Black and White Images of Big Cats and Wild Dogs
Feb02

Black and White Images of Big Cats and Wild Dogs

Wildlife videographers and photographers spend endless days zigzagging their way through unforgiving terrain in search of wildlife and spectacular scenes. For these creatives, a scene of a lion standing in the middle of the arid savannah tells a story. They figure out unique ways of photographing and filming predators, and try to tackle techniques that haven’t beed tried before. It’s about keeping up to date with trends, but adding your own flavour to each moment documented. Some photographer’s images are as unique as a fingerprint – they might be purveyors of moody moments, or enjoy saturating their images, or even thrive on the abstract. Each photographer constantly learns and invests in new equipment to take them to bigger, better places. Today we share a few of Kevin MacLaughlin’s black and white images of big cats and wild dogs, and marvel at the magnificence of both subject and creativity. Lions are easier to photograph than their cat counterparts. Lions spend up to 20 hours a day sleeping and ten to gorge themselves after a meal, to a point where they can no longer move. Even their breathing slows down. When a pride is tracked to their kill site, they will be there for quite sometime. This provides sufficient enough time to get abstract and artistic with lighting, shadows and angles. Even the lone individuals and coalitions tend to swagger slowly through Leopards are agile, quick and elusive. They’re tricky subjects to photograph because they move with such stealth and ease through the savannah. As soon as you spot one, they retreat. Leopards – like lions – sleep during the heat of the day, but they tend to select the tops of trees for nap time. During this still period of time, visibility can be tricky. Gnarled branches and twisted leaves tend to block the view! Leopards do relax on ground level, or on slightly elevated areas (they enjoy scanning the bush for potential prey) which does make the subject easier to photograph. Capturing images of leopards just requires quick thinking and patience ! Wild dogs canter and trot through the bushveld, and they’re generally quite excitable. Photographing the dogs trotting and leaping always makes for rewarding results! African wild dogs are a rare and nomadic species, so any sighting or image of them is always much needed in your portfolio. If they’re on the move, they move quickly. When relaxing they flop about around waterholes, under trees and getting good visual of them is always reliable – they move in packs, which means there are ample opportunities to photograph...

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Upgrades to Governors’ Camp Collection in East Africa
Jan29

Upgrades to Governors’ Camp Collection in East Africa

Governors’ II  Moran Camp and Loldia House are two of the most spectacular properties in the Governors’ portfolio of exceptional destinations. Governors is the pioneer of classic safaris in East Africa, and they certainly set the benchmark in terms of offering the quintessential safari experience. The latest upgrade to Governors’ Camp collection in East Africa is worthy of documenting!  Moran Camp is located in the Masai Mara, and Loldia is in the Great Rift Valley – both areas renown for their game viewing. Needless to say, the locations of both these camp are in the most sought after destinations in the world. Governors recognises the need to keep up to date with the latest trends in decor and design; and constantly strives to improve functional elements within each of their camps. These classic camps don’t intrude on their natural surrounds, and prefer the untamed wild to be their focal point, rather than being ostentatious. Tasteful furnishings and well-appointed furniture provide an exceptional level of luxury, but not a luxury that detracts from your surrounds. Governors encapsulates the art of being sophistically understated. So, let’s give a quick run down of the recent changes at both camps, bearing in mind that the tents were refurbed during the phase 1 development at the beginning of the year: Governors’ II Moran Camp in Masai Mara The entire mess tent was revamped and reconstructed. Mess tent is now located on the edge of the Mara River, with sweeping views of the landscape below. New platform area leading out from mess tent, with large comfy couches and mood lighting that creates atmosphere. Fire-pit on the deck – perfect place for large bonfires and creates a space to swap stories about your time in the bushveld. There’s been a change in decor, which includes a warmer and more bold colour palette. Reds, royal blues and brass ornaments define the look and feel of the main area. Brand new fleet of Toyota Land Cruisers – and Governors only ever allocates 4 people per 1 game viewer. Loldia House in the Great Rift Valley Loldia House is designed to reflect an atmosphere from a bygone era. The house was always an old family farm, that provides exquisite accommodation in a popular safari region. After a two month revamp, the new Loldia House was revealed – with the following changes : New dining room with high ceilings Swanky bar area in the original dining room Soft furnishings complementing that classic feel of the house, with a focus on minimalism and pops of colour throughout. Bathrooms have also been reworked to incorporate a more crisp and fresh look. The original manager’s house...

