The real Black Panther of Africa spotted in Kenya!
Feb14

The real Black Panther of Africa spotted in Kenya!

An incredible scientific discovery has finally been captured on camera and revealed to the world: the African black panther photographed in the wild in Kenya’s Laikipia region. British photographer Will Burrard-Lucas used his unique Camtraptions remote camera trap technology to capture the first scientific photographs of this incredibly elusive creature on Laikipia Wilderness Camp’s property, and the result is nothing short of amazing. While evidence of these black leopards in Africa has been revealed over the years, this imagery is the first scientific documentation of the animal since 1909. This animal has been mere legend, spoken about among those lucky enough to have caught sight of it crossing their path, or as a dark creature moving furtively through the bush. It is tricky enough to find a spotted leopard, never mind being able to photograph the Bagheera of Africa! Nicholas Pilfold is a biologist living in Kenya, and he and his team have been observing this melanistic leopard since since last year and he said that it is unlikely that it is the only one. It wasn’t until Burrard-Lucas arrived with the dream of capturing a high quality image of this rare cat with his unique equipment that the presence of the African black panther has been revealed to the world. The cat has been spotted on Kenya’s Loisaba Conservancy at Laikipia Wilderness Camp. Back in 2007, a photograph was seen of a black leopard on Ol Ari Nyiro Conservancy, also in Kenya, but the time difference and young age of the more recent black leopard sighting reveals that it is not the same leopard photographed more than 10 years later. What that means is that this recessive gene is alive and well, and although it is extremely rare, it is not extinct. Take a look at these mystical, newly released photos of the black leopard of Laikipia below. And get in touch to book your trip to this place of legends! Where are black leopards found? Black leopards are found in India in Kabini National Park where they are also extremely rare, however far more Asiatic leopards are melanistic than African leopar ds. There have been very few sightings in history of black leopards in Africa and even fewer photographic evidence, which is what makes these photos so special. Are all panthers black? Black panther was originally the term given to black leopards in Asia and black jaguars in South America, but black leopards in Africa are also referred to as black panthers. It is the melanism in the skin pigment that gives these cats the black colour, and only these melanistic cats are referred to as panther. Leopards...

Read More
Sava Dunes : New Luxury Eco-friendly Beach Lodge in Mozambique
Feb02

Sava Dunes : New Luxury Eco-friendly Beach Lodge in Mozambique

Sava Dunes is an eco-friendly, luxury beach lodge in Mozambique enveloped by golden beaches and azure waters. Located along the Inhambane coastline between bustling Tofo and the chilled Barra beach, Sava is most certainly unsurpassed in terms of its position. It’s a remote destination that offers guests the opportunity to unwind in a luxury lodge that leaves little impact on the environment. There are 5 spectacular rooms dotted across the sand dunes, with each one overlooking the expansive Inhambane coastline. Sava Dunes is not a new-build, and was previously a lodge. The lodge is now under new ownership and has undergone numerous developments since the take-over. There’s an outdoor dining area, indoor seating area, a pool complete with a swim-up bar and quaint wooden-walkways that connect each of the rooms. The long stretch of beach is ideal for running and walking; and the ocean has a small wave that’s perfect for bodyboarding. The neighbouring beaches have fantastic waves for surfers chasing a bigger wave. From the comfort of the lodge you can spot dolphins and whales, and head out to the neighbouring estuary for a unique snorkelling experience. Popular marine life to spot while out in the ocean includes whale sharks, humpback whales, and manta rays. When you’re done with the day’s excursions, we encourage you to settle down with a Pina colada and watch the sunset. Dinners are normally a protracted affair and all sorts of local cuisine is served. Expect fish on the barbecue, prawns and fresh produce the area. In terms of activities, Sava offers a wide variety of adventurous day tours. Guests will need to arrange these trips while at the lodge. Activities include : ocean safaris, mangrove kayaks, fishing expeditions, and scuba diving trips. Basic snorkel equipment is available at the lodge, and so is a longboard and bodyboard. This is the place to unwind and take in the completely raw and rugged coastline. A piece of African beach paradise at its best!...

