Friday, 17 March 2017

The Cat Report 10 - 17 March

11 March

The stunning Xongile enjoyed her time alone as she curled around the branch of a marula tree, and used her lucious tail to flick away any lurking flies. As time passed she climbed down the tree and repositioned to keep a lookout between naps on top of a termite mound. She noticed an elephant passing by but wasn’t bothered whatsoever as her head sunk further down and her eyes closed even tighter. 

(Xongile enjoying some alone time. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

The Investec Pack payed a short visit on Djuma as they moved quickly through our traverse. They all looked happy and healthy as they trotted along, eleven of them sticking together like superglue. Occasionally taking brief pit stops to lie down on the road, but generally they were just hot footing it across towards Manyeleti. 

(The Investec Pack passing through. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

WE like to think that the members of the Sands Pack howled at the moon later on in the evening. The alpha was easy to spot with his tattered ears and dominant demeanor. An absolutely picturesque moment of the family underneath the pink African sky that surrounded the bright moon peeking through the tops of a giant Marula tree. 

(A member of the Sands Pack posing in front of the moon. Screenshot Credit: Di Priem, safariLIVE, Djuma)

12 March 

Thandi & Thamba found the most comfortable tree there was on Gowrie main. Thamba soon got restless and slowly crawled down to laze around in the long grass instead. Thandi was happy and content enough to stay put on a cosy branch, watching her mother roll around in the thicket below. 

(Thandi and her golden eyes. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma) 
A perfect explanation as to why these beautiful creatures are named “painted” wild dogs. The colours of this scene was incredible, as the golden sunset lit up the defined tortoise-shell mixture on their detailed coats. There was constant affection within this family as they rubbed noses, cuddled and played around like little kids in a playground.
(Affection amongst the Sands Pack. Screenshot Credit: Di Priem, safariLIVE, Djuma)

13 March 

An unidentified wild dog chased an impala into the water of Sydney’s dam. The dog waited patiently along the dam’s edge in high hopes that he was going to be eating antelope for dinner.  The impala seemed to be a bit gormless, simply watching the predator’s every move. To the impala’s joy the dog lost his patience as he hesitantly trotted away, possibly off to search for the rest of his pack. 

(A hungry wild dog contemplating his next move. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)  

14 March

The Nkuhumas seemed to having a group cuddle as they tangled themselves together on the grasses of Arathusa. There were five lionesses, including the gorgeous Amber Eyes, and the six adorable cubs were all accounted for.  As the sun started to say goodbye, the pride slowly opened their eyes wider as they became restless while the cubs began to play. 

(A tired Nkuhuma cub. Screenshot Credit: Di Priem, safariLIVE, Djuma) 

15 March

The cheetah brothers have reunited! WE can only imagine what their greeting ceremony could’ve been like! They camouflaged themselves in the long grass of Cheetah Plains, lying flat and lazing around. Something startled them suddenly as they lept up and ran hand and in hand along the landscape. This was short lived as they came to a standstill along the road, scanning the horizon for any movements. They looked more beautiful than ever as they stood with pride underneath a pastel pink African sunset.  

(The happily reunited cheetah brothers. Screenshot Credit: Agnes Zsiga, safariLIVE, Djuma)

16 March

WE sadly didn’t find Karula on her birthday, but Hosana and Xongile made up for it the morning afterwards. Hosana rolled around in the sand along the drainage line, and Xongile lay in a marula tree above, observing her brothers antics. Xongile eventually decided to join him, as she climbed down and pounced around and played with Hosana in the long grass. 

(Hosana begging his sister to come play with him. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma) 

The Nkuhumas were lazing and having an afternoon nap on Arathusa, sheltering themselves from the heat of the harsh African sun. The cubs had brief bursts of energy as they pounced around in the thick grass. Affection between the lionesses and cubs was evident. Lots of cleaning and licking was going on, sprucing themselves up for the evening events! 
(The Nkuhuma pride cleaning each other. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

17 March

The brave Birmingham Boys made an appearance on Djuma early in the morning. Mfumo, Tinyo and Nenha seemed very content as they lay underneath the shade as the sun started to peek out. They were extremely sleepy, dozing in and out of sleep. However, their bellies were far from being full so WE suspect a hunt is in order for these handsome felines very soon! 

(A gorgeous Birmingham Boy hiding from the morning sunshine. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma) 

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Daylight Savings March 2017

The winds are blowing and with them comes a change of season and a change of time! Many of our viewers across the USA will be entering Daylight Savings on March 12th 2017.

Our live safari schedule is not yet changing for the winter,  but WE wanted to put out a little reminder to all our viewers. For those who do observe Daylight Savings, your adventures in the African bush will begin one hour later than usual.

Please check the updated safari start times for your time zone below:

Sunrise Safari
Start: 05:30 am
End: 08:30 am
Start: 23:30 pm
End: 02:30 am
Start: 22:30 pm
End: 01:30 am
Start: 20:30 pm
End:23:30 pm
Sunset Safari
Start: 16:00 pm
End: 19:00 pm
Start: 10:00 am
End: 13:00 pm
Start: 09:00 am
End: 12:00 pm
Start: 07:00 am
End: 10:00 am

Chitwa o-a-3.jpg
(Image Credit: Tayla McCurdy, Chitwa Chitwa)

Friday, 10 March 2017

Happy Birthday Karula!

