Category Archives: Inyati Game Lodge

September bushtales

Rolling lawns at Inyati…….

Safari greetings……

Days have slowly but surely become longer, and long chilly nights are washed away with more vibrant sunrises as we head toward spring.

 Winter is far from over, the dusty dry landscape is very much proof of this.

The Sand river snakes through the reserve like a green vein, providing life giving water to the parched environment that in turn provides browse and grazing for the secondary producers like impala, nyala, kudu and bush buck.

The concentration of food along the banks of the sand river draws and keeps the herds on it banks, this in turn attracts predators to the abundant food source.

The lion prides have had kills on the river and our resident leopard are also thriving.

The Inyati philosophy is one of being part of the environment, this is evident with the camp not being fenced. Animals wonder through the grounds freely and the concentration of game in camp in the late winter can be spectacular. Our resident herd of nyala and impala feasting on our indigenous gardens. We have decided to view them as part of the garden rather than the consumers of it, the gardener’s relationship with them remains ‘complicated’ though.

A bull elephant took a liking to the Aloes in camp, and he created havoc as only a five-ton pachyderm can. Unfortunately, some days the aloe gardens were pruned with the finesse of a cyclone, but these are the punches we roll with in the bush. The bull has had his fill and moved on, and the gardeners are propagating aloes.

Our resident leopards have still been passing through camp, creating unique viewing opportunities, and keeping the nyala herd on their toes.

The Tumbela males have settled with the Othawa pride and have been spending a lot of time close to camp. As the males settled, they have now been vocalizing every night in an attempt to maintain their new territory. Magical evenings around the fire with lions roaring in the background have become a regular dinner treat at Inyati.

Bush beat…….

The Othawa pride has managed to maintain their little pride, all the cubs are doing well and growing strong.

The pride brought down a buffalo in the Sand river, it seems the new males have been assisting the pride in brining down larger prey like the formidable Cape buffalo. The days of leisure are numbered for the old buffalo bulls along the Sand river.

Tumbela male lion

The Tumbela males certainly have lion hearts, or they seem to bite off way more than they can chew.

Two of the males were spotted from the lodge at early morning tea, and tea was cut short! We rushed out to see the two boys at sunrise. On arrival it was evident that there had been a scuffle at the pan north of the lodge, and a drag mark led into the pan. The two males had attempted to pull down a young hippo bull!

The visibly upset hippo bull was still in the pan keeping a lazy eye on the two lions. We sat with the lions enjoying the warm sunrise when the hippo lost his nerve and tried to make a run for the safety of the river. The one male was on the hippo like a flash, but then pure physics failed the lion. The two-ton beast had built up a head of steam and was now hurtling toward the river, downhill. The lion held on to the hippo’s substantial rump and bit his tail like a poor rider tugging at reins.

 The lion certainly inflicted some damage but was dragged across the Sand rivers banks and was forced to “jump ship” as the hippo hit the water.

The hippo was left with a pain in the butt and the lion with a dent in the ego and a lesson in perspective.

Two new male lions have been visiting the north, they ventured into the Sabi Sand all the way from the Matimanthle area in the Kruger National Park.

These males could have posed a serious threat to the Othawa cubs if the Tumbelas were unable to fend them off. We found one of the Nwalungu males visibly shaken after following his tracks running in from the east. Our eastern neighbor confirmed that one male lion had been killed by hyena. His traumatized brother ran into the lodge area the following morning and has been keeping his head down since. This probably means the end of the road for the Nwalungu as one male taking over a territory is unlikely.

Tlangisa and cub

Tlangisa has been able to keep her cubs alive even though they had another close shave. She was with her cubs on an impala kill when one of the lioness’ from the Tsalala pride arrived. The cubs scampered up a tree together and the mother was isolated in another tree nearby. Patience often equates to survival in the wild and the little cubs passed this trial with flying colours. The cubs simply stayed in the tree with the lioness at the base staring up at them. It took a full day for the lioness to lose interest and move off.

