There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of nostalgia, especially when it involves delving into the moments that have defined the safari experience. This week, in our Week in Pictures, we take a casual stroll down memory lane and celebrate the highlights of safari living. Whether it’s sampling craft gins at a bush bar, dining under the soft lantern lit baobab trees or seeing your first lion kill; its’ all part of the safari lifestyle. Moments that are forever etched in your mind deserve to be accessed and unboxed from time to time.
Here are a few moments that, over the past few months, have been noteworthy experiences while exploring southern Africa’s backyard.
Yet again, the leopards of the Sabi Sand provide us with endless rewarding sightings. Max has delivered kills of epic proportions and has posed for our photographers while simultaneously enjoying a recent kill. His recent battle wounds are clear-cut, but he always walks away relatively unscathed. Another one of our favourite moments was when one of the Sparta lionesses clambered up a tree to escape from her cat competitors.
The focus at Ezulwini has been the heavy presence of male lions in the area, and the revealing of dominant forces. We have the 3 brazen Machaton males wreaking havoc on Mohlabetsi turf and forcing them to flee, the Kudyela pride making a quick exit when the Machaton approach, the Machatons mating with lionesses from the Kudyela Pride, and a lone lioness seemingly trailing behind her pride. The Machaton’s are a powerful whirlwind flying in and (still) making a household name for themselves.
The witnessing of African wild dog pups exploring their new surrounds was unforgettable. After 3 months of leading a sedentary life in the confines of a denning area, and being co-operatively raised by the pack, the pups were finally old enough to be introduced into the harrowing world around them. The team at Ivory Wilderness were lucky enough to witness this momentous occasion.
Located in the Kwatale Conservancy, Tuskers Bush Camp, is a world of wonder. One of the highlights at Tuskers is the special dinner served under the mighty baobab tree. Soft lighting from lanterns and the natural light of the moon creates the idyllic Botswana setting for an al fresco starlit dinner. The rustic bush bar is another highlight for our guests, that love nothing better than to relax with a gin and tonic while gazing at the setting sun drowning the landscape with its colour.
A prominent feature over the past few months have been the presence of our gentle grey giants filtering through the grounds of both camps. Daily they come to drink from the splash pool at both camps, proving to be a source of amusement and wonder for guests. The shifting dynamics within the lion prides of the reserve never goes unnoticed – from the kills, to the mating and emergence of burgeoning young males; it’s proving to be an interesting time. A favourite moment of ours was witnessing the mighty Mapoza’s chasing out old school legends on our traverse. Leopards have been hovering in trees and unknown males and females are being carefully observed.
The partial lunar eclipse drowned our landscape with dramatic scenery, ensuring that stargazing in the Klaserie is always a drawcard for avid astronomers.