Tag Archives: #sabisand

Running for Rhinos – Rhino Warrior race

Running for Rhino's-Field Guides, conservationists and managers of the Sabi Sand, spend their every day protecting, conserving and imparting knowledge about the majestic Rhino species.

Now they are running for them as well!

In partnership with the Sabi Sand Wildtuin Nature Conservation Trust and its saving Rhino Project, our warriors are taking part in the upcoming Toyota Warrior Race. #warrior4

The objective is to raise awareness about the plight our rhinos, to raise funds to aid in protecting them and to have one hell of a fun time!

By supporting this initiative you can assist the Sabi Sand to sustain and improve their successful anti poaching model.

4 days to go until the big race… watch our warriors hard at work! Thanks so much to everyone who has supported us so far  Anyone else wanting to donate, you can do so here:  https://www.givengain.com/cc/rhinowarriors/

27 – 28 May #Warrior4 – Kwanyoni Nelspruit Mpumalanga

cropped-cropped-cropped-cropped-cropped-iny-save-the-rhino11.jpg

A campaign by Sabi Sand Wildtuin Nature Conservation Trust

Rhino Warriors in raising funds for rhino conservation in the Sabi Sand reserve
With our teams racking up their training hours and working hard to get fit for the big race, one of our Rhino Warriors took some of his team mates out into the bush to track rhino on foot, to remind them what it is all about…Watch them track and find a rhino and please help us save these magnificent creatures!
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The bush revived by Matt

big-skiesAt its worst the drought left the bush barren of life. Mother Nature herself wanted us to see the value of water and the suffering that happens when it doesn’t fall. Mercifully though one afternoon a giant cumulonimbus cloud rolled up from the south, bringing with it a light show of thunder and lightning, tempestuous winds whirled and whipped the dust bowl and finally a light sprinkling of the most precious fluid on earth. This auspicious start has compounded over the rainy season, and as I write this we have had non-stop rain for five days. The revival has been astounding, the browns, greys and whites have all but faded and the greens have taken over. The soil left an open canvas by the drought has been painted by the pioneering wild flowers and grasses, the insects that follow cycles and held on through the drought then went about making enough offspring to fertilise all the wonderful plants.

othawa cubsTraditionally predators do better in the dryer seasons as the herbivores lose condition, but with three new Othawa cubs and two cubs for Tlangisa it appears that the cats do well no matter what the conditions are. tlangisas-2nd-babyXhikavi’s adult offspring is still hanging around his mom almost two years into his life, Dewane seems to like him more than his mom does. His name is Mondzo and he really is a beautiful leopard and even has blue eyes. Ravenscourt has been pushing further and further into Dewane’s territory. Schotia had cubs several months ago but she hasn’t brought them out for inspection yet. Torchwood took some heavy beatings of late and has faded a bit into obscurity as he licks his wounds.

mondzo #leopardWith the dams filling up nicely and the river flooding regularly I think we will sail through the next winter and while it will take a few years for the smaller animal populations to recover, the drought is truly behind us.

glorious-waterThat’s all from Matt for 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.

tlangisa-never-disappointsRegards, THE INYATI TEAM

Keith & Francis – Managers
George , Solly, Khimbini , Matthew , Nelson  ,Omega  & Rodger

This month’s sightings report compiled by Matthew Brennan. *Photographs by Keith and Matthew

Airlink’s city to bush-lodge network now on sale!

Airlink’s city to bush-lodge network now on sale!

Lodge hop ULXAirlink’s “Lodge Link System” service, which will provide direct connectivity beyond the Skukuza and Nelspruit/Kruger airports to five of the most popular game lodge destinations in South Africa, is now available for sale in the Global Distribution System (GDS), on-line, as well as via travel agent and tour operator’s Computerized Reservations Systems. (CRS)

The Lodge Link System will initially connect the safari lodge airstrips located at Arathusa, Londolozi, Sabi Sabi, Singita and Ulusaba with Airlink’s multiple daily scheduled services operating into Skukuza and Nelspruit/Kruger (KMIA) airports.

