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Leopard vs. Elephant

Life as a guide allows you an exciting and often rare glimpse into the lives of Africa’s most beautiful animals. I recently had just such an experience as I watched a male leopard stroll along the banks of the Sand River. We noticed some elephant bulls up ahead and I thought to myself that the […]

Life and death in the Kalahari

Original source: www.roxannereid.co.za Summer in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and we were watching the miracle of birth about a kilometre south of Kamfersboom waterhole on the Auob riverbed. The springbok mum was resting next to the road when we found her, the head and front hooves of a lamb poking out of her rear end. Soon the […]

"An epic game experience" – Chobe National Park: Botswana

IMAGINE…seeing more than 500 elephants, thousands of buffalo and countless other species on a single safari drive or river cruise! Welcome to Botswana’s legendary Chobe National Park, simply the finest big-game viewing on the planet in the prime season (May – November). Chobe is indisputably one of the most wildlife-rich countries in Africa and the […]

Impala leaps to freedom… into a car

Original source: iol.co.za  Scrambling through the low grass with two cheetahs on its tail, an impala makes a leap to safety… through an open window into the front seat of a Toyota Prado full of tourists. Samantha Pittendrigh and three of her friends from the University of Pretoria were on a day trip to the […]

How to Kiss a Giraffe

Although this post is about Nairobi’s famous retreat, Giraffe Manor, it’s the manners of the resident giraffes that make the place so wonderful. As my readers know, I often write about animal encounters.  And, not surprisingly, Africa offers some of the best. Staying at Giraffe Manor is one of them. Late night visitor Most of […]

A Desert Romance

I had heard three things about camels: 1. Riding one is like being on a mechanical bull; 2. They are mean spirited; and 3. They spit green vomit at people. So, when the camel lifted his furry upper lip and came towards my arm with his huge, brown-stained teeth, my first response was to yell, […]

Tents, blood and Okavango lions – a family story

Original source: Bush-boundgirl.com In every bush-loving family there is the story. That legendary tale that gets told again and again around the campfire to new friends on full moon nights, when buffalo-shaped bushes shift in the wind, casting shadows that look like stalking lions… This is our family’s story, set on a night just as […]

Romping with Otters at Kariega Game Reserve

Truth be told there was nothing ominous about the morning as we duly kick-started it at 0600 am. The threat of rain seemed imminent, a leaden cloud slung low over Kariega’s contours and lazy mists rose from the grasslands below. Brendon Jennings, our guide, was bright eyed and bushy-tailed and as usual, eager as a […]

Mana Magic!

In 2010 I was flying back home after my second visit to Botswana when I met a cameraman from the BBC. I remember asking him which, in his opinion, were the most magnificent places he had ever visited in Africa, and without hesitation he said: Moremi in Botswana, Selous in Tanzania, and Mana Pools in […]

Crazed Giraffe Attacks Vehicle

What started off as a lovely sighting of a  magnificent giraffe soon turned sour as a 13ft Male giraffe chased a group of tourists in a safari jeep for 2 miles. Scroll down for video! The giraffe saw the 4×4 miles away and started coming straight for it. The animal kicked out at the driver and smashed the […]

When my Grandad was a kid in the Kruger National Park

Original source: bushboundgirl.com One of the best things about a holiday in the Kruger is the feeling that I am partaking in a family tradition – my Grandad has been going the Park since he was just a little baby, and my Dad too. On a recent family trip, while having ‘sundowners’ at Lower Sabie rest […]

Wild Dogs in the Delta

Wild dogs hunt in packs amongst the floodplains of the Okavango Delta with close coordination that is mind-blowing to watch. With smoke pouring out of our car bonnet we barely made it to Maun, limping into the gateway to the Okavango Delta after a hair-rising drive in the dark, swerving to avoid donkeys and zebras […]

Face to Face With a Wild Cheetah

Last year the Safari Team published this amazing picture of a cheetah family mounting a vehicle in order to get a higher view of  surroundings. But this full-length video from a passenger in a safari vehicle is something else completely…

Goshawk vs. Falcon Caught on Camera

It was the morning of 7 June 2012 and our two week trip to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the Northern Cape, South Africa was coming to an end. We had another night camping at Nossob rest camp and one more night at Twee Rivieren rest camp, after which we had to leave the peace […]

12 of the Most Epic Great White Shark Breaches

Isn’t nature incredible? This is one of those natural phenomena you always dream of seeing in the flesh! Here are a few pics to keep the dream alive… Post is best viewed along with this music. 1.    2.   3.   4.   5.   6.   7.   8.     9.   […]

Lions by the Swimming Pool

By Jemima Middleton It was an unlikely afternoon. Stifling and sticky-hot: that kind of pressing heat that wilts or melts anything it touches. I was slower off the mark than usual, hanging around the office when I should have been cooling off in the pool or having a rest before dinner. I eventually wandered to […]

Snapping Crocs on Botswana’s Chobe River

– Chobe, Botswana to Livingstone, Zambia. 14/15/16th   November – Sho! Pangolin Photo Safaris did NOT disappoint! Once again I found myself welcomed into a home by a lovely couple, Gerhard (aka Guts) Swanepoel and Kerstin Rath. Upon arrival I immediately noticed the camera set up in a tree nogal! There was a lilac-breasted roller feeding […]

Paddling with the seals in Walvis Bay!

