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Kapama Ranger Blog

Big 5 Ranger Blog
King Clumsy Cat

King Clumsy Cat

On a beautiful early morning game drive, just after sun rise, my guests and I came across a pride of lions:  three adult females and five young cubs about a year old.  They were sleeping, as is often the case with lions. While we sat watching them, one of the adult...

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Africa’s cold-blooded giant

The African Rock Python I’ve been a ranger for a long time, but I’ve never been a fan of snakes. They don't necessarily frighten me, they just creep me out a little - especially if I need to touch them. It’s inevitable to come across them from time to time in the...

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A stand off between a jackal and a wildebeest

The circle of life A few days ago, on a calm and sunny morning, one of Mother Nature’s spectacles unfolded and my guests and I were fortunate to be allowed to witness it. We were heading towards the southern plains, where I’d heard rhinos had been spotted, when...

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A startled herd and a lurking leopard

Witnessing the birth of an impala Every day is a unique opportunity to connect with the African bush and on this day I was most fortunate in driving by a truly remarkable sighting. It was an impala ewe with something hanging between her legs. I was on my way to pick...

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Sheltered between the herd

Kapama’s new baby giant Elephants are big, bold and beautiful, not to mention being up there with dolphins and chimps in terms of intelligence. With their beautiful long lashes, wrinkly trunks and Africa-shaped ears, you can’t help but love them, and baby elephants...

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Whooo’s there?

Breakfast on my doorstep  I’m a new ranger at Kapama and have been guiding here for about 3 weeks. One morning, I was woken early by the loud, unhappy screeching of a guinea fowl, but it was only when I left my room on my way to work in the pre-dawn gloom that I very...

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Hippo attacks buffalo to protect its own

Wildlife’s natural instinct prevails If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you should always expect the unexpected, especially if you are working in the wild. Every typical day at the office can instantly turn into an exhilarating day with multiple adrenaline...

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Uninvited guests at Kapama River Lodge

Up close and personal with lions It was the 22nd of August 2015 and I can vividly recall how beautiful the hot and cloudless spring afternoon had been. I was manager and host for the evening at Kapama River Lodge, and earlier that afternoon I stood on the boma deck...

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Cleaning up the carcass

Watching scavengers consume the remains of a rhino Not long ago, one of our mature rhino bulls injured a young female rhino to such an extent that she died of her injuries the next day. It was a very sad event, more so because the poaching of rhino in South Africa for...

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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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