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Wildlife Journal November 2011 by Khimbini Hlongwane

Shangwa In a bountiful explosion, the region has burst back to life! One of the greatest pleasures of living in South Africa’s remarkable Sabi Sand Game Reserve is being able to follow the changing seasons and smell the rain in the air in summer. Scattered clouds dot the sky and light up the sunrise and sunsets with the most unbelievable shades of soft pinks and gold. If you haven’t been to the Sabi sand in October/November then this is definitely something to put on your to do list. The abundance of wildlife is incredible; Game drives are intense and full of action as lots of antelope grazing in the plains with their new babies unperturbed by thousands of birds making their daily breeding activities and songs. With all these new helpless creatures around the predators are taking advantage and herds of elephants meander in, around and along the sand river.

Leopard (Panthera pardus)

Leopard (Panthera pardus)Tlangisa female has been covering a large area again. She is been intruding into Metsi and Hlabankunzi’s territory. On few occasions we have seen her in the lodge area which is Xikhavi female’s territory.

(Note the picture of her on the roof of one of our rooms)Tlangisa

Hlabankunzi doesn’t seem to mind Tlangisa presence in her territory but this may change when one of them gives birth as they will become more protective and will be looking for more hunting grounds to feed their young.

The generally illusive Xikhavi also abandoned her usual riverine and reeded haunts and climbed a tree to enjoy the breeze. She was spotted resting in a sausage tree just across the sand river opposite the lodge

Our leopard queen, Hlabankunzi is heavily pregnant she was seen mating with our resident dominant male in the past months, the gestation period is 100 days so hopefully in the next couple weeks she will give birth, exciting times await and we are sure to keep you updated.Xikhavi

Shangwa and her one year old male have graced us with her presence again this month. This 13 years old leopardess is one of the oldest and most experienced mother leopards I’ve lived with, a great hunter and successful mother. They young male is growing fast and becoming more confident hunting on his own. We witnessed him stalking a hyena just for the fun of it. He managed to get within 10 meters and the hyena still didn’t see him but he wasn’t brave enough to touch the hyena.

Dam 3 female also added to the boom of offspring at Inyati, she has two cubs, we got to see them feeding on a shrub hare, unfortunately this female is not relaxed with vehicles so she asked us to leave in rather harsh manner before we could get a decent picture to share with you.Dam 3 female (Note: the anger on her face)

Lion (Panthera leo)

Lion (Panthera leo)

The Ximhungwe Pride continues to patrol and hunt in all the reserve’s corners. As life goes in the bush, every up has a down. On last couple of reports I mentioned how successful the pride have been with their hunts , with all the waterholes being full the animals have disperse, the pride have been battling to find good size meal to feed the whole pride. There are lots of young born and they get food it’s just not enough to keep young ones looking healthy. They have had to cover long distance in their hunts and this have been little hard on the youngsters but we are certain they will pull through, every litter do go through these dry run.

The lioness that had two youngest cubs that were recently lost is mating again; she was seen for four days mating with one of Mapogo boys, Bent spine. If all goes well we should see some little lion cubbieLion (Panthera leo)s in about three months.

We waited for long time for the two nomadic Ottawa males; they came in for a visit in our traversing area this month. The two were seen for the three days on a row following the large herd of buffalo in the south, the boys are looking good. Both males are healthy and have a lot of attitude; one can easily tell they have the Mapogo’s gene in them. In one of the sighting we saw them make three attempts on the buffalo, but unfortunately, failed.

Lion (Panthera leo)Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

Elephant (Loxodonta africana)We have an abundance of elephant around at the moment and it is not infrequent to see four different breeding herds on one game drive. It’s always fascinating to watch elephant as they always doing something, from mothers helping calf to cross the river to watching a group of youngsters playing. We spent time with the elephant bull feeding in the sun set (left picture) and on another sighting we watched a mother and calf having a dust bath(right picture)

Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer)

BuffaloFresh green sward has covered many parts of the Mpumalanga, Sabi sand, providing fresh graze for buffalo, zebra and wildebeest. The large herd have been here in our traversing area and been entertaining for the most part of the month and small groups of old male are dotted around the reserve especially along the rivers.

More than the big five…..

PangolinWith the bursting skies comes new life, its “baby boom” now in our reserve, on every corner there is a new born elephants, giraffes, warthogs and many more.

