Thursday, May 29, 2014

Seven Year Old Reaches Goal Of R 100 000 To Save The Rhinos

SANParks Rhino Champion Alyssa Carter, aged seven, handed over a cheque of R100 000 to the SANParks Honorary Rangers. Last year Alyssa was the winner of the Corporate Contribution... to Conservation Award (Individual) at the SANParks Kudu awards. These awards were in recognition of her efforts to raise money to save South Africa’s rhinos.

The cheque was handed over to Outgoing National Executive Committee Chairperson, Janssen Davies and Chairperson of Conservation Services, John Turner who thanked her for her service to conservation in South Africa’s national parks.

Alyssa raised a substantial portion of the money from selling chocolates, each with a hand-drawn picture of a rhino created by Alyssa. The remaining funds were donated by the Chairperson of Lowveld region, Grant Coleman, and the Table Mountain region of the SANParks Honorary Rangers which donated R46, 250 to her fund.

Her idea came about after her school class learnt about endangered animals and her teacher explained how rhinos were being killed. Her emotional response was so strong that she immediately wanted to do something to help save the rhinos, her favourite animal.

With the help of her parents Alyssa started making and selling chocolates in May 2013. The money she collects goes to support the SANParks Honorary Rangers in their fight to save the rhino.

Unlike many fundraising initiatives the SANParks Honorary Rangers utilise 100% of all money raised for the purpose for which they were donated. No public money is used to run activities and every cent donated by the public for counter poaching or other projects identified is used to fund the actual projects or counter poaching needs in our national parks. We are a registered public benefit and non-profit organisation.

The SANParks Honorary Rangers are the South African National Parks preferred channel for counter poaching support in our National Parks. They work directly with the counter poaching teams in the parks to provide crucial training and equipment.

The battle to save the rhino can also be supported outside the reserves when the kingpins are brought to book. Those with information can make use of the Tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or 32211; contact Crime Line where they will remain anonymous or their nearest police station with information.

Issued by:
SANParks Honorary Rangers



Arrest Of Former SANParks Ranger And Police Officials Welcomed

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa, the Hawks and SANParks have welcomed the arrest of a former SANParks field ranger and two SAPS members by South African National Parks (SANParks).

The arrest on Tuesday of the former SANParks field Sergeant and two police constables based at the Skukuza police station in the Kr...
uger National Park was the results of a joint intelligence-driven operation between the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks) and officials of the Kruger National Park.

Park rangers and the Endangered Species team of the Hawks were on their routine duties when they came across a black rhinoceros carcass in the Kruger National Park on Tuesday morning.

The team pulled a marked Skukuza police van over after receiving information. On searching the van, a person suspected of being a poacher, who was armed with a .375 hunting rifle and rounds of ammunition, was found. When the constables were asked about the man and the rifle, they could not give a satisfactory explanation and were arrested.

During the operation the rifle, ammunition, a silencer and poaching equipment was seized.

“The SANParks and SAPS officials who performed the arrests are congratulated for their outstanding work. The arrest sends a strong message that officials alleged to be involved in poaching will be arrested and face the full might of the law,” said Minister Molewa.

The Head of the Hawks in Mpumalanga, Major General Simon Mapyane, applauded the team under the stewardship of Colonel Johan Brits for work well done.

“Colonel Brits is going on pension this Friday, 30 May 2014, after serving the police for 39 years and eight days. He is leaving a mark and has handed the mantle to the team,” said General Mapyane.

“The suspects were tasked with the responsibility to patrol the streets around the park and to confront suspicious vehicles. It is clear that these members were doing the opposite,” added General Mapyane.

Both members are now facing charges of corruption and the person suspected of being a poacher is facing charges of being in the possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition. They will appear in the Skukuza Magistrates’ Court soon.

In another operation in the early hours of the 27 May 2014, rangers at Pretoriuskop made contact with a group of suspected poachers. During the incident, one of the suspects was fatally wounded and the remaining two managed to escape under the cover of darkness. Poaching equipment, a .458 hunting rifle and ammunition were recovered during the operation.

The Officer Commanding of the SANParks Rangers Corps, Major General (RET) Johan Jooste commended all the units that were involved in the arrests of the suspects. He added that the war was intensifying but the men and women in uniform were certainly up to the task.

“The incursions are now relentless and taking their toll on our resources, but we have men and women that are dedicated and fully committed to the cause, they are determined to win this war,” said Maj Gen (ret) Jooste.

These successes follow shortly after a very successful week of SANParks / SAPS operations both inside and outside the Kruger. Three foreign Chinese nationals were arrested in Gauteng on the 22nd May for possession and dealing in rhino horn, whilst six suspected poachers were arrested in the surrounding areas just outside the KNP and a further two arrested and two fatally wounded inside the KNP.

The Park has been under tremendous pressure from poachers, as it is home to over 80% of the global population of both white and black rhino that still roam in the wild. The animals are being illegally hunted for their horn, driven mainly by demand from South East Asia. Crime syndicates have been identified as the main culprits in recruiting those that kill the animals.

Since January 1, 2014, the Kruger National Park has lost 272 animals to poachers and 52 individuals have been arrested. A total of 419 rhino have been poached in South Africa so far this year.

Of the total number of rhino poached, 48 rhino have been killed in Limpopo, 41 in KwaZulu-Natal and 26 in North West. A total of 119 people have been arrested in connection with rhino poaching.

Maj Gen (ret) Jooste reminded South Africans that the battle will be won outside the reserves, when the kingpins are brought to book. He urged those with information to make use of the Tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or 32211; contact Crime Line where they will remain anonymous or their nearest police station with information. He also thanked his team for their commitment and dedication to the fight to save South Africa’s Natural heritage.

Issued by:
The Department of Environmental Affairs

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Leopard Close To A Hyena Den


South African National Parks congratulates Minister Edna Molewa

South African National Parks (SANParks), Board Chairman, Mr. Kuseni Dlamini has on behalf of SANParks Board of Directors, Executive Management and the entire staff expressed his heartfelt congratulations to the newly appointed minister of environmental affairs, Honorable Edna Molewa. “As the SANParks family we see the re-appointment... of the Minister Molewa as a well-deserved moment of recognition for past achievements and future goals.”

He said Minister Molewa’s continuous leadership has provided hope for the promotion of the conservation agenda in the country as well as in the international sphere. “We further see this as a move that will continue to open doors for many in the continent and the diaspora and we wish to acknowledge her contribution in this mammoth task."

