An African safari isn’t a passive experience. It isn’t just about glimpsing wildlife. You’re enveloped in their untamed world, absolutely surrounded by the drama and charm of the planet’s greatest theater; every angle is unique and each moment personalized.
In December 2013 Rowen van Eeden successfully GPS tagged a martial eagle chick that was soon to fledge (Figure 1).
The nest was in the Crocodile Bridge section of Kruger National Park and this was the first time a tag was deployed on a martial eagle still in the nest. The aim of the tagging was to find out about the movements of young eagles as they disperse from the nest, and there were high hopes that we might follow it through to adulthood. In total 18 martial eagles have now been GPS tagged for this project (this includes a combination of both young and adult eagles), but this one remains particularly special.
Although the tags provide us with a way to closely follow the movements of eagles in the ‘virtual’ world and we can view their locations on Google Earth almost daily, we rarely get to see them in the real world as they’re always on the move. However, in Jan 2016 Keith Jenkinson sent us a beautiful picture of this individual photographed at Inyati Game Lodge. By then he was two years old and was obviously doing well for himself. In the picture he had the tail of a rock monitor in his feet (Figure 2).
Last week we were concerned that the tag had stopped moving and quickly contacted Ulusaba Private Reserve (owned by Sir Richard Branson) where his last known location was recorded. The guides there responded quickly and searched the area where he was thought to be but didn’t find anything. We waited anxiously hoping the tag would come back online and then on Sunday I got a call from one of Ulusaba’s guides, Kyle Michel, saying they had found the eagle – well actually, he was perched in a tree close to the lodge eating another rock monitor he had caught (Figure 3). Just over four years since he was tagged, he is looking magnificent. We are thrilled and his tag is again functioning perfectly.
He’s been to Mozambique a few times, spent a lot of time in southern Kruger and in the network of private game reserves to the west of Kruger and now we’re really hopeful that one day soon he might settle down for his first breeding attempt – watch this space!
Many thanks to everyone who has been involved in tagging and following this individual.
We are so proud to announce that Inyati Game Lodge has been nominated for the 2018 Safari Awards, sponsored by The Good Safari Guide.
If it weren’t for our guests continued support throughout the years we’d never be in the position we’re in today. Your positive reviews, constructive criticism and contribution to Inyati Game Lodge, has ensured we’ve secured a place in the Safari Awards, a prestigious annual award bestowed upon camps and lodges displaying excellence in specific categories. Inyati Game Lodge has been nominated in 8 categories. We’d really like to rally your support to secure an award.
Voting is easy! Here’s how you do it:
1. Go to this page, search and click on the property: Safari Awards Voting Selection Page
2. Log in with your username and password, or register if this is your first time voting.
3. You will be redirected to the camp page, where you click on the big “vote” button.
Follow the prompts, rate us out of 10 and leave a comment if you’d like!
Mondzo seems to have made the Inyati causeway his home. Every game drive the past few days has started with this beautiful young male entertaining our guests.
The wild dogs have been back for the last month. its been great seeing these amazing animals again and thier 7 pups at Inyati.
The new wild dog pups are thriving. Within a week they have become more mobile and their patterns are starting to emerge from underneath their black birth coat.
They are becoming more confident and venturing further from the entrance to their den, and their ears have started to form the distinct disc shape.
*Photographs by Keith and Darren
Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Game Reserve – Winner of the Wildlife Encounters, Service Excellence, Visitor’s Experience award @ the provincial Lilizela Tourism Awards 2017 – held in White River 8th September 2017
“Being awarded the 2017 Lilizela Tourism Award for the Visitor Experience category – Wildlife Encounters in #Mpumalanga for a fourth year in a row is a true source of pride for the entire team at Inyati Game Lodge ,” said Leighanne Dawkins, Marketing Manager at Inyati Game Lodge.
“Born from a diverse and rich tapestry of ancestry our guides and trackers are storytellers for the land. Some of whom are third generation at Inyati, building a lifelong bond with colleagues and guests alike. Experts out in the field they are the finishing touch to the fine quality of the Inyati safari experience.”
The Lilizela Tourism Awards are an opportunity to celebrate professionalism, creativity and innovation in the industry. The provincial awards are being held in the month of September – which is also the time that South Africa and the tourism industry at large celebrate Tourism Month.
The National Winners will be announced at the Sandton Convention Centre on 29th of October 2017. To view the full list of finalists and winners visit http://www.lilizela.co.za
In October 2011, Inyati Game Lodge in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve issued over 12 000 phantom shares, equivalent to five percent of the company, to its employees in a bid to reward staff loyalty and retain employee talent.
“Providing employees with a stake in the business not only improves their sense of belonging and value but also instils the feeling that the better they assist the business in performing, the more value they’ll see in returns through the worth of their investment,” says Dos Santos.
Inyati Game Lodge is situated in arguably one of the best game viewing areas in the world & most prestigious private conservation areas, the Sabi Sand Reserve (Wildtuin), adjoining the renowned Kruger National Park. Experience fantastic close-up’s with Africa’s wildlife on every game drive.
We’ve launched our new website and we’re excited to introduce you to our new look.
We’re really proud of the new Inyati Game Lodge website and feel it will create the experience you’re looking for when you pay us a visit.
Our new website features an easily accessible BOOKNOW booking widget will make it easier for guests to make online bookings
To experience the all new website, please visit http://www.inyati.co.za
A few of the Rhinowarriors were privileged to visit Care For Wild Rhino Sanctuary. In short the sanctuary cares for calves that have been orphaned by savage poaching attacks.