The rare scaly anteater, Pangolin made an appearance on our reserve again this month. These are nocturnal and very secretive creatures and they are still somewhat mysterious, with scientists knowing relatively little about their behaviour in the wild. In China, pangolin meat is considered to be a delicacy. Most tribes in Africa believe that if a pangolin is killed there will be no rain until the area is cleansed by the Chief traditional healer.

Africa’s second most endangered carnivore – wild dog – made its appearance again. The pack ran into our traversing area few times this month, one of our morning teas was interrupted by a pack of wild dogs that came to drink at pan in front of the lodge. After a short while of following them they killed an impala ewe and devoured it couple of minutes.Wild dog

In and around camp

TlangisaFor few days this month we didn’t have to go out the lodge to see a leopard, Tlangisa female killed an impala on our airstrip, drag it into the lodge and climb up on the roof to rest and watch us all as we enjoying our early morning tea. She stayed in camp for few days enjoying her meal.

A group of Buffalo bulls have been resting in the cool waters of the Sand River during breakfast. And a herd of Elephant has also been around Inyati camp for about five days on a row this month, and have been entertaining our guests between drives.  A group of Buffalo bulls

Increase in the Ulusaba airstrip passenger taxes and SSW gate entrance fee for 2012

Inyati Game Lodge
Dear Valued SupplierINCREASE IN THE ULUSABA PASSENGER TAXES & SSW GATE ENTRANCE FEE FOR 2012Please take note that there will be an increase in the landing fees and passenger taxes for Ulusaba Airstrip for 2012:· The per person fee has increased to R150 per person
· A landing fee of R1 490will be charged per aircraft for private chartersThe new rates will be applicable from 1st January 2012.This increase will affect all Federal Air flights arriving and departing at Ulusaba and transferring to Inyati Game Lodge.Guests entering the Sabi Sand Wildtuin at Newington gate are required to pay the following entrance fee:
Currently – light vehicles: R120 and a per person fee (including aircraft passengers) of R 30 per person.
*The light vehicle fee to increase from R120.00 to R150.00on the 1st January 2012Should you have any queries or questions, please contact our reservations office on +27 11 486 2027
or inyatigl@iafrica.com

A young Leopard of about 3 years old – stalks, catches and plays with a scrub hare.

Warning: Not for sensitive viewers. A young Leopard of about 3 years – stalks , catches and plays with a scrub hare.

A Young Leopard of about 3 years stalk , catch and play with a scrub hare.

First steps into life: New born elephant and giraffe.


First steps into life: New born elephant and giraffe. Pride feeding, dung beetle at work, lions in the mateing, leopard cub and lion roaring.

First steps into life: New born giraffe
First steps into life: New born giraffe

Days of our lions: Mapogo roars the entire bush-veld shivers with fear, long live Mapogos

Inyati cub

Wildlife Journal October 2011 by Khimbini Hlongwane

Summer is definitely here in the lowveld of Mpumalanga as daytime temperatures climb into the low 40s (Celsius). Dark and ominous rainclouds have filled the afternoon sky on the odd occasion, but we only had few showers so far just enough to transform the bush into brilliant green, the big rains are yet to come. The bush is still thin, In light of this, game viewing is amazing and guests don’t have to drive far from camp to see large herds of buffalo, waterbuck, wildebeest and elephant; obviously with predators taking full advantage of this situation. October is a spectacular month to visit, with the wildlife concentration along the river the game viewing is at its peak.

Leopard (Panthera pardus)

Tlangisa femaleLeopard viewing have been phenomenon during the month of this report, On 22 October morning there were total of 6 leopards seen in four different sightings, Metsi female, Tlangisa trailing behind Xindzele, Hlabankunzi arguing with Metsi’s young male and unknown young male at northwest corner.

The playful Tlangisa female have been entertaining throughout the month. On one morning we watched her stalk and caught a scrub hare, she played with it for a while before killing it and hoisted it in a jackal berry tree. She doesn’t move around the entire western sector like she uses to do she seems to have settled down in the territory near the western firebreak and south of the Machimbiri donga.

