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Nyungwe Top View Hill Hotel

Karenge Bush Camp

Bisate Lodge

Notten’s Bush Camp

Singita Ebony Lodge

Singita Boulders Lodge

The ultimate African bush and beach safari

Lion Sands Tinga Lodge

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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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Singita Lebombo turns it on…

I had a brilliant week at Singita Lebombo – far from the madding crowds as they say and with lots to see. On the first afternoon we had a Honey Badger approach us on a bush walk as we headed to a rocky view point. The following evening it was lions, leopard, African Civet and serval. The birding was superb with loads of cuckoos, nest-building weavers, Burnt-necked Eremomelas at a nest (look that up!) and the arrival of the Amur Falcons all the way from their journey across the Indian Ocean and down the east side of Africa. We also got see the gradual demolition of a giraffe carcass from the lions to hyenas to vultures and beetles. It had been some time since I last really sat watching and hearing hippos for extended periods of time and this was probably the highlight of the trip. The diversity of this landscape and the chance to really explore makes this one of my favourite destinations. (Alastair)

There are superb hippo viewing opportunities by vehicle and on foot along the Nwanetsi River

There are superb hippo viewing opportunities by vehicle and on foot along the Nwanetsi River

This is an elephant's way of saying "I am watching you!"

This is an elephant’s way of saying “I am watching you!”

We sat for ages watching the hyenas devour the giraffe bone by bone - the vultures just waited for marrow to shoot out as they fed.

We sat for ages watching the hyenas devour the giraffe bone by bone – the vultures just waited for marrow to shoot out as they fed.

I simply could not get decent photos of these fish as they fled the hunting crocodile.

I simply could not get decent photos of these fish as they fled the hunting crocodile.

We had photographed a good number down at the river, but this Globe Skimmer was hovering around the Land Rover as if we were an elephant flushing insects!

We had photographed a good number down at the river, but this Globe Skimmer was hovering around the Land Rover as if we were an elephant flushing insects!

The fantastic geology in this part of the world is complemented by an array of attractive lizards like this Flat Lizard species.

The fantastic geology in this part of the world is complemented by an array of attractive lizards like this Flat Lizard species.

We found a rather lean-looking pride of lions on the Mozambique boundary. Here the cubs were fighting over  sinew and a chance to lick the ground...desperate times indeed.

We found a rather lean-looking pride of lions on the Mozambique boundary. Here the cubs were fighting over sinew and a chance to lick the ground…desperate times indeed.

I saw this elephant bull and wondered just how large he might be when he really grows up one day!

I saw this elephant bull and wondered just how large he might be when he really grows up one day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On Safari at Savanna Private Game Reserve

I have taken several trips to Savanna this past year and wanted to share some of the highlights of my time there. Although the game viewing is exceptional, it is the genuine warmth and friendliness of the staff that I enjoy most. They all have this wonderful ability to make you feel so at home I often have to remind myself I am actually working.

It really is all about the game though and that’s the impression you get from the passionate guides who go out of their way to make sure all expectations are met and, where possible, exceeded. Every safari is an adventure, from tracking game to the friendly banter between the vehicles. We are often the first to go out in the morning and the last to come back in the evenings, and that’s not because the guides are lost. Guests are often dragged away from tasty meals to race back out into the field to find themselves arriving at the perfect moment to observe an incredible sighting, and sometimes not. That is nature and it waits for no one but it’s always worth a try. There are very few camps where this still happens and unfortunately, it seems to be a dying service.

At Savanna there is a directly proportionate ratio of embellished camp fire stories to red wine, both of which are in never-ending supply. It does make it a little harder to get up in the mornings but with a fresh cup of coffee, the incredible wildlife and a little nap after brunch, you find yourself quite happily doing it all over again. These are the makings of a great safari.

 

Leopard, Savanna, Sabi Sands

A young female leopard killed a warthog piglet just before dark. After a brief scuffle with an opportunist hyena she managed to hoist it into a nearby tree.

Hyena, Savanna, Sabi Sands

Lions killed a wildebeest in the early morning, this was all that was left by the time we arrived. This hyena spent some time making sure every available piece of flesh and bone was removed.

Lion, Savanna, Sabi Sands

Affection from an older sibling. These young lions were separated from the rest of the pride, we found them in early morning where they climbed up a termite mound right next to the vehicle and posed beautifully for us.

Giraffe, Savanna, Sabi Sands

This young giraffe, with its umbilical chord still attached was running away from a large male leopard who had been watching it closely from the cover of a thicket.

Elephant, Savanna, Sabi Sands

Watching elephants swim is both fascinating and funny, these two bulls certainly wont be competing in a synchronized swimming event any time soon.

Cheetah, Savanna, Sabi Sands

We discovered this male cheetah early one morning, he had caught a young impala lamb just before we got there and had started to feed. Seeing cheetah is always a bonus so we just sat patiently in the rain and enjoyed the sighting.

