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Special sighting: Ground-hornbill versus snake

It was a weekend trip through the south of Kruger with friends and we had been lucky to see Big 5 on both days, but there’s always a rush of excitement when something crosses our path – like a southern ground-hornbill taking on a snake.

Grandmothers who harvest salt from river sand

The matriarchs of Baleni use an ancestral technique that has not changed for the last 2,000 years, turning the mineral-rich riverine deposits into ‘white gold’ – Baleni sacred salt.

Magnificent Madikwe

Madikwe Game Reserve is an extraordinary place. It was established in 1991 on a tract of mismanaged farmland, where the land had been depleted of nearly all of its natural resources. Approximately 10,000 animals were relocated to the area in a project known as Operation Phoenix, over seven years. At the time, Operation Phoenix was […]

Cape Town + bush safari combos

How does one exactly combine Cape Town’s summer splendours with a wild Big 5 bushveld safari? We provide four fantastic summer/autumn combos!

How African animals prevent sunburn

As the days get hotter and the nights get shorter, we switch our heaters for aircons, and pack away all the winter woollies. However, many wild animals have other (far more sophisticated) ways to cope with the heat.

Spring safari in South Africa

September marks the beginning of spring, and the end of the country’s short-lived winter. While the dry, winter months may have the reputation of being the best time to go on safari, spring is also a wonderful time to be out in the wild.

Tracking wild dogs in South Africa

With fewer than 400 African wild dogs estimated to be left in South Africa, seeing one of these apex predators in the wild is always a privilege.

A safari experience of a lifetime

A guest shares with us some of the incredible sightings he and his wife had while staying at Jaci’s Lodges in Madikwe, South Africa.

Is Madikwe the best malaria-free Big 5 safari experience?

The malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve in northern South Africa, is favored by those who want a Big 5 safari – but without the crowds sometimes associated with larger, more popular reserves. The reserve does not permit day trippers or self-drive game drives, ensuring the ultimate private safari experience.

The importance of allogrooming

When it comes to allogrooming among animals, the saying “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” definitely applies.

Killer whales in Cape waters: Skilled hunters

Dave Hurwtiz has been on the water in False Bay, South Africa, for most of his life. For the last 20 years he has operated professional tours of the bay. Despite this, Dave says that he can count his encounters with killer whales on just his fingers and toes.

Getting ready for wild dog puppies

It has now been around two years since the resident pack of African wild dogs had puppies, but we have been cautiously optimistic that they would den again this year at Jaci’s Lodge in Madikwe, South Africa.

10 things I learned while becoming a safari guide

If the internet had been around when I left school I’d have found out how easy it was to become a safari guide. But alas it was not the case. Instead I waited some 20 years for my mid-life crisis to take hold.

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.

Kruger- lodges vs self drive

The Kruger National Park is South Africa’s flagship national park. Wherever you are in the world, if you’re even remotely interested in the safari experience in Africa, you’ve likely heard of the Kruger. It offers a wilderness safari experience that is right up there with the best that Africa has to offer. There’s so much […]

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.

The lazy lions of Zululand

The higher up you are on the food chain, the lazier you’re allowed to be. Luckily for lions, they’re apex predators and can afford to spend some time lounging around. On a recent trip to Rhino River Lodge in the Manyoni Game Reserve (previously called Zululand Rhino Reserve), I became a witness to just how lazy lions can actually be.

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.

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!

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.

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?

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.

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.

The climb for anti-poaching dogs

The Climb for K9 is supported by the SANParks Honorary Rangers, KZN Region. We hope to spur your interest in the protection and conservation of our precious wildlife heritage, and to raise funds for the continued upkeep and training of the SANParks anti-poaching dogs (K9 Units).

Giraffe fight: Romeo vs Romeo

After a great game drive through Lake St Lucia within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site, we were heading back to the Makakatana Bay Lodge for breakfast when I saw some impala run in the distance, then stop and stare in one direction. As we drove closer to investigate we came across two giraffes fighting.

Safari service with a smile!

Nestled in the northern end of Maputaland, lies Tembe Elephant Park, a unique community run safari lodge co-owned and managed by the Tembe Tribal community.

Lone buffalo bull enjoys a soothing mud bath

Preferring dense habitat, such as reeds and thickets, buffalos are rarely seen in the open woodland. Fortunately, luck was on their side when guests had a fantastic sighting while out on a game drive with Jaci’s Lodges.

Servals released into the sanctuary of iSimangaliso

Two servals have been released by iSimangaliso CEO Andrew Zaloumis and Emdoneni cat rehabilitation centre owners Louis and Cecillie Nel into the Western Shores section of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, adding to the small resident population of the ‘savannah stalker’.

Video: fun facts about Hippos

They’re not everyones cup of tea, but like them or not, you have to admit that hippos are weighty creatures. Makakatana Bay Lodge have put together an interesting list of facts about these burley beasts.

The surprises that lie in every safari game drive

When one sets out on a game drive you never truly know what will be in store for the day. Amazing sightings and observing wildlife interactions are all part of the African bush experience, and on one particular drive, my guests and I at Makakatana Bay Lodge in Kwazulu-Natal were treated to exactly that!