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3 Regions Ideal for a Game-Rich Zimbabwe Safari
Jan10

3 Regions Ideal for a Game-Rich Zimbabwe Safari

Zimbabwe is the custodian of a number of game rich national parks and conservancies. The country is a mecca for safaris, and also happens to be home to Victoria Falls, one of the natural seven wonders of the world. Zimbabwe is a largely underrated safari destination, but it most certainly should be earmarked as a prime region for a safari. Zimbabwe has endured a rather turbulent political history that has influenced potential visitor’s decision to choose alternate countries for a safari experience. Zim, as it’s affectionately known, has many significant wildlife areas which include Mana Pools National Park, Lake Kariba, and Hwange National Park. Mana Pools National Park There are four permanent pools of water that have their source in the mighty Zambezi River; and these pools are located deep within the national park. The national park is located in the lower Zambezi region, and the area is known for its canoe safaris and walking trails. Abundant trees form a canopy over many areas, which provides the much-needed shade during the uncomfortable summer heat. It also provides shaded areas for groups enjoying guided walks through the scenic landscape. This is a prime destination for predator viewing and high concentrations of big game can be found with ease. We’re not surprised that Mana Pools National Park was given a World Heritage Site status. Our accommodation choice : Kanga Bush Camp is situated in a remote section of the national park on a private concession. It overlooks the Kanga Pan which attracts a wealth of wildlife. Hwange National Park Hwange National Park borders Botswana and is the largest park in Zimbabwe. Sitting on the fringe of the Kalahari desert, Hwange enjoys a similar climate to the more arid desert region. The landscape comprises mopane forests, open plains dotted with palm trees and teak woodlands.  A truly diverse and unique biome with a remarkable species diversity. There are over 100 species of mammal and 400 species of bird, and over 450 lions within the park. Hwange’s unique selling point? It is home to the highest concentration of elephants in Africa! Prowling predators are in abundance, with high records of African wild dog sightings. Our accommodation choice : Somalisa Camp is ideally located in wildlife heaven, and offers abundant sightings of buffalo and elephant. There are exceptional views of the floodplain directly in front of camp. Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe Several islands are dotted throughout the man-made Lake Kariba, the largest artificial lake in the world. These islands are home to abundant game that fled to the islands during the floods, and now each island has its own diverse array of wildlife. Large waders, fish...

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What is the Best Month to go on an African Safari?
Jan04

What is the Best Month to go on an African Safari?

What is the Best Month to go on an African Safari? That’s a tough question to answer! Each new season in the southern Africa bushveld brings with it a flurry of unique wildlife activity. As the seasons shift, so do the colours of landscape and the type of game viewing. The peak safari season in South Africa, Kenya and Botswana is generally Apr – Aug, with the pinnacle being June/July. This is the period of time that sees the dulling of the savannah’s natural colours, and a thinning out of the bushveld. Because of the lack of rainfall, the landscape is dry, sparse and crunchy. Spotting game becomes much easier and herds head to waterholes to replenish their thirst during the dry months, making it much easier to predict their behaviour. This period of time is also the European holidays, so visitors tend to swarm to safari destinations, which means it’s advisable to get your booking in early. According to many guidebooks and tour operators, June and July are the optimum months to enjoy an African safari. However, if you aren’t beholden to the holidays, May and late August are equally as successful in terms of sightings. The wild dog denning period is generally from May – August, with August being the month when you see the pups slowly emerging from the den site, accompanying the adults on expertly crafted hunts. Of course, the best month to go on an African safari is also dependent on what region you visit, and what species you would like to see while out in the wild. Even during the peak months, you might not see your bucket list of game. Wildlife has little interest in appearing on demand! The open landscapes teeming with game are vast, and often great tracking skills combined with luck are required to spot animals. Spring/Summer time is the time of year when lambs are born, cubs are spotted and calves emerge. It’s renown for being the birthing season, and is most certainly a very endearing time of year to visit. The colours of the bushveld and savannah slowly spill over from dull khakis into bold greens, and signs of new life can be seen everywhere. It’s a season that’s alive and brimming with possibility. The full-blown summer period is fondly referred to as the emerald season. It’s the time of year when the thirsty landscapes lap up the sheets of summer rain, and the vegetation shifts from drab to energetic. Summer migrant birds arrive in their droves and rivers burst onto the banks. Do be aware that the Summer in the Greater Kruger is muggy, sticky and hot! The...

