Marataba Trails Camp

Marataba Safari Lodge

Kwandwe

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Tswalu Kalahari

Grootbos

Le Quartier Franҫais

Bushmans Kloof

Cape Grace

Phinda Vlei Lodge

Phinda Mountain Lodge

Phinda Forest Lodge

Phinda Rock Lodge

Cederberg, South Africa – Bushmans Kloof

This award-winning reserve is home to over 130 San rock art sites set in the wilderness of the Cederberg Mountains north of Cape Town. Top-notch services, food, accommodation and guides make this the ultimate place to explore the world of some of the first humans to record their world for posterity. Although not technically a part of the rift valley, it is this record of early humans that ties in with our story of ancient Africa so well.

It is also botanically rich and home to an array of endemic birds and mammals. Hiking, biking, canoeing or game driving – guided or not is an absolute pleasure here.

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Grootbos – South Africa

Grootbos is a jewel in the crown of the Cape Floristic Region. Here you can immerse yourself in the delicate wonders of the fynbos on guided walks, bikes and drives where stunning flowers, milkwood forests and endemic birds of prey are amongst the stars. The superb lodges are perched on a hillside overlooking Walker Bay where seasonal land and boat-based whale watching is a real highlight. The beach is just minutes away and you’ll be immersed in a world of history where the coastal caves serve as a reminder of the first people that one roamed these shores. There are not too many places that offer empty white sand beaches quite like this – walking, horse-riding or simply doing nothing! The list of activities to do and community/conservation programs is long.

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Phinda – Rocktail Bay, South Africa

The classic South African Bush & Beach links the world renowned & Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve with Wilderness Safaris’ Rocktail Bay just a short hop to the north of it on the idyllic Maputaland Coast. This region is without a doubt the most biodiverse in the country, combining a range of different habitats with accommodation and activities to match! Here there is simply too much to absorb; from all the big game to the diminutive Suni antelope as well as hundreds of species of trees, birds and butterflies. It is also the place to relax in peace and let the wildlife come to you. After the big adventure of game drives and walks, the adventure of exploring the pristine coast and underwater delights begins…

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African Civet po(o)ps by…

One of things we love to do with our guests is find a waterhole or well-used game trail to put up a camera trap. The infra-red sensor takes photos while we sleep and later we get to download the card and find out who came to visit. Better still is to look at the tracks first and try to establish how many species came past. In Karongwe, west of the Kruger National Park, we had a successful nights’ trapping. The highlight was an African Civet which decided to poop right in front of the camera. Anyone that has seen the droppings in a civetry (a special name for their latrine) will have questioned how an animal the size of a civet could pass them – well take a close look at the photo. The answer is it isn’t easy!

I always enjoy finding African Civet on a night safari - for me it is a sign of a healthy environment

I always enjoy finding African Civet on a night safari – for me it is a sign of a healthy environment

A picture says a thousand words!

A picture says a thousand words!

Although the porcupine is actually quite common, you don't get to see them too often unless they are raiding the camp veggie garden.

Although the porcupine is actually quite common, you don’t get to see them too often unless they are raiding the camp veggie garden.

I assume this Common Duiker was headed for a morning drink at the waterhole

I assume this Common Duiker was headed for a morning drink at the waterhole

This female impala must have sensed something out of place on the tree - she is very alert

This female impala must have sensed something out of place on the tree – she is very alert

I you put a camera trap up just about anywhere for a few days, you are bound to get at least one look-in from an inquisitive baboon!

If you put a camera trap up just about anywhere for a few days, you are bound to get at least one look-in from an inquisitive baboon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Take A Walk On The Wild Side

The Pafuri Walking Trail  in the Makuleke Concession of the Kruger National Park is without a doubt one of the most remote and wild walking experiences that can be found today. A 3 night 4 day trail is the perfect getaway to experience nature at its best.

The early hours of each day were spent walking in various parts of this unique and extremely diverse area. We had a number of great sightings of elephant, safety is distance when out walking which can be hard to maintain whilst walking for 4 to 5 hours. Most of the time we were able to get to an elevated area and enjoyed watching the behavior of the elephants whilst they were completely unaware of our presence. Buffalo were fairly common and we had to be very careful where we walked. Once or twice we got a little too close for comfort but with the knowledge and experience of our guides we were able to appreciate the skills needed to spend time safely in this environment and avoided having to climb any trees.

In this areas the cats are difficult to find on foot so in the in the afternoon we would use the the vehicle to explore the area, we were fortunate to see two different leopards which was a real highlight. We found some spectacular spots to enjoy our hard earned sun downers and to relive the days sightings. When we arrived back at camp after each adventure, we were  greeted warmly by the friendly staff and treated to some fabulous meals cooked on the open fire.

We really had a fantastic time and enjoyed every minute of the adventure, a special thanks to the staff at Pafuri for such a great experience  and for making us feel so welcome and for looking after us so well.

Some of the best walking in South Africa, the area is extremely diverse. We enjoyed walking in the morning and then taking a drive in the evening to cover more area.

Some of the best walking in South Africa, the Pafuri Wilderness Trail is perfectly situated to explore this incredibly diverse area.

The reputation of a buffalo is well deserved which is why taking photos from the comfort of a vehicle will generally yield better photos due to less camera shake.

The reputation of a buffalo is well deserved, which is why taking photos from the comfort of a vehicle will generally yield better photos due to less camera shake.