 Tlangisa waited for the lioness to move out of sight, called the cubs down and marched them straight to the safety of their rocky den site.

The cubs are still developing integral survival skills and nerves of steel.

Species feature……

You may well have noticed that we never post updates of rhino sightings on social media, and we discourage guests from posting any rhino images they may get during a safari at Inyati. This policy is unfortunately necessary to ensure the safety of the rhino population within the Sabi Sand and Greater Kruger National Park.

 In China, unfounded beliefs that the horn can cure cancer and increase virility have driven the monetary value of rhino horn to astronomical values. This has created a very intricate criminal network to poach and traffic rhino horn from Africa to China. In short, the African rhino population is under massive threat of extinction in the wild as a result.

Inyati and the Sabi Sand Wildtuin are proud to be part of one the most effective anti-poaching operations on the planet. This is not only due to the incredible work of the men and women on the ground, but also to every single guest that visits the reserve. Inyati and the Sabi Sand Wildtuin channels revenue from guests straight to the anti-poaching operation. The anti-poaching effort uses the lion’s share of the reserves budget to keep our rhino, and all animals in the reserve safe.

Every visitor to the Sabi Sand Wildtuin hence makes a huge contribution in the fight against rhino poaching by visiting Inyati and our neighbors.

Veterinary intervention is usually very limited in the reserve and we only “lend a hand” if an animal is injured because of humans or human infrastructure. But in the case of rhino, we do whatever we can to ensure we do not lose a single animal.

Two large rhino bulls had a territorial battle earlier this month. One bull sustained some injuries to his front and hind legs in the fight and rangers were asked to monitor the animal and report back on his movements and injuries. A while after the fight it looked like the wound had turned septic and it was for a vet to intervene.

As you can imagine, treating a wild rhino bull comes with many challenges. One must find the animal, dart it with a sedative to immobilize it, get a team in quick to monitor vitals and start the work needed in as short a time as possible to minimize stress, then get the team out safely, administer a reversal drug and monitor the animal’s recovery. Simple.

With a team of dedicated guides, rangers, security personnel and a fantastic vet this mammoth task was done without any hiccups.

We were glad to hear that the animal is healing well and should make a full recovery, hopefully not to fight another day.

We would like to thank each and every visitor to the Sabi Sand Wildtuin and Inyati Game Lodge for making these conservation and Anti-poaching efforts possible.

Hope to see you soon!

Keith and the Inyati team

The Inyati family have been vaccinated!

The COVID-19 vaccination rollout took place from the 30th of August to the 1st of September 2021. Temporary COVID-19 vaccination stations within the Sabi Sand at Ulusaba and our neighbouring community administration facilities were set up. The Inyati staff members alongside staff from various other lodges within the Sabi Sand Game Reserve have “rolled up their sleeves” and had their Covid-19 vaccinations , leading the way to further recovery within our tourism industry.
The vaccine drive aimed to achieve reserve and community-wide immunity, attract visitors back to our lodges in the Sabi Sand. Thus, securing current livelihoods, creating new employment opportunities and saving jobs.

We are grateful to our partners Dis-Chem Pharmacies and Eurolab, for their support in providing much-needed expertise with so much zeal. We are thankful to all lodges for the support; without their support and collaborative spirit, this would not have seen the light of success; more than 2000 people were vaccinated in just three days.
Thank you to Ulusaba for hosting the venue.

💪💉 #vaccinated #jab4tourism #southafricaistravelready #StartPlanning #WeAreReady

Safari greetings…… 

The mid-winter chill has reached the lowveld and we have experienced low temperatures in the early mornings. The temperature had dipped as low as four degrees Celsius this season, still not nearly as chilly as the Highveld or the escarpment but some of the hardiest of rangers sported trousers on early morning drives.

