Kruger Birding Safari : The Elegant Eagles
Apr04

Kruger Birding Safari : The Elegant Eagles

There are over 500 species of feathered friends fluttering about the Greater Kruger, just waiting to be observed and photographed. Seasonal migrants, endangered species, waders, raptors and passerines all form part of the plethora of birdlife found in the iconic Kruger region. Birders flock (pun intended) to the Kruger to find those lifers and rare birds; ticking off species when they return to camp from game drive. Spotting big game is, undoubtedly, an exciting and enthralling experience, but there really is nothing better than birdwatching. If you’re going on a Kruger birding safari, you probably have a few birds on your personal list that you’d identify and a few calls you’re dying to hear live and not from your tinny sounding app. Birder, twitcher or budding ornithologist, there’s plenty to keep your bird brain (joke) occupied! One of our favourite family of bird is the eagle, of which there are many species. Here are 3 of our favourite eagles worth seeking out in the wild :  Martial Eagles The Martial eagle is Africa’s largest eagle and boasts a wingspan of a whopping 2.6 m from tip-to-tip. This majestic raptor is the shy silent type, but its power should not be underestimated. The Martial exudes strength and agility, and feeds mainly on medium sized prey such as reptiles, other birds and small mammals. This raptor spends most of its day sourcing prey – it sits silently in trees earmarking its next target, or takes to the skies to identify terrestrial prey. Once targeted, the eagle uses the element of surprise to attack. The Martial eagle swoops down at such speed, and ambushes its prey. It uses its massive wingspan to angle its body in the direction it needs to go. The bare leadwood trees appear to be a favourite place for these birds to roost, and they build nests some 60 feet off the ground. The next time you see a hefty nest straddling a leadwood, or on the steep cliff faces, look out for a Martial eagle. You’ll identify the bird of prey by its markings of a white underbelly and brownish upper parts. You may even hear its call, which sounds like an excited whistle. The Martial eagle is a large, looming and rather regal raptor – a definite awe-inspiring birding sighting in the Kruger. Tawny Eagle The tawny eagle is another large, solitary eagle commonly spotted in the Kruger. Interestingly enough, this eagle is more of a scavenger than predator and is often spotted feasting on succulent meaty scraps and carrion. The tawny eagle has a lot in common with our vultures, but wins hands down in...

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Client Feedback : Stunning Simbavati River Lodge !
Apr03

Client Feedback : Stunning Simbavati River Lodge !

Natasha’s clients enjoyed a safari in the Kruger and stayed at the Simbavati River Lodge, which comes highly recommended by our team. Unfortunately, our guests had a few disappointments at a lodge they chose, but still managed to find the positives in that particular destination. Here is their feedback :  Hi Natasha, Greetings! I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for all your help arranging the safari for Elizabeth, Sylvia and myself last week. And also to let you know how our trip went. First and foremost, we LOVED the Simbavati River Lodge. The setting was lovely, the facilities wonderful, the staff over-the-top helpful, and the guide & tracker the best I’ve experienced in previous trips in Botswana and Namibia. Thank you for recommending that lodge. The Seasons in Africa transfers were perfect. On time, comfortable and nice drivers. Unfortunately we did not enjoy the Nkorho Lodge. (I think it was my choice, not yours)  I would not encourage you to recommend it to clients visiting that area.  The staff lacked most hospitality skills, though the chef was nice and food very good. Our ranger was lackluster and a real disappointment. Also the room Elizabeth and I shared was very small and overlooked the back of the bar, while Sylvia’s single room was huge and overlooked the waterhole. We did have some nice game sightings, but there are a lot of other lodges and their vehicles on the tracks so we didn’t have much of a “bush” experience, or at least what I was looking forward to. (I posted a more detailed review on Trip Advisor under the name PanZora) All that said, we had fun, because we know how to have a good time no materwhat, and appreciate all your assistance with our comings and goings. Best regards,...

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Charming New Big 5 Safari Camp in Greater Kruger
Apr03

Charming New Big 5 Safari Camp in Greater Kruger

Nsala Safari Camp rests on the banks of a dry riverbed in its own private reserve in the Umbambat/Timbavati Reserves. This new big 5 safari camp in the Greater Kruger sleeps only 6 people, which means guests are afforded an intimate and personalised safari experience in the heart of big game territory. Nsala is a comfortable, authentic camp with enough luxury to keep guests happy. Positive reviews for this classic camp are flooding in thick and fast, and guests are loving the excellent game viewing and guiding at Nsala. Nsala’s location is ideal. Riverbeds provide the perfect hide-out for a variety of predators, in particular leopards. The S-bend in the river snakes its way past camp and huge herds of elephant, packs of wild dog and prides of lion enjoy sauntering through the soft sand, which is always an easier path to travel than the twisty shrubbery of heavily thicketed areas. The clear area also makes it easier to spot game while out on game drive, and there are a few potentially great sundowner spots on the outskirts of camp. The views from the camp extend all the way across the riverbed and into the wilderness beyond. The camp is open, which means it’s not uncommon to see elephants filtering down to the swimming pool for a quick drink. Game drives take place in the 5000 hectare traverse of mopane bushveld, bushwillow and low-lying riverine vegetation typical of the location. The focus at Nsala is on the game viewing, and the experience of being cocooned by the Kruger wilderness. The construction of the camp is simple and effective; and its presence certainly doesn’t intrude on the environment. The camp is open-plan and has 3 thatched chalets (rondawels) set around a main section that houses a swimming pool, lounge/dining area, and boma. Each of the chalets is fully-enclosed and has a wooden glass sliding door leading out onto a small patio area. The cosy lounge and deck area overlooks the splash pool, and there’s ample room for relaxation. Slump back into one of the rustic chairs on the wooden deck and indulge a spot of reading. After a day cruising around the bushveld in search of predators and other wildlife, we encourage you to relax around the campfire in the boma area before you sit down to dinner at the safari dining table. For a relaxed safari with unrivalled game viewing opportunities, choose the traditional Nsala Safari Camp.  ...

