3 April 2017 - Today we started a new Safari with Adam and Lesia from Canada. We started around midday, which is normally not the best time for game viewing, although we had some pretty good sightings throughout the afternoon. First up, we had a journey of Giraffe consisting of 3 adult females and three calves, the oldest of which was around 6 months old, with a large adult male in their midst. They were very relaxed and feeding quite close to the road, providing so me good views as they were also very inquisitive, also trying to get a good look at us in return. A little later on, we found a spot where 2 Lions were lazing in the shade for most of the day. It was a male and female combination and luckily for us they picked a n open spot in the shade and we could see them quite well. Even though they didn't move much, they did take turns to sit up and look around, providing some decent views and picture opportunities, as they were both very healthy individual s in their prime, the male with a beautiful, full mane. Then shortly before reaching our camp for the evening, we found 2 Elephant bulls having their mud baths, one of them quite close and we watched as he used his trunk to splash fresh mud all over himself. Nature's most effective protection against the relentless sunshine and also to cool down and protect against parasites! All in all a great afternoon on Safari!
4 April 2017 - After loading luggage this morning we left camp early for our drive, as we were to pick up some more guests and move to a different lodge for the next few nights. Hoping for some predator activity early on, we managed to miss a Cheetah sighting by a few seconds as it went to lie down flat in the tall grass and decided not to show itself again! It did however turn out to be a very good day for the large herbivores, a s we had a couple of very nice White Rhino sightings, the first a distant family group, the other a group consisting of 3, a large female with 2 young males - most likely h er offspring of different ages. Even though they mostly had their faces buried in the long grass, they were quite close to the road and provided us with very good sighting s every time one of them decided to look up or moved through a clearing! These days any Rhino sighting can be considered special as it is becoming harder and harder to find these magnificent and unique creatures, due to the serious poaching issues surrounding the demand for their horns! We also visited a waterhole where we were lucky enough to find a small breeding herd drinking and having a mud bath! While we were there watching them, they were joined by 5 bulls of various ages, 2 of them quite large and impressive individuals, taking over the entire waterhole, getting right into it and having a good splash around, covering themselves with mud completely - a perfect way to cool down and protect them against the hot sun!
5 April 2017 - Starting early, we left the lodge and headed into the park for a full day drive. It started off on a high note as we found a pride of Lion, quite well hidden in some tall grass, but we managed to see at least 4 females, intently staring into a well wooded drainage line, most likely eyeing potential prey. Shortly after, we were extremely lucky to find 3 Cheetah in the road in front of us, a female with 2 cubs! The 2 cubs were lying on the road, while the female was having a good look around, seemingly on the hunt! They slowly moved off the road and an unsuspecting Impala male followed not too far behind, very nearly walking into the trap, until the female got a bit over eager and the Impala spotted her and took off in the opposite direction, cover blown! We continued watching the Cheetahs until they eventually disappeared out of sight in the tall grass, a great way to start the day! The rest of the day was dominated by many quality Elephant sightings, some very close to us, some spending most of the warm hours in the river, as well as a great variety of general game such as Gnu, Zebra, and plenty of Giraffe - all in all a very successful day on Safari!
6 April 2017 - We left the lodge early this morning, heading into the park for a full day drive. The day started off well, when we found 2 Spotted Hyena on the move, one of them quite close to the road. It appeared to be on the prowl, not following a trail , but running back and forth, the many Impala in the vicinity keeping a close eye on it. At some point it came running out of the grass into the road straight towards us and we got a very good look at it and some very good picture opportunities. It was also a very good day for raptor sightings - at a small waterhole we sat and watched a Juvenile African Fish-Eagle which was sitting at the edge of the water, with some very nervous White-faced Ducks and Little Grebe in the middle of the water; the whole scene being overlooked by a pair of Tawny Eagle in a nearby tree. As it turned out the Eagle just wanted a drink of water and the ducks visibly relaxed when it eventually took off. We saw many more interesting small creatures, including Hinged and Leopard Tortoise, a Terrapin and Flap-necked Chameleon, all in the road. We ended the day with a very relaxed breeding herd of Elephant crossing the road close to us, with an approaching thunderstorm and a beautiful rainbow in the background!
05 April 2017 - Fadia, Seline and Tarkan headed in from Numbi Gate to Pretoriuskop where we were going to stay for the next 2 nights and after a few minutes we were surprised by Tarkans favorite animal. 3 big female Giraffes eating on a Buffalo Thorn with some Impalas and a warthog nearby eating some roots. The afternoon we saw loads of Waterbuck, birds and Hippos and that got the kids very excited. Especially being able to tick everything off their lists ... After a good dinner and seeing a big Mozambique Spitting cobra and watching it being caught and released by the Section Ranger we were off to bed for the next day.
6 April 2017 - Today was a very good because we were able to see a lot of new animals and birds. Our first special sighting was of 2 White Rhino's grazing happily along a big Herd of Zebras feeling completely at ease with so many eyes and ears on the lookout for danger. Later we finally found a nice herd of elephants along the Sabie River after breakfast. And once the ice was broken we just saw more and more of them... Which we were ecstatic about. Making a lot of opportunities for family pictures of course. We also found two female Lionesses cleaning hiding from the sun under a Seckle bush and a Big Verrauxes Eagle Owl cleaning his feathers in a big Marula close to the road. Our day was end with some fun at the pool and loads of Vervet Monkeys swinging in the trees surrounding the pool.
7 April 2017 - Our last morning was a bit quiet with big Animals but the little ones did not disappoint. We saw three different Mongooses which was Seline's favorite. Dwarf mongoose, Banded Mongoose and Slender Mongoose. Some of them seriously taking on t he task of digging for insects. A Big Buffalo was resting on a rocky outcrop we drove around and a family of Baboons was making their way down the mountain to start foraging with the cool morning air. After breakfast as we were making our way out of the gate a big Male Elephant was walking down the road tail swishing and chewing on a branch. While keeping a watchful eye on us making sure we do not get to close. It was sad to say our goodbyes again but hopefully Seline and Tarkan will soon be back with their cousins for a visit so we can find the elusive ones we missed.