Our guides and trackers are highly trained and deeply committed to conserving the Sabi Sand Wildtuin and revealing its secrets. Learn more about this talented team:
Georgie is a living legend in the reserve. He was born on the property and as a result started honing his bush craft skills as a toddler. George is still living and working on the reserve with his family. Tracking and anticipating animal movements and behaviour is second nature to George and his guests are guaranteed to be where action is taking place.
Keith studied to become a conservationist and moved to the Kruger Park after qualifying, here he fell in love with guiding and furthered his career as a field Guide. Keith loves tracking big game, and all the small wonders the Sabi Sand has to offer.
After qualifying Matt cut his teeth in a walking concession in the Kruger Park, this sparked his passion for Guiding on foot. Matt enjoys safe responsible interactions with big game and has an intricate knowledge of everything from big game to insects.
Like most of the best guides Omega started his career as a tracker. This moulded his understanding of the animals he lives and works with. Omega quickly moved through the ranks and is now a trails Guide at Inyati. Omega brings a huge amount of energy to the team with a larger than life bubbly personality.
Darren has a lot of experience guiding in the Sabi Sand, and has now found his niche. His passion for wildlife and his guest is always evident as he goes the extra mile. His humble nature, brimming smile and bush lore keep his guest enthralled on game drives and walks.
(George and Solly) – Solly Sibuyi (right)
Solly is one of the most respected trackers in the reserve. His immense trailing talent is evident in his relaxed yet confident approach to tracking. He is one of a handful of trackers that managed full marks on his first ever tracking assessment and has been growing even stronger since.
Nelson has over 30 year tracking experience at Inyati and has an intricate knowledge of the land, and knows most of the animal’s individual habits. His local knowledge, tracking skill, sparkling personality and work ethic make him privilege to be with.
Roger is one of the most multi skilled trackers in the team. He has strong tracking and hospitality background and treats every guest like gold. He tracking skills and passion for the bush enthral every guest that he guides.
Joel has been with Inyati for almost twenty years he has a quiet calm demeanour that suits his profession perfectly. He loves every aspect of the bush but tracking and spending time with guests are his firm favourites.
Cliff came to Inyati after finishing top of his class at the Tracker Academy. His tracking skill meant that he slotted into this experiences team very well and his fresh and youthful perspective motivates the old salts to stay on their game.
The weather: We had some good rains again this January, dropping a drenching 170mm in 1 day. Most of the rains came in the form of afternoon thundershowers. We experienced another flood this year. The Sand river has been transformed into a mighty torrent of water and many of the smaller drainage lines were not crossable .The area is really looking very green and lush at the moment. Temperatures averaged a high of 32°C.
Wildlife: Although this season is often regarded as a quieter time of the year for game viewing, the green season at Inyati game lodge would prove any sceptic wrong. Most of the antelope species have young at this time of the year, and watching these miniature creatures can provide hours of entertainment. The general game here will never disappoint and on game drives you are rarely out of sight of an animal of some sort. The wildlife sightings and interactions we saw left us simply in awe and unsure what to expect next.
Leopard (Panthera pardus)
Dayone and Khashane male
Dayone male is recovering well from his battle wounds and young males (including Nyeleti male) that have been troubling him seems to have moved off his territory for now. On one morning while happily patrolling his territory thinking life is good! He met up with the Khashane male leopard for the whole morning drive they were involved with a territorial dispute. As is normal with these kinds of interactions, there is very little physical contact and it mainly involves continuously growling and scent-marking in an attempt to intimidate one another. After few hours the two cats eventually split, moving in opposite directions.
Hlabankunzi female and cub
This leopard mother and cub have provided some memorable sighting this month, they were sighted regularly and the four month old cub has become completely relax in the presence of vehicle. The cub is very playful and having no siblings to play and practise her hunting skills the mother is kept very busy and often become the hunted.
The energetic young hunter stalking her mother…..
In the wild there are certain moments that leave you with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. We have had couple of those moments with Hlabankunzi interaction with her cub this month.
This female and her cub have been hiding, one saw her couple of times out hunting without the cub. We do believe all is well with the cub as we noticed that she is being suckled and tracks of her and cub were seen on few occasions.
Ravenscourt female leopard
Ravenscourt and her sub adult cub paid couple of visits into our traversing area, On the first week of the month they had mixed fortune.
Mum killed large Inyala cow only to have it stolen by a hyena in the afternoon…the Othawa pride then arrived and took the kill away from the hyena.
We were lucky enough to witness the entire episode.
Lion (Panthera leo)
The Selati males have continued the usual routine of patrolling and marking their territory against other male lion while searching for buffaloes. They did manage to kill a large buffalo bull, they were later joined by Ximhungwe lionesses which brought the cubs to be introduced them to their fathers and a meal. The buffalo carcass didn’t take long to finish off between the four brothers and four lionesses. They are all looking in good condition, and it seems that the one injured during an attempted buffalo hunt is healing well.
The little cubs were looking very nervous when meeting their fathers for first time…..
Solo and Cleo –Two new male lions moved in our section of the reserve and killed a large male cape buffalo yesterday. These males are come from the far-eastern part of the reserve; they are coalition made of males from two different pride, Sparta and Tsalala pride. The one is known as Solo is from the Tsalala and Cleo is from the Sparta Pride. They enjoyed their kill for few days undisturbed and when finished they went back east the dominant males, the Selatis didn’t even know that they were here.
Two lionesses gave birth few months ago they been keeping their cubs up on the rocky hills. We excited to report that finally the mothers have brought their cubs down and we are having some great regular sightings. One female, short-tail female have three has the older cubs of just over three months old now and the other female have two cubs just under two months old and the photographic opportunites have been really great.
Elephant (Loxodonta africana)
They were lots of breeding herds this month, we had few sightings of them moving from one marula tree to another enjoy their fruits. These giants love the marula season and one could almost see them smiling as they enjoy this sweet delicacy after all the grass and bark.
Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer)
Although the big breeding herds are a bit scarce we did have fantastic sightings of small group of buffalo bulls, most of these sighting were North of Sand River, the northern boundary of the reserve.
More than the big five…..
An African rock python also came out onto the lawn and all our guests and lodge staff came out to see and learn about this interesting and protected snake.
The pack of cape hunting dogs was here with us and was as usual very entertaining with their interesting social behaviour and hunting techniques.
In and around camp
The Camp remains the exclusive preserve of warthog and impala by day; lumbering, curiously impassive hippo by night. We continue to have awesome elephant viewing from the camp as these gentle beasts come down for drink and bath in the sand river after a whole-long day of marula fruit hunt.
The game viewing around camp has been really astounding, leopard, lions, even wild dog came around camp to spent an entire day.
That’s all from us this month. We thank you for spending few moments with us in the wilderness, sharing our experiences and joining our adventures. We are committed to keep you updated. Please follow our Facebook page for daily updates.
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.
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 and once
with a very unusual kill, a porcupine! 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 seemsshe 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.
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! 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.
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.
The 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
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.
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.