Game Reserve

Leopard gets revenge

Our intention that morning was to go back to an area where we had heard lions calling the night before, to see if they had crossed into our property – well, that was the plan anyway…

Not long out of Bush Lodge, we spotted a hyena crossing the road in front of us. It crossed rather hurriedly and looked as if it was carrying something in its mouth. We followed up, and sure enough, it was a female spotted hyena carrying the remains of a bushbuck kill. The actions of the hyena told us that the kill had been stolen from another predator – in this case, more than likely a leopard. We understood why she was in such a hurry.

Knowing that the hyenas had a den on the property, we decided to keep following. It was evident by the fullness of her stomach that this female had already eaten her fill from the carcass. Carrying a half eaten bushbuck isn’t all that easy, and she had to keep stopping to adjust her grip on the carcass, each time looking very nervously behind her for the predator who might be following the drag marks and scent being left behind. She was right to be nervous.

The hyena stopped to drink from a small pan, dropping the carcass in the water for protection. It is very unlikely that a cat would go into the water to fetch it. She had a drink, picked up the carcass again and as she got to the edge of the pan, dropped it and spun around, facing the direction she had just come from, looking as alert as ever and extremely nervous.

As we watched, a male leopard came bursting out of the surrounding bush, growling and intent on getting his kill back. The sound of the charge is something I never want to experience on foot, and I’m not surprised the hyena took the sensible choice and tucked tail and ran, as this is one of the biggest male leopards on our reserve. He searched frantically around the water for the carcass, located it, and with what seemed like lightning speed, snapped it up. True to my tracker’s predictions, he went straight to the nearest Marula tree and hoisted himself and the kill out of reach of the hyena, which had come running back onto the scene.

The power and strength of the leopard was awesome. It was up in the tree in no time. By the time we had moved around for a better angle, the hyena was back and the leopard had positioned the kill securely. He stood proud in the tree over his kill catching his breath and surveying the surrounding bush for any other possible intruders. Once satisfied he settled in to eat what remained of his bushbuck.

After a short while another twist unfolded. A young female leopard had obviously also come across the drag marks and followed them. She sheepishly approached the area, going first to the pan of water, sniffing around and then made her way over towards the tree. We thought we were in for a tussle between the two leopards, but the male appeared too engrossed in eating and only gave a few warning growls. The female took up position under the tree and in a way begged for some food. All she was going to get were scraps that would fall as the male ate – definitely not enough to satisfy her hunger. The male had now eaten most of the kill and the remains could no longer be secured in the tree, so he brought the little that was left down to finish on the floor under a nearby thicket of vegetation. The female went up the tree to see what scraps had been left there, but after seeing there wasn’t much, she came down and went to drink some water from the pan.

The leopard, triumphant on this occasion and with a satisfied hunger, lay in the shade of the thicket to sleep the day away, recovering his energy levels to be ready for another night of hunting.

Written by

Malcolm Stirk

Website: www.sabisabi.com


View Larger Map

 

Leopard gets revenge

Our intention that morning was to go back to an area where we had heard lions calling the night before, to see if they had crossed into our property – well, that was the plan anyway…

Not long out of Bush Lodge, we spotted a hyena crossing the road in front of us. It crossed rather hurriedly and looked as if it was carrying something in its mouth. We followed up, and sure enough, it was a female spotted hyena carrying the remains of a bushbuck kill. The actions of the hyena told us that the kill had been stolen from another predator – in this case, more than likely a leopard. We understood why she was in such a hurry.

Knowing that the hyenas had a den on the property, we decided to keep following. It was evident by the fullness of her stomach that this female had already eaten her fill from the carcass. Carrying a half eaten bushbuck isn’t all that easy, and she had to keep stopping to adjust her grip on the carcass, each time looking very nervously behind her for the predator who might be following the drag marks and scent being left behind. She was right to be nervous.

The hyena stopped to drink from a small pan, dropping the carcass in the water for protection. It is very unlikely that a cat would go into the water to fetch it. She had a drink, picked up the carcass again and as she got to the edge of the pan, dropped it and spun around, facing the direction she had just come from, looking as alert as ever and extremely nervous.