“It therefore gives me a great pleasure to send our sincere gratitude and congratulations to the minister. We will do our bit in rallying behind Minister Molewa to go beyond the gains that has already been made particularly in the fight against the onslaught on our country’s fauna and flora by criminal elements.”

It is through your hard work that we are able to count so many achievements in this important area. However we take note that our work is not yet completed," concludes Dlamini.

Issued by:
South African National Parks Corporate Communications

Elephants Crossing The Road In KNP


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Latest Safari Photos

Hyena Pup
Elephant herd
Lions on a Giraffe kill
Cheetah's


For More Photos Follow the Link https://www.facebook.com/nhongosafaris Dont forget to "Like" us!!





SANParks Ranger Issued With Warning


A SANParks ranger has been issued with a final written warning after he fired shots in the air because an elephant was blocking the road.

 

Video footage of the incident was released to News24, after the incident was first reported in Beeld. 

 

According to Reynold Thakhuli, SANParks GM: Media Liaison & Stakeholder Relations, the ranger stated in a report filed following the incident that the animal had blocked the road and there were about 20 vehicles coming from both sides.

 

“He stepped out and consulted with some of the tourists who had no problem with him chasing the elephant off the road,” said Thakhuli. The ranger fired three shots, which managed to get the animal out of the road.

 

However, Thakhuli said, while SANParks’ policy allowed for the firing of shots, particularly if lives were in danger, the ranger had been issued with a warning. 

 

“The ranger in question has been issued with a final written warning as it is perceived his actions were unnecessary,” Thakhuli told Tourism Update.

Monday, May 26, 2014

On Safari With Dean From 19 May 2014


First off we would like to welcome Michelle and Justin Leegsma who are on their sixth safari with us. It is always a pleasure seeing this couple every year.

 

19 May 2014

We picked up Michelle and Justin at the Balalika hotel in Sandton and made our way out of Johannesburg to Nelspruit were we changed into one of the open safari vehicles and then made our way onto the Phabeni gate of the Kruger National Park. After gate check in procedures we made our way down getting good sightings of buffalo, impala, rhino, zebra and wildebeest. Upon arriving at skukuza, everybody checked in and enjoyed some good drinks on the deck, before having dinner.

 

20 May 2014

This morning we left camp at 06h00 and made our way down the Napi road and then onto the H3 to quagga pan looking for some of the cat species, with it been a bit quite we proceeded for about another five kilometres before turning back and making our way in the direction of the Skukuza golf club for breakfast. After enjoying a good breakfast we made our way up the Tshokwane tar to the picnic spot getting good sightings of elephant, numerous vultures as well as kudu, impala, zebra and wildebeest. After leaving the Tshokwane picnic spot, we got to hear of lions lying near the road north of maritime dam, we made our way in this direction and were not disappointed as we arrived in the final stages of three lions trying to take down a zebra, unfortunately they did not get it right and the zebra and lions made off in different directions. We got to hear of more lions further up the road, lying in the river line, and so we decided to go and find them. After a short ten minute drive, we arrived at the sighting with one male and four females lying sleeping. After a good sighting spent in the river line, we made our way back to the tar road when a message came in that cheetah had been spotted where we had passed earlier, we made our way back in that direction and found them walking from the river line towards the road. The two mature females crossed the road in front of the vehicle with one of the cubs coming across as well and another cub crossing further down the road. After this great sighting, we made our way onto Satara getting more impala, wildebeest, buffalo, elephant and baboon. A great meal was enjoyed at the mug and bean, before retiring to bed.

 

21 May 2014

Today it was out early again and we made our way down the notorious S100, this proved to be a quite morning with sightings of impala, kudu, wildebeest, buffalo, zebra and black backed jackal. We turned onto the H6 and were contacted by the Singita Lebombo lodge rangers, who informed us of a giraffe kill on the main Tshokwane - Satara road, we made our way in the direction and a while later stopped next to three lionesses eating a huge male giraffe. We enjoyed the sighting immensely, before turning around and making our way to camp for a late breakfast. After an enjoyable breakfast, we took a drive in the direction of Olifants camp, but with all the patch burning taking place this was abandoned on the opposite side of the Olifants river, and we returned back to camp for an early afternoon. Animals seen were impala, numerous vultures, elephant, wildebeest, baboon, hyena and black backed jackal.

 

22 May 2014

This morning it was out again at six o clock, in order to make our way back down south in order to meet more guests coming in on safari. We made our way back down to the Giraffe kill and were not disappointed again as we got to have a great sighting of three young females eating on the giraffe. As we moved away from the sighting, we encountered more lions lying about fifty meters from the carcass, after watching them for a while, we moved on and then about a hundred meters further down the road, we found more lions, this time two young males that had eaten themselves so full that they could not move.

 

After enjoying the sighting, we made our way further southwards encountering good sightings of buffalo, elephant, impala, zebra and kudu. We made our way down to Skukuza for a break, before travelling onto Numbi Gate to meet some new guests from Canada that were arriving on safari.

After the guests arrival, we made our way to Nkambeni Safari Lodge to check in, and enjoy lunch before departing on an afternoon game drive. The afternoon game drive took us up the Napi Road to Shithave Dam and then down the Voortrekker Road and then up to Manungu and Pretoriuskop kopies, ending at Mentsel Dam. Animals seen in the afternoon were elephant, rhino, impala,kudu and wildebeest. We returned to Nkambeni Safari Camp for a well-deserved dinner, before retiring to bed for a good rest.

 

 

23 May 2014

 

After enjoying an early breakfast we left camp and made our way down the Napi Road, getting good sightings of impala and kudu. We turned onto the Boulders loop and got eight wild dogs making their way up the loop to Napi Road. After turning around, we followed them for a while until they moved off the road and into the bush. We continued down the boulder loop which turned out to be quite, and then returned to Napi Road. The drive through to Skukuza was relatively quiet with a few sightings of impala, elephant, wildebeest and kudu. After a good break, it was off to Lower Sabie getting good sightings of hippo in the Sabie River, giraffe, impala, warthog, kudu and buffalo. Upon reaching Sunset Dam, we came upon a dead hippo floating in the dam with up to twelve crocodiles eating on it at times. This was a really enjoyed sighting with us spending almost half an hour there watching this unfold in front of us. We made our way to the camp of Lower Sabie for lunch and then it was back on the road in the direction of Skukuza camp and then onto Nkambeni Safari Lodge arriving back at about four thirty. Animals seen on the return journey were hippo, elephant, buffalo, rhino, impala, kudu, wildebeest, zebra, warthog and giraffe.