On evening drives guests often notice a drop in temperature as we drop into the drainage lines and rivers. This is simply air cooling down, and becoming more dense, heavy, and settling in lower lying areas as temperatures drop after sunset, this air flow is referred to as Katabatic flow or Katabatic winds.

The opposite happens after sunrise.  At dawn the sun brings some welcome heat after a chilly evening, and as the air heats up it creates a mini low-pressure system that draws the dense cool air up from the low-lying areas. As this happens moisture is also “dragged” up and condensation takes place to the extend that bands of mist rise from the lower lying areas making these Anabatic flows visible as waves of mist slowly sweeping up from drainage lines.

These misty waves light up as the first golden rays hit them after sunrise making for a spectacular dawn.  

Bush beat…….

The Othawa lions have done very well, and the six new cubs are thriving. The pride managed to bring down a giraffe that provided a fantastic meal for the adults and cubs alike.

The Tumbela males joined the feast, and the new kings spent some quality time with their new offspring. The Big male showed his soft side as he accepted his little daughters climbing on him and using his tail as a chew toy.

Our Leopard Queen, Tlangisa has done a phenomenal job with her two new cubs. The little cubs have grown from waddling balls of fluff to miniature leopards that are able to scale trees and even digest meat.

Tlangisa introduced them to their staple diet by supplying steenbok and impala kills this month. This extra boost of nutrients combined with moms milk has seen the two little cubs grow from strength to strength.

The little family did have a close shave though. One morning early in June we followed Tlangisa into a rocky outcrop she was using as a den for the cubs. One could see she was determined as she took no time to call the cubs form their rocky haven with soft grunting contact calls. To our delight the cubs answered with their bird-like squeals form within the outcrop and an enthusiastic greeting and grooming session followed.

Tlangisa, being the fantastic mother she is, first allowed the cubs to suckle for a while to top up their energy reserves. She the then stood up and marched out of the den site. The little cubs followed her cue, instinctively interpreting the mothers body language without any questions asked. Tlangisa blazed a trail to the west with two extremely excited cubs in tow, one could see the anticipation in their demeanour as they confidently trailed mom.

Tlangisa took them into a thick grassland, and we lost site of them as we viewed from a distance, a few minutes after they did not emerge from the thicket, we went in to investigate. Our suspicions were confirmed, Tlangisa had managed to bring down an adult Impala ram that she had stashed in the grass. There were no suitable trees to hoist the kill into, so she took the gamble of stashing the kill in a ticket on the ground.

After all her effort she unselfishly allowed the cubs to feed first, also a learning experience as they discovered how to open a carcass by targeting the areas where skin is thin enough break.

Tlangisa then emerged from the thicket. Every muscle was bristling as she anticipated approaching danger, her acute senses alerted her to another predator in the area and she used her sense of smell and the breeze to determine the direction of the approaching danger. The cubs again reacting to mother’s body language scuttled off deeper into the thicket, a few seconds later the leopards’ nemesis arrived. Three spotted hyenas stormed in and luckily focused on the free meal. They ripped into the carcass with far less finesse than the leopards and tore it in half. Tlangisa stayed for a few minutes hoping to salvage some of the carnage, but to no avail. Once the hyena settled, we left the area as extra noises and scents could be detrimental the cubs ability to avoid Hyenas.

Elation quickly turned to concern as we left the area.

For three days there was no sign of Tlangisa and our concern grew every day. On day four we found tracks of the mother heading into a favourite drainage line of hers. With many thickets, outcrops, and a maze of gully’s it provided a perfect refuge for cubs. We had decided that Tlangisa had entered an area that is inaccessible and once again accepted defeat. At this stage, an avid photographer in the vehicle decided to take a time laps and just enjoy the late afternoon sounds. A few minutes into the time laps Tlangisa emerged from the east walked straight past the vehicle and dropped into the drainage line. Once again, we heard her characteristic calls, answered by a chirp. To our utter delight two cubs emerged from the drainage line with Tlangisa, unscathed. They faced many dangerous trials but have emerged wiser and more equipped to survive this wild Eden.

