulders exit

3 Tsesabee just after shitlhave dam on napi road

No lions today but will try for them tomorrow.

Weather clearing up slowly but could be good tomorrow

1 October 2013

Route: Napi - tshokwane - H10 - Eloff

General sightings:

Giraffe,zebra,common duiker, steenbok, waterbuck, buffalo, chackma baboon, vervet monkey, bushbuck, kudu,sable, nyala, tsesabee, hippos and crocodiles

Female hyena feeding her two pups on the side of the road just after transport access road on napi

Huge herds of elephant on the H10

1 honey badger looking for something to eat on H10

1 male cheetah on H10 at molondozi turn off

1 lioness at lubeylubey bridge just lying on the rock enjoying the sun after the last two days of rain

Large herds of elephant on ellof crossing over to have a drink of water

Further to this napi was rather quiet all the way back to camp

Will try for a nice male lion tomorrow morning.

Keep watching for more updates!