Hlabankunzi female appear to be pregnant and have been seen checking out some of her previous den sites. On one late morning we located her perched high up a knob thorn tree with carcass of an impala lamb. She was also seen in area with three other adult leopard, Tlangisa killed an impala, the aging Ndlevane stole the carcass it was not long before Xindzele knew about it , come growling at the old Ndlevane male who was in the tree finishing the remain of impala carcass. The old and wise, Ndlevane male came down the tree and run off avoiding the fight. Hlabankuzi sat on a termite mound a good distance away watching the whole commotion before venturing off in a patrol of her territory. From One drama to another! She was chased up a tree by a lioness. Luckily she saw the lion in time so this only gave her the opportunity to show off her climbing skills as the lioness looked on from terra firma.

Hlabankunzi femaleShangwa and her one year old male cub have also been seen a few times near the eastern boundary of our traversing area. We were treated with some great interaction between Shangwa and her two young of different generation. Shangwa killed an impala and was soon joined by her one year old male cub. Out of nowhere came out her 6-year old daughter, Xikhavi. There was a lot of resentment shown in growling between the young male cub and Xikhavi, but eventually the tension deteriorated and all three leopards fed at different times.

Xindzele continues to be the most viewed male leopard in our area he is always on the move patrolling and marking his territory. The growing numbers of male in the area are keeping him on his toes. He has been in a fight and is sporting some impressive bite marks. The injuries are not serious and he will recover well. The tension between himself and Mashiyabanci seems to have subsided as we haven’t seen Mashiyabanci for a while now. Consequently, we have seen Xindzele crossing the sand river going deeper into Mashiyabanci’s territory.

Leopard Causeway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lion (Panthera leo)

Our lions have been excMpogoeedingly active this month. The Ximungwe pride is still quite fragmented, although the older lioness and her 13-month old cubs are seen regularly she seem to be happy away from the rest of the pride. The one female with two new cubs is often seen alone probably because the cubs are still too young to keep up with the pride. The rest of the pride has been staying mostly along the Sand River. The three lionesses have four cubs from three different litters, ranging in age from three months to eight months. Kudus, nyalas and bushbucks is what they been feeding on mostly but they did manage to kill a giraffe this month.

We were fortunate to have the less seen Ottawa pride’s three lionesses staying on our property for few days.

Buffalo killThe notorious Mapogo boys have been venturing across to the eastern sections lately; they are possibly concern about the growing numbers of lion coalitions like Machingelane, Matimbas and others. On return of one their trip they killed a large buffalo bull, few days later they killed a young buffalo, the buffalo herd attempted to fight for about twenty minutes but they had to move on at some point. In less than 24 hours after the buffalo calf they manage to kill a ten months old hippo calf.

Giraffe kill

Lion (Panthera leo)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

Elephant (Loxodonta africana)Large breeding herds, bachelor herds and some single bull elephants are a common sighting in, along and around the river. We have enjoyed numerous herds of these gently beasts and their young ones continuously parading through camp and along the sand river. A calf of two years old charged us on one morning; he was determined to see us drive off he put on such a show by flapping the ears, shaking of trunk and even trumpeting. He got disappointed when I didn’t move he then ran back to the shelter of his mum who was totally ignoring his antics.

Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer)

Inyati - buffalo bulls We are living up to our name Inyati, buffalo bulls were seen all around the property and in the lodge area. Big herds of buffalo are still visiting the area. Some new big herds of buffalo, some ranging between two hundred and five hundred animals were found along various plains and the river. The lions have been taking advantage of the situation sneaking in catching unsuspecting young and old individual.

More than the big five…..

We were privilege to see this night time creature in the daytime, a porcupine. This is Africa’s largest rodent; they are prickly creatures with more than 30,000 needle-like quills on their back, sides and tail. On contrarily to a popular belief, Porcupines do not shoot their quills. They do not have this capability. Physical contact with a porcupine is needed in order to be stuck with its quills. A peculiar mating ritual particular to porcupines is that the male will douse the female with urine prior to mating. Did you know that porcupine is one of the only few animals that mate for pleasure.porc espin (spined pig)

Yet another pangolin in daylight! These strange creatures are normally late night active, yet on two occasions in a two weeks period we have seen them in daylight ,we have been really spoilt with three pangolin sightings in the past two weeks period.

Our regular pack of wild dogs is still intact and in good condition, they are keeping themselves well fed on pregnant impala that are battling to run fast as their bellies swell. We have also seen two males that came into our traversing area.

