Friday, October 28, 2016

On Safari With Kara From 24 October 2016

24 October 2016

I picked up my guests in White River and made our way to Nkambeni, the camp inside Kruger right by the Numbi Gate.

We started off our first safari with a afternoon drive. Having found some Elephants, Impalas and Buffalos before we passed through Numbi got us all very excited about the time to follow. Our drive could not have disappointing as we saw Elephants and Rhinos close to a watering hole and a crocodile sleeping on the sand nearby. A pair of bateleurs followed us out of the park this evening as we headed for camp.

25 October 2016

After an early start with the sun covered by a few clouds whom we were very grateful for we spotted our first cat. A male lion sleeping a few meters from the road. With a big beautiful mane. Imagining all different ways to take down an impala by the watering hole.

A hyena also made a surprise visit at the vehicle making sure we are no threat.

Later that afternoon we were joined by two guests from Luxembourg. They really did bring the luck. We finally got a nice look at two warthogs trotting next to the road tails up and ready to duck. A big elephant bull pulling a few branches of a Marula tree and then later a Sable sleeping and keeping an eye out for intruders. Two blue headed igamas were enjoying the last sun up on a termite mound.

26 October 2016

Our last day to see all the bush had to offer we spotted a few new species. Quite a few Marabou stalks in the water and on the sand bank of the Sabie River and a Sandpiper searching for fish.

My favorite was watching a big herd of elephants trying to squeeze underneath a tree to sleep all with trunks hanging on the ground. That was not the only first for me but also this morning I saw the smallest Vervet Monkey I had ever seen hanging for dear life as the Mother is Sucking sap from an Accacia Tree,

A family of Dwarf mongoose ended our drive following by a Congress of Baboons spread out in between snacking on seeds.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

On Safari With Kara From 17 October 2016

17 October 2016

This 1 day safari was not only a new one for my guests but it was the first time for me to see this area of the park and to have such a big group of fun Netherlanders and got to conduct my game drive in both Dutch and English.

We started our safari from Phalaborwa gate after I picked them up at their lodge.

Our highlights of this day was starting out with some wild dogs on a mission next to the road hoping to make a early morning kill...

Later we spent time with Journeys and Journeys of giraffes. Focusing on the raptors we saw a few from a Whalbergs eagles to a Tawny eagle, Martial eagle and a Yellow billed kites scavenging. And the best and very rare to see 2 Secretary birds.

18 October 2016

The following day I was happy to take the same group of enthusiastic guests on a drive heading from phalaborwa to letaba camp.

Patiently waiting in the road after we spotted a big herd of buffalos in the distance, we could see them crossing the road by the hundreds. Counting close to a thousand.

Finally we came across a lioness lying on a sand bank only to discover her teenage cubs eating the last of a buffalo they caught.

Our last animal as we exited the park was a few dassies climbing trees on a hill getting to the fruit.

Monday, October 17, 2016

On Safari With Gert From 15 October 2016

15 October 2016

This afternoon we started a new Safari with 4 guests, 2 of whom will only be with us for 1 night, hence the first priority was to maximize game drive time in the hope of finding some good sightings.

After checking in and a quick lunch we headed out for a very lucrative afternoon drive.

First up we found a large buffalo herd, probably about a hundred strong, resting in the reeds along the banks of a large waterhole.

We then came across a Leopard kill in a tree, at first all we saw was the kill - a baby buffalo - hanging in a tree, but no sign of the Leopard! We decided to drive a bit further on, as there had also been talk of lions in the area.

We were lucky enough to find said lions, one male and 2 females. The females were lying flat in the shade of a tree, while the male was lying close to the road guarding the leftovers of what also appeared to be a buffalo carcass! We had a great view of the male, lying with his head up looking around, with a few hooded vultures patiently waiting their turn.

On the way back to our camp we also found a large male Elephant enjoying a mud bath in the late afternoon sun, a great afternoon and brilliant start to the safari!

16 October 2016

We left on morning drive after an early breakfast. From early on it was evident that it would be a hot day, as the Impala were already congregating in the shade!

It was a very good morning for the large herbivores and we had good close-up Sightings of several old Buffalo bulls as well as Zebra and Giraffe in the road!

One of the highlights was a crash of White Rhino; a large female with 2 calves, the youngest about 2 years old. We watched them graze close to the road until they got comfortable in some good shade under a tree.