As we watched, a male leopard came bursting out of the surrounding bush, growling and intent on getting his kill back. The sound of the charge is something I never want to experience on foot, and I’m not surprised the hyena took the sensible choice and tucked tail and ran, as this is one of the biggest male leopards on our reserve. He searched frantically around the water for the carcass, located it, and with what seemed like lightning speed, snapped it up. True to my tracker’s predictions, he went straight to the nearest Marula tree and hoisted himself and the kill out of reach of the hyena, which had come running back onto the scene.

The power and strength of the leopard was awesome. It was up in the tree in no time. By the time we had moved around for a better angle, the hyena was back and the leopard had positioned the kill securely. He stood proud in the tree over his kill catching his breath and surveying the surrounding bush for any other possible intruders. Once satisfied he settled in to eat what remained of his bushbuck.

After a short while another twist unfolded. A young female leopard had obviously also come across the drag marks and followed them. She sheepishly approached the area, going first to the pan of water, sniffing around and then made her way over towards the tree. We thought we were in for a tussle between the two leopards, but the male appeared too engrossed in eating and only gave a few warning growls. The female took up position under the tree and in a way begged for some food. All she was going to get were scraps that would fall as the male ate – definitely not enough to satisfy her hunger. The male had now eaten most of the kill and the remains could no longer be secured in the tree, so he brought the little that was left down to finish on the floor under a nearby thicket of vegetation. The female went up the tree to see what scraps had been left there, but after seeing there wasn’t much, she came down and went to drink some water from the pan.

The leopard, triumphant on this occasion and with a satisfied hunger, lay in the shade of the thicket to sleep the day away, recovering his energy levels to be ready for another night of hunting.

Written by

Malcolm Stirk

Website: www.sabisabi.com


View Larger Map

 

Wild Facts Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve – Klipspringer

via sabisabi.com

1. The Klipspringer (‘rock jumper’ in Afrikaans) is a small African antelope that lives…

on rocky outcrops from the Cape of Good Hope all the way up East Africa and into Ethiopia

2. Known for their remarkable jumping ability, klipspringers live singly or in life-long monogamous relationships – in which pairs spend most of their time within a few metres of each other. The males are fiercely territorial.

3. Their enemies include leopards, hyaenas, baboons and large birds of prey. Klipspringer pair behavior relative to predators is that, while one klipspringer eats, the other acts as a lookout.

4. Klipspringers have specially adapted hoofs for living in their rocky territories. They stand, walk, leap, and land on their tiny hoof tips like ballerinas constantly on tip toe. Their hooves are the consistency of hard rubber, absorbing the shock of their huge leaps.

5. Klipspringers have remarkable dense, coarse coats consisting of hollow hairs that rustle when shaken or touched. This unique quality hair helps to cushion their bodies from any abrasion from sharp rocks.

6. Klipspringers attain a mass of only around 12 kgs, with the females being slightly larger than the males. Only males have horns.

More Sabi Sabi Wild Facts

Website: www.sabisabi.com


View Larger Map

Wild Facts Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve – Klipspringer

via sabisabi.com

1. The Klipspringer (‘rock jumper’ in Afrikaans) is a small African antelope that lives…

on rocky outcrops from the Cape of Good Hope all the way up East Africa and into Ethiopia

2. Known for their remarkable jumping ability, klipspringers live singly or in life-long monogamous relationships – in which pairs spend most of their time within a few metres of each other. The males are fiercely territorial.

3. Their enemies include leopards, hyaenas, baboons and large birds of prey. Klipspringer pair behavior relative to predators is that, while one klipspringer eats, the other acts as a lookout.

4. Klipspringers have specially adapted hoofs for living in their rocky territories. They stand, walk, leap, and land on their tiny hoof tips like ballerinas constantly on tip toe. Their hooves are the consistency of hard rubber, absorbing the shock of their huge leaps.

5. Klipspringers have remarkable dense, coarse coats consisting of hollow hairs that rustle when shaken or touched. This unique quality hair helps to cushion their bodies from any abrasion from sharp rocks.

6. Klipspringers attain a mass of only around 12 kgs, with the females being slightly larger than the males. Only males have horns.

More Sabi Sabi Wild Facts

Website: www.sabisabi.com


View Larger Map

Wildlife sightings in Phinda

ELUSIVE KINGFISHER!

The gentle breeze was sweeping through the canopy of Riverine Trees and every now and then a large yellow leaf of the Sycamore Fig floated to the ground next to us. The previous evening we had a great downpour and once again the Munyawana River that cuts through Phinda Private Game Reserve was flowing.