Lycaon pictus
The African wild dog has a bite force quotient (BFQ, the strength of bite relative to the animal's mass) measured at 142, the highest of any extant mammal of the order Carnivora, although exceeded by the Tasmanian devil, a marsupial carnivore

InyatiThe Camp has also been wonderfully productive, with a steady supply of elephants moving through to drink and play in the river. At this time of the year elephants are at their highest concentrations along the water and so sightings of these magnificent beasts have been especially frequent and rewarding. We also had a herd of over hundred buffalo coming to graze on our lawn on few occasions.

That’s all from us this month, we thank you for spending few moments with us in the wilderness, shared our experiences and joined our adventures, and we are committed to keep you updated.

This month’s sightings report compiled by Khimbini Hlongwane

A Journey With Giraffe by Keith Jenkinson

Africa is home to many iconic animals, and people flock from all corners of the globe to see and study these animals in their natural habitat. At first visitors are enthralled by the so called “big 5”, the usual suspects – one could say.

The term big five was first used by President Theodore Rooseveldt who often hunted in southern Africa and as a result grew to respect the dangers the Lion, Cape Buffalo, African Elephant, Leopard and Rhinoceros present to hunters. These animals are either: large, tough, cunning or ferocious, all traits that make them extremely dangerous if pursued with malice intent. In the safari or eco-tourism industry this is often very far from the truth as the big five we view have for many years not been hunted and the aggression that the hunters of old experienced has now turned to acceptance and, I would like to imagine, trust. Thus the
formerly frothing, head swinging, beady eyed buffalo has now become the relaxed ruminant allowing vehicles and their occupants a close view for that perfect out of Africa sunset. Don’t get me wrong, any of the big five can quickly undergo a personality change if mistreated or by getting carelessly close on foot, all I am getting at is that the term big five is often the reason for visitors to Africa arriving with an expectation that is far less than Africa can offer .

A visit to Africa is more spiritual and holistic than many a marketer would sell, simple things like the smell of the soil after the first rain, the colours that no wide angle lens or painters brush has been able to capture and the cool evening breeze that no health
therapist or spa can attempt to recreate. These are the things that combine to make Africa unique. There is also an animal unique to Africa that can capture the imagination of many without adrenaline or blood lust, the Giraffe.

Humans have always been fascinated by Giraffe, many etchings depicting giraffe are found throughout Africa proving that humans have been enthralled by Giraffe from the early stone-age.

You will often hear guides comment on how their guests have calmed down and relaxed after their first drive.

The highly strung A-type personality can forget his all-conquering ways and just relax as the bush and its rhythms are
not affected by the business world and it stresses. Africa has a way to unknowingly force its visitors into this ancient rhythm, and an animal that in my opinion epitomizes this is the Giraffe.

Giraffe evolved from a smaller horse like animal that frequented the forests. There are only two members of the Giraffe family in existence today, the giraffe and the Okapi that occurs in the rain forests of central Africa and surprisingly was only described in 1901. The Okapi is also very similar looking to the giraffes’ forest dwelling ancestors.

Okapia johnstoni,

The giraffe is an engineering marvel and has many fascinating traits to deal with it’s at times cumbersome height.
The reason for it evolving into the World’s tallest mammal and largest ruminant is simple, it is socially aloof and likes things to itself, it has thus evolved to be the tallest animal in Africa that has a band of approximately two meters of leaves mostly to itself, mostly only because they share with elephants at this level. Exclusivity comes at a price though, having your head in the clouds means your heart needs to work extremely hard to fuel the brain with blood, a giraffes heart is about 60 centimetres (2 feet) long and can weigh up to ten kilograms. This heart is so powerful that the arteries split into a delta of elastic vessels that bring the blood pressure down before damaging the fine capillaries in the brain. This system is called a Rete mirable and is also found in many other ruminants, another function of the delta of vessels is to transfer heat to intertwined blood vessels not flowing to the brain, a kind of biological radiator.

The Zulu name for Giraffe is ndlulamiti (ndlula-pass; miti-trees) this beautifully descriptive name points out another problem giraffe are faced with. If you are taller than many of the trees your access to shade is limited and overheating of your brain in a sweltering African summer could be fatal. A giraffes ears and head is very light in colour, this reflects a lot of the heat from the sun and acts as a beacon to other
giraffe, both male and female giraffe have “horns”, these horns are an
extension of the scull that gives the cranium more surface area and more
surface area means more heat can be radiated from the brain!

