Video of Lion Attacking a Leopard at Kirkman’s Camp in Kruger
Oct25

Video of Lion Attacking a Leopard at Kirkman’s Camp in Kruger

We’ve all watched the YouTube video about the Battle of the Kruger that made unsuspecting tourists gain recognition for their amateur video. A similar event happened to Matthew Poole, a professional guide and ranger from &Beyond Kirkman’s Camp. While taking guests on one of their game drives, they stumbled across a rather rare event that delivered predator-on-predator action! One of the large males from a coalition of two called the Matshipiris, slowly and silently stalked a dominant male leopard in the area called Bicycle Crossing. Guests were exceptionally lucky to witness these two species engaging in a tumultuous tumble. Both cats came away unscathed, but the dust, noise and scuffle proved to be quite the showdown.  The fight appeared to be more of an intimidation tactic from the lion’s side. This certainly didn’t appear to be a meal ticket! Here is the much anticipated video of a lion attacking a leopard at Kirkman’s Camp: Leopards are solitary creatures and spend the heat of the day resting in trees or on elevated areas where they can survey the landscape for potential danger. Leopards hunt by stalking quietly and they’re excellent swimmers, agile climbers and readily devour a range of prey. This leopard, due to its agility, was able to sprint to safety and use its limber body to outsmart this dominant cat. Leopards are notoriously sneaky, which enables them to get away with anything. Lions generally hunt by stalking and ambushing their prey. Hunts are normally done in prides or with other lions. In this case, the ranger thought the male was walking towards another member of its coalition but in fact, made a turn to chase the leopard off of its turf. Lions are incredibly territorial and can be aggressive if they feel under threat. When these two dominant male predators met, tensions were high! &Beyond Kirkman’s Camp in the Sabi Sand comprises 18 luxurious suites overlooking the pristine Sabi Sand. Well-manicured lawns surround the colonial style house and warthogs frequent the lawns. An old world atmosphere in a lodge with impeccable service. The Sabi Sand is a big cat paradise and is known for its high concentration of leopards. Sharing unfenced borders with the Kruger National Park, this reserve is a prime game viewing hotspot for visitors to South...

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Awe-inspiring Angles on Wildlife Photography
Jul03

Awe-inspiring Angles on Wildlife Photography

Wildlife photography has a big, big place in this world. Whether it be a passion or a career, for art or for marketing; photographing wild animals all over the world is a culture. Canon or Nikon (or neither of the above), cameras and photography have evolved over time, and now, in a time when people feast with their eyes, imagery of animals in their natural habitats is used for not only pleasure, but for education, conservation, and research. Technology has developed cameras to such an extent that they don’t even need to be manually operated by photographers. Automatic triggering of the shutter has created the possibility of capturing images without being physically present, opening a world of never-before-seen activity and behaviour in a variety of categories, but particularly wildlife. Camera traps – although no portrayal of photographers’ skill – have offered a glimpse into the secret activity of animals. Going a step further is photographer extraordinaire, Will Burrard-Lucas, whose invention of the DLSR camera trap has combined the quality and capabilities of a camera with the technology of a camera trap. These phenomenal photographs were captured using Burrard-Lucas’ invention and have a truly alluring, mystical, and awe-inspiring effect on the viewer. The movement of an animal is sensed by the camera trap and automatically triggers the click of a shutter, but the device is so non-invasive that the animals appear to be hardly aware of the camera at all. The value of this photography is immeasurable in terms of understanding behaviours and movements of various animals. Many of Burrard-Lucas’ photographs were captured in Zambia’s Liuwa Plains, North and South Luangwa National Parks, and recently he was at work with the World Wildlife Fund in the Kavango-Zambezi Conservation Area in Namibia. It offers an astonishing view of the wild inhabitants of Southern Africa when they think nobody is watching, and their behaviour is unaltered by the presence of humans. Just when we thought we had seen it all, Burrard-Lucas brought out his one-of-a-kind Beetle Cam, which is ‘an armoured remote-control buggy for your DSLR camera’. This pioneer invention allows wildlife photographers to delve deeper than ever before and to capture their subjects from a position that would never be safe for a human to be. The buggy carries your camera right up to the animal subject and evokes nothing more than a photogenic curiosity. The Beetle Cam comes with a protective carapace that protects your camera from the investigative claws and teeth of, say, a lion cub, or a leopard. The unbelievable images that have been released into the world of wildlife photography are truly unique to the field. One...

