Friday, January 30, 2015

On Safari with Robbie: 29 January 2015

29 January 2015

This morning was rather quiet but thoroughly enjoyable as we added nyala, bushbuck, wildebeest, waterbuck and baboons to our mammals list whilst our birding list topped 50!

The nyala was most impressive as there was 5 bulls together close to the road. We observed the baboon troop for 45 minutes as they gathered fruits off the sycamore fig tree and played their various games.

What made this afternoon drive so amazing was the patience of my guests! It took us an hour and a half to find our first sighting which was a lone elephant bull. From then on it was pure magic. We got 5 species of kingfishers including the pygmy which is a rarity in itself!

A troop of vervet monkeys were over indulging on a feast of marula fruit which was hilarious to watch.  Buffalo, giraffe and zebras were suddenly everywhere and a rhino pair popped out of nowhere.

The cheetah cat which we were looking for all day was found in Spectacular fashion dragging its fresh impala kill to the safety of the thick bush!

The best was yet to come with an African rock python the length of the road sunning itself no worries style, suddenly when another vehicle arrived it changed direction in mid air then disappeared into a nearby acacia tree. Not often are these large snakes seen never mind at full speed! What an incredible day!!


Thursday, January 29, 2015

On Safari With Robbie: 28 January 2015

28 January 2015

We started off this morning in a temperature drop of 19 degrees compared to yesterday which was quite something!

Our early 5am departure from camp was rewarded with a great sighting of 5 lionesses and 1 large male on the move. A little later we picked up some wonderful kudu bulls close to the road.

The moderate temperature caused animal movement and we had brilliant visuals of buffalo, white rhino, elephant and 2 large herds of zebra. At the hyena den we spotted 5 youngsters who had a giraffe vertebrae, which they were busy fighting over next to the road whilst mom and other adults watched patiently.

After breakfast we were again in luck to see a huge male leopard lazing up in a marula tree where visuals were excellent!

Our guests with us for just 1 night could not believe they had seen the big 5 in such a short time. Bird sightings were great with a total of 41 species spotted.

This afternoon was full of great individual bull elephants as well as 2 white rhino bulls exceptionally close to us!

We waited patently to see if the bush telegraph reports of newly born lion cubs was true but all we saw was a very anxious and tired looking mom!  We will follow up on this in the morning.


Kudu and impalas greeted us in abundance on route to camp whilst a huge approaching storm brought out the bushes smaller animals in the form of tortoises and chameleons to say hi to us.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

On Safari With Robbie: 27 January 2015

27 January 2015

We entered the park today on one of the hottest and humid days in a long time (38 degrees, 70% humidity) on the way to camp we came across a nice breeding herd of elephants and a rather flustered heat stricken giraffe. 

The afternoon drive was not too bad considering the conditions. A memorable sighting as well as an unusual event was a lone hippo bull chasing every single buffalo away that came near to drink at shithave dam. This carried on for quite a while until the huge herd avoided their drinking spot. (maybe this is the first signs of a drought?). Furthermore we saw excellent white rhino and elephant bull sightings as well as close up zebra, giraffe, kudu and impala.

The sky coloration and the hopefully approaching storm made the drive that much more interesting.

Monday, January 26, 2015

On safari With Karen: 25 January 2015

25 January 2015 

As it was our last day of our safari we once again set of early. However, compared to yesterday it was a rather quiet morning. Our first highlight was a waterbuck. Even though the animals were scared this morning, we still managed to find something new. 

After breakfast we set of slowly towards the gate, when we ran into a herd of elephants. Their baby was smaller than the tall grass so we only noticed it when they walked out in the road in front of us. One of the elephants must have been in heat as they were closely followed by a large bull in must. He kept an eye on his herd and when they moved so did he. But when we moved he thought we wanted to take a chance with his girls. He let us know he was the right bull for them and we had to firmly tell him that we were humans with no interest in his ladies so he should leave us in peace. Twice! But then it finally dawned on him. Or the ladies had moved away again and he needed to keep close to them. So with one eye on us and one on the girls, he moved away and the road was once again clear for us to continue.

Other animals seen: elephant bull, black-bellied bustard, lilac-breasted roller, buffalos, tree squirrels eating marula nuts, giraffes, impalas, a warthog, red-collared widowbirds, pintailed whydah, a slender mongoose and kudus.

