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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...
Elephant close to our safari vehicle.

May 2018

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May is traditionally one of the quietest months in terms of guest arrivals. We ensure that all staff take their annual long leave between April and June. Our drivers and guides are encouraged to rest and not do any freelance work. We use the Lodge guides to fix roads. This year...
Good shot of White Rhino on the move.

April 2018

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The Ostrich, Struthio Camelus, is a universally recognised bird. It was fashionable to wear hats and dresses made from ostrich plumes, especially during the colonial era. Large numbers of ostriches were exported to places all over the world, and, as a result, the ostrich is well...
Sighting of Hippo in Olifants River while o Bush Walk.

March 2018

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The White-backed Vulture, Gyps Africanus, is the most common vulture in our area. It is so named because of the white  feathers on the lower back, best noticed when the bird is in flight. Large numbers of these birds are seen at kills. They have extremely good eyesight and from...
Close and personal with elephant on Tshukudu.

February 2018

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The Wild Dog, Lycaon Pictus, is nomadic and travels vast distances in search of prey. Wild Dogs generally try to avoid areas where there is a regular lion presence. They are able to slip in and out of fenced reserves using passages made under the fences by warthogs. Consequently...
Brilliant shot of young White Lion

January 2018

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As a result of feedback from regular recipients of our monthly newsletter, I have decided to cut down on detail in the reports submitted by the tourist guides. This will result in a shorter newsletter that I am advised will be more “user-friendly”. December 2017 and January 2018...
Leopard on Leadwood branch.

August 2017

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One of the responsibilities of tour operators/ game lodge owners, in my opinion, is passing on a conservation ethic to our guests. It is well and good to provide brilliant game-viewing opportunities along with real African experiences but we would be failing dismally if our...