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Slewing cross the Serengeti

Our last day dawns damply, but we are determined to get in our final game drive. Faru Faru stands on a bend of the Grumeti River, which has come down in flood, running helter-skelter along its gorge and tossing full-size trees on its rapids as if they were toothpicks.

Okavango Endurance: Day 1

We recently returned from an epic 11 day endurance safari trekking by foot, canoe, car and air totalling 132 km over the Okavango Delta. Lions in camp, ellies crossing rivers, two minute noodles, vaselined blisters, canoes dodging hippos, singing and playing with the San of Gudikwa – here’s how it all began:

Lions 19, Ellies 0

Faru Faru Camp in the western Grumeti may be the camp of my dreams, with its spacious tented accommodation and views that stretch to where the landscape melts into the sky. It manages to combine luxury, tranquility and warmth. Mmmm, and the food is fabulous too! Visitors are encouraged to express their creativity, and pencils, […]

COP 17: The Soil is a Diamond

With COP17 (the 17th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ) currently underway in Durban, South Africa. Green Renaissance highlights the importance of micro-farming and urban agriculture for long term sustainability in South Africa. THE SOIL IS A DIAMOND from Green Renaissance on Vimeo. As various debates around […]

Recycling Optimism

PLASTIC. Around the world 300 million tonnes of the stuff is produced every year with 7 million tonnes “drifting” into our oceans. At present, in the North Pacific there is a plastic island the size of South Africa floating around. How much is recycled in a year? Only 4% of all plastics, around the world […]

Of Sharks and Other Trophies

South Africa’s weekend press carried a sickening story of some angler posing triumphantly over a dying shark he had minutes earlier hauled from the waters around Mossel Bay. No doubt using the most sophisticated equipment to catch what is apparently a Great White, it is people of this ilk that are also prone to boast […]

Wild Kid

Hi! My name is Jan Kolbe but people know me as Wild Kid. I am 11 years old and I live in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

The Power of the Pack

I was on a game drive out of Chitabe camp when we came across an intriguing interaction that took place between the local wild dog pack and their pups, and a young female leopard.

The Bushveld Matador

“Go, go, go” I hear Christopher shout at us as the startled buffalo charges from its river-grass hideaway, up the barren red riverbank slope and directly at us. “This way!” “No…More! More!” “Now this way!” I feel like the flicking tail of a Sidewinder as Christopher directs our panicked line of six wilderness trailists with […]

News from Niassa: New York, Malaria and ants

There is something about flying directly from the city into Niassa in one day that makes Niassa come into sharp focus despite the heat haze and constant fires. I was away for three weeks fund raising in the US and it felt like forever. As I fly in the bush looks grey and burnt, strewn […]

Healing the scars?

When mining companies in South Africa close a mine, they are required by law to draw up a plan to rehabilitate the land. In 2010, I visited the Namaqualand coast to see the work being done by the mighty De Beers corporation to re-establish the ground there that was once peppered with deep mines and flattened […]

Baby Gorilla Rescued in DRC

In a victory for conservation, a poached baby gorilla was recently rescued by an undercover team in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Thanks to a tip-off, three rangers managed to rescue the baby gorilla by posing as interested buyers, and arresting the poachers. The baby gorilla, named Shamavu after one of the rangers, is […]

Table Mountain. One of the 7 Natural Wonders?

“I really can understand how, when God created all that there is, he said, ‘I think I’ve got to do something special here’. And so God produced this fantastic gateway in the south – Table Mountain – our mountain, what a wonder! Help us take our rightful place among the New7Wonders of Nature.” – Archbishop Desmond […]

Top Notch!

There’s no way I can sit here and write something that does justice to the efforts people are making to protect and conserve our rhinos, that really gets to the heart of the emotion and sense of communal purpose that drives them… but I’ll try! And, there’s no more fitting day to do that than […]

Rhino Infographic

Today is World Rhino Day – people across the planet will take a stand against the illegal trade in Rhino horn. Editor of Safari, Paul Steyn, will join a peaceful protest outside Cape Town Parliament between 11.30am and 13.00pm today. Follow him on Twitter @PaulSteyn1 and stay tuned for a blog update later today. Meanwhile […]

World Rhino Day. What are you doing?