Weight and the distribution thereof is yet another challenge for giraffe, a giraffe bull can weigh more than a ton, and that on stilts. As a result giraffe have only two gaits a sauntering walk and a gallop. When a giraffe is walking the right and left legs work in unison unlike the scissor like action of other ungulates.
This swagger largely contributes to the animals well documented grace. When in a gallop the front legs and back legs kick and push together in long strides that look slow but due to leverage propel the animal forward in excess of 50km/h. It is speculated that the Genus and common English name “Giraffe” was derived from an Arabic word Zirapha that translates to moving with haste or walking swiftly.

Giraffe have only 7 vertebrae in the neck

The weight of the head and neck has also led so some interesting physical adaptions. The head and vertebrae are very dense and heavy and as you can see in the image, Giraffe have only 7 vertebrae in the neck, the same amount as a human. A giraffe has a very strong tendon that runs below the skin on the back of the neck, this tendon is under  constant strain as it short and wide thus being able to hold up the neck and head automatically. A giraffe has to strain to drop its head but the weight of the head and neck put stain on the tendon and keeps the head and neck up an a natural position with little to no energy being wasted.

Giraffe have phenomenal eyesight, together with their height this makes them the periscopes of the bushveld, many animals such as Impala and Zebra will associate with giraffe as they rely on the giraffe to spot predators at a distance. Rangers often also use giraffe as sentries as a group of giraffe staring intently in the same direction is often and indication of the whereabouts of a predator.
There is actually and Egyptian hieroglyph that depicts a giraffe, it is said to signify a prophecy or future vision, this most probably due to the animals astounding eyesight.

Inyati camp and the surrounding area is a preferred winter feeding ground for giraffe. The Sand River is one of the few rivers in the Greater Kruger National Park to hold water throughout the year and trees with deep tap root systems such as Knob-Thorns and Bush-willows bear green leaves well into late winter.  A journey of about 16 bulls is often seen on the clearings in front of camp in the afternoons. Groups of cows and their calves are often a highlight of guided walks as giraffe will allow you
surprisingly close if approached correctly. These graceful turrets often complete a day’s game viewing.  

Wildlife Journal September 2011 by Khimbini Hlongwane

The month of September heralds the change of seasons at Inyati Game Reserve. It is a month of many colours, tones and shades. The ground offers up a tapestried carpet of autumnally coloured fallen leaves, with swathes of tiny purple flowers of the Bolusanthus speciosus trees, bright yellows of the Acacia nigrescens flowers and the electric greens of the kigelias. Everywhere there is life budding out in anticipation of the rains. We are now anxiously scanning the skies for rain, but as yet we only had couple of showers. But while there is still some water there is life, and in abundance. Even by the great standards of Sabi Sand, this last month has been incredibly special.

Leopard (Panthera pardus)

Leopard (Panthera pardus)

Tlangisa is still trying to establish a territory she seems to be settling in the centre -western sector of our reserve. She is reaching sexual maturity and she was seen this month introduced herself to Xinzele. He, however, took no interest in as she flirted with him for two days! He totally ignored all her advances apart from for the odd growl for all her hard work.

Hlabankunzi female is been keeping low recently and we hardly ever see her but one morning she was out and very entertaining, hunting.

The two cubs from Metsi female were found one morning but the nervous one soon lost us and the other one couldn’t care less he was just resting on a termite mound.  He been making few kills, he got himself slender mongoose aMetsi cubnd once
with a very unusual kill, a porcu
pine! This has to e one of the difficult kill to make due to the large quills on these animals, even eating it may proves quite tricky to eat.

Xinzelehas been dominating the area around the river and was found lazing in a large jackalberry tree on a warm morning.The tension between him and Mashibanci male continues heating up, they were seen a territorial stand off again. At one stage Xinzele climb up into Tree Tops (our  conference centre) roaring while Mashiabanci sat and glared from the opposite bank of sand river. Some of our guests were even witnesses to a war over dominance on the banks of the Sand River. These two larger male leopards territories shares sand river as the boundary there were seen patrolling their territories in the same area one opposite side of the river.  It was not long before Xinzele approached Mashiabanci deep grow and salivating which often precedes a fight. After several minutes of posturing, they both charged forward with flailing claws in a fury of loud coughing calls.  The battle was over in seconds, leaving each with a new set of scars.  Xinzele was sighted the next day with few small puncture wounds on his chest and scratches on his face.

