Saturday, 30 April 2016

safariLIVE schools: Glenwood Elementary

WE are passionate about sharing our wild experiences with people all around the world. This makes hosting our safariLIVE school drives an added bonus to the LIVE drive experience. This week we had all the bright young students from Glenwood Elementary join us on an African adventure all the way from Virginia Beach, Virginia on the east coast of the United States.

(Glenwood Elementary School, Virginia Beach, Virginia)

The school was founded in 1990 with the aim of providing a world class education to a multitude of different students from all walks of life. Inspired by the University of Florida, the school’s “gator” mascot and colours are a bright and contrasting combination of blue and orange.

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(the Glenwood Gator)

WE hosted the 1st and 3rd grade Glenwood “gator’s” focussing on animal and plant characteristics. The students loved the opportunity to tag along on a live African safari with all of their questions being answered by our expert guides, James and Sam. The school’s motto is “Together Everyone Achieves More.” These words could not be more at home with the safariLIVE philosophy of creating a meaningful interaction between african wildlife and viewers all over the world who have a passion for the wild.

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Excitement and wonder ensued as all of Africa’s iconic animals came out to greet us, from giraffe to zebra and an incredible sighting with Karula, the resident and dominant female leopard here on Djuma, with her two little cubs.

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(Student sees Karula and her cubs for the first time)

WE would like to extend a very warm thank you to Caroline Altman, the Instructional Technology Specialist, 1st grade teachers Mrs. Staie, Ms. Wilson, and 3rd grade teachers Ms. Faini, Ms. Cummings and Mrs. Kennedy for their enthusiasm in involving Glenwood Elementary in the safariLIVE school’s project.

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(Students watching James say hello from the tree tops)

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

safariLIVE Time changes for May

It’s that time of the year again Safarians! WE are slowly heading into the cooler months and as a result our sun is rising later and setting earlier. Therefore it is necessary for us to alter our drive times to ensure the best animal action at the best times. WE will not be changing the start time of the Sunrise safari.

Please take note of the new safari start times for your time zone below:

May 2016 safari start times
Sunrise safari
6:00 - 9:00am
00:00 - 3:00am
21:00 - 00pm
Sunset safari
15:00 - 18:00pm
9:00 - 12:00pm
6:00 - 9:00am

We can’t wait to have you along for our live winter time safaris!

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Monday, 25 April 2016

#safariLIVE Viewer Profile: Meet 'Ciberya'

Marco Costa, also known as Ciberya, has been a zoomie since 2013. "I discovered when looking for some live wildlife cameras," he says. "When I first started I was just a viewer and within about 6-8 months I applied to become a zoomie. I love it! I love showing people all sorts of critters and learning from them and teaching them what I know. From the moment I watched the camera for the first time I got hooked."

Marco puts in lots of time and dedication to help viewers get the best out of their viewing, and "cherishes" the experience. Some of his most memorable sightings were a leopard at Pete's Pond and wild dog and elephant interaction at Djuma pan. He would love to see all the locations WE broadcasts, and get into wildlife photography. "When I'm not working, and in my free time I am trying to build a nice portfolio of the animals that I come across and photograph."

He says that spending time watching #safariLIVE has expanded his knowledge of the African bush immensely. "WE is amazing and what it gives us is knowledge and we all know that knowledge is power. WildEarth shows us that the earth is beautiful and protecting her is priority number one. I hope to stay on the team as long as possible and provide excellent views of Africa."

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!

The Cat Report 18 - 24 April

Monday the 18th of April

An explosive and bounding start to the week with the return of the Sands wild dog pack. Chaos ensued as always, the doges coursed their way through the reserve. Both safariLIVE vehicles joined the melee as the dogs bounded across quarantine and into the Milawati drainage line. The dogs then came upon a hapless herd of nyala, an almost successful hunting attempt created pandemonium! As soon as the hunt started it was over and the dogs were off through the thickets yet again. That was until they rounded a corner and came nose to nose with a rather large and intolerant elephant herd, the great grey pachyderms rounded in unison, the intimidating shakes of their heads accompanied by deafening trumpets. The dogs halted for a brief moment before slinking off into the thicket, the decision to leave this particular herd un-tormented, brought about by the desire to eat.

