Thank you all for the wishes during the floods. The lodge is fine, only the lower deck and our treehouse experienced the wra
th of the Sand river. Luckily the lodge was built above the fifty year floodline.
Our river views have dramatically improved, a beautiful sand bank has formed and the flood has cleared a remarkable amout of vegetation…a silver lining yet!
The game drives continue as normal and our guests are enjoying spectacular sightings. Our guides and trackers are conducting the drives with the utmost sensitivity to the environment, as a lot of the areas are waterlogged.
At Inyati we pride ourselves on our experienced and skilled team of guides and trackers. Currently, we have four field guides with their trackers, that love sharing their extensive knowledge of the African bush and wildlife and the joy they derive from it.
All our field guides have different passions and interests in the bush, which include birding, tracking, as well as the flora and fauna of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Georgie is a living legend in the reserve. He was also born on the Inyati property and has been working at Inyati for more than 20 years, this kind of experience means he know the behavior of the individual animals in the reserve as well as they do.
George has an uncanny ability to find game and interpret movement of animals in a sighting thus generally placing his guest in a perfect position to view the action.
FGASA Level 2 trails guide & Tracker level 3
Khimbini has more than 10 years’ experience guiding and tracking in the Sabi Sand game reserve. Khimbini was born on Inyati and has extensive local knowledge of the area.
He has a very ethical approach to guiding and prides himself in being sensitive to animals and being able to interpret their behavior. Khim is as budding Photographer and his patience and interpretive skills have made for some remarkable images. Khim is able to interpret guest as well as he can interpret the animals he works with, as a result he is very effective at handling guest special needs and creating tailor made guided experience.
Piet is a passionate guide with extensive experience from various Lodges in the Greater Kruger National Park where he has guided and managed guiding teams for the past 20 years. Piet enjoys bird watching and photography.
Piet enjoys viewing animals on foot and is highly skilled in doing this without disturbing the animals he views and keeping his guests safe at the same time.
FGASA level 3 trails guide & Tracker 2
Keith has a like for the smaller critters in the bush and the inter relationships between species. Keith is also a keen birder and has an interest in wild flowers. He has a background in conservation management where he started his career. Being on foot in the bush is Keith’s greatest passion.
Norman Hlongwane – Tracker level 1
Norman joined the Inyati tracking team 2 years ago. He is a soft spoken very quiet individual but a very efficient tracker. Norman is has made tracking Lions his forte.
Tracker level 3 – Nelson is one of the “old salts” of the bush, he has been at Inyati for over 20 years and has a wealth of local knowledge. Nelson has a happy demeanor and his sense of humor is always a hit with guests.
Tracker level 3 – Solly is a tracker extraordinaire. He is one of the few trackers in the industry that Scored a perfect 100% percent on his first ever trailing assessment.
Tracker Level 3 – Richard is the oldest of the Hlongwane brothers and has in excess of 20 years tracking experience at Inyati. He was also born on the property and as a result knows every nook and cranny of the reserve, he is well spoken and enjoys interaction with guest.
December is a wonderful festive month – the bush is alive with activity and life seems to explode in our part of the world . Rightfully named, Nwendzamhala,Shangaan word for the month of December it translate (the visits of impalas). Many of these antelopes are born and disappear as predators kills them. The rains arrived in force and have given life to the landscape. The wildlife react to this change with unparalleled vigour. Where the ground was once dusty and bare, rampant green growth bursts from the ground. Fireball lilies add colour to the landscape, other flowers open themselves to the sun, and of course, the antelope drop their young in multitudes, creating a bounty for predators large and small. The favourable grazing has also attracted big herds of buffalo, herds of zebra and a herd of wildebeest back in our traversing area, all of which have also started producing their young.