 The Xikhavi female seem to have expanded he territory further upstream the river pass our lodge has not been seen too often, but it seems she is expanding her territory further west. She one of cause of the fight between the two males as she has been seen mating with both Xinzele and Mashiabanci on opposite banks of the river. 

She is being found more consistently now further west along the Sand River and on one occasion unsuccessfully attempted to hunt some impala.

Yet another new male leopard was found this month, owing to open borders with Kruger national park some new or unknown animals to us cross into our reserve every so often.  This male leopard was initially very skittish but relaxed nicely after some careful approaches.

Xikhavi female stalking

Lion (Panthera leo)

Mopogos has been sticking together a lot lately. Two of the three were limping but they all doing very well, and seem to be holding their own against the threat from the east for now. On one they morning were feeling playful and
affectionate, and shared these great moments of their life with us. They have been venturing east more lately possible inan attempt to re-enforce their eastern boundary. They are obviously feeling a little pressure but are more than holding their own.They currently face the significant threats of the 4 Machingelane males, who have taken already killed two of their brother and take part of their territory. And two other coalitions, one southeast and the other one in the northeast of Sabi sand game reserve.

Ximhungwe Pride of lion has not disappointed us this month. We have had almost daily sightings of the pride, which is expanding. Finally the mother lion bring her cubs out for to see, they are four, 3 males and 1 female cub. These new addition – four tiny chocolate brown cubs – has caused much delight as they emerge from their den to play in
the early evenings
.

Ximhungwe Pride of lion


Unfortunately, before the end of the month the four new cubs had been reduced to two, possibly due to the ongoing
attrition between the other super-predators in the area, the spotted hyena.

We have also been fortunate to see a number of lion sightings with kills. The Ximhungwe pride’s grandmother, the mother of two older cubs has been extremely success despite her age. She killed two adult kudu within a week; these kills provided some great viewing and photographic opportunities. On one night she came through the lodge chased out our resident buffalo bulls and moved on to kill yet another kudu.

Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

Elephant galore

Elephant galore! Lone bulls and vast matriarch herds, often with some  incredibly young elephant with them crash into the Sand River for a drink or to enjoy a cooling swim. One momentous event saw a breeding herd of 25 elephant, spooked by Ximhungwe pride at ” skelem” crossing of sand river, come thundering and splashing through the peace flowing river water of the Sand river; the babies tripping, rolling and sliding through the water as their frantic mothers bellowed and pushed them onwards with their trunks.

Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer)

Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer)

The regular buffalo bulls are still hanging around Inyati lodge and we are enjoying great sightings if its day we see them they will rest in the loge at night. As Inyati is completely open, there is nothing stopping these huge herds coming right through camp. Guests have enjoyed sitting on their balconies watching the herds surround their tents as the buffalo and elephant enjoy the vegetation that the river provides.

 

Resident hippo's

More than the big five…..

We were fortunate enough to find few rare nocturnal species. A Serval cat, surprisingly this rodent assassin
allowed us to follow it as it hunted for mice. Note the radar dish like ears it uses to detect and lock onto prey.

 

This Honey badger entertained us for at least an hour yesterday afternoon. It dug out and ate about five Shiny Burrowing Scorpions.

 

Honey badger burrowing for scorpions

 

 

We even got see a Pangolin I have waited a year and half for one of these animals to show themselves out and he was surprisingly relaxed with vehicles around.

 PPangolin

Wild dogThe pack of Wild Dogs made an appearance again this month. The pups are still doing well and growing fast, although there are now only four left. We followed them hunting on one morning we were rewarded later as we witnessed them killing an impala. The pack celebrated a recent impala kill by chasing each other up and down the
airstrip.

 

Grey-headed bush-shrike, An adaptable hunter, it will eat almost any animal that it can catch and kill, ranging from small insects to large one metre long snakes and other bird chicks. We watched him kill and eat
a venomous snake, vine or twig snake.

 

Grey-headed bush-shrike

In and around camp

Our resident hippos continue to amuse all our guests with almost guaranteed viewings in hippo dam. If you are to miss seeing them on your way to camp then you will certainly not miss hearing them in the evenings. On a couple of
occasions, we have heard males fighting in the sand river near our upstream from the lodge in Sand River, sometimes lasting up to a couple of hours. The noises they make can be quite incredible, sometimes giving an impression that
one has been killed.