Species feature……

Temmincks Ground Pangolin (Smutsia temminckii)

The extremely illusive creature is so rarely encountered in the wild that it has an almost mythical reputation. Very few people are lucky enough to lay eyes on a Pangolin  in the wild. This scaly little mammal moves about on its back legs scouring the ground for ants and at times some termites. If startled it will roll itself into an impenetrable ball of armoured keratinous scales, but if one sits very quietly to gain its trust it will unravel and happily feed whilst being followed.

The Temmincks Ground Pangolin is one of four species that occur in Africa, and the only species that occurs in Southern Africa and at Inyati. They are entirely terrestrial and nocturnal and will take shelter in burrows during daylight hours. The Pangolin is not only rare, but also difficult to spot as it moves low to the ground and in this grassy environment cuts its way through the grassy cover and hardly ever exposes itself. As a result, most Pangolin sightings are on night drives at the end of the dry season when cover is sparse.

Pangolins do not dig their own burrows but make use of abandoned aardvark and warthog burrows. These burrows serve as sleeping quarters in daylight hours and safe havens for little ones. One “pup” will be born after a gestation of approximately 140 days. The mother will keep the pup in the burrow at first and move it from time to time. A few incredibly lucky individuals have found females giving their pups “piggyback” rides between burrows. The little Pangolin is believed to stay on mother’s territory for about a year before venturing out becoming sexually mature at 4-5 years.

Pangolin numbers in Africa are decreasing at an alarmin rate, all the species are on the red list and our Temmincks ground Pangolins are listed as Vulnerable. Unfortunately, Pangolins are one of the most trafficked species of wildlife in the world with conservative estimates being 10 000 pangolins being trafficked every year. Pangolin scales are used as an ingredient in Traditional Asian Medicine fuelling the illegal trade of these slow breeding species. In Africa Pangolin scales are also sought after but the value is not enough to drive huge local trade. In central Africa an estimated 400 000 pangolin are hunted for meat and scales.

There is certainly a silver lining to the cloud though. Many areas in Africa are well protected, and dedicated Conservationists and Anti-poaching operations keep the wilderness free of greed driven poachers. Inyati is situated within one of the best protected areas in Africa and our Pangolins and much larger neighbours are in a safe haven.   

Inyati Game Lodge is excited to announce the launch of our updated website www.inyati.co.za. The new site has a fresh new look and was designed with your safari needs in mind. 

Hope to see you soon!

Keith and the Inyati team

Updates from isolation

Each day on safari brings a new experience.
Each day on safari brings a new experience.

The year 2020 is a year that will never be and should never be forgotten. There are many negative memories of the year, but one would be foolish to ignore the positive lessons that it taught us.

Firstly, we have learnt to love our guests more than ever!

Not having people to share this wonderful environment with has been challenging for all. For months we yearned for the emotions that guest share whilst on game drive at Inyati. The mixed bag of fear and awe of the first Elephant sighting, the amazement of looking up at a towering Giraffe and the surprise of sitting next to a massive male Leopard without even changing his behavior.

We also missed the “evolution” of our guests. The initial reaction in a sighting tends to be confused excitement and grappling with a camera to get the shot before the animal slinks away. Then the realization that most of our animals are happy to stick around, and at times seem to ‘pose’ for that once in a lifetime shot. Slowly but surely the guests emerge themselves into the environment and the bushveld and city clocks start syncing. A calmness that only the bushveld can provide washes over and the frantic pointing, grabbing, and shuffling make room for calm observant viewing. Many guests start noticing behavior and the questions become more challenging, the birds perched on the Rhino become a talking point, trees, flowers and even grasses are noticed and an entire new world that the majestic “Big 5” live in is revealed.

Some guests return to follow their favourite cat and become an extended part of the Inyati family, we dearly missed the connoisseurs.

