Tuesday, August 30, 2016

On Safari With Gert From 27 August 2016

27 August 2016

Today we started a new safari with 3 Spanish guests. After checking in and lunch at camp we headed out for an afternoon drive which started off on a high note as just outside the camp gates, we were greeted by 9 very large, old Buffalo Bulls for which we patiently had to wait, as they were in no hurry and took up most of the road! Not long after we encountered a whole herd of Buffalo, a good few hundred strong, also crossing the road, consisting largely of cows and calves of various ages, with some large Bulls around the fringes.

Very shortly before closing time, while heading back to camp we very lucky to find 2 African Wild dogs, trotting down the road, stopping to scent mark along the way and also clearly on the lookout for something to eat. We watched as they sniffed around the entrance of a Warthog burrow and followed them for a short while until they veered off the road on a pathway and disappeared in the tall grass! A great find and perfect way to kick off the safari!

28 August 2016

We packed up at first light this morning and loaded luggage after an early breakfast as today we also moved to a different camp. The first hour or so was fairly quiet, but then we got lucky with a large, solitary bull White Rhino! We watched him graze next to the road for a little while. He then stood, taking in the surroundings, smelling and listening until he was sure that the coast was clear, before crossing the road right in front of us! We could not have asked for a better Rhino sighting to kick-start the day, as these magnificent creatures are becoming harder to find each day.

It turned out to be a day for the males as we also encountered 5 bull Elephant, feeding next to the road and also walking down the road, a couple of really impressive bulls in their midst.

Next up was a lazy male Lion, resting on the edge of a shady spot provided by a pushed-over Acacia tree. It was a fairly distant view, but open and he had his head up for the majority of our time at the sighting, providing a few photo opportunities. We waited around for a bit in the hope that he might get up and look for more shade, however, he eventually rolled over and got comfortable, apparently enjoying the late morning sun and going back to sleep!

After lunch and some siesta time went for a short drive in the late afternoon. Here we were very lucky to spot a beautiful male Leopard, in the act of stalking some Impala! The Leopard was very nervous though and gave up the challenge, walking back into the bush and out of sight, but we still got a brilliant view! The Impala also picked up its scent as they started alarm calling, but they soon relaxed and we eventually moved off. Another very successful day on Safari!

29 August 2016

This morning we left camp at sunrise, hoping to catch some predator action and were not disappointed! The first highlight of the morning was when we came across a lone Spotted Hyena, feeding on the remains of a Buffalo carcass. It tugged and nibbled at various parts of the leftovers, before managing to detach a substantial portion of the spine and carrying it off, allowing the Hooded Vulture which was patiently waiting to move in and feed on the scraps!

Next up we found a beautiful female Leopard in a large Jackalberry tree on the riverbank! She appeared to have fed recently as she was quite full, fast asleep and stomach bulging over the branch she lay on!

We were also lucky enough to witness a young male Lion's inexperienced attempt at hunting Impala, out in the open in broad daylight and hot conditions! The herd of Impala saw it coming from quite a long way off and ran up onto some higher ground to keep an eye on him and make sure they keep their distance!

A stop at a hide overlooking a waterhole afforded us the opportunity to see mating Crocodiles! A very rare sighting and a great way to top off the day!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

On Safari With Mark From 9 August 2016

9 August 2016

After receiving my Clients at Nelspruit airport, we set off for the Kruger to overnight at Berg en Dal.

One of the highlights for the afternoon drive happened literally 100m from the gate, when a herd of elephants walked out over the road on their way to water. Amazing to sit and watch these graceful creatures as they ambled along, looking after their young while crossing the road.

After this we spotted 10 buffalo Bulls together, just lying enjoying the late afternoon sun. Once we had great photos, we drove into camp where my clients could enjoy a stroll around the perimeter fence.

10 August 2016

While loading luggage at the camp my guests called me and asked for me to take a photo of them. I didn't quiet know what the rush was, but after agreeing and walking to them, I found them against the perimeter fence with 2 large elephant bulls literally 5m away from them.

This was a great shot and both were happy as it was 1 animal that they came to Africa to see.

Our following highlight was of 2 male lions that were spotted sleeping after an early morning stroll. Eventually, these two looked up and got up and walked parallel with the road. Guests got great photos of these 2 senior males.

On our way to camp, we received a tip from the public about 2 cheetah. Although quiet a distance from the road, both picked their heads up every now and then providing distant but nice photo opportunities.

With happy moods we booked into our camp for the rest of the safari.

Guests on sundown drive this afternoon.

On Safari With Amanda From 7 August 2016

7 August 2016

Today I pick up 5 new guests for safari, 2 from the Netherlands, 2 from Indonesia and Matilda from France. 