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(Sands pack of wild dogs, Screenshot Credit: Debra W. Baudoin‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

The dogs eventually gave Brent and Sam the slip, but the action wasn’t over yet. On the northern boundary a new, young and extremely beautiful leopardess has been spotted hunting some impala rams. Brent sped over and arrived just as she flattened her sleek muscular body to the ground, eyes focussed on her unsuspecting target. The attempt was not successful and soon she slipped off to the north. Brent then moved on in search of any other interesting animals, soon he received yet another call on the radio to say the leopardess has crossed back into Djuma. WE arrived just as she had expertly disguised herself on the top of a termite mound to avoid a curious hyaena. With the better visuals we were able to identify her as Tsakani, the late Kwatile’s stunning 2 year old offspring.

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(Tsakani, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)‎

Later on, that afternoon the dogs are found yet again. Still on the hunt and energetic as ever. Yet again the hunt was accompanied by both of the safariLIVE vehicles, never missing a single moment of action. Soon darkness fell and it was time to leave the pack, lights are not used on the dogs at night due to the endangered nature of the species. We were lucky enough to get one final view of the dogs with one of our special night adapted cameras, yet the soon dashed off into thick bush, leaving us in a state of exhilaration and wonderment.

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(Sands wild dog pack, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Tingana, the dominant male leopard of the area was also found this afternoon by James. He had managed to conceal himself and his kill in one of the thickest blocks on Djuma. So much so that after a brief visual of him walking through the bush we lost sight of him as he lay in a dense, shady thicket. He remained flat for the majority of the afternoon.

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(Tingana, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Tuesday the 19th of April

James returned early to the sight of Tingana’s kill this morning. The kill has gone and after a little searching has turned up in the boughs of a tall and sleek jackalberry tree. This hoist is a good indication that he is recovering well from the injuries he received to both of his back legs a few weeks ago. After a few minutes of searching his handsome spots are found in the dappled shade. Two brave hyaena then approached the impressive cat sniffing around for any scraps. Tingana then slept out the remainder of the morning. Later that afternoon Sam returned to the area to find the male leopard still flat and relaxed, hiding away from the heat of the day. The hyaena were still hanging around but just as hot an uninterested in braving the intense sun.
Once the heat of the day had relented slightly Tingana made an impressive and graceful leap to the raw kudu carcass and spent the rest of the afternoon feeding. The hyaena, not wanting to miss any feeding opportunity, waited at the base of the trunk with ravenous grins.

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(Tingana, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

To the far east on Cheetah Plains an old favourite has made an appearance. Quarantine male leopard has been found resting up in the limbs of an airy marula tree. He spent the hottest hours relaxing in the shade before descending with the darkness. He made his way through the reserve rolling in all that was smelly and stopping for a brief drink right next to the vehicle before moving off into the darkness.

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(Quarantine, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains)

Wednesday the 20th of April

Another day filled with spots as Mr Tingana filled the airwaves. He spent the morning fat and flat shaped, his stomach to the point of bursting. After a day of lazing in the shade he once again ascended the Jackalberry tree to finish off his kudu kill. The hyaena once again waiting at the base of the trunk gazing into it’s high boughs hopefully. Being as full as he was Tingana seemed not to care much about the precarious placement of his kill and lazily caught it every time it threatened to plummet into the waiting jaws. Eventually though all good things come to an end and a few large pieces were dropped onto the heads of the waiting hyaena’s.

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(Tingana, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Thursday the 21st of April

The boys are back in town! Reports on the radio lead Sam to 4 of the birmingham male lions. The big cats are all fast asleep and the only movement seen comes when a shady spot became a sunny spot. Later on the sunset safari the lions are found yet again, in the same place still in a state of static inertia. The remained in this state until the closing hours of safariLIVE.

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(Birmingham male lions, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Friday the 22nd of April

Lions again as the birmingham coalition was found again this morning. Reports on the radio indicate that the dominant males had quite a busy night walking a total of about 20kms (12.5 miles.) Brent eventually caught up with the lions soon after that had crossed back onto Djuma. By the time we found them they were yet again in a deep and comfortable slumber state.

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(Birmingham male lions, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)‎

Later that afternoon Sam returned to the sleeping lions and watched them as they snoozed the daylight hours away. Eventually as the sun descended upon the Drakensburg Mountains, the lions arose and meandered slowly back towards the northern boundary. Sam eventually lost sight of them as the final seconds of the sunset safari slipped away.