We also missed the more lighthearted questions that previously may have stirred an internal sigh in the most patient guides. We are happy to stop and look at the sixth lilac breasted roller as the bright aqua blue flash catches every guest’s eye. No longer will we think “ABR”, another bloody roller.

We are happy to clarify that the half-eaten impala hoisted in a Maroela tree is in fact dead.

We enjoy explaining that all the trees you see have been here for hundreds of years and, unlike Central Park, the Kruger Park was not planted but is an actual time capsule.

We missed every single guest, and we now have a new appreciation for the lifeblood that kept the lodges and in turn  conservation efforts afloat, and we are ready with open arms to welcome you all back!

We have learnt to appreciate the little things. The impala grazing on the lawn, a sunset on the river and the crisp starlit winter skies. When you have time you stop and notice many of the small beauties that enhance this magical place even more.

We decided to use this time to be productive. Tending to the run of the mill kind of maintenance like repairing roads and painting decks and gardening. But one very unusual opportunity presented itself during the lockdown.

Herds of Impala settled in camp, the Inyala settled as well and shy Bushbuck made the pool their home. Due to the camp being quiet no man-made noises and smells overwhelmed their acute senses and these animals never left camp.

The predators that have always passed through camp now settled inside the lodge for longer, keeping an eye on potential prey, not being disturbed by vigilant tourists and clicking cameras.

A few leopards started using the buildings and veranda to stalk and catch prey and the Guides that stayed in camp for lockdown got some amazing footage and images.

This was noticed by well-known naturalist and film maker Russel Mac Laughlin and culminated in Inyati featuring in the BBC documentary The Year the Earth Changed, narrated by David Attenborough.

The cameramen and guides spent almost a month filming leopard only inside Inyati camp and the sequence of footage collected is breath taking, as is the rest of the Documentary that aired in April 2021 on Apple TV .

The last rainy season produced some fantastic rain that lasted late into the season and as a result the rivers are flowing, and the bush is still lush and even green in places.

Winter has started a bit later than usual with temperatures only dropping significantly late in May. Crisp dry winter evenings have been great for stargazing and winding down around a log fire.

As a result of the good rains our watering holes are full, and the lush vegetation and grass has attracted numerous browser and grazers to Inyati. A dazzle of Zebra has settled at the pan in front of camp and a journey of Giraffe have made treehouse pan their home.

Large herds of elephant have returned to the river, making full use of the riparian vegetation and the cool waters of the Sand river.

Three new male lions arrived from the north during lockdown. We first noticed their tracks, but they managed to avoid us for almost a month before our first sighting. We named them the Tumbela (to hide) males as a result.

These young guns took no time to take over the Othawa pride and the Old Matimba male was driven off. The young males in the pride broke away out of fear of the Tumbelas and unfortunately their sister followed. For now they are known as ‘the break-away’ but have settled in the south.

Two of the older Lionesses have had cubs. The younger Lioness has had three cubs which we have had brief glimpses of as they are only about three months old and not yet used to the vehicles. We have not yet seen the older females’ cubs as they are still hidden in the den.

The Mungen pride still visits the area, but sadly the Othawa male was killed when he decided to venture too far east and was cornered by a powerful coalition of males called the Birmingham males. The old Birminghams unfortunately killed the Othawa male leaving the Mungen pride without a patriarch for now.

The Leopard dynamics at Inyati has been fluid and fascinating. As the lodge is situated in the highest leopard population on the planet, huge competition and smaller territories are inevitable.

During lockdown we counted no less than seven different male leopards at various times in camp, as well as our resident females. Luckily, Ravenscourt and Nyeleti made short work of some of the young nomads and the dynamics, in camp at least, settled down.

 An over population of male leopards makes it difficult for females to raise their cubs as males that have not mated with females will kill cubs if they find them. Females cleverly confuse paternity by mating with all the males in their territory, and even expanding their territory when they are in estrus, and in so doing, also mating with neighboring males. It is also presumed that females can give birth to litters with multiple fathers further confusing males.