After checking into camp, we relaxed before heading out on a drive, Mike and Dewa were on a sunset drive from camp and the rest of us headed into the park.

A distant Giraffe was spotted and then a lovely herd of Elephants crossed the road in front of us including a tiny baby, very cute.

We checked around the koppies and 3 klipspringers, fantastically camouflaged, were lying catching the last of the hot afternoon sun.

More zebras, kudus and impalas on the way back to camp where we all had a lovely buffet supper before heading off for an early night.

8 August 2016

With expectations high for us finding cats today we set off. The morning was bright and quite chilly along the napi road again lovely Elephants far in the distance close by the dam so we headed there hoping to maybe catch them. What we didn't expect to find on the dam wall were 3 lions looking glorious in the early morning sun!

Totally unexpected and once they realized we were watching them after 10 minutes they wandered out of view into the thick bush. That's the way great sightings happen when you least expect.

Lunch at pretoriouskop after a full day, no leopard, but there's always tomorrow.

9 August 2016

Our last morning drive around the pretoriouskop area with lovely general game. We sat and watched vervet monkeys alarm calling and looking in a westerly direction, the call was for a predator so we watched where they were looking and drove slowly around, there was definitely something bothering them, possibly the resident male leopard after 10 minutes of looking, the vervet monkeys stopped calling, although we didn't find the leopard it was still exciting to look for it!

So another safari ends as my guests head off home after spending 5 weeks in this beautiful country.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

On Safari With Gert From 4 August 2016

4 August 2016

This afternoon we started a new Safari with 4 guests. After lunch we headed out on an afternoon Game drive to explore the area.

t started off very well, with a stop at a waterhole where a herd of approximately 50 Elephants were drinking and some of them playing in the water; while on a stretch of shoreline a pod of Hippos were sunning themselves, trying not to pay much attention to the all the elephant activity!

We then encountered another herd of elephants, if anything even larger than the first, with many calves of various ages in their midst! They were leisurely grazing, slowly making their way towards the road and eventually crossed not very far from us, a wonderful experience to spend such quality time with these magnificent creatures!

We also spend some time at a nearby Hyena den, where we saw 3 adults and 5 cubs from 2 litters. There was fair amount of activity and excitement, as we could hear the adults feeding, although we couldn't see on what, but could hear the bones crunching. The cubs were very playful and ran back and forth between the den and the adults, while 2 were very curious around the den entrance, playing and exploring! A great afternoon drive to start off the safari!

5 August 2016

We set out on our morning drive after an early breakfast and were soon rewarded when we encountered a huge herd of a few hundred Buffalo grazing close to the road. There were quite a few young calves, some which could not have been more than 2 months old - slightly out of season, however, we also had rain out of season, so maybe that was just good planning on their part! We were also intrigued to see one of the Buffalo, an adult female, with leucism, a higher than usual amount of white pigmentation - she looked grey from a distance, but was actually covered in white spots, quite a unique individual!

We had good general game sightings throughout the rest of the morning including magnificent Kudu bulls, Zebra and Blue Wildebeest, some large Elephant bulls and fighting Impala.

We were also lucky enough to encounter many Giraffe, which turned out to be a crowd favorite! The first was a lone adult bull on the move parallel to the road, but the highlight was probably the second group we found, consisting of 10 individuals, mostly males of different ages.

After lunch and some relaxing time back at camp we set out again for a late afternoon drive during which we were treated to an Elephant display of power, as we watched some young bulls push over a tree. We also found a pair of Klipspringer, beautifully silhouetted against the late afternoon sky.

The highlight of the afternoon was at the Hyena den where we saw 3 of the cubs out and were also reminded of how dangerous these creatures can be as one of the large females yawned a few times, displaying the powerful jaws and very impressive set of teeth!

6 August 2016

Leaving early after breakfast, we had a fairly quiet first hour or so, until it started warming up slightly. We had a bit of luck, with 3 lion sightings throughout the course of the morning, although the first was a very difficult visual of a female, which might have had cubs, but had moved into thick cover by that time.

The second of our lion sightings was the clearest, on a riverbank, where they had been feeding off a hippo carcass, but had also moved into the shade as the day was starting to warm up significantly!

The third sighting was in a riverbed, where we saw 4 females; part of a larger pride which had just killed and finished an Impala. They were lying down in a shady spot in the riverbed, the face of one of the females still covered in blood!

One of the other highlights of the day was when we encountered a magnificent Sable Antelope bull close to a waterhole. He was standing close to the road and overlooking the drainage line leading into the waterhole, bending down occasionally to graze and not realizing what the fuss was about, as he attracted a fair amount of attention from visitors! A rare and quality sighting of this majestic antelope!