The distressing killing of rhino has captured the attention of South Africans who have voiced strong opposition to their cruel and unnecessary slaughter. However, many people still feel helpless, and unable to do something small to make a difference. Here’s how Green Renaissance suggest you do your bit to help the poaching crisis. httpv:// Save […]

Walking with elephants

Walking with elephants is an experience I can only vaguely liken to the feeling of vertigo – a primal thrill, where your body is overcome by adrenaline, while your mind tries to convince you to run in the opposite direction. But when encountering elephants on foot, I discovered a far deeper connection, unlike anything I’ve […]

News from Niassa: A family in the wild

“Some people feel the rain, others just get wet” Bob Dylan We like to feel the rain. We also sometimes get wet, as for nine months of the year we sleep in a Mozzie dome tent on a platform under a sausage tree In Niassa National Reserve, Mozambique. We’ve been here for nine years running […]

‘Weather’ or not…

Another fabulous morning in the Klaserie bush… Only this time, the rising sun is hidden by a shroud of low-hanging clouds. There’s something about an overcast day in the bush… The air is calm and quiet, and the bird calls seem to carry over vast distances. The penetrating heat of the day is also somewhat […]

Fracking is not an option: I will die for Water

Oom Johannes and Antoinette Pienaar are the “Shamans” of the Karoo in South Africa – they live in total isolation, hunting and gathering as their ancestors once did. They are respected traditional healers, using rare herbs they find in the mountains to treat people from far and wide. They believe that the healing spirit of […]

Mana Pools faces threat

Mana Pools, the iconic Zimbabwean national park and World Heritage Site, faces another threat to its wilderness status as two new lodge developments on prime sites within the parks boundaries have been proposed. And both are being vigorously disputed by the wider conservation and ecotourism communities. It was just over a year ago that strong […]

Klaserie Adventure day 2: Action with elephants

A massive breeding herd of elephants strolled onto the property yesterday, so naturally we spent much of the day taking photos and shooting footage of these fabulous beasts. We followed the herd on their way to drink at a nearby dam, and decided it would be a good idea if we placed the GoPro action […]

Upsizing The Meal

African wild dogs are big predators of impala in most areas where the ranges of the two species overlap.  Whilst the average impala will feed a small pack of dogs for a day, larger packs need more food.  They can try to kill more impala, and this happens quite frequently with successful packs.  They can […]

The Birds and the Beads

I have been floating on clouds. Literally as it turns out, because I managed to do the impossible, I managed to hitch a lift on a helicopter. And I have been floating on clouds ever since – metaphorically this time, marvelling at the wonder of it.

Tsaro Power

It was 02:15 and my final morning of a 17 day safari in Botswana and South Africa with guests Ralf and Perdita Lubbe Scheurmann. I was fast asleep until the mighty roar of a male lion woke me up. I could hear how the predator came closer and closer to my luxurious tent as the […]

Sanya Rhino Farm in China

The images above, likely to be some of the very first ever taken, show rhino being kept under harsh conditions at the Sanya rhino facility in China. And most, if not all of these animals are thought to have come from South African stocks, sold to China through the SANParks auctions or by private ranch […]

Mining will offend our African Ancestors

On 5 July 2011, it was announced that coal mining at the Vele Colliery near the Mapungubwe National Park had been given the go-ahead, despite a halt on mining activities in August 2010 due to environmental contraventions. In response to this announcement, Green Renaissance has collaborated with the Save Mapungubwe NGO Coalition to raise awareness […]

A Little Leopard Learns a Big Lesson

A female leopard that we see quite often killed an impala close to Savuti camp.  After a couple of hours of feeding, she moved off for a while, only to return with her subadult female cub in tow.  The youngster is close to two years old (and not really a cub any longer), and partially […]