Unfortunately, this intricate process of confusing paternity did not work for Tlangisa, Basile or Khokovela of late. Tlangisa lost a litter in the north, we presume to the male, Euphorbia.  We did see Tlangisa mate with Ravenscourt and saw Ravenscourt with the cub that he had accepted. Sadly, Euphorbia took over the north at the time and we presume he killed the cub when Tlangisa moved it north.

Khokovela has her territory wedged between Ravenscourt and Nyeleti, unfortunately she has had little success with cubs as a result.

Ravenscourt again killed Basiles’ cubs, well within his territory. This is very confusing and unfortunate.

Tlangisa has once again proven herself as the leopard queen of the Western Sabi Sand. She has moved back to her northern domain and settled her territory well within Euphorbias. Euphorbia has proven himself as a formidable male that manages to keep his neighbors at bay. Tlangisa and Euphorbia have mated, and they now have a litter of two in the north west. The two little cubs are now three months old and thriving.

 Let us hope they survive in this challenging environment.

Emerging from lockdown

As we adjust to the world opening post the severe Covid lockdowns, we are delighted to tell you that the lodge is open and ready to receive guests. During the lockdown the lodge, in accordance with WHO guidelines and with the assistance of our onsite medical partner Africa Safe-T, tried and tested Covid 19 protocols to ensure our guests have a safe and carefree stay at Inyati.

Hand sanitizing stations have been placed at every entrance to public areas, a rigid sanitation regime has been implemented and all the staff have been trained and are practicing the protocols today.

Even safari vehicles are sanitized before, and after, every drive and guest are offered hand sanitizer at each stop.

We are fortunate to have roomy open air dining facilities that make social distancing and safety a breeze.

In short, we are ready and waiting and for our repeat guests to return and for new guests to come explore the splendor of the African bush. Hope to see you soon!

Make memories that last a lifetime!


Make memories that last a lifetime!

Elephant on the lawn… by our wonderful guest- Ada

https://adadenhollander.wordpress.com/2021/06/14/elephant-on-the-lawn/

‘Because you are the only passenger on board on that date, you have to pay for three passengers.’ That’s the message Inyati Game Lodge received from Federal Air, the airline that flies from Johannesburg to the runway at Inyati. At the end of my previous blog about Sabi Sand, I had expressed my preference to fly rather than wander in a rental car, hence the plan with FedAir. But of course, that didn’t happen. Fortunately there was another option: with Airlink to Skukuza in Kruger Park and from there with transport arranged by Inyati. A comfortable solution of only 1.5 hours from Skukuza.

I came up with the idea to go to Inyati because they offer an attractive winter special, which makes a stay more affordable for residents of South Africa.

I still have vouchers from Kulula for the trip from George to Johannesburg and another one from Airlink, so I feel like I’m traveling for free again.

my plane

I’m almost in time to go on my first afternoon game drive, but the staff want to give me something to eat first, so the game ranger and the other guests leave and come back a little later to pick me up. Such a good start and quite a service.

Immediately an elephant and a beautiful evening sky.

Enthusiastic ranger Gabriel

In addition, a curious lion

Tracker Cliff stays stock-still

A few more atmospheric photos

It’s great to be back at Inyati, where I was last in November 2018. Lots of the same people, but also new faces. Katherine comes to say hello and welcome me. Everyone cheerful and determined to give me a good time.

The beautiful sunrise.

The photos tell the story.

Bundu bashing in search of a lion. The knocked-down bushes come up again, so there is virtually no damage. Tracker Cliff gives directions.https://www.youtube.com/embed/4vYJ7yjzMyc?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

After a two-hour drive and a cup of coffee we walk in step back to the lodge guided by Gabriel.

Fortunately, there are some more guests at the moment, after a terribly difficult year in which all lodges were forced to be closed. There is a family with three grown children from Chicago who are in the game vehicle with me. We get along very well.