Rhino, Savanna, Sabi Sands

Under immense pressure, one can consider every sighting of rhino a modern day privilege. In South Africa alone close to a 1000 rhinos were poached in 2013 and in 2014 we have already lost 42. How do we stop this epidemic?

Wild Dog, Savanna, Sabi Sands

A pack of wild dogs on the hunt has to be one of the most thrilling experiences in the African bush.

One of my favourite things to do is spend time watching a large herd of buffalo. There is so much interaction between the different members of the herd, ox-peckers fluttering excitedly and the ever present threat of lion hunt.

One of my favourite things to do is spend time watching a large herd of buffalo. There is so much interaction between the different members of the herd, ox-peckers fluttering excitedly and the ever present threat of hunting lions.

Elephant, Savanna, Sabi Sands

The water hole at Savanna often attract herds of elephants, buffalo and lions. To see these animals from the comfort of the breakfast table is always a treat.

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Congo-Kalahari: From Primates to Pangolins

We set out to create a unique safari, possibly the first of its kind, to experience the diversity of the African continent. For seasoned African travellers, the goal was to find the ultimate guided wildlife adventure combining iconic fauna and flora without compromising comfort and luxury.

Our first stop was the heart of the West African rainforest Odzala National Park in the Republic of Congo,  where Wilderness Safaris has bravely ventured to encourage tourism to the area which will help protect the endangered Western Lowland Gorillas and provide much needed employment for the local villagers.

During our stay at Lango Camp we walked ancient elephant pathways, viewed forest buffalo on foot, birded the Lekoli River by boat and spent hours wandering through  massive tracts of pristine rainforest.

At Ngaga camp we tracked  and spent time with the endangered gorillas. Gorilla researcher and expert Dr Magda Bermejo was on hand to interpret the interesting behavior which we witnessed whilst out in the field. Whist out walking we also heard the excited calls of wild chimpanzees as they engulfed the ripened fruits of  nearby tree unfortunately we didn’t get to see them.

Then we were off to Tswalu Kalahari, which couldn’t be more contrasting with wide open spaces, red sand, starry nights and a cool winter dryness.  Winter is a fantastic time to visit the Kalahari, spending time with aardvark on foot and with the habituated meerkat groups is a truly unforgettable experience. Thanks to the team at Tarkuni Villa who made our stay extra special we couldn’t have asked for more.

We spent a morning on a boat on the Lekoli River which is a great way to see birds and animals. This Forest Buffalo allowed us to get a few photos before moving off.

We spent a morning on a boat cruising the Lekoli River which is a great way to see birds and animals. This forest buffalo allowed us to get a few photos before moving off.

A small herd of the colourful forest buffalo on the edge of the Lango Bai. It is always a good idea to have some distance between yourself and the animals you are viewing.

A small herd of the colourful forest buffalo on the edge of the Lango Bai. It is always a good idea to have some distance between yourself and the animals you are viewing.

Walking the elephant boulevard, at Lango Camp with our guide Karl Diakite. This ancient trail is still followed by elephants today to get to the saline bai right in front of the camp.

Walking the elephant boulevard, at Lango Camp with our guide Karl Diakite. This ancient trail is still followed by elephants today to get to the saline bai right in front of the camp.

This Western Lowland Gorilla was just hanging a round on a small branch above our heads.

This Western Lowland Gorilla was just hanging a round on a small branch above our heads.

It is not always easy to get a good sighting of the lowland gorillas, after hours of tracking and some patience we got to see some incredible interaction between these two individuals.

It is not always easy to get a good sighting of the lowland gorillas, after hours of tracking and some patience we got to see some incredible interaction between these two individuals.

One of the most unique activities that is best done in the South African winter is to spend time on foot with an aardvark as he goes about his search for food in the early afternoons.

One of the most unique activities that is best done in the South African winter is to spend time on foot with an aardvark as he goes about his search for food in the early afternoons.

Its one of those creatures you hear about but most people never get to see. We were extremely fortunate and special thanks to the team work from the guides at Tswalu to make this dream a reality. What an amazing animal!!!

Its one of those creatures you hear about but most people never get to see. We were extremely fortunate and special thanks to the team work from the guides at Tswalu to make this dream a reality. What an amazing animal!!!

This incredible little gem was photographed outside of The Motse lodge on Tswalu Kalahari.

This incredible little gem, a Marico Sunbird was photographed outside The Motse lodge on Tswalu Kalahari.

We watched a small group of wildebeest come down to drink at a small waterhole. It was a windy day and a gust of wind spooked them and they ran right through the water.

We watched a small group of wildebeest come down to drink at a small waterhole. It was a windy day and a gust of wind spooked them and they ran right through the water.

One of my favourite things to do at Tswalu is spend time with these magnificent little creatures. The habituated groups of meerkats provide hours of entertainment and a brilliant photographic opportunity.

One of my favourite things to do at Tswalu is spend time with these magnificent little creatures. The habituated groups of meerkats provide hours of entertainment and a brilliant photographic opportunity.