African Safari Vacation
Going on an African Safari Vacation? This information will enrich your safari experience. The more you know about the unique behavior and traits of our wildlife, the more you will appreciate the absolute beauty of their interaction in the African bushveld. The African safari is one holiday that all travelers aspire to. It is on the wish list of most people and those who have gone on safari find themselves being drawn back time and time again.
An African Safari is the kind of holiday that truly can cater for everyone from the very young to the older traveler. The usual length of a safari is 3 to 4 days but the longer you can take the better and the more time to see those unforgettable sights and to immerse yourself in the culture and the fascination of the ancient land of the Kruger National Park.
On Safari With Mark
21 – 23 November 2016
After meeting my clients it was off to the park with very enthusiastic people from Zimbabwe that love wildlife. No sooner had we got into the park and we spotted 4 elephant bulls alongside the road eating from roots to bark to grass to leaves. Good to see such large bulls enjoy the new vegetation due to the recent rain and new plant growth. Unusual sighting for us was, the new Impala lambs found running around and we obviously timed it right as the impalas more north of us at skukuza haven't started lambing yet. Every herd near our camp has started lambing with approximately 3 - 8 lambs in each herd so far.
On this trip a further unique sighting for me was my first chameleon crossing the road for this summer season. Cats have been a bit scarce however we were fortunate to find the 3 cheetah brothers all lying under the shade of a marola tree. This was the first "wild cheetah" for some of my clients and although the day started heating up we were able to spend a lot of time with them as they moved closer and closer to the trunk of the tree cause of shade. Many different herds of Buffalo have been spotted and some of them been far away and others close to the road, so clients have been able to take close up shots as well as some distant ones. It's been great as many of these herds have all sizes from small babies to senior bulls (duggaboys). On the birds side, we happy to welcome back the Woodlands kingfisher and that well know call it makes. Fortunately some of our clients got 2 male lions on a sundown drive, however for me we have been without lions or leopards for 2 days now. Not to stressed as that's how it goes in the bush. Hopefully we get to spot some more special things this afternoon and the rest of the Safari.
On Safari With Kara
22 November 2016
Today I had a family from Dubai whom I took on a game drive starting from Phalaborwa gate. It was a very hot day after the cool days we have had. It started off a special sighting where we had elephants, impalas and zebras all grazing together in the morning light listening for any danger to come. It is always great to have children on a drive and getting just as excited watching the elephants playing in the water, giraffes reaching with their tough for the highest leaves and Warthogs rolling in the mud and rubbing their little fat bodies against trees to get rid of ecto-parisites. Spending our time at a dam the afternoon was rewarding as we spotted a crocodile basking in the sun, hippos fighting and terrapins heating up their bodies.
23 November 2016
I was joined today by Vivien and her Mother all the way from Brazil for a drive with me. We started our game drive with the birds today from Phalaborwa and it turned out to be very rewarding. Apart from driving mostly in the wonderful morning temperatures we had a few hours of clouds saving us from the scorching heat we came across a massive Gang of Buffalos drinking water before the hot day to come. Covering themselves in water and drinking as much as they can, calf’s and adults. Later on we had zebras, blue wildebeests, giraffes and warthogs eating along the road on our way to Satara. There we finally found 3 male Lions under a Umbrella Thorn panting in shade. After wonderful predator bird sightings and endless Mopani trees, our day ended with a Elephant coming close to see and smell what we are and crossing the road behind us.
25 November 2016
Today I picked up my group of four guests from Munich and started my drive from Phabeni Gate. Nothing could have prepared me for the day to come. But in my bones I could tell the clouds have brought good things our way. We were all excited as our drive started with 2 white Rhinos grazing a few meters in on the newly grown vegetation. Short after we had a distant visual of 2 lions sleeping on the sand bank, something we would not have seen if the sun wasn’t covered by the clouds. After breakfast we had a sighting that was a first for me. A Martial eagle killing and eating a Water Monitor, the monitor lizard didn’t make it a easy kill. After an half an hour or so the Martial eagle flew to the tree next to the road and sat eating it next to us. Being able to hear everything. Later when we thought it couldn’t get any better we saw a young Female Leopard sleeping in a big Marula. Lying there watching the cars stroll by. After the drive the day was ended with a beautiful thunder shower. The best about it all was that my guests appreciated everything from the birds to the trees and didn’t expect anything and that’s how we saw so much. It was a honor to have experienced the bush through their eyes today.
On Safari With Gert
27 November 2016
We left camp early this morning at sunrise and had a good start, as we found a large female Warthog with 4 youngsters playfully running around! It was the first Warthog babies I saw for the season, which makes it extra special. These little ones were probably just under 2 weeks old, as they spend their first week or so in hiding in their burrow, keeping out of danger. A little further on we found a clan of Spotted Hyena out of their den; adult females and cubs of various ages between 2 and 6 months old. As the sun was coming through for the first time in 2 days, we had brilliant light on them and watched as they played around, some of the cubs suckling, plenty of scent marking going on around the den-site and one cub in particular very inquisitive and playful, trying to catch some of the leaves on a low-hanging branch - a bit of activity and a great sighting overall. We then found some more action, where a small pride of lions, 5 or 6 of them consisting of females and some young males, we're trying to hunt Buffalo, but the hunters soon became the hunted, as the Buffalo stood their ground and eventually sent the Lions scattering in different directions! One lioness was forced to climb a dead fallen tree to get to safety, away from the aggressive Buffalo bulls! They stood watching her, but as the other lions had moved off some distance by then, she eventually plucked up the courage to get back down, the Buffalo all the while keeping a very close eye on her! We lost sight of her as she got down, but the Buffalo appeared to leave her in peace and allow her to rejoin the pride, another brilliant sighting! We topped off the day with a late afternoon drive, during which we found 1 very lazy male Lion, lying in a shady spot about 20 meters off the road. He did roll over a few times and lifted his head to look at us once or twice, but for the most part was very relaxed; a nice way to end a great day on Safari!
28 November 2016
We left early this morning for our final morning drive of the Safari and started the day with a beautiful African sunrise. We were very lucky early on, as we found a solitary Wild Dog trotting down the road in our direction. It ran straight past our vehicle and we followed it down the road for a while. At a junction in the road it stopped, sniffing the ground and also contact calling, no doubt trying to get in touch with the rest of its pack. We let it be and continued with the drive. We then found a new Hyena den, with a few of them moving around outside the den-site and one very large female sleeping outside the den entrance. Shortly before our breakfast stop we found a large herd of Elephant, close to the road, some crossing and looking very nervous. We soon saw the reason for their alert state - a very young baby in their midst, a few of the larger females huddling very closely around it as they crossed the road! We found another herd not much further, very relaxed and feeding close to the road, allowing us some very good views before we had to stop for our breakfast break, bringing an end to a very successful few days on Safari!
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