After every morning drive an extensive breakfast awaits us and after that we are free. I check my mail, send pictures and read my book.

At half past three it is time for the next drive. Looking for any animal.

And there is a leopard

Crossing a river, my best.https://www.youtube.com/embed/82ksm1x6WNU?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

Another beautiful sunset and a G&T with snacks.

Gabriel and Cliff take good care of us

That evening we have supper in the boma with a nice and warm wood fire, because it is cold.

The next day we search for a leopard with two cubs. It is freezing this early in the morning (we leave at half past six), but luckily there are ponchos with a fleece lining and a hot water bottle. That helps.

Leopards love a rocky environment and this one has found an excellent and safe place for her cubs.

The leopard jumps to a higher rock to keep a close eye on the environment.

Above is a little one, visible just behind a bush.

The owner comes to introduce himself. Carlos, who is there with two couples. ‘I know exactly who you are,’ he says. ‘I’ve heard a lot about you, I hope you’re having a good time again’. I can only confirm that. A couple has also arrived from Pretoria, who have been to Inyati several times too. Pleasant people with whom I have nice chats. We exchange phone numbers as there is a chance they will come by in July. With two friends from Hoedspruit, a German couple and an American, the lodge is now completely full. (The family has left for Victoria Falls.) Good to see that. I have caught up with George in the meantime, my friend whom I have known for years. Carlos has arrived with his own plane and the pilot and co-pilot are in the same vehicle with me. The nice thing about Inyati is that it is so informal and relaxed. Carlos is not somebody like: do you realise who I am.

I wouldn’t mind to take a flight with this one.

Rhino close to Inyati, luckily with horns

As if the sky is on fire:

Another beautiful sunrise, we are spoiled and not only with that.

I’ve seen all the big game now. Only my favourite animal is missing and that is the cheetah. This wish also comes true. I can’t remember the last time I saw a cheetah.

That makes my day.

I am sitting on my room’s terrace in the afternoon when suddenly an elephant walks past on the lawn and a little later a Nyala comes to say hello.

  That afternoon, after looking at an elephant that refuses to cross the water, we see quite a few vultures soaring through the sky. That means there must be a kill nearby. We search and find some remains of an impala, but not the lion or leopard that swallowed it.

  This is the best photo in my opinion. A white backed vulture high up in the tree.

On my last day there is still time for a morning game drive. We go back to the leopard with the two cubs, who now show themselves better.

playing with mum

Couldn’t have asked for a better ending.

After a tasty breakfast I am waved goodbye by Katherine, daughter Promise and her 1-year-old son Priel. It’s drizzling, unusual for this time of the year.

On to Skukuza airport, which looks charming.

It certainly won’t be another three years before I go to Inyati again, such a pleasure to be there.

(edited with love by Julia Thomas)

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The Year the Earth Changed, narrated by David Attenborough.

The predators that have always passed through camp now settled inside the lodge for longer, keeping an eye on potential prey, not being disturbed by vigilant tourists and clicking cameras. A few leopards started using the buildings and veranda to stalk and catch prey and the Guides that stayed in camp for lockdown got some amazing footage and images. This was noticed by well-known naturalist and film maker Russel MacLaughlin and culminated in Inyati featuring in the BBC documentary The Year the Earth Changed, narrated by David Attenborough.

#SouthAfricaisTravelReady #PostponeDontCancel #allinthistogether #tourismmatters

Amidst the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and in line with public health advice, we have taken the decision to temporarily close Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sands Game Reserve with immediate effect. It is our intention to reopen once our Government deems it safe to do so.

Most of our guests have decided to postpone their travels, rather than cancel, and we would encourage others to follow suit. Our reservations team is handling each booking on an individual basis and we will do everything possible to accommodate amended bookings.

For any queries on existing or future bookings, please contact our reservations team at res@inyati.co.za These are unique and challenging times for everyone concerned and our thoughts are with all of you who have been affected by this crisis. Thank you for your patience, understanding and support.

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