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June 2021

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In my opinion, there is no sound in the African bush more evocative than the eerie whoop of the Spotted Hyena, Crocuta Crocuta. It begins with a low guttural “whooo” and rises to a falsetto quasi-scream ending with a high “ooop” – hence the word “whoop”. At all 4 of our...

May 2021

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From time to time, we encounter keen and observant tourists that spend time in camp looking at birds and insects.  One of the most difficult insects to locate is the Giant Stick Insect, Bactrododema Tiaratum.  This is a large, slow-moving insect with very elongate, slender bodies...

April 2021

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The Banded Mongoose, Mungos Mungo, is so named after the conspicuous transverse bands on the lower part of the back. Banded Mongooses are seen regularly at all our camps, scurrying around in small groups of up to 15 individuals. They are diurnal and sleep in burrows. When...

March 2021

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As with domesticated animals such as dogs and cats and even doves, wild animals display a range of emotions. The African Elephant is probably the animal most likely to display visible emotions. These include joy, love, grief, fear and rage. While we must guard against identifying...

February 2021

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When Donald Trump labelled the Corona virus the “China Virus”, the effect was to stir up more anti-Chinese feelings. When the new variant first identified in SA was labelled the “South African variant”, the effect was to frighten more tourists away from SA. On 28 February our...

December 2020 / January 2021

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The Paradise Flycatcher, Terpsiphone viridis, is unmistakeably colourful: chestnut upperparts, dark head, bluish eye-ring and beak allow it to join the Paradise Whydah as worthy of a heavenly title ! During the breeding season, the male develops impressively long central tail...

November 2020

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I received an email last week from the Tourism Council that required my input re damage done to Viva Safaris in November 2020 by the virus. I answered very simply as follows : Number of tourists who took a Viva Safaris tour : November 2019  : 496 November 2020 : 8  ...
Two extremely close White Rhino make for a thrilling guest experience

March 2020

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I am always amazed at the amount of small wildlife that is present in our camps. Very often the curious tourist will find something special to enrich his wildlife experience over and above the seemingly crazy quest to tick off all Big Five. We have contracted Tolli vd Berg to...
Great study of elephant at Sunset

February 2020

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When we first bought Tremisana Lodge over 25 years ago, the sale included a piece of land across the R 40 road. This piece was about 140 hectares in extent. We conducted bush walks and game drives there. We introduced some special species such as Eland and Nyala. The highlights...
Lion 50cm from vehicle

December 2019 / January 2020

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When Robbie and Lize Prehn, owners of Pondoro Lodge, helped me, way back in in 2013, to select a Marula tree for the development of Viva Safaris’ Marula Tree Boma, it was winter and the Marulas had no leaves. It is possible to determine the gender of a Marula by close inspection...