The Queen of Djuma, Karula, is turning 13 years young on the 15th of March! WE thought there would be no better way to celebrate than to ask YOU to share your favourite moments spent with this astounding leopardess while out in the African wilderness.

Copy of Copy of Copy of Tayla McCurdy- Karula-1.jpg
(Image Credit: Tayla McCurdy, Djuma Private Game Reserve)

WE are hosting a competition in celebration of the great Queen and want YOU to be a part of it! Put together a short video clip of your best and most memorable moments featuring our favourite spotted birthday girl and post this to the safariLIVE Facebook page using the hashtag #KarulasBirthday. WE will only be taking submissions from Facebook and of course don’t forget to tell us who you are!

Copy of 20160928GeraldineKentKarula.jpg
(Image Credit: Geraldine Kent, Djuma Private Game Reserve)

Our FC team will then choose the top three video’s and play those out during the sunset safari on the 15th of March in honor of her majesty. Be creative and have a little fun, add some cool music, a few funny moments, a dash of something special and maybe a tear jerker or two. Of course no copyrighted music may be used for clips going LIVE across the globe, so why not click here or here and check out some fantastic royalty free beats to give your Karula clip a competitive edge! Keep your clips short and punchy with a duration of 1 - 1:30 minutes long. Don’t miss your chance to show off your favourite royal experiences LIVE on safari!  

(Image Credit: Louise Pavid, Djuma Private Game Reserve)

All submissions must be in no later than the evening of 14th of March 2017 EST. WE can’t wait to get the birthday celebrations under way. Happy birthday Karula!

The Cat Report 3 - 10 March

The Cat Report 3 - 10 March

3 March

Romance was in the air with a Birmingham Boy, Nhena, and the youngest Nkuhuma lioness. They spent their evening sporadically mating with long intervals of lying around in the long grass. She seemed a lot less interested than he was - possibly playing hard to get? Who knows!

(Nhema looking lovingly at an Nkuhuma, Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)
The heat of the day really hit the Sands Pack, they lay flat underneath shaded spots throughout the day, jumping in and out of a mud bath to cool off. By dusk they were up and ready to get on the move. As wild dogs are known to be cheeky, this was proven when they got too close to an elephant but quickly learnt their lesson as the bull chased them away in a grumpy huff. A beautiful moment as they all walked along the road together with the sunset gleaming in front of them, sadly they crossed north and out of our traverse.

(A goodbye for now to the Sands Pack. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

4 March

The return of the rainy weather brought with it none other than Mvula! This aging and now nomadic male hasn’t been seen on Djuma for quite sometime. The tatty eared leopard slowly ambled his way south through the reserve after crossing in from Buffelshoek. He made no attempt to reclaim his once vast territory and seemed to be focussed on staying out of trouble. He wandered for a while before eventually melting into an impenetrable wall of damp thick greenery. Later that afternoon his tracks were found marching west, unfortunately it seemed he then crossed out of our traverse.

(A tatty eared Mvula, Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

A picturesque scene of a cheetah brother strolling towards the pan on Cheetah Plains. He looked dapper in his golden coat as the sunset sparkled on him. He was beaming with endless pride. The cheetah lay next to the pan, breathing heavily, slowly digesting his recent meal as his stomach looked rather full. Finally he gathered up some energy and walked gracefully through the grass, but sadly he left our traverse and we said a goodbye.

(A cheetah brother strolling with pride. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

6 March

WE started off our wet and cold morning with lots of excitement. Queen Karula decided to make an appearance at the tent. She was startled by a young Nyala, but quickly gave up and carried on walking through the wet grass. She made her way to Quarantine where she found a comfortable Marula tree to melt into, and that is where she stayed! That afternoon WE searched high and low for the royal family, alas there was no luck in finding these ever elusive cats in the lengthening verdant grass. Just as darkness threatened to consume all hope of finding Africa’s stealthiest cat they were spotted. Karula was draped across a wide and comfortable marula bough, tail and legs hanging in a similar fashion to an abandoned marionette. Her two growing cubs however were full of youthful vigor, young Hosana chased flies and swatted irritating blades of grass while young Xongile fed hungrily on a fresh impala kill. Once the pretty little princess has consumed her fill she set about re-killing the already limp carcass.