 

 

24 May 2014

 

Today was another early morning with Justin and Michelle being on there last drive before leaving us and returning to Toronto Canada, we made a turn at shithave dam, boulders loop and also went down a few kilometres on the Voortrekker road. The morning turned out to be quite, with just sighting of general game, before returning them to the Numbi Gate for their return transfer with Verity to Johannesburg International Airport. After Justin and Michelle had left for Johannesburg, we carried on with a game drive around circle road, getting elephant, rhino, impala and kudu. We made our way back to camp for lunch, after a good break, we left on an afternoon game drive getting good sightings of general game as well as a nice sighting of an elephant bull in Musth that gave us a bit of an eye while crossing the road.

 

 

25 May 2014

 

Today saw us packing the vehicle and enjoying an early breakfast before departing on Duncan and Vincent’s last game drive. We made our way down Napi Road, before turning onto the H3 down to Quagga Pan. Again it was a quite morning with only a very quick sighting of two male lions close to Shithave Dam. After reaching Quagga Pan, we turned around and made our way to the gate of the Kruger National Park for the return journey to Johannesburg. Upon returning to Johannesburg, Duncan and Vincent were dropped off at Sunrock Guesthouse. Feedback from the clients were that they enjoyed there safari, and would be returning with the girlfriends and family in the future.

 

 

 

More coming soon!!

 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Certificate Of Excellence 2014 Winner

Nhongo Safaris is the Certificate of Excellence 2014 Winner. We would like to thank everyone for their support in our family run business. We love what we do and it wouldn't be possible without all of your support. Thank you!!!




PoachersUpdate - SAPS APPREHENDS SUSPECTED POACHERS.

22 May 2014: SANParks today congratulated the SAPS who intercepted a group of suspected poachers who were on their way to the iconic Kruger National Park, possibly to illegally hunt rhino.

The suspect’s vehicle was spotted by the SAPS on the N4 who followed the car to the Malelane main gate and managed to stop it.

Four male suspects who were ...
in the car were arrested, a .303 hunting rifle, nine rounds of ammunition and poaching equipment was seized. The car in which they were driving in was also confiscated as it could help in further investigations. There is a strong suspicion that the group might be responsible for other poaching incidents in the KNP, including the rhino at Phabeni that was left alive after its horns were hacked off.

The four suspects are in custody while the police continue with their investigations.

In a separate incident, Crocodile Bridge Rangers made contact with a group of three suspected poachers earlier this morning. Two of the suspects were fatally wounded in the ensuing shootout and one managed to escape. A hunting rifle, a pair of horns and poaching equipment was seized.

The arrests bring to 57 the number of people arrested in connection with poaching this year, with the KNP having lost 266 animals

Enquiries: Ike Phaahla: Media Specialist, Tel:012 426 5315 Cell :083 673 6974 or Email: Isaac.phaahla@sanparks.org

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Poachers Update


Renewed call on Non-Profit Organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations and individuals involved in Rhino Projects and fundraising to provide details to Department of Environmental Affairs.

All Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs), Non-Governm...
ent Organisations (NGOs), businesses and individuals involved in fighting rhino poaching are requested to submit information about their work to the Department of Environmental Affairs by 30 June 2014.

The renewed call to organisations and individuals to provide details about their initiatives to the Department follows a registration drive launched in September 2013 during which 156 NGOs and NPOs registered their projects.

The initiative is one of numerous steps being taken to rid the sector of illegitimate and ill-intended operations in an effort to ensure that monies collected in the name of rhino poaching are utilised correctly.

The continuous concern by government and members of the public about the increase in rhino poaching has resulted in an increase in the number of private individuals and organisations becoming involved in the fight against rhino poaching. This has included raising public awareness; the collection of funds to fight the scourge of poaching within national, provincial and private game reserves in South Africa; and the development and implementation of projects relating to rhino conservation and safety and security.

Under the present system, NGOs and NPOs are required to register with government through the Department of Social Development. The failure of organisations or individuals to submit annual audited reports results in the de-registration of such bodies from the Social Development database, but some continue operating despite deregistration. The Department and rhino industry stakeholders have also expressed concern about the increase in illegitimate operations.

The total number of rhinos poached in South Africa since January 2014 has increased to 402, while number of people arrested for rhino poaching-related offences has climbed to 115.

The Kruger National Park continues to bear the brunt of rhino poaching in South Africa with 266 rhinos killed for their horns so far this year. Of the total number of rhinos poached, 41 rhinos have been killed in KwaZulu-Natal, 39 in Limpopo and 26 in North West.

All NPOs, NGOs, organisations and individuals involved in raising awareness or funding to address rhino poaching are requested to email the name of the organisation, contact details and full details relating to the project / initiative / intervention to Ms Olga Kumalo via e-mail: okumalo@environment.gov.za

South Africans are encouraged to report incidents of poaching and tip-offs to the anonymous tip-off lines 0800 205 005, 08600 10111 or Crime-Line on 32211.



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

On Safari With Mark From 16 May 2014


16 May 2014

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

General animals seen: impala, warthog, zebra, giraffe, buffalo, rhino, elephant, common Rheedbuck, hippos and waterbuck

Highlights:


On the morning drive we came across a serval cub 100m from napi on the Voortrekker link road. Sad to say, but it seemed it wasn't doing well and rejected by mom as it was all alone. We spent some time with it and although it was alone, it seemed it had sufficient energy to come strolling next to the car and investigate what we were all about. Guests got good photos of this small and amazing cat and once everyone was happy to see it we moved on with the game drive towards skukuza for a coffee break.

Further to this, the day’s game viewing was rather quiet and nothing else spectacular happened to report on.

We hope for a much better day tomorrow

 

17 May 2014

Route: Napi - Watergat - River road - Albaseni - Nkambeni

General animals seen: impala, waterbuck, hippos, warthog, common duiker, vervet monkeys, chackma baboons, zebra, giraffe, elephant and rhinos

Highlights: Although the day was very quiet for us, we managed to find a male cheetah walking on the road approximately 1kms from Doispan on the Albaseni. It seemed that he was starting a hunt as all focus was on a herd of impala in the distance. As he moved off, we lost visual due to the tall grass, however guests were pleased to have spotted their first cat on safari and have some amazing photos of this wonderful animal.

Tomorrow we try for Lions and Leopards.

 

18 May 2014

Route: Napi - H3 - Afsaal - H3 - Doispan - Albaseni - Nkambeni

General animals seen: impala, waterbuck, kudu, warthog, common duiker, giraffe, zebra, hippos, Nile crocodile, buffalo, elephant, rhino, vervet monkeys and chackma baboons.