Read More
Facts About the Bushveld’s Pretty Plains Game
Feb02

Facts About the Bushveld’s Pretty Plains Game

When we’re bumbling across the crunchy terrain in an open-topped game viewer in search of the famous big five, we have a game plan in mind that’s normally decided upon by expert trackers and guides. After all, they are the ones with the tracking skills and have monitored predator activity closely prior to our arrival at camp. If there’s no need to hurtle towards a rapidly disappearing elusive leopard, or a pack of wild dogs on the trot; we stop to observe the bushveld’s pretty plains game. Plains game is a term given to general game of the bushveld. These are the commonly spotted herbivorous species that add bulk to your wildlife sightings in the Kruger, and are generally incredibly photogenic. Plains game form a vital part of the ecology of a reserve, and provide a natural landscaping service to the ‘veld. In the Kruger, the most commonly spotted plains game include : zebra, giraffe, and impala. Of course, there are numerous other general game (bushback, nyala, kudu, waterbuck) that are also commonly spotted. But today we’re featuring the 3 species we deem to be the most popular. Herbivores are either grazers, browsers or both. Grazers graze on grasses, long and tall. Browsers feed off leaves, soft shoots, or fruits of high-growing plants/shrubs. Zebra A group of zebra is referred to as a “dazzle”. They are arguably the most photogenic species to photograph, and their monochromatic colours provide such stark subjects. Zebra live in herds dominated by one male. You’ll often find males and their harems grazing on short, sweet grasses. It is though that when predators approach zebra herds, the herds scatter in a haphazard direction making it tricky for predators to target a single individual. The patterns cause confusion. Giraffe Giraffe are browsers and favour acacia trees. Their height means that they’re at an advantage and can access untouched greenery at the tops of trees. You’ll spot them feeding on acacias, but they do tend to move off quite quickly. Neighbouring acacia trees tend to “talk” and activate other trees warn other trees of the presence of a herbivore. The trees emit tannins that make their leaves unpalatable. They do this when under threat. Giraffe will move off in search of another acacia tree when the tannins become too much to bare. This is why you’ll often see a journey of giraffe on the move. Impala Out of all the plains game, the impala is probably the most commonly spotted. Thousands roam the Greater Kruger, and they’re certainly the most elegant of all the plains game. Because they are in abundance, they also make for easy prey, but...

Read More
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...

Read More
3 Classic and Classy Hotels in Cape Town
Feb01

3 Classic and Classy Hotels in Cape Town

We’ve spent ample time sharing blogs about our favourite hotels in Cape Town, which tend to include a variety of categories of lodgings from sophisticated, to glitzy, ocean facing and even historical. In Cape Town you’ll find hotels of international standing, quirky boutique hideaways, historical hotels that form part of the Cape’s narrative, and cascading villas with commanding views of the icy blue ocean. Today we’re going to share 3 classic and classy hotels in Cape Town. These 3 premier hotels often fly under the radar, but are worth their weight in gold (or Rands!) and have certainly deserved their spot in our top choice of Cape Town Hotels. The Taj Located in the heart of Cape Town’s historical district; the stylish and elegant Taj Hotel is certainly the ideal place to explore the Mother City. With a distinct middle eastern feel, complete with the warm colours and well-appointed furniture, the Taj has the ability to transport us into absolute luxury that is fit for royalty. There are Heritage rooms, Standard rooms, Tower rooms, Bedroom suites and even the Presidential suite. Not only is the Taj a hotel, but it’s also a place to be seen. Locals and international visitors flock to the Twankey Cocktail Bar that has a delightful evolving cocktail. Expect wood-chip smoking methods when creating cocktails while barmen utilise the freshest ingredients in a creative way. Gourmet cuisine is served at the choice of restaurants located in the hotel. The Bombay Brasserie is possibly the best Indian fine dining experience in Cape Town, and if that’s not up your street; then we recommend Lobby Lounge or the Mint Local Grill. After an evening of eating, relax the next day with an indulgent spa treatment at Jiva spa. This spa uses numerous eastern wellness philosophies to ensure relaxation of both body and mind. If relaxing isn’t your thing, then hit the fitness centre to sweat out your heavy night in the swanky Twankey Bar! Cape Royale  The Cape Royale Luxury Hotel  is such a stylish place, and its main drawcard (apart from its New York style hotel facade) is the Roof top sky bar and pool deck. The top level of the hotel gives rise to panoramic views of the city and Table Mountain. Located in the trendy neighbourhood of Green Point, the Cape Royale is just the perfect place for discerning travellers wanting to experience luxurious living combined with convenience. It’s within 1 km of the famous VA Waterfront, 1 km of the golf course and 5 km to the beachfront. When you aren’t sunning your body around the pool deck and sky bar, we suggest you mosey...

