Bush Telegraph

29 January 2019, Tuesday

The Journey Into the New Year.

Welcome to 2019 and all the best to our Guests of past, present and future. 2019 is going to be an amazing and exciting year for Wild Planet Safari and all our guests who will be joining us. We have some very exciting new offers and Safari options including specialist photographic tours accompanied by an award winning photographer and wild unfenced camping safari`s inside Kruger National Park. The Wild Planet Safari headquarters have moved from Johannesburg to Hoedspruit, a small town bordering Kruger National Park. This is a great move as it now allows us to operate with open and closed safari vehicles and our guides are always fresh and ready to go without having to drive 20 hours a week back and forth to Johannesburg. We have a dedicated transfer company that safely bring our guests to Kruger and this transfer is included in our safari price. We have also welcomed a new guide to the team in 2019, Isaac Mathonsi, Isaac has been guiding for over 20 years now and he is a fantastic guide with the worlds best sense of humour. We are sure that many of guests in the future will enjoy his company while on safari.

The rainy season is in full swing and Kruger is looking lush and green, most of the waterholes and dams have filled up again and some of the dry rivers have even been flowing. The herbivores are healthy and there are so many baby animals throughout the park. It is quite normal now to see baby impala, warthog, wildebeest, zebra and kudu on safari now days and it is quickly becoming a cuteness overload.

Recent Sightings

The sightings in Kruger have been excellent this Green Season, it is usually a very difficult time of the year because the bush is thick, the grass is tall and there is plenty of water available throughout the park. We have recorded 3 leopard sightings in one afternoon and had many days with multiple big 5 sightings. The lion sightings around Satara have been unbelievable, on one particular safari we saw lions 5 times in one day! Many of the lions we have seen have been mating pairs so we are looking forward to many lion cubs being born around March and April. Guests have also been extremely lucky with Wild Dog sightings recently and we have visuals of the majority of the packs in the south and central Kruger. One particular pack that operate around the Sabie and Sand River had a run in with a clan of hyena. One Wild Dog had her ear completely ripped off her head, luckily Wild Dog are pretty resilient and she has recovered from the injury. For a few weeks after the injury occurred she was left behind while the rest of the pack went out to hunt, we were lucky enough to find her after one of her first successful hunts after recovering from injury. Together with a male she brought down a female impala, we found them early in the morning just as they had fulled their stomachs with this Kruger feast.

Another really fun sighting we had recently involved a small pride of lion and a young bull elephant. The lions were lying around a man made waterhole outside of Skukuza. A young bull elephant arrived and continued to chase the lions away, as soon as the elephant left the lions would return, this would then upset the elephant who would return to chase the lions away. This event continued for about 30 minutes, finally the elephant gave up on the idea of being king of the waterhole and moved off leaving the grumpy lions in peace.

Summer Creepy Crawlies

Not only does summer bring the rains and the heat, it also brings out all the small insects, spiders, scorpions and frogs. These animals are just as fascinating as their larger more well known African counterparts. Most of them are completely harmless to humans and even the slightly venomous creepy crawlies do not intend using their venom on humans. Many people have an irrational fear of insects, spiders and the like but we need to accept that they are very important role players in the various ecosystems and should be celebrated at the same level as the larger mammals. Here are some photo`s of some recent smaller visitors to the Wild Planet HQ.


Featured Bird:  Yellow-throated Longclaw (Macronyx croceus)

This is a beautiful bright yellow coloured bird that has a broad black necklace. They can be found in various grassland environments and feed mainly on insects. They are monogamous breeders and they build a nest of grass that is well hidden under grass tufts. They spend the days using their long claw to dig in the grass in search of tasty insects.

Below is a video of the Warthogs that have visited the waterhole at our office recently.


That is all for now, remember to follow our instagram and facebook page to see safari updates where ever you may be.

Cheers from The Wild Planet Safari Team.