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Kruger Safari Lodges for Corporate Groups
Dec06

Kruger Safari Lodges for Corporate Groups

The Greater Kruger is scattered with intimate lodges, many of which only cater for a handful of guests at a time. These camps offer a personalised and intimate safari experience in South Africa’s expansive Lowveld region, but leave little room for large corporate groups in need of something different when it comes to annual budget meetings or compulsory conferences! Here is a selection of three lodges that cater for corporates, while combining a typical luxury safari experience complete with game drives, bush breakfasts, and sundowners. Going on safari for your work function or formal conference is one way to ensure you combine fun and work. And there is nothing healthier that work life balance! Here are 3 Kruger safari lodges for corporate groups :  &Beyond Ngala Safari Lodge : Sleeps 42 The charming and classic &Beyond Ngala Safari Lodge is located in the Kruger National Park on a private sect of land. Surrounded by canopies of mopane and tamboti trees, this lodge is nothing short of an elegant hideaway shrouded in natural vegetation. Lantern lined pathways wind their way down to manicured lawns, a busy waterhole attracting herds of elephants sits neatly on the doorstep of Ngala, and a sparkling pool provides much needed respite from the heat. Don’t be surprised to see elephants approaching the pool area! Boughs of trees surround the boma dining area, which is the ideal space to connect with work colleagues. A roaring campfire provides a relaxed atmosphere in the boma, and is certainly a place where memories are made and stories shared. To destress, we recommend you book a spa treatment or hit the gym. There are 17 Air-conditioned cottages, 3 family cottages and 1 private family suite; and outdoor and indoor showers. The family suites have their own private plunge pools and the bathrooms with a view are definitely a highlight! We recommend Ngala for a company getaway. It oozes colonial elegance and certainly sets the standard in terms of luxury safari lodges.  There isn’t a conference room, so it would be more of a relaxed company getaway with small group meetings which could be held in outdoor areas or in the courtyard – provided you booked out the whole lodge. Kapama River Lodge : Sleeps 40 Kapama River Lodge is a modern lodge tucked away in Kapama Private Game Reserve, and boasts plenty of open spaces with African inspired decor peppered throughout the lodge. Kapama has cleverly designed this lodge to reflect both modern hotel living and the wild African bushveld. A perfect balance between city life and bush life; and an ideal destination for corporates. Kapama River Lodge is a...

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Marine Life to Spot While on an Ocean Safari in Mozambique
Dec05