Highlights: a large breeding herd of elephant was spotted on the H3 7kms from afsaal. Guests love watching this herd edge closer to the road, eventually being led by the bull in full musth across, where guests could get great photos of this herd together.

No cats spotted for us today.

 

19 May 2014

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

General animals seen: the same as above with the exception of steenbok and common Rheedbuck

Highlights: on Napi we found a sable bull and spent time with him as he contemplated the cross over the road. After a while he walked out in full view of all guests and we all got excellent photos.

Down the road we found a single male wild dog running down the road calling for the rest of the pack. We turned the car around and followed him as he searched. After a couple of minutes he turned off into thick bush and we lost sight of him.

Still down napi we found 3 male cheetah walking next to the road scent marking their territory. We also spent time with them enjoying the view and taking many different photos of these beautiful cats. Although still no lions all the guests enjoyed the sightings we had today.

 

More coming soon!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

On Safari With Karen From 14 May 2014


14 May 2014

Last night after dinner we did some stargazing, slightly hindered by the bright full moon. Amongst other we saw Mars and the Southern Cross before bedtime, to be woken up the next morning by a concert of howling hyenas, roaring lions and the climax of a pearl spotted owlet.

We drove out of Satara at daybreak, spotting a group of wildebeest right outside the gate. Trying to locate the lions we heard, but then suddenly were silent for a while already, we turned onto the S100. We didn't spot any lions however, but a hyena was walking in the road until it spotted the cars. It turned into the grass and when we got to the spot three seconds later it had completely disappeared. It was a rather quiet start with some more wildebeest, a small herd of buffalos, baboons, impalas and a couple of zebras far away.

We turned onto the S41 and arrived at a giraffe training centre. Or that is what it looked like. There were about thirteen giraffes, all practising their fighting moves in four different spots. While we watch for more than half an hour more giraffes kept on coming into the open spot, joining in those training fights. When we left most of them had a break and were feeding of the acacias.

We drove to the Guzman waterhole on the way spotting African hawk eagles, wooly necked storks, more wildebeest, waterbucks, plenty of Swainson's spurfowl, crested francolins and guineafowls. As we started to get a bit hungry we decided to go the same way back, which was shorter and we'd been driving quite slow.

On the way back though, there was a lot more activity. Shortly after being back on the road we spotted a black-backed jackal that had been lying in the shade and spooked by us got up and crossed the road in front of us. From a distance he kept on watching us, so we could snap some pictures. Then he walked to a different shady spot, turned on the spot and flopped down instantly hidden out of sight.

We saw plenty of zebra harems, a bull elephant, a daggaboy and a steenbok startled us by running away out of a bush right next to the road. At Nsasane causeway we spotted two youngish crocodiles going into the water and a third one, which was very little, was lying on the sandbank. On the other side of the causeway two hippos were resting with their heads above the water. Then we spend over an hour watching a large herd of elephants playing in the water until the matriarch let them to the opposite side to start feeding again. It looked like they were having so much fun we almost wanted to join in.

With stomachs grumbling we continued, but still stopped for 4 male ostrich, multiple zebra sightings and more wildebeest. Then we finally had our long overdue breakfast while the outdoor tables of the restaurant were burglarised by vervet monkeys, stealing the sugar sachets. All in all a very good morning, well worth a late breakfast!

In the afternoon we took it slow again down Satara road with a loop going past Girivana Dam and Nsemani Dam. We spotted lots of giraffes again, zebras, wildebeest, impalas, but also kudus and watebuck. At Girivana Dam two Burchell's starlings gave a load concert while watching zebras drink and a crocodile sunning himself.

We spotted our first white rhino! As it looked like it wanted to cross the road we waited patiently and silently behind a bush till all the other cars cleared off. Once silence had returned the rhino came closer and indeed crossed the road at ease right in front of our car, brilliant sighting! A little further on we stopped four giraffes feeding on the side of the road. While looking at the giraffes at the same spot more giraffes, zebras and warthog showed up and all crossed the road behind us too.

At Nsemani Dam we sat for a while watching the hippos wake up and play and a crocodile floated by. We returned to Satara very satisfied with today's sightings and there will be more to come!

 

15 May 2014

Today we moved from camp again and we started the drive from Satara to Nkambeni really well. Outside the gate we encountered a journey of 7 giraffes, some of which were looking very surprised to see us already. We then also saw two separate troops of baboons waking up, zebras, wildebeests, brown snake eagles, waterbucks, white-backed vulture, warthogs and a buffalo bull before we got to a sighting of three sub-adult male elephants play-fighting. The biggest one made sure the others knew he was the strongest by putting his head on theirs. While watching them play, deep in the bush, we heard an elephant having one hell of a tantrum. We didn't see anything as the bush was too thick, but judging by the amount and volume of the tantrum it was one very unhappy elephant!

Then a little further on we were surprised in by a big bull elephant in musth, walking in the road towards us while we were rounding the corner. We were getting out of his way while he stopped to check us out. And then decided to come straight for us. But a little persuasion by voice made him veer back into the bush, and he started feeding right next to the car. The people who had been standing on the opposite side of the road stopped next to us and informed us that instead of looking at the elephant in the road they were actually looking at four lions in the riverbed. We moved onto their spot and indeed: three females and a youngster were lying there watching us.

At Mazithi Dam we saw the hippos playing and before we got to Tshokwane for breakfast we also spotted a nice kudu bull, a hovering black-shouldered kite, two purple rollers and a tawny eagle.

After breakfast at Tshokwane it became more and more quiet, as our luck had run out. We stopped for lunch at Skukuza after a long stretch seeing just impalas, vervet monkeys and a small herd of elephants crossing the road.

A stop at Lake Panic bird hide added a crocodile, more  hippos, a goliath heron and other water birds to the list. Then we continued on Napi to Nkambeni seeing nothing until the Napi Boulders where an elephant bull stood drinking from a puddle. Just at the end we spotted a family of kudus.

 

16 May 2014

This morning we started after breakfast and we encountered a large herd of impalas. Slowly manoeuvring around them we continued our journey and spotted a white rhino in the drainage line just before the end of the dirt road. He was nice and relaxed so good photo opportunity even with the low sun.

While continuing on the tar road, I got a call about a serval cub not far away so we decided to go that way. We spotted the cub which was not looking too good. It was too young to be on its own. Unfortunately we didn't spot its mother and we learned later that it is probably abandoned or the mother had died as another guide had spotted the same cub around the same spot two days prior. So it was a lucky, cute and sad sighting all at the same time.