In conjunction with its franchise partner South African Airways, Airlink’s Lodge Link System flights are now available for purchase worldwide in a single ticket transaction, hosted in the global booking platforms. This will provide the opportunity for enhanced seamless connectivity directly to and from lodges allowing multi carrier, multi sector itineraries to be constructed such as: London to Londolozi; Seattle to Singita; Singapore to Sabi Sabi; Ubatuba to Ulusaba; Athens to Arethusa, to name but a few.

Additionally, the combination of the new Lodge Link System service with Airlink’s regional and domestic flights, which operate between key leisure destinations such as: Cape Town and KMIA, Cape Town and Skukuza, Durban and KMIA, Johannesburg and Skukuza, Johannesburg and KMIA, Johannesburg and Maun, Johannesburg and Kasane, Johannesburg and Vilanculos, KMIA and Livingstone as well as Nelspruit and Vilanculos, will provide travellers to South Africa with unparalleled flexibility and choice when planning their journey’s on that Safari trip of a lifetime.

The new Lodge Link System will serve to complement Airlink’s already established and increasingly popular Cape Town and Johannesburg to Skukuza services. Since the re-opening of Skukuza airport on 2 June 2014, more than 33,000 travellers passed through its doors entrenching Skukuza as a key access point to the world-renowned Kruger National Park Eco leisure destination, and the exclusive Lodges in nearby private game reserves such as Sabi Sand and Timbavati.

Airlink’s Lodge Link System service has been implemented in a number of stages in line with anticipated market demand.

Services between Londolozi and Skukuza; Sabi Sabi and KMIA; together with a connection between Skukuza and Nelspruit airports with onward connections to Livingstone/Zambia as well as Vilanculos/Mozambique will commence operating on 1 July 2015.

Services between Ulusaba and Skukuza and Ulusaba and KMIA will commence on 1 August 2015. Ulusaba is an important air-strip as it provides access to a number of lodges in the area; Ulusaba’s Rock, Cliff and Safari lodges, & Beyond’s Exeter River and Leadwood lodges, Inyati Game Lodge, Leopard Hills, Savanna and Dulini.

llnp-networkAs regards Arathusa and Singita, it is planned that services to these lodges will commence in September 2015. Arathusa is an important node in the north eastern portion of the Sabi Sand reserve and will provide access to the neighboring lodges such as Chitwa Chitwa, Cheetah Plains, Elephant Plains, Simbambili, Nkorho and Djuma Vuyatela

“Airlink is extremely proud to introduce its Lodge Link System service and to have the opportunity to build on the experience gained in re-establishing the Skukuza Airport last year. Skukuza has increased in popularity as a key access point to Southern Africa’s eco-leisure destinations. Seamless direct services ensure that travellers are able to maximize their time in the bush with minimum time spent in airport transits”, said Airlink CEO and Managing director Rodger Foster. He emphasized that the inclusion of KMIA as the significant node in the Lodge Link System network is paramount – “KMIA is an international airport where Airlink offers seven daily flights from JNB as well as daily flights from CPT and DUR and provides additional access to over-border destinations in Zambia and Mozambique. The Lodge Link System enjoys excellent global connectivity at KMIA given frequency and timing of flights and KMIA presents excellent potential for the Lodge Link System to grow”, he added. “Tourism is a key driver of the South African economy and Airlink feels privileged to play a role in developing this to the benefit of all stakeholders”.

2016 Safari Awards Voting is Now Open

2016 Safari Awards Voting is Now Openhttp://www.safariawards.comInyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve has been nominated in three categories for the 2016 Safari Awards. Winning an award in these categories is quite an accolade and a feather in our cap. We need your help in voting for us. We could not be where we are today if it weren’t for the support and positive feedback received from our guests.

We have been nominated in the categories are:  “Best Value Safari Property”,“Best Safari Guiding Team“ and”Best Walking Safari”. Please vote for us, we would appreciate the support – and will always continue to improve.