We were on a Specialist Safari, comfortably lying in hammocks, serene and relaxed in the cool shade. It felt as though we were the only people in this pristine wilderness! More →

Wildlife sightings in Phinda

ELUSIVE KINGFISHER!

The gentle breeze was sweeping through the canopy of Riverine Trees and every now and then a large yellow leaf of the Sycamore Fig floated to the ground next to us. The previous evening we had a great downpour and once again the Munyawana River that cuts through Phinda Private Game Reserve was flowing.

We were on a Specialist Safari, comfortably lying in hammocks, serene and relaxed in the cool shade. It felt as though we were the only people in this pristine wilderness! More →

The Boomslang vs. the Chameleon

Dscf6679

In the bush, anything can happen. Elephants can block the road, or rivers can overflow making roads a bit of an obstacle course, and sometimes, when guests are being escorted to their suites, little creatures emerge and get in the way. More →

The more you pay, the more you get….Tony Park in South Africa

The more you pay, the more you get

It sounds logical, doesn’t it… the more you pay, the more you get?  It’s certainly true of travel in South Africa, but I’m afraid the same can’t be said for some of this country’s neighbours.

I’ve just crossed back into South Africa after a few weeks on a self drive safari through Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.  I’ve been to all those countries before and I love them, and have had a fantastic time every time I’ve visited them, but the more kilometres I did and the more places I saw, the more I started thinking about value for money.

You see, in many African countries, including the above, the more you pay, the less you get.

It sounds odd, but the marketing strategy in the hospitality industry in many of South Africa’s neighbours is that people will pay big bucks for very little.  Supposedly, the more you pay, and the less service and facilities you have, the more likely you are to have had the ultimate safari experience.

I’ll give you some examples…

Let’s look at the lower end of the budget spectrum – my usual end of town.  If you have a vehicle (say, a rental car) and you take your own tent and a few pots and pans to Africa, or buy some gear when you get there, it’s very easy to camp in some of Africa’s great national parks.

If you camped in one of South Africa’s national parks, such as Kruger or, where I am right now, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the Kalahari Desert, you get a site in a well maintained camping ground with electricity; hot and cold running water; a shop selling food, drink and basic necessities; a fuel station; spotlessly clean ablution blocks, and a fence running around the camp to keep the animals out.  The cost for two people is R150 (about AUD$23).

Across the border in Namibia, if you camped in Etosha, a magnificent national park, it would cost you R400 for two people to camp (about $61).  The facilities in Etosha are similar to Kruger, although the camp shops are generally very poorly stocked, and food and drink are more expensive than in the South African parks.

In Botswana, we stayed at the Khwai Community Campground on the border of the Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta.  This was a truly beautiful part of Africa, but our camp site, which was just a patch of grass under a tree (no shop, no filling station, no fence, no electricity, no running water) was about R420!  You see, the more you pay, the less you get.

The same thing goes for Botswana’s national parks – as beautiful as they are, you pay a heck of a lot more to camp there than in South Africa, and you get far fewer facilities.

It’s a similar story the higher up the tourism food chain you move.  In South Africa you can pay a very pretty penny – up around the $1000 per person per night mark – to stay in a luxury private game lodge, but here’s the pay-off – it actually is a lodge.  These places are usually made of bricks and mortar and generally come furnished with air conditioning, mini bar, private plunge pool, wide screen TV, spa bath, sound system, etc etc etc.

However, if you elect to spend up big in, say, Namibia or Botswana, or the seriously expensive safari destinations in East Africa, you’ll more than likely end up in a tent.

Sure, it will be a very nice tent, but the theory is that you will be paying lots of money in order to escape the niceties of life (eg: TV, air conditioning, swimming pool), and, as result, your safari experience will be more magical.

Rubbish.

Call me old fashioned, but if I’m going to spend a lot of money on something I want some bangs for my bucks.  I want luxury – mini bar, air conditioning and all.

There are a range of safari options available in South Africa, from pitching your own tent to staying in the lap of luxury, and they’re charged accordingly.  You can stay in a very nice safari tent in a South African private game reserve (and some of the national parks camps have permanent tents as well) yet, they’re not as expensive as staying in a bricks-and-mortar lodge.  Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Some people will tell you that you don’t need all mod cons and a private plunge pool and a Jacuzzi when you’re in the African bush, or that this is somehow immoral.