We then returned to drop off 2 of our guests leaving today. On the way back we found a few large adult Elephant bulls with some very impressive tusks between them, all feeding close to the road. One of the bulls was not very happy with the passing vehicles and decided to stand in the road to feed and not let anyone pass for a while!

We eventually got around them and returned to camp for lunch and pool time.
During the late afternoon drive we found a very large crocodile on the bank of a waterhole, a beautiful herd of Elephant feeding in a drainage line and another very large buffalo herd. A spectacular sunset signaled the end to another successful day on Safari!

On Safari With Amanda From 11 October 2016

11 October 2016

Today I collect my guests, Jim and Marty, celebrating a 20 year anniversary and Jim’s 50th.

Incredibly hot as we headed to our first stop, berg en dal for 2 nights so we really weren't expecting to see much.

Instead we were greeted by zebras, kudus, warthogs, giraffes and elephants.

A stop at afsaal for refreshments and we checked into our accommodation.

After supper Jim and Marty decided to walk to their room.. but ended up at the gate entrance where they heard the lions calling close by!!! They quickly retreated to the safety of their room...eventually! 

12 October 2016 

An early start and after hearing the lions last night we decided we had to find them.

We were doing a morning drive so we could take a slow amble around the area.

Lovely Elephants and rhinos along with impalas and zebras but still no lions. We headed on the 114 and lovely sighting of a tawny eagle as well as lilac breasted rollers and blue waxbill.  

Turning onto the 119 we saw a few cars and there in the tree were at least 6 spots...of a well hidden leopard! always good to wait, so we did and very slowly a huge male leopard climbed down and walked along side of the vehicle, an absolutely stunning sighting.

After breakfast we headed back to camp where Jim and Marty were doing a sunset drive at 4:30.

I greeted 2 very excited guests showing me photos of a handsome male lion and a beautiful lioness about 2 meters from the road. Marty was also luck to spot a honey badger.

Supper and then we were off tomorrow for a night at skukuza. 

13 October 2016

We left berg en dal and headed to skukuza at 6am. Always good to start early. We decided to make a day of it and had lovely Elephants and lots of general game.

We made a stop at skukuza as we were too early to check in so decided to drive to high level bridge. Along the way we came across some very well hidden wild dogs!

At high level itself to the right of the bridge we saw 2 lionesses lying on a sand bank. Quite far but still impressive. Heading back to camp along the river lots of elephants, hippos and buffalos. 

14 October 2016

We decided on an early drive and then to head back for breakfast at skukuza for a delicious buffet. Driving down the 114 to renosterkoppies we came across a duiker just staring at a termite mound, we watched and she would move every now and then a couple of steps back, something had her attention. .. to our surprise we saw a huge, at least 3.5 m long African rock python moving slowly over the termite mound, so fascinating to witness and something I've never seen. Marty also saw a honey badger!!! 

After breakfast we were heading to our next stop, nkambeni and we heard of a leopard kill not far away so we headed off. We came across a female impala wedged into a marula tree and to the left we saw a tail and 1 leg! So we decided to sit and wait...every now and then she appeared and would relax and just stare at us. Lovely. 

Checked in at nkambeni and time for a siesta and an early supper.

15 October 2016 

Leaving camp we headed off to skukuza for a full day drive. We went via watergat and to the right we came across an old male lion and 2 lionesses, all full after feasting on a young buffalo. We sat for a while and drove off, just at the junction something caught our eyes. .more lions with another buffalo kill!!! We wanted to go and check to see if the leopard was still at the same spot so took a drive and she was on the opposite side of the road lying incredibly well camouflaged in a bush!

After lunch we drove along the Doispan road. Lots of general game and then just before nyamundwa dam we saw something hanging in the tree, it was a young buffalo that had been killed by a leopard, the leopard was on the opposite side cooling down in the shade. A fantastic day!

16 October 216

Our last day together and a short drive around shabeni and pk koppies. Lots of elephants and some beautiful sable antelope. Perched on top of manung koppies were 2 klipspringers. 

We grabbed a coffee and then went to shitlave dam where there were lots of elephants and giraffes. Listening carefully I heard the impala alarm calling and we drove to see what was bothering them, we'd just missed the leopard and it was resting in the drainage line!! Oh well it was still interesting to witness the impalas calling and literally showing us where the leopard was!

So another safari is over, Marty and Jim heading off on their next adventure...Cairo!