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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...
Relaxed Motlala leopard looking at Jordan and guests

November 2019

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At long last the rains have fallen ! This year the rains have been extremely late and the grazers have struggled. Before the rains, there was exceptional game viewing around the water points and our lucky tourists have seen numerous kills this month. The grass has rapidly turned...
Young white rhino cow near Masango

October 2019

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We are regularly requested by prospective tourists to advise the best time to visit Kruger Park. There is no simple answer. Each season has its own attractions. The greatest concentrations of game are found towards the end of the dry season months. It is impossible to predict...
Elephants sparring near Campfire Dam

September 2019

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The number of trees destroyed by elephants in late Winter is alarming. With their need for moisture, elephants do a lot of damage in debarking trees ( mainly Marulas ) or knocking trees over to get to the succulent roots. Once elephants ring-bark a Marula tree, the cambium layer...
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...
Leopard

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...
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...