On safari With Karen: 24 January 2015

24 January 2015 

Today we went on a full day safari when our first highlight was a stand off between a large pack of wild dogs and some adult hyenas. It was close to the hyena den and the youngsters were hiding. By the looks of it the wild dogs just stumbled on the hyenas when they were looking for prey. The show was amazing as the hyenas were vocalizing all sounds and the wild dogs were actually chasing one hyena across the road with the tail between the legs. Even better was that it all happened in front of us! It only ended when the wild dogs' alpha returned and moved the pack away. The hyenas were then all greeting and congratulating each other before dispersing again.

Our second highlight of today was a family of vervet monkeys that was playing around. The youngsters, still blackish, had found a branch that was perfect for jumping on and then it would bend double because of their weight but springy enough to stand up straight for the next one to jump on. And they kept on jumping and jumping. Sometimes missing the branch ***giggle*** or fall off ***snigger*** or got caught by a flying monkey that jumped straight after ***lol***. It was so much fun that even the older ones engaged in the play and soon the whole family was rolling around, pushing each other off a fallen branch and two were even shadow boxing! We had so much fun watching them we didn't mind at all we were late for breakfast grin emoticon.

Other animals seen: multiple white rhinos, a second pack of wild dogs, only two impalas before breakfast (but the rest of the day made up for them), giraffes, lions crossing the road, kudus, bushbucks, a leopard snoozing, steenboks, a herd of elephants, buffalo mud wallowing, crocodile, hippos, a chameleon pretending to be a leaf, warthogs, common grey duiker, a black mamba having a stand-off with dwarf mongoose, and hyena pups.

The birds list includes carmine and white-fronted bee eaters, European rollers, southern masked weavers, african jacanas, black storks, bateleurs, white-faced ducks, white-backed and hooded vultures, white storks, Dideric's cuckoo, jacobin cuckoo, red-collared widowbird and guineafowls.

On Safari With Karen: 23 January 2015

23 January 2015

On this new safari the guests arrived at Pretoriuskop Camp to go straight on their sundowner safari. They saw vervet monkeys, kudu, a leopard chilling in the shade, a sable crossing swiftly, a young bull elephant and giraffes far away.

Friday, January 23, 2015

On Safari With Mark: 22 January 2015

22 January 2015

Today has been a real rhino day, with the first sighting of these incredible animals, a mere 20m from the guests on a bushwalk, enjoying an early morning graze.

Throughout the day we found many sightings of these and guests were extremely happy as this is one animal they came to Kruger to see.


Additional animals seen were: Impala, giraffe, zebra, kudu, warterbuck, common diuker, steenbok, elephants, warthogs, Chackma baboons and hippos.

Minister Edna Molewa highlights progress in the war against poaching and plans for 2015

The Minister of Environmental Affairs, Mrs Edna Molewa, reported back on progress with regards to the integrated strategic management of rhinoceros in South Africa at a media briefing on Thursday, 22 January 2015. Follow the link to view https://www.environment.gov.za/mediarelease/molewa_waragainstpoaching2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

On Safari With Curtis: 21 January 2015

21 January 2015 

This morning was the last day of this tour. After a great few days the guests needed a bit of a break so we had a relaxed start. Getting up late, having breakfast and going out for a shorter drive.

Even on a short drive you can have some great sightings and the highlight of this one was finding wild dogs. Following a tip off we headed down to them and found them just a few meters from the road. The dogs were in no mood for anything strenuous as only occasionally did they get up and moved a few feet before popping back down. However seeing such an endangered animal is always something special and my guests really appreciated how lucky they were.

It also completed the super seven for this tour!!!

We also found lots of previously seen general game as well as buffalo, elephant and a previously unseen Spekes hinged tortoise.

On Safari With Mark: 21 January 2015

21 January 2015 

First highlight for the day, had to be the 3 leopard Cubs we found lying on the flat rock near Pretoriuskop. This was my first sighting of them since Nov 2014, when initially spotted by Curtis and Karen. Great to see how well they have grown and stunning little ones they are.

Second highlight had to be the 2 male lions we found lying in the shade on Marola loop. This an hour before my original guests were leaving by aircraft back to JHB. Great photos taken by everybody.

