vivasaf@icon.co.za    +27 71 842 5547
Viva Safaris Logo

Newsletters

Our Latest Monthly Newsletters

Impressive shot of Black Rhino.

March 2017

|Comments are Off
The Warthog, Phacochoerus Africanus, is now as common and as entertaining a visitor to the Tremisana Lodge gardens as the monkey troop. Perhaps they are even more welcome as warthogs do not bother guests at breakfast time, trying to steal food. We have replaced the small yoghurts...
Lucky Viva guests !

February 2017

|Comments are Off
The Bateleur, Terathopius Ecaudatus, is a striking Eagle . Its colourful plumage and short tail render it unmistakeable. “Ecaudatus” in Latin means “ tail-less “. In Afrikaans it is called “Berghaan “ literally “Mountain Rooster” – a good description !   The word “Bateleur”...
Baboon troop with young.

December 2016 / January 2017

|Comments are Off
The rains have had an amazing effect on the veld. Lush grass and vibrant green foliage bear testimony to the end of the drought. The young impala are having a great time ! The herbivores certainly suffered during the drought and I believe that the numbers of zebra, wildebeest,...
Brilliant shot of Wild Dog pack on the road.

November 2016

|Comments are Off
The Greater Kudu, Tragelaphus Strepsiceros, is the third largest antelope in Kruger Park, after the Eland and Roan Antelope. The Kudu is an elegant antelope with bulls having magnificent spiral horns that can grow up to 1.75 metres long. Its coat is fawn-coloured with the sides...
Honey Badger.

October 2016

|Comments are Off
The Honey Badger, Mellivora Capensis, is so named as it is believed that it follows a bird, the Greater Honeyguide, to a beehive. Once the Honey Badger opens the beehive, the Honeyguide gets its sweet share. The fact that it survives any number of bee stings is eloquent testimony...
Yellow-billed hornbill.

September 2016

|Comments are Off
The drought continued throughout September 2016. Unlike Kruger Park, some of the Private Game Reserves that Viva Safaris visit have decided to feed the animals. Both Kapama Game Reserve and Tshukudu Game Reserve have been feeding their grazers on a daily basis. In Kruger I am...
James and guests near lion

August 2016

|Comments are Off
The Small-spotted Genet, Genetta Genetta, is widely distributed throughout South Africa. Genets have long, sleek bodies and equally long tails, short legs and relatively long, rounded ears. The general body colour is off-white to grey and is liberally covered with dark brown to...
Leopard with fresh Duiker kill up a Marula Tree.

July 2016

|Comments are Off
Last month’s newsletter indicated our concerns about poaching by ill-informed locals. Underpinning these nefarious activities is a need to earn cash – poverty is widespread in the communities adjacent to Kruger Park. It is critically important that the owners of Game Lodges and...
The mighty Ezulwini.

June 2016

|Comments are Off
The White-backed Vulture, Gyps Africanus, is the most common vulture species in the Kruger Park. It is also the most common vulture in Africa. Guests who book our 5 and 6 day packages go to Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre where they can interact with some rehabilitated...
A good waking up yawn!

May 2016

|Comments are Off
We apologise for the lateness of this month’s newsletter. The drought continues! Grazers are really struggling and there are large areas of Kruger Park that simply have NO grass! I expect serious mortality amongst animals such as hippo, buffalo, white rhino and to a lesser extent...
Christopher our new walking guide.

April 2016

|Comments are Off
Notwithstanding the assault on Rhinos throughout Africa, the rangers and tourist guides at Viva Safaris still regard the Leopard as the most difficult member of the Big Five to find on our game drives. The reason for this is the secretive nature of leopards. Usually our sightings...
Tanya and guests close-up to lioness.

March 2016

|Comments are Off
We had a group of 18 Italian tourists earlier this month who, on their Sunset Drive, witnessed a territorial fight between two Black Rhino bulls. This is an unusual and very impressive sighting. By all accounts it was very exciting with lots of snorting and vocalising. Black...
Lioness and elephant share a water hole

February 2016

|Comments are Off
With the ongoing drought, animals are having to move great distances to find both grazing and water. Certain animals that are normally found in specific habitats are now forced to move away from their usual home ranges. Recently I saw a Klipspringer, Oreotragus oreotragus, very...
Great off road experience with lion pride.

December 2015 / January 2016

|Comments are Off
This is a double-month edition so I shall keep my introduction short. There is only one thing on everyone’s mind at this time : the persistent drought. It looks like the El Nino effect will limit the rainfall in our region to less than half of what normally falls – we expect that...
A baby Nyala.

November 2015

|Comments are Off
The VERVET MONKEY, Chlorocebus Pygerythrus is widespread across the eastern part of South Africa. It has been introduced to a number of states in the USA as well as the West Indies. Vervet Monkeys are highly interactive and great fun to watch because of the complex social...
Great lion sighting

October 2015

|Comments are Off
The Woodland Kingfisher, Halcyon Senegalensis, is an amazingly striking bird. Colourful and noisy (it has a loud trill as its call), it is easily noticed. So far this year, we have not seen nor heard a single Woodland Kingfisher and that, for me, is very bad news. The Woodland...
Cheetah

September 2015

|Comments are Off
Despite what my family may otherwise believe, I think that as I have grown older, I have become a little more tolerant. Things that used to drive me mad are now less maddening as I try to put issues into proper perspective. One issue that still drives me up the proverbial wall is...
Lions, lions every day!!

August 2015

|Comments are Off
The drought has continued throughout August and the bush is very dry. Game viewing has been excellent throughout the month and there have been numerous occasions when our guides have had sightings of all Big Five before lunch-time. It has been an amazing month for lion sightings...
Elephant crosses in front of Viva Safaris clients

July 2015

|Comments are Off
The introduction of a camera trap at the Tremisana waterhole has been a wonderful revelation ! It is attached to a Marula tree that thankfully has survived some seriously close encounters with elephants and buffalos. Despite the camera covering only a third of the waterhole (and...
Leopard grabs hold of warthog on Sunset Drive

June 2015

|Comments are Off
From my home in Durban, I normally drive via Northern kwa-Zulu Natal through Swaziland and enter the Kruger Park at Crocodile Bridge and then proceed to Tremisana Lodge via Orpen Gate. It is a journey of about 850 km. On my most recent trip (end of June) I was very concerned to...
Bongani leads a focussed group on a walk along the banks of the mighty Olifants River.

May 2015

|Comments are Off
The African Civet, Civettictis Civetta, is a strikingly attractive animal. Generally but not strictly nocturnal, the Civet stands roughly 300mm at the shoulder and has a mass of around 4 kg. Civets are sometimes called “Civet Cats” but this is a misnomer as Civets display...
Lioness really close to us on the tarred road

April 2015

|Comments are Off
I was pleased to receive feedback to my last newsletter (March 2015). There were two notable responses to my call to exterminate Mallard ducks and their hybrid offspring from all nature reserves. Cosimo Brescia, MD of Sandown Travel, plans to organise Italian hunters to do duck...
Brilliant photo of excellent Leopard sighting

March 2015

|Comments are Off
I am writing this newsletter from Cape Town, where there has been a major issue regarding the removal of the statue of Cecil John Rhodes from the grounds of the University of Cape Town. Rhodes is seen by radicals as a colonialist who brought terrible hardship to Africa. The...
Lionesses resting after a good meal of Kudu

February 2015

|Comments are Off
It is very unfortunate that most people are scared of snakes. Perhaps the snake is maligned as a result of negative connotations. For example, we read in Genesis that Adam and Eve were tempted to do evil by a “crafty” snake. Similarly there are pejorative expressions such as “a...
12