To vote for us, please search for Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sand Reserve here: http://www.safariawards.comEllies-crossing

2016 Safari Awards Voting is Now Open

If you have been on a memorable safari holiday, or stayed at what you consider the best safari lodge, you can vote for it now in the 2016 Safari Awards.

The best safari properties in Africa and beyond received over 13,500 votes last year, in categories including Best Value Safari Property, Best Safari Cuisine and Best Safari Guiding Team.

There are 18 categories for the 2016 Awards, including two new categories for Best Location and Best Design. To find out more about the property based categories, please visit our main categories page

To find out more about voting in the Safari Awards, including how to vote for wildlife organisatons and our two special personal contribution awards, please click here.

November ’14 Field Guide Report by Matt

Resting Giraffe
Resting Giraffe

So with much pomp and ceremony, there has been very little rain. A few showers here and there but nothing significant. Instead of sweltering heat followed by thunderstorms which I have been expecting. It has been chilly in the mornings although I refuse to wear a fleece this time of the year on principal. The bush has turned green but everything seems to be on standby for some real rain. Having said that, the trend of wonderful sightings has continued into the green season. The animals are plentiful and putting on a show. There are also wildflowers, and all the migratory birds are back.

Black flycatcher chicks
Black flycatcher chicks
Red-crested Korhaan
Red-crested Korhaan
Impala herd
I can’t believe it is that time of the year again! It’s lambing season for the beautiful Impala.

There is a lot to say on the habits of the leopards here at the moment. Starting with Xhikavi, she has given birth and has put her cubs in the drainage line just east of the lodge. The problem for her is that she is in a love triangle with Nyleleti and Dewane. Dewane seems to be the jealous type as he has killed cubs before and has been seen searching the drainage line for the cubs. Kashaan and Nyeleti have been doing the rounds. We saw Kashaan recently, he followed vultures to where 3 hyenas had a new born hippo carcass. He viewed the hyenas from afar and lost interest and kept moving. Tlangisa is revelling in the new born impalas, the new borns don’t stand a chance and she eats regularly and keeps a fresh kill all the time for her cubs.

Thlangisa with cubs
Thlangisa with cubs
Thlangisa and cubs wanting attention
Thlangisa and cubs wanting attention
Majestic cheetah
The cheetah is a large feline inhabiting most of Africa and parts of Iran. It is the only extant member of the genus Acinonyx

The lion sub-adults are all growing quickly. We haven’t been seeing the Othawas of recently as they have been hanging out in the east. The Ximungwes however have been seen sleeping everywhere. We had the Majingilanes on a buffalo kill North of the lodge. It made for some fine viewing especially the activity of all the scavengers. All the trees were full of vultures.

Wild dog pack
Wild dog pack

 

Wild dog on lawn
Large pack of Cape hunting dogs playing on our lawn at Inyati Game Lodge.
Resting crocodile
The Nile crocodile is an African crocodile and the second largest extant reptile in the world, after the saltwater crocodile

There have been many herds of elephants and buffalo and zebra around attracted by all the growth in the areas that burnt. The elephants have been putting on a good show coming to bath and play in the wallows by the lodge and in the river.

Going forward we are looking forward to some decent rain and we hope some new lion cubs in the new year.

That’s all from Matt for 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.

Regards, THE INYATI TEAM

Keith & Francis – Managers
George (Head Ranger) & Solly (Tracker)
Khimbini (Senior Ranger) & Rodger (Tracker)
Matthew (Senior Guide) & Nelson (Tracker)

This month’s sightings report compiled by Matthew Brennan

The Writing on the Wall

Fight for Rhinos

“There is another menacing storm heading south through Africa and the first ominous drops of blood fell on SA soil this week. ” -Will Fowlds

With poaching taking its toll  on 383 rhinos so far this year, South Africa is not new to the epidemic. But with rhino horn worth twenty times more than ivory, elephants haven’t been poached in the country for a decade… until now.

elephant with sun In 2012 there were 16,700 elephants in Kruger National Park.

