A watchful hyena mother and her curious cubs
Recently at Xanatseni Private Camp in Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, South Africa, we were fortunate enough to stumble upon a female spotted hyena at the entrance of a den site. She had been hanging around the area for a couple of weeks and we were beginning to get suspicious. What was she up to and could there be cubs involved!?
The mighty lion prides of Madikwe
In Madikwe Game Reserve, Jaci’s Lodges guide, Andrew, has encountered three lion prides with cubs in the area, and just like any family group, each of these prides have their own unique dynamics and stories to tell.
Massive Noah’s Ark project attracts critics
The plan is to move 6,000 animals during the coming three years – and in the coming eight weeks alone the project will move 50 elephants, 100 giraffe, 900 impala, 300 wildebeest, 50 kudu, 200 zebra, buffalo and eland.
Addicted to the Ant Collection
“During my first trip to Ant’s, one of the guides told us: ‘Once you get the dirt of the Waterberg in your shoes, you will come back’. I must have gotten a truck load in my shoes – I’ve been back 17 times!” ~ Bobbi Laurens.
Two arrested at OR Tambo with rhino horn worth almost R5m
Two Chinese nationals who were arrested for attempting to smuggle 10 rhino horns out of the country in violation of international laws, appeared in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Photoseries: 6 interesting facts about lion cubs
Lion cubs are one of the famous cuties of the African bush and guests of Vula Tours were fortunate enough to come across a pride of them while out on a game drive in South Africa.
Madikwe safari delivers exciting predator encounters
The Madikwe Africa Geographic photographic trip is always a highlight for me as Madikwe is a special place with such a high diversity of animals and one just never knows what is in store for the photography group.
Make a splash this World Oceans Day
It’s World Oceans Day on the 8th June and the theme for this year is “OUR OCEANS, OUR FUTURE” with the aim of encouraging solutions to plastic pollution and preventing marine litter for a healthier ocean and a better future.”
Video: Another caged cheetah attacks handler
In yet another caged cheetah attack on handlers or tourists, a guide at Tenikwa Wildlife Awareness Centre near Plettenberg Bay in South Africa has been bitten.
A magical leopard sighting in Greater Kruger
Hearing that a leopard has been found with a kill up in a tree is one of the best things to hear over the radio when taking guests out on safari.
Two former circus lions poached at sanctuary
In 2016, 33 lions freed from circuses in Peru and Colombia were transported to South Africa to live out their days in a wildlife refuge. Last week, poachers broke into the sanctuary, killing two of the big cats.
Titanic battle between squirrel and parrot
On the morning of the 30th May, I witnessed a tussle between one of the current occupants of the nest, a brown-headed parrot pair, and a tree squirrel which dared to venture too close to the nest.
Big 5 malaria-free safaris in South Africa
Mozzies are a nuisance. But in a malaria-area they can be more than that – a serious health threat for travellers. Avoid the worry at these malaria-free safari destinations in South Africa.
Rhino horn trade: A considered justification
Rhinos throughout South Africa are being brutally killed for their horns. In this article I would like to focus on some of the positive contributions by the private sector and the trials and tribulations that they face in trying to keep rhinos safe.
Video: The cutest leopard couple in the Klaserie
Every year our leopard sightings increase and this one, in particular, is special as it it is the beginning of a cycle where the offspring (assuming the mating was successful) will be seen by future guests and become more relaxed around vehicles full of tourists.
Born Free lions rehomed in South Africa
Recently, Shamwari Game Reserve, along with the Born Free Foundation, orchestrated the rehoming and release of two beautiful Born Free Foundation lions, Ciam and Nelson, into their forever homes at the Shamwari Born Free Big Cat Sanctuaries.
A cheetah family reunion
Soon after departing for the morning game drive, one of our Eagles Crag Lodge rangers, Jan Dykema, found our beautiful resident female cheetah with her four 6-month-old cubs, but they were not alone, her son from her first litter was also with them. He then radioed all the rangers including James Moodie, who photographed these fantastic images of the exciting wildlife sighting.
Hunting body president resigns over canned lion dispute
The president of the Professional Hunting Association of South Africa [Phasa], Stan Burger, unexpectedly announced his resignation on Tuesday with immediate effect.
Private game reserves are vital for conservation
Without detracting from the wonderful and critical role that our national parks play in conservation we would like to take an opportunity to focus on the positive achievements of the private sector in this regard.
Photoseries: cheetah hunt zebra
We were incredibly lucky to witness something that I am sure many people want to see, and photograph, for themselves while on safari: a cheetah hunt!
Endangered Species Day: 5 organisations worth supporting
The 19th May is Endangered Species Day, and without thinking too hard we’re sure you can already list at least five threatened species in your head that could be facing extinction in our lifetime.
Southern ground-hornbill: the forgotten one
In Africa, southern ground-hornbills are classified as ‘vulnerable’ by the IUCN, however, those in South Africa are classified as ‘endangered’ on the Red List of Threatened Species as only about 1500 individuals live within the country.
Zebras – more than just pajama ponies
Prison ponies, pajamas ponies or stripey horses – there’s no mistaking the similarity in appearance between zebras and horses.
Early morning breakfast with a cheetah
“Cheetah! Cheetah! 3 o’clock!” Our ranger whispered in an urgent tone, his spotlight illuminating the slender body of a male cheetah.