A lone elephant bull in the spectacular Fever Tree forests.

Tracking at the confluence of of the Limpopo and Levuvu rivers.

Reading tracks and signs at the confluence of the Limpopo and Levuvu rivers.

Enjoying the freedom of tracking animals on foot in the dry Limpopo River.

Enjoying wildlife from the comfort of the camp. This elephant spent most of the mid day feeding around our tents.

Enjoying wildlife from the comfort of the camp. This elephant spent most of the mid day feeding around our tents.

The thrill and excitement of the mornings adventure proving too much for Gareth.

Brett, head of sustainability at Wilderness Safaris enjoying a fantastic photographic opportunity with buffalo.

Brett, head of sustainability at Wilderness Safaris enjoying a fantastic photographic opportunity with this herd of buffalo.

Spectacular scenery form Lanner Gorge, probably one of the best place in Africa to enjoy sundowners.

Spectacular scenery from Lanner Gorge, probably one of the best place in Africa to enjoy sundowners.

Walking in the wilderness is all about having fund and leaving the daily grind behind.

Walking in the wilderness is all about having fun and leaving the daily grind behind.

Time on foot allows you to earn a greater understanding of the natural world. We had an opportunity to spend time exploring the skull of an elephant which was extremely interesting.

Time on foot allows you to earn a greater understanding of the natural world. We had an opportunity to spend time exploring the skull of an elephant which was extremely interesting.

Taking a rest after a long morning walk and enjoying the scenic Levuvu River.

Every sunset in the African wilderness is special, one has to make sure to not spend too much time in the city before the next one.

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Cape Town Autumn Ocean Wildlife!!

Ocean safaris are not everyone’s cup of tea, but the waters off Cape Town are the prime place to get into it! I’ve had the privilege of getting out onto the ocean a few times in the late summer and autumn months and the photographic opportunities have been great. Pics of Great Whites, African Penguins and large game fish are not even included here! I did not get to see the famed Orcas which visit our waters, but hear they have been sighted recently, so I guess I will have to bide my time for them. The good news is that the Southern Right Whales will start arriving from Antarctica soon… (Alastair)

 

Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross is one of the small albatross, but picture-perfect! Most trips out to sea will encounter at least 2 and up to 5 species of albatross, making Cape Town a global hotspot for viewing these phenomenal fliers.

Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross is one of the small albatross, but picture-perfect! Most trips out to sea will encounter at least 2 and up to 5 species of albatross, making Cape Town a global hotspot for viewing these phenomenal fliers.

Daybreak in False Bay off Cape Town is a real treat especially when the sea is a millpond! This is the view towards the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve as we head towards Cape Point.

Daybreak in False Bay off Cape Town is a real treat especially when the sea is a millpond! This is the view towards the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve as we head towards Cape Point.

Not a sharp shot as it was far behind the boat, but a great feeling to capture this Atlantic endemic found only along the coast from Cape Town to Namibia.

Not a sharp shot as it was far behind the boat, but a great feeling to capture this Atlantic endemic Heviside’s Dolphin, found only along the coast from Cape Town to Namibia.

These Cory’s Shearwaters spend the summer in our waters off Cape Town and can be seen singly or in flocks of over 100 birds. Amazingly they are rather long-lived birds going for well over 30 years!

These Cory’s Shearwaters spend the summer in our waters off Cape Town and can be seen singly or in flocks of over 100 birds. Amazingly they are rather long-lived birds going for well over 30 years!

This is one of my favourite subjects, especially at this time of year when they aggregate into megapods of over 1000 animals – the water literally boils...and the fish don't easily escape!

This is one of my favourite subjects, especially at this time of year when the Long-beaked Common Dolphins aggregate into megapods of over 1000 animals – the water literally boils…and the fish don’t easily escape!

The usual challenge when photographing this Cape Gannet is to snap the moment it enters the water at break-neck speed. This time the light was great and I snapped it as it gathered momentum to fly off. The water and its eye match nicely!

The usual challenge when photographing this Cape Gannet is to snap the moment it enters the water at break-neck speed. This time the light was great and I snapped it as it gathered momentum to fly off. The water and its eye match nicely!

This shot is almost guaranteed on most days at sea as these are two of the more common species – the larger Skua pirates from the White-chinned Petrel.

This shot is almost guaranteed on most days at sea as these are two of the more common species – the larger Skua pirates from the White-chinned Petrel.

Not a seabird is it? This handsome bird can only be seen on Robben Island where it was introduced in 1964 by customs officals? A far cry from its typical rocky mountain habitat over much of Eurasia, but they seem to be doing well.

Not a seabird is it? This handsome bird can only be seen on Robben Island where it was introduced in 1964 by customs officials. A far cry from its typical rocky mountain habitat over much of Eurasia, but they seem to be doing well.

These are great predators in their own right, but off Cape Town they regularly fall prey to the Great White Sharks

These are great predators in their own right, but off Cape Town the South African Fur Seals regularly fall prey to the Great White Sharks.

This stunning bird was hunting with great success in amongst the 10,000 odd cormorants we had all around the boat.

This stunning Swift Tern was hunting with great success in amongst the 10,000 odd cormorants we had all around the boat.

I enjoyed snapping these fisherman as we entered Gordon's Bay harbour

I enjoyed snapping these fisherman as we entered Gordon’s Bay harbour