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(Birmingham male, Screenshot Credit: Deborah Bonneville, safariLIVE, Djuma)‎
Saturday the 23rd of April
The WE crew had a fitful night's sleep as the booming roars of the Birmingham males and the Selati males kept us from our much needed beauty rest. Sam went out to the northwest corner of Djuma to check Sydney’s dam. As he caught a first glimpse of the dam he was indeed greeted by the sight of 4 Birmingham lions. Sitting proudly in the cool morning light, the soon became mobile and within minutes had crossed south, back into Djuma. As they walked it was clear that a couple of the coalition members were limping and looked rather sorry for themselves. It seemed they had been involved in a scrap, of sorts, with the Selati males, hence the thunderous roars all through the night. Tensions were high among the lions and a small fight broke out between brothers as they rested from a brief walk. The big cats focused most of their attention on scent marking before eventually going flat for the day.
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(Birmingham male, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Later that evening, Brent returns to find them up and about. It was a scene to behold as 3 members of the coalition stood in unison against the backdrop of a perfect African sunset. All 4 then slowly made their way north yet again, we then lost them to the darkness as they crossed out boundary and slunk off into some thick bush.

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(Birmingham males, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)
Sunday the 24th of April
Joy and happiness all round this morning as Karula is found yet again. She’s made a successful duiker kill and hoisted it high into the boughs of a tree. Brent was first on scene and found the graceful cat feeding, after a short while however she brought the kill down from its lofty height and began making soft contact calls. Soon enough her two fuzz-balls of joy came slinking through the grass to be at her side. It is incredible how after only a few weeks of life the cubs have already developed their own personality. The bolder of the two showed no fear and pulled a few scraps off the kill while the more cautious cub hid out of sight. Brent eventually left to graciously allow everyone to get some quality time with the Queen and her cubs.

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(Karula’s cub, Screenshot Credit: Madeleine Skeoch‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)
Later that afternoon the 4 Birmingham males were found, this time at Buffelshoek dam. They spent the majority of the afternoon fast asleep, their bellies looking significantly fuller than the day before. There is however, some sad news, one of the 5-member coalition has been found dead to the north in Buffelshoek. The report came in over the radio and was shared by James with us all. It is not yet known what caused the passing of the magnificent lion, identified as “Scrapper,” but with an investigation pending our expert guides will be sure to keep any new information up-to-date.

(“Scrapper” Birmingham male [back], Screenshot Credit: Birmingham Male Lions Facebook page, safariLIVE, Djuma)
On a lighter note, when James returned to where Karula and her gorgeous cubs were spotted earlier an incredible sighting unfolded. After a good deal of grooming the stunning leopardess called to her cubs and without hesitation they came bounding out of a thicket towards her. The bolder and slightly bigger cub was first to mom’s side again and she proceeded to groom the youngster quite thoroughly until the more cautious cub caught up. The queen then lead them straight to where James was parked and proceeded to have another cub grooming session within mere meters of the safariLIVE vehicle. This gave James the opportunity to accurately sex the bolder cub. WE can now say with certainty that at least one of Karula’s new cubs is definitely a male, while patience is required to find out the sex of the other little cub it is certainly wonderful to know that Djuma now has a confirmed prince!

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(Karula and cub, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

WE celebrate international Earth Day 22 April 2016

Our planet is our responsibility and what better way to appreciate this than joining us on International Earth Day, this year falling on the 22nd of April. This conservation initiative aims to create and mobilise a unified human action towards preserving and ensuring a healthier planet for future generations.

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The Earth Day initiative encourages all people from all walks of life to commit a “Green Action” by planting an indigenous plant or tree species, in a natural area or even in your own backyard!

WE want to encourage and challenge the WE community to participate in Earth Day by planting an indigenous tree! Share a video of you planting on #safariLIVE or Facebook and you could get a special Earth Day shout out from one of our incredible guides!


Here at safariLIVE the crew is gearing up for the event by brushing up on all our flora knowledge. WE want to share with you why these green, leafy organisms are so important to a healthy ecosystem as well as why careful preservation is needed to verify a cleaner and greener future.

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Earth Day is everyday for us. Sam and his brother [and few others] have an awesome conservation project that aims: “To build a movement of people, who practice and promote through their lifestyles and business actions sustainable living, environmental awareness and community engagement” (watch video here.) With these goals in mind the team takes on the challenge of educating the youth, fostering knowledge and understanding of the natural world and sustainable living.

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Sunday, 17 April 2016

The Cat Report 10 – 17 April

Sunday the 10th of April
Yet another sensational start to the week, WE are now able to traverse on Cheetah Plains Private Reserve after a heroic effort from the incredible safariLIVE tech team (watch video here)! As the sun was rising in the east, so Brent and Bryan headed out to explore the new traverse. Shortly after their arrival they were alerted to the presence of 3 big male lions and unsurprisingly, it turned out to be the Birmingham coalition visiting the eastern section of their territory. It was a mystery as to the whereabouts of the other 2 members of the dominant coalition, they could have perhaps been mating with lionesses or patrolling elsewhere in the reserve.