On Thursday, rangers found the dead bull elephant with missing tusks. They noted four sets of footprints leaving the park headed toward Mozambique.
Unfortunately this would be just “one more elephant” if it were Zimbabwe or Mozambique. But with the start of it in SA, this is devastating news. Proof of things to come.
“We have been alarmed about the elephant poaching happening in Central Africa and its more recent spread and escalation into East…

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Bird Migration by Matthew Brennan

Book of Job (39:26) – Doth the hawk fly by Thy wisdom and stretch her wings toward the south?”

Early ornithologists noted changes in the birds based on the different seasons, references to migration date back to 3000 years ago when Aristotle postulated the phenomenon of birds disappearing and reappearing every year at the same time. He noted cranes travelled from the steppes of Scythia to the marshes at the headwaters of the Nile, and pelicans, geese, swans, rails, doves, and many other birds likewise passed to warmer regions to spend the winter. Aristotle can also lay claim to many of the superstitions that surround bird migration, as he concluded that birds hibernate during the cold months as well as what he termed transmutation, the theory of transmutation is the seasonal change of one species into another. Frequently one species would arrive from the north just as another species departed for more southerly latitudes. From this he reasoned the two different species were actually one and assumed different plumages to correspond to the summer and winter seasons.
We have come a long way from the days of Aristotle and research these days mainly focus on the way birds navigate their way around, they are able to fly in a particular constant direction, regardless of the position of the release point with respect to the bird’s home area. It has also been shown that birds are capable of relating the release point to their home area and of determining which direction to take, then maintaining that direction in flight. The navigational ability of birds has long been understood in terms of a presumed sensitivity to both the intensity and the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field. It has also been suggested that birds are sensitive to forces produced by the rotation of the Earth (Coriolis Effect); however, no sense organ or physiological process sensitive to such forces has yet been demonstrated to support this hypothesis.
African Stonechat - Altitudinal migrant

Experiments have shown that the orientation of birds is based on celestial bearings. The Sun is the point of orientation during the day, and birds are able to compensate for the movement of the Sun throughout the day. A so-called internal clock mechanism in birds involves the ability to gauge the angle of the Sun above the horizon. Similar mechanisms are known in many animals and are closely related to the rhythm of daylight, or photoperiodism. When the internal rhythm of birds is disturbed by subjecting them first to several days of irregular light/dark sequences, then to an artificial rhythm that is delayed or advanced in relation to the normal rhythm, corresponding anomalies occur in the homing behaviour. Two theories have been formulated to explain how birds use the Sun for orientation. Neither, however, has so far been substantiated with proof. One theory holds that birds find the right direction by determining the horizontal angle measured on the horizon from the Sun’s projection. They correct for the Sun’s movement by compensating for the changing angle and thus are able to maintain the same direction. According to this theory, the Sun is a compass that enables the birds to find and maintain their direction. This theory does not explain, however, the manner in which a bird, transported and released in an experimental situation, determines the relationship between the point at which it is released and its goal.
The second theory, proposed by British ornithologist G.V.T. Matthews, is based on other aspects of the Sun’s position, the most important of which is the arc of the Sun, for example the angle made by the plane through which the Sun is moving in relation to the horizontal. Each day in the Northern Hemisphere, the highest point reached by the Sun lies in the south, thus indicating direction; the highest point is reached at noon, thus indicating time. In its native area a bird is familiar with the characteristics of the Sun’s movement. Placed in different surroundings, the bird can project the curve of the Sun’s movement after watching only a small segment of its course. By measuring maximum altitude (the Sun’s angle in relation to the horizontal) and comparing it with circumstances in the usual habitat, the bird obtains a sense of latitude. Details of longitude are provided by the Sun’s position in relation to both the highest point and position it will reach as revealed by a precise internal clock.
Migrant birds that travel at night are also capable of directional orientation. Studies have shown that these birds use the stars to determine their bearings. In clear weather, captive migrants head immediately in the right direction using only the stars. They are even able to orient themselves correctly to the arrangement of night skies projected on the dome of a planetarium; true celestial navigation is involved because the birds determine their latitude and longitude by the position of the stars. In a planetarium in Germany, blackcaps and garden warblers, under an artificial autumn sky, headed southwest toward their normal direction; lesser whitethroats headed southeast, their normal direction of migration in that season.
It is known, then, that birds are able to navigate by two types of orientation. One, simple and directional, is compass orientation; the second, complex and directed to a point, is true navigation, or goal orientation. Both types apparently are based on celestial bearings, which provide a navigational grid.