Read More
Iconic Destinations in Kenya, the Jewel of Africa
Jan31

Iconic Destinations in Kenya, the Jewel of Africa

Kenya is fondly referred to as the “Jewel of Africa”, and is probably one of the most recognised safari destinations in Africa. There’s no denying that Kenya is an “all rounder” when it comes to game viewing, sweeping scenes, open savannahs and tranquil tropical islands. In one country it’s possible to go from viewing the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro to relaxing in the turquoise waters of Lamu Island, and witnessing tree-climbing lions straddling branches of trees on arid open plains. One tenth of Kenya has been given either national park or reserve status, making it a coveted region for spirited safari-goers. But it’s not only the exquisite biome and wildlife that make Kenya an exceptional destination. It’s also the people. Kenya has a rich and vibrant culture, one that has the earth and conservation at its core. The boldly dressed Maasai people are the custodians of their land, constantly conserving Kenya’s wildlife. And it’s also the birthplace of many novels and movies. Kenya certainly lives up to its colloquial phrase, the Jewel of Africa. Masai Mara for the Famous Wildebeest Migration The wildebeest migration put Kenya on the map in terms of being a sought after safari destination. The Masai Mara area is a major drawcard for many visitors and borders the neighbouring country of Tanzania; which means holidaymakers will often combine countries for the ultimate wilderness experience. Located in the southwestern region of Kenya, this preserved savannah is home to a wealth of wildlife. But the highlight? Well that would have to be witnessing the annual wildebeest migration which is best witnessed during the October months. Of course, the peak season is when it’s dry from late June to October. The herds are generally around from June – October, but October they begin their mass migration back to the Serengeti in Tanzania. The Coast and its Islands for a Tropical Getaway  Mombasa lies along the coast of Kenya and is the gateway for a tropical island retreat – Africa style! Picture scenes of dhows, remote beaches, dilapidated houses, fishing villages and Moroccan style villas framed by calm seas and endless stretches of beach. The best place to wipe the safari dust off with salty sea water, is in the Lamu Archipelago –  a group of tropical islands lying parallel to the coast of Kenya. Lamu is the quintessential Kenyan coast life and remains a rustic, and remote destination with a signature donkey-and-cart way of life.  Amboseli National Park for the Famous View of Mount Kilimanjaro Amboseli is famous for its gigantic free-roaming Tuskers roaming the plains, one of which was well-documented and researched. Echo the elephant was the subject of many...

Read More
South Africa : One of the World’s Most “Instagrammable” Destinations
Jan30

South Africa : One of the World’s Most “Instagrammable” Destinations

Instagram is ablaze with scenic travel photos from hidden destinations and pockets of scenic perfection from around the world. This photo platform is an inspiring place to select new travel destinations, and plot a route for your next adventure or luxury holiday. It’s first-hand, reliable and doesn’t have the clutter of social media platforms : it’s all about the images and videos. Instagram has changed how we book our travel experiences!  We’ve closely followed articles about the most popular “Instagrammable” destinations to visit – the ones that provide unique photo-worthy scenes. In a recent article about the world’s Most Instagrammable Destinations for 2019,  South Africa walked away in fifth place ! With our dramatic scenery, contrasting arid savannah, incredible coastlines, mountains laden with vineyards and more; we guarantee that there are plenty of spots that will see your Instagram following increase! It’s impossible to list the 1000s of destinations in South Africa, because everywhere is truly remarkable, but below are a few of our favourite Instagrammable spots in South Africa: The Bloubergstrand View of Table Mountain Travel 20 minutes outside of the city centre towards the West Coast of Cape Town, and you’ll stumble across one of the most spectacular views of the iconic Table Mountain. Stand on the stretch of Bloubergstrand beach and take a photo of the sweeping piece of coast with the famous mountain as the background. The White-washed Fishing Village of Paternoster Along the West Coast 2 hours drive up the West Coast of Cape Town is a traditional fishing village that has gained in popularity with  locals in recent years. The small village hugs a protected bay, and 90% of the houses are white with blue shutters, giving the impression that you could be in a small Greek village somewhere. Get that perfect photo of indigenous vegetation, white-washed houses and beach views all in one shot. Boulders Beach in Cape Town Boulders Beach is located along the False Bay Coastline, close to Cape Point Nature Reserve. The protected penguin colony swim freely between the various bays, with rafts in abundance at Boulders. When the penguins aren’t in the water they waddle onto the beach, and numerous colonies and lone individuals will happily walk past your beach set-up. Don’t be surprised to see them gracefully glide past you while you cool off in the water. Take a snap on the beach with the penguins in the background, or grab your GoPro and get a few underwater photos of the penguins enjoying the calm and protected bay. African Sunsets in the Kruger Nothing beats a sunset in Africa – especially over the vast savannah. Landscapes laden with...

Read More