We continued on a very quiet Napi to visit Transport Dam. We heard from Mark he had seen hyenas there so we were on the lookout. Just before the dam we indeed spotted two young hyenas and their babysitter soaking some sun close to the road. When another car arrived they got up, whined a bit and moved off into the bush. Great sighting nonetheless! At Transport Dam the resident hippos were lounging in the water, we saw a waterbuck, a water monitor and various water birds.

Further on we spotted a large journey of giraffes with some nice young ones. The mothers were good in hiding them though, so it was sometimes a bit difficult to see them.

On the way we saw two more white rhinos walking on the road towards us. They turned off into the bush before coming too close and walked off. We also saw the serval cub again that was now stretched out in the sun to warm up.

After a break at Pretoriuskop we drove around circle road, where we could add more impalas and a hunting black-shouldered kite to our sightings list. We then drove back to Nkambeni to have a bit if free time.

In the afternoon the guests went on a sundowner drive. More on that tomorrow!

17 May 2014

The sundowner last night was another one with lots of luck. They had almost missed the sunset, but only because a leopard had slowed them down. So no complaints there. They had also multiple sightings of spotted eagle owl, a white rhino, a scrub hare and a buffalo.

This morning was the earliest start as all guests went on a bushwalk. They spotted a warthog and two white rhinos while on foot and six buffalo on the drive back to the lodge. They were tracked by a leopard while on foot as well. They had heard a kudu bark the alarm and didn't spot it but on their way back were shown the fresh tracks of the leopard coming toward the group, probably notice them and turn around.

To complete the day we went on a long afternoon drive. We drove down Napi to Skukuza spotting impalas, kudus, dwarf mongoose, a red crested korhaan, warthogs, nice male waterbuck and a striped kingfisher before we got to Transport Dam. There the zebras were grazing merely. Then a little further a big bull elephant was feeding close to the road and then later the gentle giant crossed the road in front of us close to the car. He wasn't bothered by us but a persistent forktailed drongo that came too close to his head got a headshake and swat with his trunk. And all good things come in threes, as a little further we had three adult giraffes, a youngster and a baby crossing in front of the car as well.

After a short lunch break at Skukuza we drove down Doispane and Albassini back to the lodge. We saw a nice bull elephant on the crossroads of Paul Kruger Road and Doispane. Then once again we were lucky in spotting giraffes, a young hyena washing himself outside his den and a small group of male buffalos shortly after each other. The impalas, cape glossy starlings, yellow-billed hornbills and all the grasses and trees kept us busy till we spotted an elephant passing by on the opposite side. We then had to wait a little for a leopard tortoise to cross the road, but his short legs could still carry him with quite some speed.

At Nyamundwa Dam we saw two impalas fight while the female impalas and wildebeests were grazing uninterested in the outcome. Down Albassini it started to get really quiet, but once again we were lucky in seeing four giraffes crossing the road in front of us. Then at Mestel Dam a small herd of buffalo just walked away and the hippos were starting to wake up. After that the animals went into hiding until we got to Nkambeni Lodge. All in all a good day!

 

18 May 2014

This morning was the coldest one of this week. Unfortunately it was also our last drive of this tour. We set out full of hopes of having some nice sightings before we would leave the park, but our luck had ended. We drove around Shabeni and Albassini, even visiting Shithave Dam before exiting. We spotted two kudus and a buffalo. It was a very nice kudu bull chasing a female kudu through the high grass while the buffalo looked on from his vantage point on Shabeni rock.

Then it was time to depart for the return journey to Nelspruit and then Johannesburg. Janneke and Dick het was een topweek! Dank jullie wel voor je gezelschap. And Dritta, Byrum, Lilly and Frank it was short but sweet. Thanks for all the laughs and the hugs, and hopefully you'll return to us!

 

Keep watching for more!

 

On Safari With Curtis from 12 May 2014


12 May 2014

The first day of a new tour and after having lunch in Nelspruit we entered Kruger through Phabeni gate. Immediately we found a 'Dagga' boy lying in the river bed and plenty of impala, zebra and wildebeest near to Nyamundwa dam. We carried on and found a solitary male giraffe as well as a male elephant near the side of the road. We also found warthog before turning onto Watergat. That road was fairly quiet with impala and zebra seen but we did stop and have a look at the numerous cape glossy starlings and the Red-billed hornbill at the side of the road. When we turned onto Napi we found a small herd of elephant crossing the road ranging in size from the large matriarch to a tiny baby probably no more than a year old. As we stopped to look at some hamerkop by the road I spotted a male waterbuck standing in the bush staring straight at us. We also found plenty more impala before we arrived at Nkambeni safari camp, our lodge for the next couple of nights.

 

13 May 2014

After leaving the lodge, this morning, we immediately came upon the resident impalas on camp road. We then made our way down Napi which to start with was fairly quiet until just past Shithave dam we found a male sable standing in the middle of the road, we made our way to the spot he had crossed and found him, just in the bush getting the opportunity to have a good look before he disappeared into the bush. Further along we spotted plenty of impala and kudu before we came to a small traffic jam where there were four hyenas by the side of the road, two females and two youngsters. The youngsters disappeared into the bush quickly but the adults were happy to relax and soak up the early morning sun and as we moved closer we got some great photos. After a quick detour for a possible lion sighting, which we missed, we headed to Skukuza for coffee, before we got there we saw warthogs, cape buffalo and a troupe of baboons.

After coffee we headed around the river finding more impala, baboons as well as vervet monkeys and hippos. We made our way to a second lion sighting we had heard about stopping at a lovely elephant sighting as a large family herd crossed the road both in front and behind our car. I then got a whiff of the not so nice aromatic smell of an elephant in musth and sure enough a minute or so later a large male crossed the road in front of us following the ladies down to the river. When we got to the lions they were unfortunately hidden very well in the tall grass, the male did pop his head up occasionally but the sighting was not very good. We waited for around 30 minutes at the sighting but with no luck so I decided we would go for lunch and then try our luck afterwards.

After our lunch break we found a journey of giraffe close to the road as well as zebra and impala before we came to the lion sighting again. This time they had moved closer to the road and we were able to get a very nice look at the female who also obliged us by popping her head up and staring at us. The male, however, stayed hidden, in the grass with only the top of his mane showing. As we made our way back along the river we came across more elephants as well as a flock of vultures who had been busy bathing and then dust bathing before holding their wings out to dry in the midday sun. We also found Southern ground hornbills and Pied kingfishers. We came across 4 separate sightings of white rhino, all very close to the road with two crossing the road in front of us as well as elephant, impala, kudu, warthog and waterbuck sightings.

