Word from the camps this week comes packed with enviable tales of life in the bush. Kevin MacLaughlin has more from home-base at Africa on Foot:
A spotted bush snake was found at Africa on Foot just behind one of the guest’s rooms. It spends most of its time in trees in search of lizards and tree frogs, the beautiful green colouration helping with camouflage, as with its slender body, which might resemble a branch. There is no danger to man.
Early morning shots of the impala and rhino, which were seen around Africa on Foot and nThambo Tree Camp as the sun came up, allowing for the perfect light on the subjects. It was a group of 3 rhino – mother and calf and then a big bull.
The elephants have been on almost every road in the Klaserie, with this little baby being quite a character for nThambo’s guests.
Again with nThambo’s guests we saw a yellow-billed kite eating something (it looked like a rib of something big, but was probably a lizard). He dropped his prey and then flew off in search of something else.
There has been a dead buffalo on the property, which died of natural causes, providing food for many vultures and a tawny eagle. Unfortunately for the tawny, it was getting mobbed by a fork-tailed drongo, and eventually it flew off.
Just around the corner at Nokana Safari Camp, guests travelled into the Kruger National Park and ventured through an exclusive 4×4 trail where they enjoyed the wonders of the Kruger’s wildlife without having to share! The private Mananga Trail is only used by guides with certain privileges, and, naturally, this privilege belongs to Nokana. A beautiful kudu bull, a drinking elephant, and a young Speke’s tortoise were among the day’s fantastic sightings.
Bruce and Judy Meeser at nDzuti Safari Camp in the Klaserie sent through some wonderful images of elephants in the riverbed, a colourful skink sunning itself on the rocks, and a pair of elegant giraffes giving guests the eyeball.
In the Marakapula Reserve, located just 25km from the Kruger’s Phalaborwa gate, the Big 5 animals prowl in their own 20 000 hectare sanctuary. The Selati River, the baobab trees, the giant boulder hills, the wild figs… I could go on. A male lion and his lioness were spotted in the reserve, and Kevin snapped these two lovely portraits:
Game viewing in the Sabi Sand is never disappointing, and as it is every week for Umkumbe Safari Lodge, guests have been treated to some wonderful sightings. Guide and photographer, Angele Rouillard had this much to say:
We have had another great week in the bush! The end of last week was a little quiet, especially for general game, as we had controlled burns on the property. However, this made for some eerie mornings and stunning night displays which my group of photographers thoroughly enjoyed. By the end of the week, sightings had picked up with close leopard encounters, Charleston Pride lazing in the sun, wild dogs being chased by a herd of elephants protecting their young, comical elephant calf river crossings, and of course, our beautiful rhinos who always know how to pose for the cameras. The pyrotechnics of thunder and lightning just added that extra wow factor for our guests this week!
Over in Botswana’s fantastic Savuti marsh, guests at Camp Savuti caught this leopard prowling through the grass. An African buffalo stands out in contrast with the yellow plains, and the tall and beautiful secretary bird poses for a quick picture.
The Delta Belle Houseboat, cruising along the Okavango River in the world-renowned panhandle, is a birding paradise where fishermen and twitchers alike can find joy in the peace and tranquillity of nature. Here, a squacco heron pauses in the sunlight, a pied kingfisher eyes the water from a high perch, and the guardians of the river – the hippos – settle silently in the still Okavango River at sunset.