Other animals: Impala, elephant, rhino, kudu, blue wildebeest, steenbok, common duiker, hippos, warthog, giraffe and zebra.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

On Safari With Curtis: 20 January 2015

20 January 2015

After the success of last nights sunset drive this morning we made our way straight to where the leopard cubs were spotted in the hope that we might find them again.

We were in luck as we found the two of them high up in the tree. Being the only car we were spoilt and able to spend forty minutes with them before they scampered down the tree, scurried over the rocks and hid themselves in the grass.

Our second highlight happened pretty soon after in the shape of elephants. In the past two days we had seen plenty of bachelor groups or solitary bulls but we hadn't seen a family herd. This was soon sorted as we spotted a family group wandering in the bush but eventually they moved out into the open and across the road with the adults shielding the several youngsters they had in this herd.

Other mammals seen today were buffalo, lion, hyena, vervets, zebra, giraffe, warthog, kudu, waterbuck and two new ones in the form of baboons and cheetah.

We also spotted loads of new birds including black storks, pied kingfisher and goliath heron.

Other animals were marsh terrapins, chameleons, water monitor and rock monitor.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

On Safari With Mark: 19 January 2015

19 January 2015

It seems that today was a rhino day as both Curtis and ourselves saw many rhinos throughout our drive. The last been the most memorable as there were 6 in the crash that crossed over the road in front of us. All my guests enjoyed this as great photos could be taken of these magnificent animals.

Impala, waterbuck, kudu, zebra, giraffe, buffalo, klipspringer, steenbok, common duiker, kudu, warthog and elephant was also on the list of animals spotted on our drive today.

On Safari With Mark: 18 January 2015

18 January 2015 

Highlight for the day on a personal note:

On my way to fetch my clients from Skukuza airport, I decided to enter through Kruger gate road and as I pulled off from Kruger gate, my first animal spotted was a female leopard and her cub, next to the road. Fantastic sighting for the first animal of 2015.

A further highlight was that of a following leopard lying in a Marola tree, and why this is a highlight is that all guests were with me and could view this brilliant animal for over 01:30min

General animals: Impala, hippos, kudu, waterbuck, warthog, klipspringer, giraffe, elephant, buffalo, rhino and blue-wildebeest and a 3rd leopard for the day

Fantastic start to 2015

On Safari With Curtis: 19 January 2015

19 January 2015 

This morning, an early start we found our first great sighting fairly quickly. As we came around a bend we found three white rhino having a rest on the side of the road. On hearing us arrive the largest one stood up immediately and tried to suss out what this new arrival was while the other two just stayed lying down. We watched for about ten minutes before they had had enough and moved away. A lovely start to the day and it was not to be the last rhino that we saw today. In fact we saw a total of sixteen rhinos including a second very special sighting where we, again, found them on or around the road. This time a crash of six, five very close and the sixth further in the bush. Again we spent a good ten minutes with this group as they watched and listened before finally deciding we were nothing to fear and went about there business.

During the day we saw many other species including buffalo, elephant, hippo, lion, hyena, impala, Waterbuck, kudu, giraffe, warthog with piglets, steenbok, common duiker, vervet monkey, zebra, wildebeest, slender and dwarf mongoose, leopard tortoise and an array of birdlife including rollers, starling, spurfowl, guinea fowl and eagles to name just a few.

This afternoon the guests went on their sunset drive where they saw, possibly, the days best highlight in the shape of two leopard cubs. The cubs are part of the trio which we had seen last year who have now reappeared and have grown considerably in the last four months.

As well as this fantastic sighting they saw ellies, buffalo, rhino, lots of general game and a crocodile.

On Safari With Curtis: 18 January 2015

18 January 2015 

Today was the start of a new tour and also the first tour of the year, so let's hope It's a good one.

After meets and greets and all the formalities we had time for an afternoon drive before getting to Pretoriuskop rest camp.

As it was our first drive of the year the first highlight should be the first animal we saw and it was no surprise that that turned out to be a herd of impala with their young. We may be going to see a lot of impala through out the year but the first animal is always a special treat.