 

14 May 2014

Today was the final day of this tour but we still had time to go for a short drive before we had to head back to Nelspruit. We took a drive around circle road as well as shabeni loop, unfortunately the morning started off very quiet as all we saw to start with was kudu and impala. We then spotted tree squirrel up on the rocks before finding a family group of klipspringers all watching out from their advantage point up on the top of the rocks. As we drove along Albasini we found more impala and a family group of warthogs who made sure they kept their distance from us.

Unfortunately it was then time to leave the Kruger and head back to Nelspruit where I said farewell to my three guests who are heading back home to the USA.

 

Keep watching for more!!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Shock As SANParks Discovers First Poached Elephant In Ten Years

The South African National Parks (SANParks) has announced the first confirmed elephant poaching incident in the Kruger National Park (KNP) in well over ten years. The incident occurred in the Pafuri region, in the northern part of the KNP.

According to SANParks Rangers Corp Officer Commanding, Major General (Ret) Johan Jooste, fo...
rensic evidence suggests that this elephant bull was purposefully shot for its tusks, which were hacked off and carried away by suspected poachers.

He said Rangers patrolling the area noticed footprints of approximately four individuals leading towards Mozambique leaving the park. “Upon further investigations, which involved backtracking, the rangers on patrol came upon the elephant carcass.”

Jooste said ballistic evidence found at the scene confirmed that the animal was shot. Investigations are currently underway.

The Acting Chief Executive Officer, Abe Sibiya, said that given the situation in the rest of the continent in relation to rampant poaching of elephants, we have known that it was a matter of time before South Africa got targeted as well. Though our focus has been largely on curbing rhino poaching we have also been preparing ourselves to fight the poaching of elephants as well.

“We are saddened by this latest incident but are confident that the dedication and efforts of our rangers and our partners in the security sector will eventually prevail over this malady”, said Sibiya.

Issued by:
South African National Parks Corporate Communications

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Rhino Poaching Update

South Africa and Mozambique have identified a number of projects to assist with the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of Biodiversity Conservation and Management signed on 17 April 2014.

http://bit.ly/1ot5ZLm






Wednesday, May 14, 2014

On Safari With Karen from 12 May 2014


12 May 2014

Today was our first day. We entered the KNP through Phabeni Gate and took a slow drive on Doispane. We spotted our first animals quite quickly: red-billed hornbills, followed by a lot of other birds of the KNP. Close to Nyamundwa Dam we saw our first mammals. A large herd of impalas was hanging out with three wildebeest. Or the other way around, we weren't sure. Either way, it was nice seeing these two species grazing together.

At Nyamundwa Dam we looked at a whitebreasted commorant sinking in the water, displaying why it's called a "snake neck bird" in Afrikaans. On the opposite shore was a crocodile sunning himself and at the far side we spotted some ears and nostrils belonging to hippos.

We continued our drive along Doispane seeing a nice big bull elephant feeding from a nearby bush and we encountered a lot more impalas. A small herd of zebras was grazing on the side of the road, with a mother shielding her tiny young from view. Then we stopped at a spot where another car stood and were amazed to see a young hyena and her babysitter out in the sun. The babysitter was clearly enjoying the bask outside as the youngster was intrigued by the cars but too scared to come close. It was a lovely sighting!

We turned off Doispane onto Watergat where we spotted more impalas, zebras, dwarf mongoose, kudus and various birds like yellow-billed hornbill, magpie shrike and Cape glossy starlings.

Back on the tar we followed Napi to Skukuza, our camp for this night. A large herd of elephants was feeding at Mathekanyan. We followed them for a while until they disappeared in the bush. Just before Skukuza we were surprised by a small troop of baboons with a tiny baby. The Mum was protecting it well, as she looked only a couple of days old the baby was still very uncoordinated.

We arrived at Skukuza after a very good start of this tour! Let's see what tomorrow brings.

 

13 May 2014

Last night we saw vervet monkeys on our way to dinner as well as all around our huts this morning so we were off at a good start. We had also heard bush babies, hyenas calling as well as hippos overnight.

We drove down to Mathekanyan to watch the sunrise. Being the only car at the viewpoint we enjoyed the silence, the sound of various birds and the sunrise. While looking at giraffes through binoculars, the territorial call of a leopard nearby told us to get back into the car. It sounded quite close, but he didn't come to the top. We followed the direction of the sound while the leopard was calling again and again, but it only moved further away into the bush without us seeing the leopard.

We continued our drive down the H3, where we just saw the tail of a lioness disappear into the bush. We waited a while to see if she came out again but no such luck. While others were more patient we continued to have a leopard crossing the road just in front of us a little further down the road. Her playful cub shortly followed, catching us by surprise. He was very energetic and kept on jumping up out of the bushes so we saw them walking by. Following them from open spot to open spot in reverse, we had a great sighting of the playful cub and his purposefully ignoring him Mum.

We turned into S112 and briefly had stopped at some elephants feeding in the thick bush, when another guide came driving past saying the lions were out again. We turned around and this time passed the place where the leopards apparently were still occasionally showing themselves but not at the moment, so we saw a glimpse of a lioness through the bushes. While looking at her through binoculars she got up and moved behind another bush. We didn't see her back after that.

We decided to continue to the Skukuza Golfclub where we would have breakfast. On the way we also spotted kudus, a giant kingfisher, a grey headed bushshrike, a male bushbuck, a nyala and a Burchell's coucal. At the Golfclub the hippos were snoozing in the water and a couple of warthogs were grazing on the other side.

After breakfast we continued our game drive on the tar road towards Satara, passing the Sabie and Sand Rivers via low level bridge. We spotted two female bushbucks, had a nice hippo pop out of the river close to the bridge, some bateleurs and a giant cloud of marabou storks that took flight. Two white-fronted bee eaters were having a very loud squabble with two pied kingfishers about who was allowed to sit on a particular reed stalk and two Egyptian geese were having an even louder argument on their own about... who knows what!

On the tar road to Tshokwane we were lucky to see many animals: a fish eagle, lots of white backed vultures and two marabou storks bathing, plenty of flying bateleurs, two single male giraffes, a lone buffalo bull lying on the side of the river, kudus with a nice adult bull, a herd of female waterbucks and all that before we got to the Kruger Tablets. We were told about possible lions mating at this location so we waited around. Another guide had told us about the general location of the lions lying in the grass so we were guessing a bit until the male lion got up. He looked at the four vehicles standing, walked two paces, got us all excited and then... flipped sideways and went back to sleep. We waited for another 30min, but except for a slight head raise there was no more movement. The female...eish, we never saw a glimpse so who knows. If we have to wait for cubs from this pair, I think we are wasting our time as this male was either too lazy or definitely not in the mood.