(Queen Karula looking golden. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Karula wasn’t the only one avoiding the soggy grounds after the rain. Quarantine lay high up in a tree on Cheetah Plains, looking extremely content with the position he found. Mr Q looked as handsome as ever, a perfect coat to match his strikingly bold eyes.
(A very content Quarantine. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

7 March

We thought a hyena had the same idea as we did -  peeping to see what the royal family were getting up to during the early hours of the morning. The hyena was actually popping by to pick up it’s hidden kill from the water. The leopards briefly investigated to see where it had been stashed, in the hope of a free meal - but no such luck. Later that afternoon WE caught up with the royal of the bushveld once again. They spent most of the warm afternoon lazing about in the shade and gazing with mild curiosity at the happenings around them. Hosana and Xongile, consumed with boredom, then played halfheartedly before returning to the serious business of napping.
(The ever so inquisitive Xongile. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

The mysterious Thandi and her cub Thamba made an appreciated appearance during the sunrise drive. They were lazing in separate marula trees on Chitwa. Both of them had found completely ideal shady spots in preparation for the heat of the day to hit. WE left them as their slumber became deeper. The sun was already hung in the west casting golden light across the landscape, We searched the Chitwa Chitwa airstrip for any signs of a tail flick in the grass or a dangling paw from a tree. It was the latter that gave away Thandi sleeping soundly in the canopy of a tall tree. She rested soundly and soon WE went in search of her young cub Thamba. Unfortunately there was no sign of the bat eared boy so WE left Thandi to her evening nap.  

(Thamba in the perfect shaded spot. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

8th March

The inky predawn light and serene atmosphere was cut but the alarmed snorts of terrified impala that resounded across the open plains of Quarantine clearings. Impala dashed about in chaos, their eyes wide and panicked. Two tawny shapes tore after them, barely visible through the thick, lush carpet of greenery that has engulfed Djuma in the past weeks. Finally Amber Eyes and the youngest lioness of the Nkuhuma pride were back! The lionesses fruitlessly chased nimble antelope for a few minutes before setting their sights on the looming figures of a mother giraffe and her calf. The giraffes saw the muscular cats coming from a mile off and gently loped away leaving the lionesses panting and hungry for yet another day. Disappointed, Amber Eyes and the youngest of the pride slunk into a thick drainage line.

(A disappointed Nkuhuma lioness. Screenshot Credit: Maggi Tumulty, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Hosana looked like he was carved out of gold as the afternoon sun shone onto his flawless face. WE were on foot with this gentlemen, he was extremely unphased and not bothered by our presence in the slightest. Slowly he got thicker and thicker into the bush and disappeared from our sight.

(The golden Hosana. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Another big cat was found on foot! This time it was a lovely lioness. WE nearly didn’t even notice her as she melted into the camouflage of a canopy of bushes. The only thing that was moving were her eyes as she watched us inquisitively. There was no chance she was going to stand up and lose her comfortable and shaded spot.

The Royal Family really do appear to have blue blood sometimes. They looked prouder than ever as they marched as a happy family along the road before the darkness crept in. Karula was occasionally scent marked to remind everyone else who the queen is!

(The royal family playing follow the leader. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

9th March

The Nkuhumas had company, as two of the Birmingham boys lazed around with them on Arathusa. The dashing males went by the names of Tinyo and Mfumo. Cubs still nibbled and scavenged on the last few pieces of meat from a recent nyala kill. The ‘adults’ seemed content and satisfied, ready to settle into a bit of a snooze.

(The Nkuhuma cubs slowly feeling more satisfied. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Karula called out for her dearly beloved cubs, and due to their diligence, off they came scurrying towards her. The gorgeous trio set off to scope out different lunch options. Karula spotted an impala and used Hosana as a distraction. Her tactics never prevailed, but alas the day was ahead of them and who knew what was to come as they kept heading south!

(Mom checking in with her daughter. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

WE came across the handsome Hosana on foot again, while he lay underneath a thick bush protecting himself from the harsh rays of the African sun. He lay next to a cool pan and dipped in and out of sleep, dreaming about herds of impala and maybe even nyala.

Later on in the drive Hosana had linked up with his sister, Xongile. They paced up and down drawing imaginary zig zags along the road as nightfall approached. Playtime was about to begin as the bush became darker and more and more mysterious.  

(Hosana catching flies. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

A pleasant surprise as WE had three members of the Lower Sabi Dispersal wild dog pack pay a bit of a visit to Djuma. Although they never stayed very long, it was still a special sighting. There was impala nearby and the suspense built up as we thought that the dogs might have dinner soon, but unfortunately they had no such luck.

(Wild dogs on the move. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

#safariLIVE Viewer Profile: Kyle McFetters

At 16 years old, Kyle McFetters is the youngest single person WE've featured in our Viewer Profile series. A viewer since November 2015, he discovered the drives like so many others have, through our collaboration with Nat Geo Wild during Big Cat Week.

Kyle has since discovered all the other views of the natural world WE has to offer. "I watch the cams for about an hour leading up to the drives," he says. He would love to visit Djuma one day and see where all these incredible sightings have happened.

Lioness, Nkuhuma pride, screenshot by Kyle McFetters

Kyle has enjoyed the community aspect of safariLIVE too. "It's fun and the fellow viewers are very nice it's almost like a second family to me," he says. He is one of the many viewers who tweet their comments and questions to us at #safariLIVE. The student and train aficionado, says his favourite sighting to date was when Karula and her cubs were together and wild dogs entered the scene.

Leopard on a termite mound, screenshot by Kyle McFetters

If you have an interesting story to tell about your #safariLIVE or WildEarth experience and would like to be featured in a future #safariLIVE Viewer Profile, contact us with your contributions, photo and video submissions at You could be interviewed next!