Carmine bee-eater Afro tropical migrant
Carmine bee-eater Afro tropical migrant

The types of migrants here in South Africa are known as;
Palearctic migrants (species that migrate between Europe/Asia and southern Africa)
Intra ‐ African migrants (species that migrate within Africa)
Altitudinal migrants– Species that tend to follow rainfall patterns up the varying altitudes.

An example of one of our migratory species is the European Roller (Coracias garrulus) is the only member of the roller family of birds to breed in Europe. Its overall range extends into the Middle East and Central Asia and Morocco.The European Roller (Coracias garrulus)

There are two subspecies: the nominate garrulus, which breeds from north Africa from Morocco east to Tunisia, southwest and south-central Europe and Asia Minor east through northwest Iran to southwest Siberia; and semenowi, which breeds in Iraq and Iran (except northwest) east to Kashmir and north to Turkmenistan, south Kazakhstan and northwest China (west Xinjiang). The European Roller is a long-distance migrant, wintering in southern Africa in two distinct regions, from Senegal east to Cameroon and from Ethiopia west to Congo and south to South Africa.

It is a bird of warm, dry, open country with scattered trees, preferring lowland open countryside with patches of oak Quercus forest, mature pine Pinus woodland with heathery clearings, orchards, mixed farmland, river valleys, and plains with scattered thorny or leafy trees. It winters primarily in dry wooded savanna and bushy plains, where it typically nests in tree holes.
The European Roller is a stocky bird, the size of a Jackdaw at 29–32 cm in length with a 52–58 cm wingspan; it is mainly blue with an orange-brown back. Rollers often perch prominently on trees, posts or overhead wires, like giant shrikes, whilst watching for the large insects, small reptiles, rodents and frogs that they eat.

The European Roller (Coracias garrulus)This species is striking in its strong direct flight, with the brilliant blue contrasting with black flight feathers. Sexes are similar, but the juvenile is a drabber version of the adult.

The display of this bird is a lapwing-like display, with the twists and turns that give this species its English name. It nests in an unlined tree or cliff hole, and lays up to six eggs.
The European Roller (Coracias garrulus) is the only member of the roller family of birds to breed in Europe. Its overall range extends into the Middle East and Central Asia and Morocco.

The call is a harsh crow-like sound. It gives a raucous series of calls when nervous.

To be continued………..

Red winged pratincole

The word migration comes from the Latin migratus that means “to change” and refers to how birds change their geographic locations seasonally.

Experience fantastic close-up’s with Africa’s wildlife by Matt Brennan

Walking is my favourite activity on offer in the bush, I feel that you get a much more personal experience and that the special moments come thick and fast. I recently took a walk that holds out for me as one of the most exciting walks I’ve ever been on in a long while. I think I need to give you a bit of background first. Walks tend to be less big animals and more an opportunity to walk in the bush and get a feeling for the environment on a very personal level. So most guided walks tend to be in slightly more open areas and they concentrate on the smaller aspects of the bush that would escape you in a game viewer, like the tracks, tree’s and flowers. On this particular morning I had quite a large group on the walk with me and I had decided to walk from hippo dam, which is to the west of the lodge and south of the Sand River. Inyati’s position on the river means that pretty much anywhere we walk is very thick. So as a trails guide we use other mechanisms to identify that there are animals around us on the walks. Things we like to identify are tracks and signs, Red-Billed Oxpeckers and any noise that might give away an animal.

