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December 2023 / January 2024

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The Pel’s Fishing Owl, Scotopelia Peli, is a ‘top trophy” sighting as it is mainly nocturnal. It is a large light brown owl with rufous flecks on its plumage. It is found almost exclusively on large rivers that afford it nesting sites as well as prey. I was thrilled in early...

November 2023

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My oldest grandchild, Seanna, turns 14 on 28 December and is at that stage of her cognitive development that manifests in her asking many questions. Her favourite is a one-worder : “why?” Yesterday, we were watching a TV news report of the terrible suffering presently experienced...
At Nsemana Dam in KNP, this leopard crossed right in front of us, heading south.

October 2023

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The monkeys at our lodges are a source of entertainment for all guests, most of the time. The playful antics and family relations including scenes of both love and aggression are similar to those of us humans. It gets even more similar when naughty monkeys steal. When our guests...
Hippo in Olifants River on Rome 1 property

September 2023

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The issue of hunting has recently come to the fore when an elephant was shot multiple times before it died. At Viva Safaris we believe that there should be a total ban on all hunting in the private reserves adjoining Kruger Park. On Olifants West Reserve, on which Tremisana Lodge...
Elephant on Tremisana property

August 2023

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The African Water Monitor, Varanus Niloticus, is common throughout the Kruger Park. If viewed from the back while swimming, it is sometimes mistaken for a small crocodile.In fact, it is well-known as a poacher of crocodile eggs. In South Africa, the Water Monitor is also known as...

July 2023

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On the occasions that I went to toy shops to buy plastic African animals for my children (and more recently for my grandchildren), I never once found a toy pangolin or a caracal or a honey badger. Of course, the favourite toy animals were lions, elephants, rhino, buffalos and, of...
Lion relaxing on tar road near Kumana Dam in Kruger Park

June 2023

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There are two species of oxpecker in the Kruger Park. The red-billed oxpecker is common throughout the region while the yellow-billed oxpecker is most likely to be encountered in the Central and Northern Sections of Kruger Park. Oxpeckers provide a real valet service to their...
Leopard on road to Timbavati Picnic Spot in Kruger

May 2023

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I was thrilled to receive a video of a Brown Hyena drinking at a waterhole of a landowner in Balule. These animals have been recorded sporadically in the north of the Kruger Park where the lion density is low. I recall reports of another sighting of a Brown Hyena some 12 years...
Elephant wanting a closer acquaintance with Rocky on Balule

April 2023

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When my family and I first moved to Umhlanga Rocks from Johannesburg over 25 years ago, there were sugar cane plantations all around. We had regular sightings of Cane Rats, Bushbuck, Red Duiker and the diminutive Blue Duiker. With the massive housing developments that have...
Lioness and cubs on road near Tremisana in Balule.

March 2023

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Some years ago, my sons, Anthony and Marc, bought me a fantastic torch on the occasion of my 60th birthday. This torch has 3 levels of intensity and has been a great help in spotting nocturnal animals. The most useful feature of the torch is that it can be changed to diffuse...