Another highlight of the drive was a sudden surprise as we turned a corner to find a female giraffe standing out on the road staring straight down towards us. The stand off lasted for a short while before she moved into the bush and started to eat while a second female turned up.

We also saw Hippo fighting, warthog fleeing, an male elephant on the move, buffaloes sunbathing, waterbuck play fighting, kudu eating and a short brief look of a common duiker diving for cover.

Monday, January 19, 2015

On Safari With Karen From 16 January 2015

16 January 2015

Today was the first day of this safari and we started with an afternoon drive. Our first highlight of this drive was a pair of mating lions. We had gotten a tip from a fellow guide who was on his way out when we just arrived at the gate and so we made our way to the spot. Arriving on the scene we saw the cars, but a few ram impalas were crossing the road in front of us.  The male was sitting up, so he was quickly spotted next to the bush, but the impalas were oblivious. We waited around a little and got to be the lucky witnesses of lions mating. She was all flirty rolling over before the male mounted her and retracted with a big snarl. Just then the impalas noticed the lions just 10 meters away and all started alarm calling.

Our second highlight was a group of seven giraffes that were feeding on the bushes next to the road. Hanging around out in the open this was a great photo opportunity!

Other animals seen: two reedbucks fighting, hamerkop, violet backed starling, more giraffes with one of them lying down, impala herd with older babies, red crested korhaan, zebras, wildebeest, kudus, black bellied bustard, buffalos, hippos, yellow billed kite, little bee eater, elephant and guineafowls.

17 January 2015

The rain did not stop this morning when we set off at the crack of dawn for our morning drive. Our first highlight of today was a visit to the hide at Lake Panic. It was so nice and tranquil like it was almost magical. The guests enjoyed all the birds species flying around, or sitting on the water's edge as well as the crocodile that was pretending to be just a log.

To choose our second highlight of today is a difficult one as we had many good sightings. As a group we decided to go for the leopard sighting. At first he was sitting up in a tree all relaxed and it looked like he had all the leisure time in the world. He climbed up a bit to lie down on a different branch and then decided to come down for a little stroll. We spend the next two hours anticipating where he would go next, being right a couple of times. It resulting in sightings of him close to the road, then nothing for a bit. Suddenly we saw him walking again and then scent marking a bush, and disappear in the thick bush. Suddenly he was crossing the road in front of us and scent marking a patch of grass right next to the road on the other side (unfortunately half obscured by other vehicles). All in all a great sighting, although he didn't come all the way down to Lake Panic while we were watching.

Other animals seen: waterbucks, impalas, a lone hyena standing in the middle of the road with a piece of meat in its mouth, double-banded sandgrouses, kudu bulls as well as females, an elephant herd, white rhinos, lilac breasted roller and its cousin the European roller, hinged tortoises, ears and nostrils of hippos, bateleurs, baboons, leopard tortoise, a pair of hawk eagles, two male lions hiding in a bush but close to the road, giraffes, tawny eagle, white-backed and hooded vultures, dung beetle rolling a dung ball, zebras, wildebeest, malachite kingfisher, a pied kingfisher fishing but missed, woodlands kingfisher, fish eagle, green-backed heron, african jacanas, and last but not least a lone elephant bull splashing himself (and us) with mud. The sunset game drive added sightings of a scrub hare and a large herd of buffalos.

18 January 2015

On our last day we set off bright and early again, and even though it was overcast and coldish, at least this time it was dry. Our first highlight was a sighting of dwarf mongoose. First of all because it was one of the new animals we saw today and hadn't seen before. Secondly because when we stopped, a couple of brave ones came to investigate our vehicle and others were playing in the middle of the road in front of us. It was a joy to watch!

Then for our second highlight we had to choose between an amazing white rhino sighting or, our victor of being second highlight, our even better elephant sighting. This bull was feeding close to the road and came really close to the car. He had his eye on us but was quiet relaxed and as we didn't bother him, he didn't bother us. We had a slight breath taking moment when he smashed a tree right next to us, but luckily he decided to smash it sideways instead of right on top of us. We did get some great footage!

Other animals seen: herd of buffalo, zebras, heard but did not see a leopard, giraffe, vervet monkeys, multiple white rhinos, buffalo bulls crossing in front, impalas, a common grey duiker, hippos and a wide assortment of colourful birds.