Rubbish.

I’ve just spent four fantastic weeks sleeping on the roof of my Land Rover in the heat and dust of Africa.  I’ve loved every second of it, but I’m also ready for a bit of luxury.  Now… if only I could afford it.

The more you pay, the more you get….Tony Park in South Africa

The more you pay, the more you get

It sounds logical, doesn’t it… the more you pay, the more you get?  It’s certainly true of travel in South Africa, but I’m afraid the same can’t be said for some of this country’s neighbours.

I’ve just crossed back into South Africa after a few weeks on a self drive safari through Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.  I’ve been to all those countries before and I love them, and have had a fantastic time every time I’ve visited them, but the more kilometres I did and the more places I saw, the more I started thinking about value for money.

You see, in many African countries, including the above, the more you pay, the less you get.

It sounds odd, but the marketing strategy in the hospitality industry in many of South Africa’s neighbours is that people will pay big bucks for very little.  Supposedly, the more you pay, and the less service and facilities you have, the more likely you are to have had the ultimate safari experience.

I’ll give you some examples…

Let’s look at the lower end of the budget spectrum – my usual end of town.  If you have a vehicle (say, a rental car) and you take your own tent and a few pots and pans to Africa, or buy some gear when you get there, it’s very easy to camp in some of Africa’s great national parks.

If you camped in one of South Africa’s national parks, such as Kruger or, where I am right now, the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the Kalahari Desert, you get a site in a well maintained camping ground with electricity; hot and cold running water; a shop selling food, drink and basic necessities; a fuel station; spotlessly clean ablution blocks, and a fence running around the camp to keep the animals out.  The cost for two people is R150 (about AUD$23).

Across the border in Namibia, if you camped in Etosha, a magnificent national park, it would cost you R400 for two people to camp (about $61).  The facilities in Etosha are similar to Kruger, although the camp shops are generally very poorly stocked, and food and drink are more expensive than in the South African parks.

In Botswana, we stayed at the Khwai Community Campground on the border of the Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta.  This was a truly beautiful part of Africa, but our camp site, which was just a patch of grass under a tree (no shop, no filling station, no fence, no electricity, no running water) was about R420!  You see, the more you pay, the less you get.

The same thing goes for Botswana’s national parks – as beautiful as they are, you pay a heck of a lot more to camp there than in South Africa, and you get far fewer facilities.

It’s a similar story the higher up the tourism food chain you move.  In South Africa you can pay a very pretty penny – up around the $1000 per person per night mark – to stay in a luxury private game lodge, but here’s the pay-off – it actually is a lodge.  These places are usually made of bricks and mortar and generally come furnished with air conditioning, mini bar, private plunge pool, wide screen TV, spa bath, sound system, etc etc etc.

However, if you elect to spend up big in, say, Namibia or Botswana, or the seriously expensive safari destinations in East Africa, you’ll more than likely end up in a tent.

Sure, it will be a very nice tent, but the theory is that you will be paying lots of money in order to escape the niceties of life (eg: TV, air conditioning, swimming pool), and, as result, your safari experience will be more magical.

Rubbish.

Call me old fashioned, but if I’m going to spend a lot of money on something I want some bangs for my bucks.  I want luxury – mini bar, air conditioning and all.

There are a range of safari options available in South Africa, from pitching your own tent to staying in the lap of luxury, and they’re charged accordingly.  You can stay in a very nice safari tent in a South African private game reserve (and some of the national parks camps have permanent tents as well) yet, they’re not as expensive as staying in a bricks-and-mortar lodge.  Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Some people will tell you that you don’t need all mod cons and a private plunge pool and a Jacuzzi when you’re in the African bush, or that this is somehow immoral.

Rubbish.

I’ve just spent four fantastic weeks sleeping on the roof of my Land Rover in the heat and dust of Africa.  I’ve loved every second of it, but I’m also ready for a bit of luxury.  Now… if only I could afford it.

Ben Groundwater’s South Africa adventure

So, what’s this South Africa place about? It’s game parks, right? Elephants, lions, G&Ts at sundown in your safari lodge?
After 10 days in the country recently, I now know that the answer is yes. And no. Um…

Game parks? Yeah, we did game parks. We did Phinda Reserve, an amazing private game reserve where you need a guide to take you to your room each night so you don’t accidentally get mauled by the wildlife.

