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Blog Archives

Hyenas: Bucking the trends and wearing bling

Studying spotted hyenas via radio collars to find out how their societal structure bucks the trends researchers see in other mammals.

Rhino games

Holiday-maker and photographer, Rory Bruins, talks about an uplifting and wonderful encounter with some of Botswana’s beautiful rhinos.

African animal Olympians: smashing records!

Okay, so Olympic athletes are awesome. Throughout history, Olympians have striven to push their physical limits, compete and break records.  But what about creatures in the animal kingdom who push their limits every day, for no glory whatsoever? Well, looking

The gauntlet of the Manyeleti game reserve

The lodge I worked at in the Manyeleti had no fence around the entire lodge and staff village which allowed EVERY kind of animal to wander through, and oh boy how they liked to walk through… At least once a

Southern African hedgehogs: life in a prickly skin!

Cute … kind of ugly … spiny… delightful … adorable – I find it hard not to love hedgehogs! So here’s a bit more about these too oft-ignored little creatures… Stranger Danger! The Southern African hedgehog’s most distinguished feature is

Africa’s greatest animal dads

Having recently celebrated a first Father’s Day with our baby son it got me thinking that fathers in the animal kingdom often get a bad rap but surely there must be some good dads?  So, here are the prize winners

A love of leopards

I have just finished another shortened work stint in the Lowveld, and I realised two things:  firstly, winter is almost over and I am still wearing my short shorts (okay, it’s only a third of the way through, but I

Springbok: The Kgalagadi’s kangaroos

Antidorcas marsupialis stands about 80 cm high and is able to run up to 90 km/hour. It is also able to leap 3.5 m high and stot, pronk or jump 15 m. Hell, I wish I could do that. But I am

Top 10 favourite sounds of the African bushveld

Whilst watching a wildlife documentary on the TV the other night I was struck by just how I missed the sounds of the African bushveld.  Living in a city, miles away from my beloved Africa it struck me how emotive

Encounters of the spotted kind

The sun at this time of the year in the Waterberg is irresistible and the warmth of it on our backs, coupled with the glass of wine over lunch, kept us all lingering on the deck well after our meal

Gecko TV – night time entertainment in the Kgalagadi

The African bush comes alive at night time. The heat seeps away, the crickets crank up their violins and those further down in the food pyramid stare wide-eyed into the blackness and ready themselves for their endless night vigil. Nostrils flare, ears pivot constantly and big cats

Making a splash: orcas in False Bay

By David Hurwitz The dolphins were leaping, splashing and rapidly changing direction, I knew that this panic could only mean one thing – the orcas have arrived! Orca sightings in False Bay are exceptionally rare. Occasional reports come in from

Cheetah cubs to be born live on the web

Press Release: “A Cheetah Cub’s Tail”, as Africam has named their newest channel, is currently broadcasting live, 24 hours a day from the HESC maternity ward. Salome (which means peace) is expected to give birth to her first litter in

Frogging About

I was quite amused when first invited to go ‘frogging’. It was while working as a school-teacher at a lodge in the Sabi Sands. Our head ranger, Kate was taking out two trainee rangers to introduce them to the amphibian

Clever ellies and an amazing family legacy

I arrive at Adventures With Elephants in Bela Bela and immediately fall in love. But can you blame me? Surely no true African adventure can be complete without these iconic and awe-inspiring animals. Does anything compare to relaxing in a

Boomslangs: friend or foe?

As a guide I’ve learned one thing, and that is to respect animals, especially venomous snakes. This is an area where I am very happy to view the individual at a safe distance and ensure neither party is disturbed or

The unforgiving: lions on the hunt

The pride of lions met us on the road in full force. They were littered along the track, traipsing straight toward us like indomitable soldiers. Bringing up the rear of this massive pride were the two dominant “Golf Course” males,

Elephant acrobatics!

Nancy Bareilles was on a game drive in the Lower Zambezi National Park near Baines River Camp when she encountered a herd of elephants. She was amazed when one particular ellie decided to launch himself on his hind legs in

The great escape!

It was a hot summer’s day in the Sabi Sands when we found a large pride of lions, quietly relaxing on the side of the road. An apocalyptic explosion would not get these cats going, I thought. And began tirelessly

Wild Dogs and Roan Antelope – they don’t play nice

By Sue Stolberger We had a very exciting morning some days ago, I spied three wild dogs racing across the grassy plain in front of camp at about 6.45am. Suddenly, there were many more whizzing across the short green grass. Then,

Water for elephants – Abu Camp in the Okavango Delta

    I watched a baby elephant being born! This is a very rare sighting and as guests in Abu Camp witnessed, Shireni gave birth to her third calf and the herd gained a bouncy baby girl called Warona, a

A Nile crocodile in the ocean?

I was up in Sodwana Bay when we heard that a nile crocodile had been spotted in the surf. Imagine catching a wave and and coming across one of these guys in the barrel.  

Savuti wild dog encounter – one for all and all for one

We were following a pack of wild dogs to the north of Savuti camp on a late October afternoon.  We know this pack as the Zib pack, their name coming from a local name for a nearby lagoon.  The dogs

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.

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

‘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

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

Safari feature: A great white shark quest

When I was living and guiding in the bush, the chances of seeing a lion, leopard or wild dog kill in action was fairly low. However, by trusting my knowledge of the particular predator, their hunting times, body language and

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

Leopard Attempts to Chase Wild Dog off Kill!

The predator interactions in the Sabi Sands always astound me! I was privileged and intrigued to witness a pack of six wild dogs kill a bushbuck right in front of our eyes. This incredible spectacle was made even more amazing

Painted pups of the Sabi Sands

Whilst on an afternoon game drive with Paddy Hagelthorn of Savanna Private Game Reserve, earlier this month,  I had the privilege of sighting an active wild dog den. The African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus) is the leader of the pack

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 New Year Starts with a Bang

It’s happened – today we are thrilled to confirm 2 matings for our northern white rhinos. The first mating was between Fatu and Suni (northern white on northern white). The second mating was Sudan – our oldest northern white male

A Meal for One

Summertime in the north of Botswana is the time when impala females give birth to their young. The arrival of these delicate creatures, weighing only 5kg, is obviously of great importance to the impala population and represents their future generations.

Working Mothers

Leopards are solitary cats by nature. They are comfortable on their own. Female leopards lead less solitary lives than males, as they bear young and spend much time with their cubs. Male leopards have little to do with raising their

When Is A Big Cat Long In the Tooth?

One of the benefits of spending more time in any particular wildlife area is that you get to recognize individual animals. It is human nature to try to learn as much as possible about these animals. Trying to guess the

Second Time Lucky

In July 2008 I was guiding a group out of Tubu Tree camp, in the Okavango. On a morning game drive, we saw a hyena crossing a deep channel. The hyena was carrying an impala carcass. Seconds after it had

Little lion cubs survive big water

It is the end of August as I write this, and all over the Okavango water levels are now receding. A few months back, during the peak of the highest flood levels in many years, I posted a submission entitled

Cat eat Cat

Leopards are resourceful animals. Whilst on a game drive out of Chitabe Camp, in the Okavango, we spent time following a hungry male leopard. During the course of one morning he tried hunting a variety of other creatures. A herd

Respect those old bulls

Whilst on a recent visit to Seba Camp in the Okavango, I spent some time with Kate Evans and Simon Buckingham. Together they run the charity Elephants for Africa, which supports the research project based there. Kate, who is a

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

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

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

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

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

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

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