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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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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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Leopard and lion wage silent battle

With the Murphy family as my guests on the game drive vehicle, we were making our way to an area south of Southern Camp. I knew there were three lions in the area, but I clearly told the Murphys that while they may see lions, leopards were elusive and they were...

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Patience for lions

Lions are a favourite request from guests visiting Kapama – and yes, we do have really excellent sightings on the reserve. As we left for a morning game drive recently, guests were excited about what the bush might reveal – but they also really did want to see a lion....

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Territorial high jinks

As we left the gates of Southern Camp, a herd of elephants blocked our way. They were enjoying the ‘fruit of their labour’ – browsing on trees they had pushed over. They had us captivated for 20 minutes, as we watched how they nimbly used their trunks to strip leaves...

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Walking the Big Five

Edited by Keri Harvey As rangers, we encounter Africa’s most feared animals – known as the Big Five – on a daily basis. Game drives are all about experiencing wildlife from a vehicle. The excitement, fear, anxiety and respect exceed the expectations of guests,...

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The glossy mob

Edited by Keri Harvey Snakes are always a hot topic of discussion among guests and visitors to Kapama. They mostly want to know what types of snakes inhabit southern Africa, which are venomous, and whether they occur around the lodges. As guides, we love seeing these...

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Life dawns for an elephant

Edited by Keri Harvey It was when the sun saluted the earth that we started our early morning drive, but stopped soon afterwards to soak up the colours of sunrise close to Southern Camp. As we watched the new day dawn, helmeted guinea fowl darted past, calling: “Such...

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Silent procession of marchers

Recently, an American family of four were my guests at Kapama Karula. Their two daughters were aged six and 10 years old, and when I asked who had special interests, I was told that Chloe, the six-year-old, loved caterpillars. She loved them so much that whenever she...

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Giraffe stand-off

On an early morning game drive out of River Lodge, Lot Makhubele spotted the clear tracks of a male leopard imprinted in the sand road. He slowly climbed down from his high seat at the front of the vehicle and started explaining to guests the difference between male...

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