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Kapama Ranger Blog

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Python and prey

Watching a python devour a nyala in camp The earth shook as Reazert (my tracker) banged on my bedroom door. "Hang on, I'm coming." I said, getting off my bed slowly. “You know the African rock python?” He asked. “Yes…” I replied, thinking he was losing his mind. It...

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A spectacle on our doorstep

Lazy lions and a little luck (not for the buffalo…) Kapama Private Game Reserve is vast and its lodges are generously spaced across the property, so wild animals from the reserve frequently come into contact with the camp borders and are spotted by guests and staff....

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No need for fighting

A nyala dominance display As a field guide, spending time with wild animals and observing their behaviour is always special, no matter their species or size. One animal that has always fascinated me is the nyala. Nyala bulls in particular have a very interesting way...

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Drongo sidekicks

A bit of bushveld comedy A number of days ago while out on safari, my guests and I spent a few moments enjoying a sighting of a spectacular giraffe bull picking away the tiny tasty leaves from a very thorny Acacia-tree with his long and dexterous tongue. Beside him,...

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Winter Sun Worshippers

Even mongooses love sunbathing When you think of an African safari you can’t help but think of the heat. Out here in the South African Lowveld, however, winter mornings and evenings can be bitterly chilly. On one such morning, just as the sun was rising and the air...

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Treatments with a view

A trip to Kapama Wellness Centre is all about being pampered, and since the centre overlooks serene, sweeping bushveld and a large dam, this often happens in the presence of hippos and elephants. Hippos love water, but we think they especially love showing off to...

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Big cat fight

Some cats just don’t like to share In Kapama, we’re lucky to have a couple of relaxed resident leopards that carry on about their business as if we’re not there. One such leopard, a female, was recently spotted enjoying a hard-earned impala kill with her two cubs,...

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The cheetah that didn’t run

An unexpected kill The African bushveld isn't always like you see it on television. Lion prides don't always have a big male accompanying them, leopards aren't always in trees, and cheetahs don't always outrun their prey across vast, open plains. Open grasslands are...

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A hyena a day keeps the leopards at bay

Not just a cackling scavenger... Though many think of them only as pilfering scavengers that feed off the efforts of other predators’ hard work, spotted hyenas are so much more interesting. They’re hunters as well as scavengers, and like most animals they’re fiercely...

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The Dusty Dance

A giraffe affair We often spend our guests’ final drives checking off any animals on their lists we haven’t yet found. One of my favourite animals to watch and photograph is giraffe, and recently we’ve come across a few male giraffes in the behavioural act of...

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Rut season

The roars that shouldn’t scare you The impala is the most abundant species of antelope seen in the Lowveld, and many things that aren’t rare or unusual, even first-time visitors barely notice them after their first drive. They’re an attractive antelope - elegant with...

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The leopard that wasn’t

But lions don't climb trees! "Fresh lioness tracks" said Colly, my tracker, pointing at the perfect print in the dirt. Our guests leaned in, listening intently, as he explained how he could tell. "See the size? It's too big to be a leopard, and too small to be a male...

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A family affair

  Appreciating Africa's largest hornbills Since many of our guests at Kapama are from outside South Africa and often first time visitors to our gorgeous country, most game drives start off by being about finding the big stuff, like elephants, rhinos, buffaloes,...

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Right time, right place

Just when you think it couldn’t get any better! Written by: Liesa Becker “So, Richard and I might have a little surprise for you”, I told my guests as Richard, my tracker, and I shared a hopeful smile. It was the last day of March and we had spent our afternoon drive...

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Curious creatures

…that make the trees weep. Written by: Joe Van Rensburg – Buffalo Camp Chances are, if you’ve spent any time under certain trees on safari, you’ve felt a fine drizzle on your skin. It’s not the sort of thing that demands immediate attention, but the next time it...

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A Bushbaby’s Worst Nightmare

Living and working in the heart of the African bush is a privilege shared by only a few. It’s been my privilege for 14 years - 9 as a field guide before becoming Southern Camp’s lodge manager – long enough to occasionally feel as though I’ve seen it all. There are...

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Eternal Enemies

We have all seen the breath taking events that unfold on TV when we watch channels like Discovery and National Geographic.  Inevitably we come into the industry of Guiding and every day you wake hoping to see something similar to show your guests.  It takes the film...

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The wise old owl

While driving back to the lodge at the end of a great afternoon game drive we came across a spotted eagle owl sitting in the road. We stopped to enjoy the presence of this wise old owl. We noticed that she was holding something in her talons and on closer inspection...

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