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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...
Lion right next to vehicle

March 2019

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At the beginning of this month, after good rains in Kruger, one of our guests was mortified when viewing a big bull elephant flatten an even bigger tree. Our tourist guide tried his best to explain that other animals would benefit from the accessible leaves, bark and roots. This...
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...
Elephants at waterhole in front of Tremisana Lapa.

September 2018

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The drought continues. My friend of many years, Michael, who has drilled more boreholes than he can remember, sunk yet another borehole at Tremisana. Water was obtained at a depth of 55 metres, but I was advised to continue drilling. Eventually we drilled down to a depth of 110...
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...