You take breaks during your morning game drive for biscuits washed down with hot chocolate and Amarula. You stop off on evening game drives for G&Ts and biltong.

It’s game driving as it should be done – lots of animals, not many tourists, and a comfortable bed at the end of the day (as long as you avoid those animals).

But there was more to the trip than just annoying the safari animals.

We scuba dived at Aliwal Shoal on the KwaZulu Natal south coast, watching warily as ragged-tooth sharks glided by and watched us warily.

We jumped off the top of a football stadium in Durban. We rode quad bikes through a banana plantation on the south coast. We rode horses on the beach in Trafalgar. We reeled in a couple of tuna off Shelly Beach. We jumped off a cliff at Oribi Gorge.

In fact, if there was a South African activity that was even slightly dangerous or stupid that we missed out on, I’d be very surprised.

By the time we got home, I realised there was only one thing we hadn’t got the chance to do: sleep.

 

Ben Groundwater’s South Africa adventure

So, what’s this South Africa place about? It’s game parks, right? Elephants, lions, G&Ts at sundown in your safari lodge?
After 10 days in the country recently, I now know that the answer is yes. And no. Um…

Game parks? Yeah, we did game parks. We did Phinda Reserve, an amazing private game reserve where you need a guide to take you to your room each night so you don’t accidentally get mauled by the wildlife.

You take breaks during your morning game drive for biscuits washed down with hot chocolate and Amarula. You stop off on evening game drives for G&Ts and biltong.

It’s game driving as it should be done – lots of animals, not many tourists, and a comfortable bed at the end of the day (as long as you avoid those animals).

But there was more to the trip than just annoying the safari animals.

We scuba dived at Aliwal Shoal on the KwaZulu Natal south coast, watching warily as ragged-tooth sharks glided by and watched us warily.

We jumped off the top of a football stadium in Durban. We rode quad bikes through a banana plantation on the south coast. We rode horses on the beach in Trafalgar. We reeled in a couple of tuna off Shelly Beach. We jumped off a cliff at Oribi Gorge.

In fact, if there was a South African activity that was even slightly dangerous or stupid that we missed out on, I’d be very surprised.

By the time we got home, I realised there was only one thing we hadn’t got the chance to do: sleep.

 

New addition to the family?

Yesterday, while on a game drive, Lennox found something that Kirkman’s Kamp very rarely sees. For the last 5 months I have been guiding in the Sabi Sands and have had the privilege of seeing 3 young male cheetahs on four different occasions. Before this, If I’m not mistaken, it has been 3 years since the last cheetah sighting on this property. – Things are changing.

The 3 young males have moved in from the northern part of the reserve (mala mala) and it looks as if they could very well settle in the area. The neighboring property (Lion Sands) has seen them frequently and they seem to jump from open area to open area. We have a very nice open area near the lodge called ‘the golf courses” and the cheetah have made two kills in the area since we began seeing them.

It’s a real privilege to be able to operate in an area where you have no idea what you might see coming to visit from neighboring properties and the Kruger National Park. We will keep you updated as to what happens. Hold your thumbs for us that they make Kirkman’s Kamp their new home.

Kirkman’s Kamp by Mark Lautenbach

Web Site: http://www.andbeyondafrica.com/luxury_safari/south_africa/sabi_sand_game_reserve/and_beyond_kirkmans

Guide’s biography:

Mark Lautenbach

 

Name: Mark Lautenbach
Nickname: Tsontso
Country: South Africa

 

Im born and bred in Cape Town, and went to an outdoor-orientated boarding school which sparked my passion for the outdoors and to become a guide. All my life i have been around animals and learning as much about nature as i possibly can. I completed my diploma in game ranging and lodge managment right after school and went straight to to become a guide at Madikwe Safari Lodge.(Best decision I’ve made). I am very passionate about the smaller things in the african bush, like insects, reptiles, birds and anything else that attracts my attention. I am a senior ranger and a mentor for trainees who come to join our amazing team. I hope to one day become a trainer in other parts of the world for &Beyond.

New addition to the family?

