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Different steenbok - any guesses?

August 2019

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The Sable Antelope, Hippotragus Niger, is a stunningly beautiful animal. Both sexes are blessed with magnificent recurved horns and I rate the adult Sable bull as the most majestic antelope in all of Africa. They are uncommon but recently Viva Safaris guests have had some luck in...

July 2019

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The Cut-Throat Finch, Amadina Fasciata, is aptly named and the male is easily recognised via the bright red band under the throat. As with most birds, the female is less colourful and lacks the red band.   Cut-throat finches are found throughout the northern and eastern...
Lioness within touching distance of our open vehicle

June 2019

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The Saddle-billed Stork,  Ephippiorhynchus Senegalensis, is a striking bird. Not only is it the tallest stork in the world but it also has attractive pied plumage. It has a black and red banded bill with a prominent yellow saddle at the base of the bill. Interestingly, the male...
Bernard falling in love with elephants

May 2019

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By now it is common knowledge that some of the private Nature Reserves around Kruger have decided to dehorn all their rhino. Such drastic action is explained as “better a dehorned rhino than no rhino at all”. I have serious reservations but accept that the action was done with...
Great leopard sighting

April 2019

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The African Mourning Dove, Streptopelia Decipiens, is well known in wildlife reserves in Botswana and East Africa. For many years, it was known as the Angola Mourning Dove. It is easily recognised by its diagnostic red skin around a yellow eye.   In South Africa, it is...
Vehicles with many tourists = more employment opportunities for locals.

February 2019

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I believe that the most serious problem in S A today is the shortage of jobs. Unemployment figures for the 18 to 35 year old bracket is way over 60% and climbing !! This is an extremely explosive situation and we all should try to do our bit to alleviate the problem. It is...
Our lovely Shannon close to a lovely lion !

January 2019

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The African Green Pigeon, TRERON CALVUS, is an attractive bird with green, yellow, mauve and red markings. It has an olive-green back, grey-green head, yellow leggings, mauve eyes and tricoloured bill. It is fructivorous and frequents the canopies of evergreen fig trees where it...
Nyala ewe with newly born lamb at Reception of Marc’s

November 2018

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When I first started guiding, we used the word “ herd “ to describe groups of antelopes, giraffes, rhinos and zebras. More colourful and descriptive collective nouns have since emerged. For example we use the word “ dazzle “ for a group of zebras, “ crash” for a group of rhinos...
White lion near Satara.

October 2018

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The dire conditions because of a shortage of natural food in the bush have resulted in some irregular behaviour by very hungry animals. We had 2 break-ins at Katekani Luxury Tented Lodge by baboons – they messed things up comprehensively on both occasions. Margrett was...
Fast asleep near Ezulwini Lodge

June 2018

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I have had a number of positive and constructive responses to my last newsletter that indicated some of my ideas on the role of guides and drivers. I have been asked to share some of my ideas on tourist expectations. Over many years, Viva Safaris has been fine-tuned in respect of...