Marine Life to Spot While on an Ocean Safari in Mozambique

The Mozambique coastline is an unspoilt and wild destination in Africa offering a wealth of beach and ocean activities. The warm Indian ocean provides the perfect habitat for abundant marine life and the shoreline offers pristine surfing waves for all level of surfer. The Mozambique coast and its archipelagos provide the perfect conditions for a tropical island getaway, while still maintaining that African rustic feel. Ideal for fishing, diving, surfing, snorkelling and swimming, Mozambique is certainly a worthwhile destination. While you’re out in the deep blue, you’ll find that there’s ample marine life to spot while on an ocean safari in Mozambique. Below we’ve listed the most popular marine life to spot along Mozambique’s coast.  Humpback Whales and  Southern Right Whales Both the humpback and southern right whales are found in abundance throughout the warm waters of Mozambique. The whales migrate to the warm open waters of Mozambique to mate and calve, and favour the colder waters of the northern regions of the globe to feed. The most popular time of year to spot whales is from June – December, a window of time that gives onlookers an opportunity to whale watch from the shore – or even your lodge. The humpback whales do love to entertain, and can often be seen bolting up out of the water and slapping their hefty bodies back on the surface of the ocean. It’s name is derived from the way it contorts its frame when it readies itself for a dive. For the underwater adventurers, try to listen out for the haunting song and sounds of the humpback whales. The southern right whales name is derived from ancient times when hunters believed the species to be the “right” whale to hunt because of its blubber and slow-moving ways. Where to see whales in Mozambique : July – October is the time of year to see humpback whales in the Bazaruto and Quirimbas Archipelagos. October – December in the open waters of Mozambique is the time spot Humpbacks. The southern right whales appear to be more congregated around the southern regions of Mozambique. Dugongs The dugong is a rare, almost mythical sea creature that looks like a hybrid of an elephant and mermaid. The endangered dugong is not only rare, but by nature an excessively shy creature. Dugongs are drawn to areas with forests of sea grasses (northern parts of Mozambique coastline), and they’re actually one of two vegetarian marine mammals. Dugongs certainly aren’t loners and travel in flings of two or more. They feed in the shallows which means they are generally out of the way of marauding deep sea predators. Because dugongs are elusive,...

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3 Safari Lodges on the Riverfront in Chobe National Park
Nov08

3 Safari Lodges on the Riverfront in Chobe National Park

The contrasting landscapes, abundant wildlife, and untouched pockets of safari paradise makes Botswana a sought after safari destination. The country is home to premier land and water based safari activities, and a range of lodges are peppered throughout the country. Want a water safari? Head to the Okavango Delta, a world heritage site and home of the water safari. Want a savannah style safari combined with mighty rivers? Then head to the popular Chobe National Park, the land of giants. Want a desert safari? Then head to the arid Kalahari, a culturally significant area home to vast landscapes and mind-blowing mirages. There are so many lodges peppered throughout Botswana that it’s hard to pin down our favourite safari hideaways, so today we’re focusing on 3 safari lodges on the accessible riverfront area of Chobe National Park. Staying here will ensure The Chobe National Park is in the north east part of Botswana, in close proximity to the Okavango Delta. The mighty Chobe river meanders its way through the park, and the Chobe Riverfront is home to hoards of big game. The area is known as the land of giants because of its high concentration of elephants. The park is the third largest in the country, and the riverfront region is the most accessible.  Of course, the geographical marvel of the Linyanti Marshes, and the ferocious predators of the famous Savuti region also fall within the national park. Chobe National Park is home to contrasting eco-systems, and therefore offers a variety of habitats for a wealth of different species. Kasane is the town that serves Chobe, and this is where the four countries of Namibia, Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe meet. It is also where the mighty Chobe river and powerful Zambezi rivers converge.  Chobe Game Lodge Chobe Game Lodge is situated on the banks of the Chobe River, inside the Chobe National Park. This is the only permanent lodge situated inside the national park. The lodge is expansive and has 47 rooms, sleeping a total of 94 people. It’s a 5 star lodge in a prime location, and all rooms are river facing. Sit on your private balcony and watch the elephants, hippos and birdlife flock to the shores. Chobe Under Canvas Chobe Under Canvas offers guests the opportunity to stay in a mobile tented camp on the banks of the Chobe River in the heart of the national park. This mobile camp is the ultimate in luxury safari living, and has 6 East African style tents nestled on the banks of the river. Enjoy boat cruises, game drives and a relaxed safari in the Chobe National Park. Chobe Elephant Camp Chobe...

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