Continuing to Tshokwane for a lunch break we spotted an elephant bull, zebras with impalas and giraffes all in one spot, plenty of lilac breasted rollers, cape glossy starlings and other birds, a hairy caterpillar and a steenbok that shot across the road.

After lunch we continued on the tar road to Satara, where the plots were already burned so it smelled of a large campfire. We spotted a lot of general game along the way and had a head to head with a large troop of baboons. Suddenly we are waved down by two cars standing on the opposite side of the road. Just before we get to a standstill a lioness comes out of the bush and crosses the road in front of us. Unprepared we watched without taking pictures, but then two more lionesses follow. They stand still in the road as if to pose, pass behind the other cars and then disappear into the wavy lion-yellow grass. 5 seconds later and we would have missed it all. The people in the other car told us there were six, in close succession, so we were very lucky!! And we got pictures to prove it too!

On the way we stopped at Mazithi Dam and Kumana Dam, looking at wooly necked storks and plenty other water birds, hippos half out of the water, a sunning crocodile, terrapins, and palm trees at the Sweni. We visited the southernmost baobab tree and continued to spot some wildebeest, loads more giraffes, plenty of zebras, another troop of baboons, a disappearing herd of elephants, golden orb spiders, whitebacked vultures drying up after a bath, a steenbok that stood still long enough for a photo, kudus, dwarf mongoose, and warthogs. We ended today with a lovely large elephant bull skimming off the water close to Satara, our camp for tonight.

 

Photos and more coming soon!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Poachers Update

Nwanetsi Rangers made contact with 2 suspected rhino poachers on 10 May 2014. During contact, both suspects were arrested. A .416 hunting rifle, ammo and equipment were recovered during the incident. On 11 May 2014, rangers made another contact with a group of 3 suspected rhino poachers. 1 suspect was wounded and arrested and the other 2 managed to escape arrest. A .458 rifle and ammo were recovered. The 2 suspects are currently being tracked towards Mozambique.




Friday, May 9, 2014

On Safari With Mark From 5 May 2014


5 May 2014

Route: Skukuza - Elloff - Lower Sabi - Elloff -

General animals seen: impala, kudu, giraffe, hippos, crocodile, buffalo, elephant

Highlights: on our drive to lower sabi we found two wild dogs that had just killed a impala. They enjoyed themselves and we could literally see their stomachs swell as they devoured the antelope. The guests loved it and brilliant photos were taken.

For the afternoon drive it was really quiet with very little seen.

Hope to get some Lions out close to the road on our route to Satara.


6 May 2014

Route: Skukuza - Tshokwane tar - Satara - Orpen gate road

General animals seen: impala, kudu, warthog, giraffe, waterbuck, hippos, elephants

Highlights: On route to Satara we stopped at the baobab tree, which guests loved to see and took photos of Africa's largest tree.

Before we booked in we decided to head down the Orpen gate road for the first 5km and found 3 wild dogs lying in the open. We then moved on and opposite Nsemani dam we found a male and female lion on honeymoon. As we switched off the car, the female got up with the male right behind her and walked out onto the road right past our car. Guests loved it and many photos were taken. Some out of focus as the lions were too close to the vehicle. Great sighting anyway 


Keep watching for more!






Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tour Opetators


Everyone Hopes For A Perfect Trip...


On Safari With Mark From 2 May 2014


2 May 2014

Route: Albaseni - shabeni koppies - pretoriuskop - fiaya loop - Nkambeni

General Sightings: impala, kudu, waterbuck, buffalo, common duiker, hippos, giraffe and elephant

Highlights: Although animal sightings have been rather quiet for the day. We had some special sightings of giraffe crossing the road in front of us as well as some beautiful old buffalo bulls approximately 3m from our vehicle. Very relaxed just grazing on the short grass next to the road.  As we have many days left on safari, this was a good start and all guests are relaxed and enjoying what pops out in front of them.

Sightings could improve in the near future as school holidays are coming to an end and traffic volumes decrease. We wait and see what tomorrow has on offer.

 

3 May 2014

Route: Voortrekker - H3 - Bergendal - H3 - Napi - Nkambeni

General sightings: impala, warthog, zebra, giraffe, buffalo, rhino, waterbuck, common duiker, hippos, kudu, klipspringer, chackma baboons and vervet monkeys.

Highlights: Curtis called me and informed me of the 9 wild dogs spotted on the road to Pretoriuskop. We responded and found them all lying together. A brilliant sighting as the pups got up and started playing and all our guests could get great action shots.

Although there was a lot of traffic, we had general game sightings throughout the day.

On our way back to Nkambeni, we headed down napi and approximately 2kms from transport we had the  privilege of a male leopard popping out and onto the road as he walked next to our car sniffing. We stayed with him for approximately 20min then decided to leave and go onto camp.


All guests happy with how the day transpired.

 

4 May 2014

Route: albaseni - doispan - napi - Kruger gate road - skakuza

General sightings: same as day before


Highlights: On our drive this morning we came across a male and female lion lying 10m from the car. Lots of Shade in the area and therefore believe they will stay there the entire day.

Further down the road we found an impala kill hanging in the tree, but unfortunately no leopard with it in the tree.

We have decided to take a break and enjoy some rest for the afternoon. With guests able to spend time overlooking the sabie river, this safari is enjoyed by all.

 

More coming soon!

Monday, May 5, 2014

On Safari With Curtis From 29 April 2014


29 April 2014

The first day of the tour and after picking up my new guests, we drove down to Numbi gate. When we got there we only had a couple of hours before closing time so we did a quick loop around Albasini, Shabeni link and Shabeni loop. At Mestel the resident Hippos were in the water occasionally calling out and moving about, however most of our attention was on the other side of the dam where we had a solitary male elephant standing a couple of metres from the waters edge. I did think he might go for a cooling swim, in the heat of the day, but alas he was more interested in the succulent reeds. We also saw Reed cormorants and an African fish eagle at the dam. As we moved on we came across a herd of Cape buffalo, I could hear plenty of rustling and noise around us but the thick bush stopped us seeing much of the herd, we did see about ten of them close by. As we carried on driving we also Impala and waterbuck in the bush and then Vervet monkey' and Klipspringer both on the lookout on top of a rocky view point. As we reached Numbi tar we had a bit of time to spare and so I decided to take a quick look around a small loop, as we drove down the road we found a traffic jam and the cause was a male lion. As we watched him relaxing a second male got up and they then both walked past the vehicle. Time was pushing on and so we had to head down to our lodge for the night.