Kenya Road Trip

My friend Olive and I decided to embark on a road trip to the north coast of Kenya. We set out feeling like Thelma and Louise, but were hoping to avoid murder, police chases and joint suicide. The reason for the road trip was in part, to celebrate the success of her ethical fashion label […]

Rhinos are critically endangered

The fight against rhino poaching in South Africa has become critical, and has highlighted the importance of practical conservation initiatives, like the WWF/ Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Black Rhino Range Expansion Project. httpv:// Rhinos Must be Saved from Poaching from Green Renaissance on Vimeo.

A Deadly Game

Working with Andy Biggs on one of his special interest photographic safaris in Botswana, Grant Atkinson and fellow trip leader and photographer James Weis were lucky enough to be witness to this spectacular life and death struggle between elephant and spotted hyaena. The pictures tell a very dramatic tale!

End the mockery now

Developments over the last week in South Africa’s rhino poaching crisis clearly indicate that trophy hunting is one of the largest contributing factors to the ongoing slaughter. This is the cue for the professional hunting bodies, both in this country and abroad, to play their part in attempting to solve this sorry saga. They need […]

Day 1: Richtersveld video diary

If you’ve ever wondered what the fuss about the vast beauty of the Richtersveld is, or what is so special about the Kgalagadi, then this documentary of our recent visit to the Arid parks of the Northern Cape will give you an idea of what to expect. We recorded this series for you to see what […]

Lake Jozini: floating islands and mythical reptiles.

Lake Jozini spreads its vast watery fingers across the bushveld of Maputoland in northern kwaZulu-Natal. Winding down from the Lebombo Mountains above, the view reminded me of the network of snaking backwaters in southern India, dotted with houseboats drifting lazily across its murky waters and fringed by an unruly matt of undergrowth.  

Diani: Paradise Lost?

My feet have taken me homeward. I’ve been away for a little while now, working on a biography in Naivasha and a ’48 hours in Nairobi’ piece for this fine publication. It always gives you a warm feeling to be returning home, but this is especially the case if home happens to be Diani Beach, […]

The 8th Wonder of the World

It was a misty morning when I first entered the gates of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area; my destination, the 8th Wonder of the World, the Ngorongoro Crater. Upon entering the park, I drove for several kilometers along the mossy afromontane forest rim. Few words can describe the emotion I experienced when I first stood on […]

The legal killing of rhino?

The latest issue of Africa Geographic carries an update on the rhino poaching crisis. When going to print, approximately 160 animals had been killed. That figure is now over 190, which means at the current rate, somewhere between 400 and 450 animals will be illegally killed by the end of this year. And the slaughter […]

Okavango Adventure

Steve’s official survey video: httpv://

Game Ranger of the Year 2011

Game Rangers have a unique lifestyle. Their day ignites with the sunrise, when the animals are most active, and often ends late at night when the last guest has gone to bed. In this time, they track and locate high profile animals, 4×4 through sticky situations, interpret and explain ecology, host dinner until late – […]

Who is following the sardine run?

This week’s blog post comes once again from the Wild Coast in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. The annual sardine migration that takes place here is happening as I write, so I thought I would describe some of the major predators that take part in this wildlife phenomenon. The sardines are only small fish, but they […]

Leopard behaviour – Information technology

It is quite fascinating to follow a big cat when they are on a territorial patrol.  Last month I was able to watch the Dumatau male leopard as he went about on an early morning patrol.  He is one of the most relaxed of big cats, and takes no notice of our vehicles.  For cats […]

A different kind of line-fishing

When this female pied kingfisher dived into the waters of the Savuti Channel to catch a small fish, she got a bit of a surprise.

Cats and the memory of water

It is often said that cats don’t like water. Undoubtedly, this has some truth in it, but for cats living in and around the wetlands of northern Botswana these days, coping with water is a reality.