Elephants make a splash at the local waterhole
It is incredible to watch the reactions of guests on their first safari when coming across great sightings. Reactions that we often take for granted. Many guests arrive at the lodge hoping to see a plethora of game, both big and small, and most of the times elephants are right up top of that list.
Wild dogs interrupt leopards’ meal
We often spot large predators feeding on kills that they have made and normally these feeds can go uninterrupted for a few days. However, things went a bit differently for a leopard and her young male cub at a recent sighting.
Photoseries: The best wild mothers of the African bush
A few fun facts about the wild mothers of the Animal Kingdom in celebration of Mother’s Day on 14th May.
Giraffe facts: The long and tall of it
Giraffes are the tallest animals on the planet. They’re also one of the most iconic animals in Africa. They’re a photographer’s dream, especially when silhouetted against the dramatic colours of an African dawn, or sunset. But did you know these 15 fascinating facts about Giraffa camelopardalis?
One lion still on the loose after five escape Kruger Park
According to South African National Parks (SANParks), one of the five lions that escaped the Kruger National Park is still on the loose after the others were successfully captured and returned safely to the park.
Vultures: nature’s best scavengers
Often called ugly, disgusting, and unhygienic, these large birds play a crucial role in the environment as nature’s best scavengers. They will find dead animals in the environment and pick the bones clean which in turn helps regulate potential carcass borne diseases that are exposed to other fauna.
Lion vs. buffalo: a soap opera in the bush
One exceptional sighting happened a couple of weeks ago and it involved two of Africa’s ultimate enemies: lion and buffalo. That morning, we found a large herd of Cape buffalo grazing peacefully while making their way towards one of our waterholes. We quickly realised they were not alone, as trailing them was two relatively young male lions.
Video: the curious elephant behaviour of play-fighting
From a relatively early age, young male elephants in the same herd will interact with each other and “tussle”. As they get older they will play-fight and as different families intermingle, they will spar with other young males of a similar age from the other families.
Sustainable tourism: the fairest Cape’s fair-traders
Visitors to South Africa are spoilt for choice when it comes to sustainable tourism destinations in and around Cape Town. Indeed, the Western Cape is widely regarded as “Fair Trade Tourism Central” with easily the highest concentration of certified establishments and activities on the sub-continent.
After the rain: the amazing changes in the bush
Explaining the change in the surroundings at Cheetah Plains after the recent rain is something which I find myself stumbling over. There are very little words to describe it properly, other than the use of the classic terms, like “lush”, “beautiful”, “wow” and “amazing”.
Video: allogrooming among baboons
Allogrooming is a very important part of social structures within a species, and chacma baboons are no exception as they are one of the most social mammals around!
Kosi Bay: boats, birds and paradise!
The haunting cry of a fish eagle resonates across the lake as we pull up at Kosi Bay Lodge. The powder soft sand, raphia palms and Umdoni (Water Berry) trees create a tropical, African welcome. With beads of perspiration on our brows, we are anxious to unpack and seek replenishment at the Nhlanga pub to soak in a stunning view of the largest and third lake of the Kosi Bay system. It is here that we plan the next few days of our boating photographic expedition.
Rhino orphanage to close permanently after security concerns
On May 1st, the Fundimvelo Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage (FTTRO) in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, made the difficult decision to permanently close its facility after increasing security threats to the animals and staff. This comes after the brutal poaching attack that occurred in February this year where staff were assaulted and two rhino calves were lost after being shot and their horns removed.
Boy dies 3 weeks after lion attack
The 11-year-old boy who was attacked by a pet lion has died of his injuries, after spending 3 weeks in a coma
Key SA leopard population ‘crashing’, study warns
The leopard population in a region of South Africa once thick with the big cats is crashing, and could be wiped out within a few years, scientists warned on Wednesday.
Photoseries: elephants enjoy a refreshing drink
Recently, Ranger Sarah Moorcroft photographed a lovely photo series of one of our herds of elephants at a watering hole. Guests at Eagles Crag Lodge enjoyed this lovely wildlife sighting whilst on their Big 5 safari here in the Eastern Cape!
Permit scheme will control SA rhino horn sales, says DEA
A permit system for the local sale and possession of rhino horn is in place, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) says.
Visit an animal rehabilitation centre in the Eastern Cape
Guests staying at Eagles Crag Lodge can visit our Animal Rehabilitation Centre. It is one of the many activities offered to guests during their stay with us. We’re passionate about the conservation of nature and the animals within the reserve.
Rhino horn trade = extinction in the wild
It is now legal in South Africa to trade domestically in rhino horn, after this country’s Constitutional Court recently overturned an eight-year ban on domestic trade, based on a technicality.
Life’s a beach! Amazing hidden coastal gems with a difference
Finding the perfect spot on southern Africa’s beautiful east coast takes on fresh meaning when you’re looking for sun, sea, sand, an off-the-beaten track address and a large helping of soul food.
Video: elephants play in the mud
Watch this video of elephants rejoicing in the mud after the rainfall at Amakhosi Lodge in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Video: on safari with lions
A safari is an experience which can only be felt and understood when you actually do it! Many people dream of coming to Africa for a safari and this is not only because of the experience of being close to wild animals, but also the emotion of feeling alive.