Yesterday, while on a game drive, Lennox found something that Kirkman’s Kamp very rarely sees. For the last 5 months I have been guiding in the Sabi Sands and have had the privilege of seeing 3 young male cheetahs on four different occasions. Before this, If I’m not mistaken, it has been 3 years since the last cheetah sighting on this property. – Things are changing.

The 3 young males have moved in from the northern part of the reserve (mala mala) and it looks as if they could very well settle in the area. The neighboring property (Lion Sands) has seen them frequently and they seem to jump from open area to open area. We have a very nice open area near the lodge called ‘the golf courses” and the cheetah have made two kills in the area since we began seeing them.

It’s a real privilege to be able to operate in an area where you have no idea what you might see coming to visit from neighboring properties and the Kruger National Park. We will keep you updated as to what happens. Hold your thumbs for us that they make Kirkman’s Kamp their new home.

Kirkman’s Kamp by Mark Lautenbach

Web Site: http://www.andbeyondafrica.com/luxury_safari/south_africa/sabi_sand_game_reserve/and_beyond_kirkmans

Guide’s biography:

Mark Lautenbach

 

Name: Mark Lautenbach
Nickname: Tsontso
Country: South Africa

 

Im born and bred in Cape Town, and went to an outdoor-orientated boarding school which sparked my passion for the outdoors and to become a guide. All my life i have been around animals and learning as much about nature as i possibly can. I completed my diploma in game ranging and lodge managment right after school and went straight to to become a guide at Madikwe Safari Lodge.(Best decision I’ve made). I am very passionate about the smaller things in the african bush, like insects, reptiles, birds and anything else that attracts my attention. I am a senior ranger and a mentor for trainees who come to join our amazing team. I hope to one day become a trainer in other parts of the world for &Beyond.

&Beyond wildlife sightings – Madikwe secrets

There are always some animals which guides will always hope to see and photograph. Some are rarely seen and very secretive. I have had the privilege to see most of these animals at madikwe with only a few more still to find in the future.

Madikwe has shown me both the caracal and the serval hunting in the late mornings and early evenings. The rare opportunity to see an aardvark harvesting termites next to my vehicle, a pangolin unrolls its self and disappears into the darkness. An aard wolf has made an appearance on more than one occasion. The African wild cat is seen regularly this time of the year. Myself and Greg Smith both got to photo a honey badger has it joined us for sundowners. Now for that bat eared fox and Jameson Red rock rabbit…

Posted: Madikwe Safari Lodge by Brett Devitt

 

Madikwe Safari Lodge

Madikwe Safari Lodge is situated in the heart of the richly diverse and malaria-free 76 000-hectare (187 800-acre) Madikwe Game Reserve – one of South Africa’s biggest wildlife sanctuaries. Famed for Operation Phoenix, the world’s largest game translocation exercise with the introduction of more than 8 000 animals, Madikwe’s diverse geology and broad mix of habitats allows a wide range of African wildlife to flourish – including the Big Five, cheetah and a thriving population of wild dog.

 

Web Site: http://www.andbeyondafrica.com/african_safari/south_africa

 

 

 

 

&Beyond wildlife sightings – Madikwe secrets

There are always some animals which guides will always hope to see and photograph. Some are rarely seen and very secretive. I have had the privilege to see most of these animals at madikwe with only a few more still to find in the future.

Madikwe has shown me both the caracal and the serval hunting in the late mornings and early evenings. The rare opportunity to see an aardvark harvesting termites next to my vehicle, a pangolin unrolls its self and disappears into the darkness. An aard wolf has made an appearance on more than one occasion. The African wild cat is seen regularly this time of the year. Myself and Greg Smith both got to photo a honey badger has it joined us for sundowners. Now for that bat eared fox and Jameson Red rock rabbit…

Posted: Madikwe Safari Lodge by Brett Devitt

 

Madikwe Safari Lodge

Madikwe Safari Lodge is situated in the heart of the richly diverse and malaria-free 76 000-hectare (187 800-acre) Madikwe Game Reserve – one of South Africa’s biggest wildlife sanctuaries. Famed for Operation Phoenix, the world’s largest game translocation exercise with the introduction of more than 8 000 animals, Madikwe’s diverse geology and broad mix of habitats allows a wide range of African wildlife to flourish – including the Big Five, cheetah and a thriving population of wild dog.