Many of these calves bare the physical and mental scars of the incidents that left them orphaned, but the good people of Care for Wild have created a safe environment for rehabilitation and release into safe reserves in future.
Please help us support their cause and gi
ve these beautiful animals a chance at survival. Care For Wild relies on donations and sponsors to keep the Sanctuary afloat. Every penny is dedicated to security, and health of the orphans. #careforwild #careforwildrhinosanctuary
Follow and support at www.careforwild.co.za
SABI SAND RESERVE, MPUMALANGA, SOUTH AFRICA – 22nd June 2017 – Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence. Now in its seventh year, the achievement celebrates hospitality businesses that have earned great traveller reviews on TripAdvisor over the past year. Certificate of Excellence recipients include accommodations, restaurants and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a quality customer experience.
“Being awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence seven years in a row and inducted into the 2015 ‘Hall of Fame’ is a true source of pride for the entire team at Inyati Game Lodge and we’d like to thank all of our past guests who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor,” said Leighanne Dawkins, Marketing Manager at Inyati Game Lodge “There is no greater seal of approval than being recognised by one’s guests. With the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence based on customer reviews, the accolade is a remarkable vote of confidence to our business and our continued commitment to excellence.”
“TripAdvisor is excited to announce the recipients of the 2017 Certificate of Excellence, which celebrates hospitality businesses that have consistently received strong praise and ratings from travellers”, said Heather Leisman, Vice President of Industry Marketing, TripAdvisor. “This recognition allows us to publicly honour businesses that are actively engaging with customers and using feedback to help travellers identify and confidently book the right property at the right price.”
The Certificate of Excellence accounts for the quality, quantity and recency of reviews submitted by travellers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.
The rains came around mid-January and by the end of the season we had about 400 mm all in all. What is interesting is the seemingly persistent shift towards late summer rains. The rains brought growth of vegetation and alleviated the drought conditions for the herbivores. The buffaloes especially have made a remarkable recovery and even towards the end of the season we started to see new calves coming through. The impalas did well as always although I’m sure statistically the last few years have not been their best. The remarkable thing about the bush recovering is that it went and is going through a universal emergence of pioneers, some of which might not have been seen for decades. All the pioneer grasses have made walking safaris a challenge as they use us to spread their seeds on their behalf. A pioneer species is a plant that grows in a disturbed area, it is characterized by small leaves and lots of seeds. Pioneers tend to lack nutrition as their function is bush recovery, so even though the bush looks good the biomass and species indicators might suggest another harsh winter up ahead.
This is good news for the lions as the Madjingilane Male coalition lost the fourth member to long term injuries and age. The other three males are starting to show signs of aging now. Most have lost teeth and canines that are turning black with age. Their spines are becoming visible when they haven’t eaten for a few days. What is working in their favour is that there is a lack of competition coming from the east. The harsh winter will hopefully keep these guys around another 5 or 6 months to help the young othawa female come of age before new males come into the area, if she makes it to adulthood she will be a miracle. The young Othawa male should be ousted soon and he will be displaced or killed, being on his own is not in his favour. This time is really important because the Othawas as a pride can’t really afford to start again to many times as the females are getting on in age. The three young cubs have an outside chance but they require the remaining three males to stick around for a few a couple of years which I can’t see happening.
The Mhangene Pride have been following our herds of buffalo of late and have been keeping in the south for extended periods of time. What is cool about this pride is that the core is four adult females and they have nine male cubs of varying ages. The oldest looks to be about 18-20 months and the youngest looks close to 9 or 10 months. The more time these young males get the stronger they will get. It will be hard to displace 9 males and they might be the next big coalition. A lot has to go right for them though and we can expect some of the males to die on the way to adulthood. So when the herbivores take strain then the predators do better, by this statement then the lions seem to be set for slow steady growth, this could always change at any moment as a new coalition could arrive from the heart of kruger at any time!
Xhikavi is still looking after Mondzo and their relationship is starting to imitate that of cuckoos and its host, whereby the cuckoo chick is often much larger its host parent. Mondzo has been seen making kills but he prefers to take the offerings of his mother. We even had a sighting where Basile had happened upon him and was bullying him a bit. His position will change when he starts to find females attractive and Dewane will ask him to go. It has become apparent though that Dewane wants to mate with Xhikavi again. This is the beginning of the end for Mondzo, it will be nice to see where he ends up when he eventually settles, realistically though we should lose contact with him. It’s a real pity because it isn’t every day you have a leopard with blue eyes.
Both Schotia and Boulders have cubs. Schotia has a little female and no one has seen boulders cubs just her suckle marks. We are sure Boulder’s is denning in Bruce’s Koppie which is inaccessible to vehicles. Basile and Khokovela are both doing well as is Tlangisa and her female cub. Dewane has still been the primary male but he has often given way to Ravenscourt and Nyeleti has been seen more and more. I haven’t heard from or seen Torchwood in a while either.
With winter approaching these predators should do better, the cubs have more food and surviving is easier. The increased lions might mean we do not get the wild dogs denning this year, despite them being around quite frequently hunting all our impala. They tend to choose areas that have low lion density areas, with the lions being their main predator in the wild. Everything works in cycles, the more lions you have the less other predators and vice versa. So it has been really nice having cheetahs and wild dogs but as the lions get more prolific we can be sure our other predators numbers will drop. The viewing will be amazing this winter and we should see loads of predator activity, so if you are thinking of safari then now is the time!
Regards, THE INYATI TEAM
Keith & Francis – Managers
George , Solly, Matthew , Darren , Omega, Nelson , Joel & Rodger
This month’s bush tales is compiled by Matthew Brennan. *Photographs by Keith and Matthew