Tlangisa female has been our star leopard again this month. We was seen almost every second day and as entertaining as always. On one afternoon we spotted her perched on a fallen down tree scanning the Savanna for a potential prey unfortunately she could only see a waterbuck who is bit bigger than what she was hoping for. Dayone male is moving further north into Xindzele male’s territory, the conflict between these male is inevitable. The Xindzele male have been very scarce in the last couple of months, he spent most of his time north of the sand river where it’s very densely vegetated. Kashane Male still dominant the southern section and east of our traversing area. He was also seen mating with the Tasselberry female during the month of this report maybe new little cubs will result soon. Metsi’s sub-adult male has grown and very confidant with vehicles around him. He was found lying on the branch of marula tree one morning and he could care that we were there taking pictures of him. Hlabankunzi female have given birth we have had some brief sightings of her before she disappeared back towards her densite. Dayone Male was seen in the same area, since we didn’t see him mating her, he is unlikely to be the father of the cubs, he would kill them if he found them. Lion (Panthera leo)Two of the Mapogo brothers, the elder of the Mapogo and the short maned male have been seen patrolling together, they been venturing to the east of our traversing area perhaps worried about growing threat from the Machingelane Males and the southern males. The third male have been staying behind with Ximhungwe pride, living an easier life taking advantage of the hunting expertise of the lionesses. On return from one of their territorial patrol they killed a sub-adult buffalo and their grown sons, the Ottawa males, who happened to be in the area could only watch from the distance, didn’t brave approaching the elderly boys with their Christmas meal. It does however seems like the two younger males had been responsible for the kill, but then they lost the kill to their fathers.
The has been covering the whole of o the western sector providing us with lots of actions. On one evening the pride set out for a hunt, one of the Ottawa male saw them and started approaching them, one thing he did know was that one Mapogo (the one that had bent spine) was stalking him. Bent spine leap on to the young male and the young male fought hard the lionesses jumped in to help, at one stage there were four adult lions on the Ottawa male. The fight didn’t last long, the lionesses ran back to the cubs and Bent spine moved back and started roaring. The other two Mapogo were only about 800 metres away they came flying into the scene but everything had calmed down by the time they arrive. The pride had left bent spine and Ottawa males lying about 100 meters apart. We hope he is not badly injured, he did look fine. The brother was seen about three kilometers away from the battle site early this evening. The other accident happened in the morning, while watching the pride doing what they do best, sleep. Abruptly one lioness, the short-tailed female began to stalk something we all could not see. She then jumped up and ran and disappeared. We followed to where we could hear commotion of fighting lions. We discovered that found that the 13-month old cub who lost her mother and had been wondering around on his own for the last few months had finally found the pride. Surprisingly and unfortunately it was not the happy family reunion that we expected and hoped for, as the lioness started attacking the youngster. What happened next was really remarkable though; Mapogos never cease to amuse. The mapogo male with short Mohawk mane known to be the unfriendly one to the cubs and all other lions came in and fought off the lionesses and then stood over the youngster to protect it against the aggressive female. Many of us who think we know him well would have never expected him to that. The rejection of the cub by her own pride did, however suggest that his future is very uncertain now, one lioness at least clearly didn’t want to accept him back in the pride.
Elephant (Loxodonta Africana)
The December heat has definitely ensured that swimming at in the sand River remains a favourite activity. Huge herds of elephant prevail along paths through the forests to the Sand river to quench their thirst and to cool themselves down. There are lots of baby elephant born at the moment.
Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer) A small bachelor herd of buffalo have made the northern section of the reserve their home and are seen most mornings. They have also taken to sleeping on the plains in front of camp. Our hippos are now also back in camp and are seen most nights. Some guests were even lucky enough to see a leopard strolling through the camp.
More than the big five….. We had a fantastic sighting of giraffe on our drive. This was one of the pictures of them next to our vehicle.
The giraffes are having a feast with all the greenery as we are well into the rainy season. We managed to find an on a cool morning drive.
With the help of some willing guests two rangers were able to catch and measure this magnificent specimen. It measured over 4.4 meters (14.43 feet) long. After some pictures and video the snake was left unharmed as it lazily slithered into the bush. In and around camp
Death is never far away in the wild African bush. Our resident herd of buffalo bulls were resting on our lawn this morning not knowing that only few hundred metres away two big cats were watching them from across the river. (Makhulu Mapogo and Ximhungwe lioness)
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)
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)
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.
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. (Note: the anger on her face)
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 cubbies 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.
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)
Fresh 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…..
With 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.
In and around camp
For 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.
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