Meet the Olympic Athletes of the Safari World
Jan12

Meet the Olympic Athletes of the Safari World

The athletes of the safari world are the undisputed champions of speed, agility and strength. Being a top class athlete means being proficient in the art of physical activity, having a competitive streak and genetics that ensure you’re pre-disposed to specific sports. We have plenty of athletes in the animal kingdom, and it’s impossible to list each species’ specific skill-set, but there are those that stand out from the crowd – and these are the animals that we tend to spot on a regular basis while on safari. These are the animals that we consider the Olympic athletes of the safari world, the ones that have mastered the art of speed and are our natural born Usain Bolts. Of course, special mention needs to go to the animals that reach unexpected speeds while on the move. The cumbersome hippo can give chase, despite its size. The endangered wild dogs are endurance runners that keep a steady fast pace while giving chase to their unfortunate quarry. The top 5 awards for the category of speed and sprints goes to : Ostrich The ostrich is the largest flightless bird native to Africa and is commonly spotted throughout most of South Africa. Seen in bushveld regions and nature reserves in coastal regions, the ostrich is quite an adaptable bird. The ostrich can reach average maximum speeds of up to 70 km per hour and maintain this top speed for up to 2 km. Spotted : Throughout southern Africa Peregrine Falcon Although not a land animal, we had to make special mention of this graceful yet ruthless raptor that is the fastest bird in the world. These birds breed in cliffs and ravines, and are most likely spotted in areas where rocky landscapes are prevalent. The peregrine falcon can reach speeds of up to 410 km ! Its diving speed is well over 240 km and it attacks its prey while in the air. Their intended victim doesn’t see what’s coming and the Peregrine is often referred to as the “bird-killer” of the birding world. Quite a reputation ! Spotted : Throughout southern Africa Cheetah It’s common knowledge that the cheetah is the world’s fastest sprinter, and would no doubt bring home the gold in any Olympics. They can reach speeds of up to 120 km per hour and need an open area relatively obstacle free before taking chase. Their long tail acts as a rudder and also provides the much needed balance when high speeds are reached. Cheetah need to take a breather shortly after conducting a kill because they have no energy left to eat. Strength and fight they don’t possess,...

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Safari Splendour at Londolozi Private Game Reserve in Sabi Sand
Jan11

Safari Splendour at Londolozi Private Game Reserve in Sabi Sand

The Sabi Sand Game Reserve is world-renown big five safari destination in the Greater Kruger, and is a major drawcard  for a host of international guests seeking a discerning safari experience with a focus on luxury accommodation and wild, wild surrounds. Sabi Sand is famed for its leopard sightings and has an abundance of drainage lines, access to water and is rich with food sources. The Sabi Sand is the perfect place for viewing big cats. The Londolozi Private Game Reserve offers guests a choice of five safari accommodation options, all with the same access to  34,000 acres of untamed landscape. The format of a private safari experience is standard, but may vary from lodge to lodge. Morning wake-up happens at sunrise and a guided game drive takes place in an open-topped game viewer. Late afternoon drives combined with sundowner sessions take place at roughly 15:30 – 16:00 and evenings are spent dining under the stars and around the campfire in the boma area. Londolozi employs only the top guides and rangers that excel at tracking and sharing their wildlife knowledge with guests. Camps at Londolozi vary in price according to quality and size. The Londolozi Private Granite Suites are fit for royalty – and the thing that most delights and enthrals us is the outdoor bath perched on the private wooden viewing deck. Each suite has its very own heated swimming pool and is cocooned by tumbling granite boulders. Sounds like heaven? It is ! Londolozi Pioneer Camp and Tree Camp are the next level in luxury compared to the contemporary villa style granite suites. The 6 suites at Tree Camp are hugged by a canopy of leadwood trees and provide an idyllic escape with designer flair. While the outside provides the rustic, the interior provides a splash of Hollywood with its Ralph Lauren wallpaper and private swimming pools. Pioneer Camp is on par with the Tree Camp but offers a completely different atmosphere and is one for the die-hard romantics. It’s classic safari style with elegance shrouded in history – think bygone era meets modern grace. * Children under the age of 6 aren’t allowed at these elite camps unless booked on an exclusive only basis. Londolozi Varty Camp and Founders Camp are the largest camps and ideal for families. These two child-friendly camps have a unique covered skywalk that interlinks rooms without any danger from the elements outside. Camps accommodate children 6 years and older, and families will delight in the knowledge that elephants can be viewed in the riverine below. Founders Camp has an elevated wooden deck where yoga classes are held – the perfect place for...