 

Web Site: http://www.andbeyondafrica.com/african_safari/south_africa

 

 

 

 

Wild Facts Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve – Zebra

 zebra

Zebras belong to the genus Equus which also includes horses and asses. In sub-Saharan Africa there are there are three main zebra species, Plains zebra, Grevy’s zebra and Mountain zebra. A fourth species, the quagga, became extinct over 100 years ago. More →

Wild Facts Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve – Warthog

The Warthog, Phacochoerus africanus, a common resident of the Sabi Sabi bushveld, is widely spread throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa. With a flat head and large warts, this is a really unattractive member of the pig family. The male of the species can weigh as much as 100kgs, with the female much smaller, weighing in at only 70kgs.
Both the males (boars) and females (sows) have 2 sets of ivory tusks – an upper set which is curved into a semi-circle, and a lower set which is extremely sharp and dangerous. The tusks are formidable weapons, and in males can reach a length of 25cms. Both sexes have distinctive wart-like bumps on their faces, but on the male these are much more pronounced, with the upper “warts” growing extremely large, possibly to protect their eyes during fights with other males in the mating season.

Warthogs have a naked grey skin, covered with occasional sparse bits of bristly hair. Along the backbone there is a little more hair, forming a small mane, and finally, it sports a tuft of coarse hair right at the tip of its tail. As with many other bushveld animals, oxpeckers assist in keeping insects and ticks off these bare creatures, and wallowing in the mud completes the job of removing pests.

The males of the species are generally solitary, while the females live in small social groups called soundings, made up of one or two mothers with their 3-4 piglets. When running through the grass, their tails stand straight up, with the hair on the end waving like a little pennant, making it easy for members of the family to follow each other.

Warthogs are herbivores, eating plants, grasses, roots and bulbs. They are often seen kneeling on their calloused front legs, using their snouts and tusks to dig for buried tubers.

Although capable of digging their own homes, warthogs generally live in abandoned holes and burrows, their favourite being aardvark burrows. When chased by predators, their instinct is flight rather than fight. Given the opportunity, they will flee to their burrows at speeds of up to 30 kilometers per hour and scurry in backwards, leaving those menacing tusks facing outwards. Many guests on safari have had the opportunity of seeing hungry lion or leopard prowling around a termite mound, unable to safely dig out the warthog inside its den.

For more Sabi Sabi Wild Facts and information about Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve visit http://www.sabisabi.com

Wild Facts Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve – Warthog

The Warthog, Phacochoerus africanus, a common resident of the Sabi Sabi bushveld, is widely spread throughout most of sub-Saharan Africa. With a flat head and large warts, this is a really unattractive member of the pig family. The male of the species can weigh as much as 100kgs, with the female much smaller, weighing in at only 70kgs.
Both the males (boars) and females (sows) have 2 sets of ivory tusks – an upper set which is curved into a semi-circle, and a lower set which is extremely sharp and dangerous. The tusks are formidable weapons, and in males can reach a length of 25cms. Both sexes have distinctive wart-like bumps on their faces, but on the male these are much more pronounced, with the upper “warts” growing extremely large, possibly to protect their eyes during fights with other males in the mating season.

Warthogs have a naked grey skin, covered with occasional sparse bits of bristly hair. Along the backbone there is a little more hair, forming a small mane, and finally, it sports a tuft of coarse hair right at the tip of its tail. As with many other bushveld animals, oxpeckers assist in keeping insects and ticks off these bare creatures, and wallowing in the mud completes the job of removing pests.

The males of the species are generally solitary, while the females live in small social groups called soundings, made up of one or two mothers with their 3-4 piglets. When running through the grass, their tails stand straight up, with the hair on the end waving like a little pennant, making it easy for members of the family to follow each other.

Warthogs are herbivores, eating plants, grasses, roots and bulbs. They are often seen kneeling on their calloused front legs, using their snouts and tusks to dig for buried tubers.

Although capable of digging their own homes, warthogs generally live in abandoned holes and burrows, their favourite being aardvark burrows. When chased by predators, their instinct is flight rather than fight. Given the opportunity, they will flee to their burrows at speeds of up to 30 kilometers per hour and scurry in backwards, leaving those menacing tusks facing outwards. Many guests on safari have had the opportunity of seeing hungry lion or leopard prowling around a termite mound, unable to safely dig out the warthog inside its den.

For more Sabi Sabi Wild Facts and information about Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve visit http://www.sabisabi.com