More coming soon!

LIMITED OFFER: 5 Day Out Of Africa Exclusive Safari

"Out of Africa - in Kruger"

A fantastic opportunity to be part of this exclusive offer !!!!

Why exclusive you may ask? 

The only safari tailored like this for 2015



Only 6 lucky people will join us on this exciting all inclusive 5 day experience


This safari is designed for the wildlife enthusiast who would love to explore the Kruger National Park on an exclusive safari without the hassle of planning.  We utilize two of the smaller Bush Camps within the Kruger National Park one in the Southern Region and one in the Central Region of the Kruger National Park.

This Safari is only offered in the Months of:  May/June / July and departs on the following Dates:  4 to 8th May 2015, 22nd to 26th June 2015 and 6 to 9 July 2015.

Itinerary:

The day before your safari if flying in we will accommodate you in Johannesburg  FREE of charge at a hotel close to OR Tambo Airport and make sure you get there safely with a collection from the Airport by one of our staff.

Day One:  One of our staff members will return to your hotel to collect you , and transfer you back to OR Tambo to connect with your flight directly into Skukuza Airport arriving at 10h50am.  Your guide will be standing by with your Open Safari Vehicle and you start your game drive immediately making your way down to your first Bush Camp for two nights.  A light lunch will be served by your Chef .  An afternoon game drive will be enjoyed until late afternoon when you will return to your camp.  Drinks can be enjoyed around the camp fire with your guide as you listen to the tranquil night sounds of the Bush.  Your executive Chef in the meantime will be preparing your gourmet meal. Lunch and Dinner

Day Two:  Enjoy waking up early to the beautiful bush sounds and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with our traditional South African Rusks (biscuits) and then embark on an early morning game drive returning to your camp for a Breakfast feast which has been prepared by your Chef.  After breakfast and a bit of a break we embark once again on a game drive returning to camp for Lunch and a bit of a siesta before embarking on another late afternoon drive. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day Three:  Another early morning start to the day, as we set off early to try and find that Elusive Leopard still on the prowl or maybe a pride of Lions enjoying their early morning Kill.  We return for breakfast and pack up and start making our way up to the Central Region of the Kruger National Park, stopping off for a light lunch at one of the picnic areas as our Chef and Team move on to the next camp to set up for the next two nights.  Once again after a full days game viewing it is time to relax with a drink around the fire enjoying the night sounds . Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day Four:  Once again we rise early for Tea and Coffee , and depart for a morning drive before breakfast returning for a great feast that will be awaiting us.  Time to relax around the camp , spotting the numerous birds found in the trees overhead.  Enjoy another short drive before lunch.  After Lunch enjoy a Siesta before we embark once again on a late afternoon drive returning at sunset.  Your Chef will be preparing your last Dinner under the stars, and your guide will sit and chat with you around the camp fire while you enjoy a drink or two before dinner. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Day Five:  This morning you have the opportunity to sleep in a bit before you enjoy breakfast prepared by your chef.  After breakfast we depart from camp and make our way back down to the Southern Kruger National Park, stopping off at Skukuza for a Buffet Lunch at the Cattle Baron, before you make your way back to Skukuza Airport for your flight departing at 14h50pm and arriving back at OR Tambo Airport at 15h35pm.


Safari Includes:

Free overnight Accommodation in Johannesburg prior to Safari.
Free Transfers to and from OR Tambo Airport.
Return Flights from OR Tambo to Skukuza  Aiport
All Accommodation, Conservation and Entrance Fees
All game drives and game viewing are private
All meals prepared by our hospitality Chef.   We carefully plan all meals to ensure that you get to eat the type of food that you enjoy.
Full Breakfast
Light Lunch
Dinner -  mostly cooked outdoors, over an open fire.
Refreshments and Beverages (South African Beer and Wines) All Local Beer, South African Wines, bottled waters and fresh juice is provided and included in your quoted price on this full service itinerary).
Bottled Waters  on the vehicle each day.
Snacks and Afternoon Drinks on late afternoon drives.
Morning and Afternoon Drives Daily
One Nights Safari conducted by National Parks Rangers

Safari Excludes:

Items of a Personal Nature
Gratuities

CONTACT US NOW: info@nhongosafaris.co.za