Day 9: October 23rd  – A wet n’ wild day! Today I woke up and drove back to Walvis Bay to meet up with Jean Meintjes – my guide for the morning. We took a 40km drive out to Pelican’s Point through the salt pans and then found ourselves on another planet – Animal Planet […]

What it Takes to be a Gerenuk

Last Tuesday I spotted a picture of a really odd, gazelle-like guy on the Africa Geographic facebook page. Standing on his hind-legs, browsing from the top branches of a bush, he looked a bit like a ballet-dancing buck, as someone quite aptly commented. Turns out he’s a gerenuk Litocranius Walleri. Also turns out that his […]

A Little Leopard Luck

On the 5 November 2009 I was on a game drive out of Savuti camp when we got called to a sighting of leopards mating. We don’t see this happening that often, and what was even more unusual was that the pair of leopards were in an open area, which meant we could see the […]

Eyes wide open

It is a well known fact that the two species of oxpecker that occur in southern Africa, the red-billed and the yellow-billed, both feed on parasites that live on or in some of the larger plant-eating mammals that they share habitat with. If you watch them really closely though, you may notice something a little […]

The Rain on the Plain

The Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) in Botswana is a very large protected area, covering some 52 000 square kilometres. Until very recently, the reserve had almost no development within its borders and anyone wishing to visit had to camp in the designated camping sites. These sites are well situated but very basic, even lacking […]

Fish out of Water

Some years ago, I encountered my first many-spined climbing perch at Jacana camp in the Okavango. The perch was out of the water and making its way along the edge of a road. I was completely taken aback to see a fish walking on land! Unfortunately for that particular perch it was also noticed by […]

Expectations and the Importance of Rising Early

The area known as the ‘waterfront’ in the north-eastern corner of Chobe National Park is one of my favourite places. On many of the safaris that I lead we routinely spend time on a midday boat ride viewing the numerous crocodiles, hippo, impala, waterbuck, kudu, warthog and elephants that are abundant here. There is an […]

Termites In a different Light

Summertime in northern Botswana is the period for dramatic thunderstorms and rain. It is also the season of heightened activity among many species, including insects such as the fungus-farming termites. These termites, also known as macrotermes, live in mounds. Colonies comprise thousands of sterile workers and soldiers, and a queen and king. Aside from these […]

Cats and Dogs of the Wild Variety

A little more than a month ago, during my stint of acting as a relief manager at Savuti camp, I drove to the east of camp early one overcast morning. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may realise at this stage why my permanent career as a camp manager never amounted […]

Wild, Wild Dogs

One of my favourite animals is the African wild dog. Few other creatures have the energy to spare that the wild dog has. On a recent trip to Chitabe camp in the Okavango, we had the good fortune to encounter a pack of approximately 16 wild dogs late one afternoon. We spent an hour and […]

Of Raptors and Captors

One of the things I find quite frustrating when leading safaris is trying to convey to clients the sheer power and presence of some of the larger birds of prey that occur in our region. The frustration comes from the fact that it is almost always difficult to get close enough to these birds to […]

Bolt Hole in Botswana

On a game drive out of Chitabe camp in the southern Okavango recently, I was intrigued by an unusual interaction that occurred between a family group of spotted hyaenas and a pair of warthogs. We were visiting a hyaena den, which in this instance took the form of some deep holes in the ground. Outside […]

Fruits of my Labour

I was recently sent out to Savuti camp to lend a hand to the camp managers.  I used to be a camp manager but I much preferred guiding, and nothing has changed with that. I never found it too much fun listening to stories of all the things the guides and guests had seen each […]

Food and Homes For All

Elephants eat trees.  This is a fact.  Sometimes they may eat only the leaves, but they also like eating the bark.  When they strip the bark off a tree, they usually do it by using one trunk to chisel the bark away from the trunk, and then they will grasp it with the trunk, and […]

Practice, Practice, Practice

Perhaps one of the most important things that a young lion will need to learn how to do well, is to learn how to hunt. Lions and other carnivores that prey on fast-moving prey have a much harder time of things when it comes to catching their food than do similarly sized herbivores whose plant […]

Suburban Civets

African civets are not common animals. Even though they do occur throughout the Okavango Delta, their solitary habits, as well as their stealthy, nocturnal nature mean they are seldom seen, and hardly ever photographed. In the last four years I have only had one sighting of a civet in daylight. So I was quite startled […]

Going on a scorpion hunt

Early one morning in Botswana’s Central Kalahari Game Reserve, I came across this male honey badger. It was October and the very end of the dry season, which meant that the soil was baked hard and dry, but this didn’t seem to bother the badger. He walked with purpose, swinging his head this way and […]

Defense mechanisms

One day we were watching a female leopard near Chitabe Camp, in the Okavango Delta. The leopard had two very young cubs, perhaps just a couple of months old. She had killed an impala, and dragged it quite a distance to bring it to where her cubs were hidden.  In this place were quite a […]