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“Vanishing Kings” Lion Shot in Human-Wildlife Conflict
Jun23

“Vanishing Kings” Lion Shot in Human-Wildlife Conflict

Hearts are broken in the world of lion conservation after the news of one of the Five Musketeers, featured in the recently released documentary Vanishing Kings, has died after being shot in an incident of human-wildlife conflict in Namibia’s Damaraland. Devastatingly, human-lion conflict is a reality for local farmers and the endangered population of desert lions living in the Damaraland, and last week, an incident took place that saw the death of one male lion and injury of another. These lions belonged to a famously followed pride known as the Five Musketeers. In the dead of night last week the pride attempted to prey on livestock that were being kept in a temporary kraal near the village of Tomakas, and although they were scared off by the commotion of people and dogs, they were followed and shot at by farmers looking to protect their livestock. One of the Five Musketeers known as Harry was killed, while two others appeared to be superficially injured. Dr. Flip Stander – founder of Desert Lion Conservation – discovered Harry’s body deep in a thicket and it was with sadness that he reported the incident on his blog. As a precautionary measure against the stealing of bones and body parts, Harry’s body was burnt. Mere days after the incident, the four remaining lions (now referred to informally as the Four Musketeers) and two lionesses were recorded approaching giraffe in a valley, but unfortunately came across cattle calves that had not been safely rounded up for the night, and 2 of the calves were killed: a costly setback for the farmers at Tomakas. The next night, the lions followed the same route, keeping clear of the village, and thankfully there was no cattle roaming free in the dangerous night. Instead, the lions killed an oryx – one of their natural prey species in the desert. On 21 June, the Four Musketeers (now heavily monitored by Dr. Stander and those working to prevent an incident) were seen stalking very close to a village and almost chased off using bright lights and fireworks. The scare tactics were called off moments before being deployed as it became clear the lions were in fact stalking giraffe. They successfully killed a giraffe and conflict was avoided. The death of a Musketeer is not the first and will not be the last incident between lions and farmers living on Namibia’s Skeleton Coast. There are measures in place to keep livestock safe, and to keep lions away from kraals and villages, but not every incident can be prevented in the vast Damara region. Sun Safaris has supported Desert Lion Conservation over the...

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Giraffe Necking Duel in Kruger
Feb24

Giraffe Necking Duel in Kruger

Bull giraffe are not violent by nature but certainly have a protective instinct when their young are under threat. By nature, they are not territorial like many of the cat species and they move from one location to the next in search of cows on heat. The only antagonism that arises between giraffe bulls is when a hierarchy is being established, or they are protecting a female in estrus. Guests may come across two giraffe necking in a rhythmic and graceful manner. This is not a mating dance but in fact a duel. Giraffe are not violent, predatory animals but rather gentle herbivores. Seeing bachelor giraffe go neck and neck in a duel is a placid affair to witness. The aim here is for the bull to thrust his horns onto his enemy’s body, defend himself and mimic the oppositions movements. With these interactions a type of dance ensues. Jochen is based at Africa on Foot in the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve and captured this Giraffe Necking Duel on camera.                ...

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Elephant in the Kalahari!
Jan13

Elephant in the Kalahari!

An elephant in the Kalahari! Gosh, what a treat! Nadia from SAN Parks posted on their forum about a contractor of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park had an unusual sighting on the weekend – an elephant!  This lone bull elephant was spotted about  50km’s north of the camp Mata Mata on Saturday 10 January.  He was heading towards Namibia!  Elephants in the Kalahari are not common at all, however there are the desert elephants of Namibia’s Damaraland so they can survive.     The rangers tracked him to a trampled border fence with Namibia, where he was heading towards the Namibian Kalahari Game Lodge. The lodge has confirmed that they saw him and that he was friendly and very thirsty!   No word on where is he going from here, but we will keep an eye on his wanderings!!   Source: SANParks, Images courtesy of...

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Cheetahs in the Serengeti use safari vehicle to scout game
Jan05

Cheetahs in the Serengeti use safari vehicle to scout game

 Cheetahs in the Serengeti   The Serengeti in Tanzania is well known for it massive herds of wildebeest that migrate through the vast open plains from the north in the Masai Mara through to the south in the Serengeti and back. There are often upwards of a million buck in this migration, with thousands of zebra joining the trek. Big cats are known to be in abundance all year, as there is always game, even when the migration is not in their area. Cheetahs in the Serengeti can be found on the plains looking for a meal. Because there is very little height advantage these cheetah’s have used the safari vehicles to scout game. Boris von Schoenenbeck spent a few weeks in the Serengeti filming these beautiful cats. They would go out every day to look for them, and the cheetahs in turn, used their vehicle almost every day. Suddenly Boris was the centre of attention, with upwards of 20 vehicles filming him and the cheetahs! Here is his video:...

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Elephant vs Crocodile at Lion Sands, Kruger National Park
Dec30

Elephant vs Crocodile at Lion Sands, Kruger National Park

Elephant vs Crocodile in the Kruger National Park This morning on a game drive the guests at Lion Sands, in Kruger Concessions of Kruger National Park, were enjoying a peaceful time with a herd of elephants swimming and drinking at the newly flowing river. Suddenly their attention was drawn to the bank by an elephant trumpeting in distress. A quick thinking guest snapped the photo below. It seems that the elephant was in the shallows when the crocodile snapped its jaws shut on the end of the elephants trunk. The elephant tried to shake the croc off but couldn’t. The elephant then backed up onto the bank, dragging the crocodile, still attached to his trunk, with him. He then knelt down on top of the crocodile, which caused the croc to let go. Both of them then retreated to lick their wounds. And so started another exciting day in the Kruger...

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