A great start to the new tour and hopefully plenty more tomorrow!!!

 

30 April 2014

As we left the camp we immediately came upon impala and giraffe standing in the middle of the road, we found two more giraffe a little further down the road. We decided to take a look around Shabeni loop this morning, as I thought the lions we saw yesterday might make their way to the rocks. We were in luck as they were both there and each took turns to get up and walk around. One of them even gave us an extra reward as he started to roar.

Continuing on we came upon four white rhino by the edge of the road, with so many cars around the sighting they were a bit edgy but we waited patiently and all four crossed the road in front of us. As we drove on we found impala, kudu, warthog and giraffe along the road as well as more elephant. We had a break at Skukuza before setting off again and we came across a herd, or maybe two, of elephants. At least 35 animals at the sighting and we again turned off the engine and waited for them to come closer. We were lucky that once again they obliged and we had some wonderful views as they crossed the road around us.

After lunch at the golf club I stopped off at Lake Panic where the guests saw hippo, crocodile, terrapins and Nyala. On the way back to the lodge we were rewarded again with another wonderful sighting of an elephant herd. They again crossed the road in front of us although one female along with a youngster was too busy eating to bother crossing the road and they wandered right up to our vehicle and gave a great opportunity for us to get some great photos. As we carried on we found more impala, vervet monkeys, baboons and warthog before we turned onto Albasini where we found a Side striped jackal standing by the edge of the road. We also saw Leopard tortoises, tawny eagle, an Bateleur, Lilac-breasted rollers as well as white-backed vultures.

 

1 May 2014

Another day and our first animal was again the resident impalas near the lodge gate, we also had a brief glimpse of a common duiker before he scuttled off into the bush. Today we headed down Voortrekker where straight away came across a large male giraffe and large male elephant. Although the road was quiet at times we again had many sightings of elephants along the way, both herds and bachelor groups of males as well as impala and a very nice buffalo resting in the shade.
After a break at Afsaal we headed along the H3 and Napi where we saw more elephants, hippo, waterbuck, impala and kudu. With the hot sun beaming down the Leopard tortoises seemed to be out in force as well as the terrapins sunbathing at Shitlave dam. A quick look around Shabeni and we saw a couple of dagga boys as well as three klipspringers.

 

This afternoon was quiet to begin with as we found impala and kudu then while driving around Faye loop we found a solitary buffalo having a cooling soak in a drainage line and as we drove on one of the guests spotted an African wild dog. They weren't too far in the bush but with the long grass it was hard to see them. We waited for a while and eventually a couple of them popped their heads up and now and again got up and walked around. We saw three at the sighting but I'm sure there were a few more in the grass. We carried on and found a family of dwarf mongooses hanging around on the edge of the road. We then found a nice herd of elephants just by Numbi road.

 

 

2 May 2014

 

An early start as for four of my guests it was the last morning of their safari. We headed down Albasini and found impala and kudu but not much else when as we approached the Shabeni link road a pack of eight wild dog came trotting down the road, they turned into the link road and we followed. We were able to follow behind them for quite a while before they moved into the bush. We set about trying to find them when suddenly we saw an impala leap right over the width of the road with 3-4 dogs in pursuit. They didn't manage to catch the impala as they soon regrouped on the road before heading back into the bush for good. We then took a drive around Shabeni loop which was quiet with just a couple of kudu, impala and klipspringer on it. Unfortunately it was then time to say goodbye to Martin, Petra, Sarah and Jasmine who are continuing their adventures around South Africa. It has been a pleasure having you on the tour and I'm sure you will have many more adventures to go with the ones we had in the last four days.

 

Myself, Leo and Patricia then carried on the drive and we found giraffe, zebra, hippo, a nice herd of buffalo close to the road, Vervet monkey' impala and kudu before heading back to the lodge for lunch.


In the afternoon we found three white rhinos deep in the bush, they seemed to be heading our way and so we reversed a little, to give them space, and waited. They moved closer to us and eventually came out of the bushes and walked across the road right in front of us. We also found a journey of giraffe although we only had a good look at one as the others were hiding behind their favourite Acacia trees. We also saw a couple of elephants, impala, kudu and marsh terrapins relaxing in the afternoon sun.

 

3 May 2014

 

This morning Kruger was a blanket of fog with visibility just a few metres but this didn't stop us from having a good start. We found the local territorial white rhino male resting in his favourite drainage line and got some good photos to start the day off. Then we noticed the spoor of the wild dog and after following them for a few minutes found the whole pack resting in the road. After staying with the dogs for a while we moved on. The morning can be summed up as missed opportunities as we missed leopard, by just a few seconds, on four separate occasions and we also just missed a lion sighting. However sometimes this happens and we kept preserving and were rewarded when we found two male lions sleeping in the bush. They were only about 8 metres from the road but with the tall grass we couldn't see much. They however were kind enough to pop their heads up now and again and one eventually got up and walked a short distance before collapsing back to the ground. This gave us all enough time to get some good photos.

Despite the disappointment of missed chances we did see many other animals throughout the day including plenty of elephants, waterbuck, giraffe, warthog, kudu, zebra, wildebeest, impala, klipspringer, steenbok and tree squirrels.

 

 

4 May 2014

 

It was the last day of this tour and after yesterdays disappointment of missing all those leopards we were hoping for a bit better luck. We only had a few hours before we had to get to the shuttle so we headed around circle road and Manungu koppies where we found plenty of elephants, and a beautiful male kudu walking down the road towards us. We then moved onto Shabeni loop and found impala before as we turned around a bend found a leopard quickly walking over the road. I anticipated him coming back out onto the road just on the other side of the loop and we positioned our car just in case he came out on the road again. We waited for a couple of minutes and then he appeared, he hung around, sniffing the area, before crossing the road. We followed to the place he had crossed and found him just by the road and were able to watch as he sniffed, looked and then slowly moved into the bush. We only had a look at him for a couple of minutes but the guests still managed to get some really good clear photos of him. After all the close misses of yesterday we were all ecstatic about this lovely sighting.

We only had a short while left so we headed down Albasini and Nyamundwa dam where we saw impala, zebra, giraffe, hippo and warthog. It was then time to leave the Kruger and head for the transfer. It has been a pleasure having Leo and Patricia on tour and I know they have loved all the wonderful sightings we got over the last few days, hopefully we will see you again in South Africa one day!!!

 

More coming soon!!