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Water – based Safaris in Southern Africa – Where to Go
Apr03

Water – based Safaris in Southern Africa – Where to Go

There are many types of safaris to experience in Africa, one of which is the water-based safari. Visitors to Africa can choose to combine both land and water for the safari experience of a lifetime, or simply stick to staying in lodges on private islands to indulge in the ultimate water-based safari activities. You’ll find that most lodges within reserves scattered across southern Africa have access to views of waterholes, meandering rivers and glimmering pans. Guests will clamber into a game viewer and head down to these well-known wildlife havens, or enjoy sundowners on the banks of a river. However great these views are, they don’t quite constitute a “water safari”. For us, a water safari takes place on some kind of vessel in the water, be it a traditional mokoro, canoe, boat or simply staying in area completely surrounded by water. It’s a water-based safari when your day-to-day activities are centred around water. These are our top regions (from experience) for water-based safaris in southern Africa. Chobe River – Botswana The Chobe River forms the northern boundary of the Chobe National Park, and is known for its high concentration of elephants. As such, the region earned a reputation for being the “Land of Giants”.The Chobe River originates in the Angolan highlands, and is a broad mass of water dotted with islands and swamplands. During the dry season, herds numbering in their hundreds lumber down to the river to bathe and soak up gallons of water. Chobe River is paradise for game viewing and is most certainly ideal for a water safari. There are game viewing and specific bird-watching cruises on the Chobe River, and there’s even an option to enjoy overnight stays on a houseboats. You can expect to see the typical aquatic animals while out on the water, but we suggest you keep your eyes peeled for predators filtering down to the water’s edge to replenish their thirst. We recommend staying in one of the many lodges dispersed along the Chobe River. Most of these lodges offer sunset cruises, game viewing cruises and boating activities. Nestled on the banks of the mighty Chobe River and neighbouring Chobe National Park is the luxurious Chobe Safari Lodge. This lodge offers a number of sunset cruises, and even private cruises tailored to your game viewing needs. There are even fishing expeditions available for the keen fisherman. Equipment and guide is provided with each fishing trip, and guests will cast their line off close to the banks of the river. Another premier lodge is Chobe Game Lodge  , one of the few safari options located within the borders of the Chobe National Park. It is a...

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Client Feedback : Botswana Safari
Apr02

Client Feedback : Botswana Safari

Kwando Lagoon, Kwando Splash and Kwando Tau Pan camps in Botswana were Michelle’s camps of choice for Christian’s Botswana safari. Her guests also enjoyed a quick city break at at the Residence in Rosebank, Johannesburg. It’s quite clear that both Christian and Mike loved their Africa safari experience, and saw plenty of wildlife. Here is their feedback :  Hi Michelle, I’ve been meaning to send you an email. The trip was absolutely AMAZING! Both Mike and I truly enjoyed it and couldn’t have been happier. From the first day at Kwando Lagoon we got to see elephants, giraffes, wild dogs, etc and on the second day we tracked a female lion with three cubs, which was pretty incredible. The whole tracking experience was very interesting and worth it. We saw plenty through our entire trip, including a cheetah, leopard and many more lions. All three camps were great! The view of the river at Lagoon was spectacular and with Splash being so new, the accommodations are very nice and modern.  Tau Pan was great as well, with an amazing view. The only down side of Tau Pan/Kalahari was that due to the “rainy season” being so dry with not much rain, the game viewing was a bit limited. We did see a pride of 9 lions which was REALLY NICE and totally worth it, but other than that, it was pretty limited when you compare it to Splash or Lagoon where we saw tons of animals all the time. We enjoyed all three camps, but other people traveling around complained about the game viewing in the Kalahari being very limited…just thought that would be helpful for you to know. In terms of the staff, they were all great at every camp. Staff, guides, trackers were all amazing…the food was delicious, and overall a really nice experience. We met some great people along the way as well. In Johannesburg, we loved The Residence. Such a relaxing hotel, with great service, food, and ambiance. I would definitely stay there again. I will of course leave a review as we were very pleased with everything. I have also been recommending you/Sun Safaris to anyone to asks about the trip. In fact, I think some family friends (Fernando Garcia Robles and Tom) have already been talking with you or someone at Sun Safaris 🙂 Thank you again for everything and let me know if you would like more details about the camps or anything else. Thanks, Cristian...

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