On this particular morning I was slowly navigating my way through the drainage line and the confluence of the sand river close to the lodge, when I noticed a single set of buffalo tracks. I then got the guests around me and got them down on their knees as we were going through the steps of trying to identify what it was. While I was pointing out its features I realised just how fresh the track was, aging can be a tricky process but let me assure you when I say that if the track is still crisp on a blustering day then it is fresh. I then rapidly concluded what I was telling the guests and added that the track was very fresh, I pointed out that in the area we were in the buffalo would have the upper hand and so I turned 90 degrees away from the track and was preparing to loop around it. The buffalo had other ideas though and had cut back on itself right into our pathway. So as I was moving down into the Madje Mbhirri drainage line, I noticed about a hundred meters in front of the group, the distinct shape and curve of the dagga boy’s horns whose tracks we had moments before been inspecting. The situation could not have been more perfect for us. There was a giant termite hill that would give us the best view and safest options and so I moved the group onto the mound and got them all seated. The buffalo was exhibiting beautiful behaviour that gives them their reputation for being dangerous; He was lying up on the bank of the river in the shade of a tree. He had no idea we were there watching him. While he gently ruminated in the cool of the shade I explained as much as I could remember on buffalo as the moment had got me excited which tends to cause me to babble a lot. After half an hour we slowly got up and snuck out of the area and around him and continued back towards the lodge.

The excitement wasn’t over though because the pan just west of the lodge always attracts animals and as we came to the edge of the treeline we noticed a big bull elephant wallowing in the mud and spraying himself. He was there for at least 20 minutes and we enjoyed his antics. He made it clear that, that was to be his morning activity and so when I started to hear the guest’s stomach grumbling for a well-earned brunch I got the group moving and we moved down onto the river and walked past the hippos lazing in the water and finally crossed onto the lawns of the lodge.

The reason why I loved this walk so much is that we engaged with these animals and they were unaware of our presence, we viewed them in exactly the manner they would be acting if we weren’t there and so got to see a truth, a perfect moment in those animals behaviour. It is why walking has become my firm favourite thing to do in the bush with guests.
Matthew bush walk
Keith Jenkinson

50 million years on Earth….Disappearing in 6?!

Fight for Rhinos

If the current rate of poaching continues, rhinos in the wild will be extinct by 2020. That is just 6 years away!

black and white rhinos by ryan hillier There are only 5,000 black rhinos (L) and 20,000 white rhinos (R) remaining in the wild. (photo by Ryan Hillier)

According to Will Travers, chief executive of the Born Free Foundation,

“There will probably be no free-living rhinos as the remaining numbers will be fenced off in military-style compounds which are alarmed and heavily guarded by armed patrols.”

Are we prepared to let this happen? How will the world look without them?

The Savanna 

Rhinos are an umbrella species. This means their survival or demise directly impacts the survival or demise of other species of rhino in tall grass by chiu pangmammals, birds, insects, fish and plants. They play a big role in their ecosystem.

When they browse, they keep the areas trimmed, making paths and more accessible areas for smaller mammals. They also enrich…

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Is the Black Rhino Extinct?

Fight for Rhinos

The answer is NO.

The Black Rhino and White Rhino are indigenous to Africa. Within those two species are sub-species. This is where the confusion lies.

One of the sub-species of the Black Rhino was the Western Black Rhino. This group is thought to be extinct. They were last seen in Cameroon area, and pronounced extinct in November of 2011.

The primary species of Black Rhino which are seen are the Eastern Black Rhino, South-central and South-western.  However, they too are critically endangered. There are approximately 4800 left in the wild. The following map shows where they are still found:

final black rhino pop range

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Plan B

Fight for Rhinos

Imagine being one of only four people left on the planet, the future of humanity in your hands. It’s up to you to make babies, re-populate, save your species. Pressure? You bet.

Sadly, this is the case for the only four Northern white rhinos on the planet. Sudan and Suni (the boys), and Najin and Fatu (the ladies) are the last of their species. Residing in Ol’ Pejeta Conservancy, it has been a hope they could produce a miracle. (see previous post: …And Then There Were Four)

Under 24 hour armed guard to protect them from poaching, they have been cared for and maintained to keep them healthy and happy. Despite all efforts at a suitable environment, there has been no success. Although Suni and Najin were seen mating in 2012, the 16 month gestation period came and went, and hopes were dashed.

four northerns 2The quartet is not…

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