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5 Distinct Safari Ideas for Your 2018 Bushveld Holiday
Jan07

5 Distinct Safari Ideas for Your 2018 Bushveld Holiday

It goes without saying that first time visitors to South Africa and southern Africa should go on safari. The national parks and private reserves dotted across the unique landscapes are home to a wealth of wildlife that thrive in their natural habitat which varies from coastal splendour to riverine forest, dry savannah, mixed acacia woodlands, sparse arid deserts and rocky terrain dominated by tumbling boulders. A standard safari includes either a self-drive trip into the Kruger National Park or stay at a lodge in a private reserve with guided daily game drives. There are a few standard components to a safari holiday that are consistent across most lodges – two game drives a day, sundowners and dinner around the campfire in a traditional boma. But, what if you want something different? Something to spice up a standard safari holiday? There are plenty of distinct safari options that incorporate either a hobby or sport into your conventional safari. These options are ideal either for the adventurous or the second time safari-goer that wants something different, but still wants to ogle over wildlife and track the big five. So, here are our 5 distinct safari ideas for your 2018 bushveld holiday. A Water Safari in a Traditional Mokoro in the Okavango Delta The network of waterways and channels of the Okavango Delta make for the ideal place for a water safari. The open channels are home to huge bloats of hippo, breeding herds of elephant and plenty of other wildlife. The birdlife is exceptional, and there are over 450 species of bird in the area. The best way of seeing wildlife is at “ground level, making a mokoro the perfect vessel for a water safari. A mokoro is a dug-out canoe made from the wood of a sausage tree (some are fibreglass) and is used by locals as a means of transport. Most of the camps in the Delta will offer daily mokoro trips, but it will depend on water levels and activities on offer at your chosen camp. Recommended for Mokoro Safaris : Delta Camp, just south of  Chief’s Island Guided Walking Safari in the Kruger There are numerous Kruger walking safari outfitters in the Kruger and it’s yet another way to see wildlife. Trained trails guides will lead you on foot through the Kruger, teaching you how to track for wildlife by following spoor, scat direction and various natural indicators. Walking safaris also allow for guests to learn about the medicinal uses of plants and how the variety of flora is used in the animal kingdom. A knowledgeable trail’s guide will teach you the etiquette of bush walking –...

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3 Reasons Why Vultures and Hyenas Are Vital to a Reserve
Dec17

3 Reasons Why Vultures and Hyenas Are Vital to a Reserve

When a kill has been conducted by expert predators like lions and leopards, the hoards of scavengers are quick to descend upon the periphery of a kill site. The two culprits include a variety of species of vulture and the cackling hyenas. Both parties, the avid members of the reserve’s clean-up crew, will wait in the wings for the perfect opportunity to approach the area. However, hyenas are not above attempting to displace lions or leopards from their kill. Hyenas are actually successful hunters, but also proficient scavengers. They have a series of calls that ranger from whoops to cackles and high pitched sounds. Each call means something different. The laughter is heard most often, and this is the sound that indicates anxiety and serves to beckon the rest of the clan to the site of a carcass. With vultures you will hear an almighty swoosh of wings as they approach an abandoned carcass. They won’t move into the scene until the carcass has been abandoned by the predator, after which they will wait for the lappet-faced vulture to approach first. This species has a massively strong beak that can rip open closed skin and hide. The white-backed vultures are the most comical, loudest and there are always plenty of them. Each species performs a different role at the carcass. Overall, these are the 3 reasons is the useful role that both vultures and hyenas play in the health of a reserve : 1. Clean up Debris : Hyena aren’t just cunning killers, but they’re also useful scavengers. The bone crushers will clean the site of a kill and rid it of discarded bones and debris. Predators will only eat the fleshy bits from their kill. If it weren’t for hyena in a reserve we’d have plenty of bone and bone fragments littering the reserve. 2. Prevent the Spread of Disease : Vultures and hyena provide a vital role in the ecosystem and keeping it clean. Vultures actually have a highly acidic system in their stomachs that can break down diseases in rotting carrion that might well poison other animals. 3. Population Control : Hyenas aren’t only successful scavengers but also proficient hunters. They help to keep the populations levels balanced by hunting and preying...

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Amazing Aerials of the Selinda Spillway and Savuti Region
Dec13

Amazing Aerials of the Selinda Spillway and Savuti Region

Photographers Shannon Benson and Russell MacLaughlin constantly delight us with their string of wildlife photos. Always eager to use the latest in technological advancements when it comes to photography, this duo combine their innate skill with their technical know-how to deliver stark photos of polar bears in the Arctic and emotive photos of pachyderms in Botswana. They certainly use the golden age of technology to their advantage, and their results are always mind-blowing. While on assignment at two lodges in Botswana, in regions so vastly different yet somehow similar, they took these incredible aerial photos of remote corners of pristine safari paradise. The first batch of images comes fresh from the Selinda Spillway, a quiet and wildlife rich region that links the Okavango Delta to the Linyanti Swamps. The water levels of the area can create interesting patterns where we see water flowing in two different directions in a reserve comprising game rich floodplains. The Selinda Reserve is renown for its remarkable landscapes and variety of game, making it one of the most sought after concessions for a Botswana safari. There are only a limited number of people allowed into the area at a given time, which means plenty of exclusivity and privacy. These photos were taken at RAW Botswana Motswiri Camp, an eco-aware luxury camp located on the banks of the Spillway. This environmentally conscious camp looks out over the peaceful floodplains, and has only five tented chalets, each built on wooden decking and overlooking the waterways. The second set of images comes fresh from the Savuti region of Chobe National Park, and highlights the sheer beauty of a brazen African landscape and the breathtaking wonder of golden hour. The images were taken at the exclusive and luxurious eco-friendly Ghoha Hills Savuti Lodge. Ghoha rests on the ledge of the Ghoha Hills on the outskirts of the Savuti channel inside the Chobe National Park, and has sweeping views of the surrounding Savuti region. Two incredible places that we get to see from a bird’s eye view, thanks to Russell and Shannon’s visual journey....

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