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(Birmingham males, Screenshot Credit: Kim Powers Blackley, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains)
To the west of Djuma, Jamie and Jeandre made their way around the reserve with sharp eyes. Sure enough, after some patience WE experienced our second big cat sighting for the morning. Tingana, the dominant male leopard, was making his way through the core of his territory.

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(Tingana, Screenshot Credit: Gail Murphy, safariLIVE, Djuma)
More in store later in the morning as WE were treated to an incredible and previously rare sighting. One of the dominant cheetah brothers was spotted on Cheetah Plains, he is sometimes seen on Djuma, but not regularly. The impressively sleek and muscled cat kept a keen eye out for any hunting opportunities as he made his way through the core part of his territory. This sighting makes for a purr-fect trifecta of African big cats, all in a single morning!

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(Cheetah male, Screenshot Credit: Marieke van Nistelrooij‎, safariLIVE, Cheetah Pains)
But the action doesn’t stop there, later that afternoon Jamie and Jeandre had a double dose of big cat action! At first they returned to where Tingana had gone flat earlier that day, and after some well spent quality time with the handsome cat they decided to move off. Soon after they found themselves with all 5 of the Nkuhuma ladies. What a way to end a truly magnificent day!
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(Nkuhuma lioness, Screenshot Credit: Kim Powers Blackley, safariLIVE, Djuma)
Monday the 11th of April
More spotty speedsters were found again this morning on Cheetah plains. James and Bryan caught up with both members of the coalition as they patrolled through their core territory. They happily scent marked and kept an eye for for any opportunity to hunt.

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(Cheetah male, Screenshot Credit: Dave Holm‎, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains)
More lions in the west as Jamie and Bryan caught up with the Nkuhuma pride flat and content in the shade of a nearby bush. The 5 ladies slept happily, although not full to bursting they were certainly looking rather well fed.

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(Nkuhuma lioness, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Jamie then decided to move on and soon came upon one of the Birmingham males. It seems to be one of the missing two from the 5 male strong coalition. Although not looking particularly regal he was still appeared healthy and fighting fit. He spent most of the day wandering slowly and collapsing from exhaustion in nearby patches of shade.

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(Birmingham male, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)
After another fantastic morning James and Jamie traded lions for cheetahs and cheetahs for lions. This time is was Jamie who ventured to the east and onto cheetah plains and spent time with the dominant cheetah coalition while James made his way west to Arathusa and great lion sighting with the Birmingham males.

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(Cheetah male, Screenshot Credit: Madeleine Skeoch‎, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains)
Tuesday the 12th of April
Who needs cheetahs and lions when you could spend time with the Queen of Djuma, Karula! After the magnificent sighting on Saturday with her two gorgeous cubs, Sam and Jeandre found her hiding in the boughs of a large tree. She was carefully protecting and feeding on her kill while one of the resident hyaenas’ sniffed around at the base of the trunk for any fallen morsels. Her cubs, much to everyone’s relief, were not present at the sighting as hyaena are notorious for killing leopard cubs.

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(Karula, Screenshot Credit: Debra W. Baudoin, safariLIVE, Djuma)‎
On the other side of the reserve, Brent and Bryan found themselves with 1 of the Birmingham males. He spent the afternoon flat as a pancake and remained that way as the sunset safari came to a close.

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(Birmingham male, Screenshot Credit: Joshua Gross‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)
Thursday the 14th of April
More lovely lady lionesses! The Nkuhuma pride has been spotted and all five of the stunning lionesses are present and accounted for. They spent the afternoon lazing in the cooling shade, upon closer inspection, Brent proposed that one of the girls is most definitely pregnant! A truly exciting prospect for the future of this pride! As the last embers of light burnt out to the west the lions yawned, stretched and headed off into the night on the hunt.

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(Nkuhuma lioness, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Friday the 15th of April

The Queen has made another appearance! She was found lying gracefully, cradled in the limbs of a large marula tree. Again her cubs are nowhere to be seen, a sure sign that she has hidden them away safe and sound. The queen made her royal self very comfortable and spent the afternoon relaxing and cat napping in the gentle wind of the changing seasons.

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(Karula, Screenshot Credit: Roy Smith, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Later on 3 of the Nkuhuma lionesses are spotted again. It doesn’t seem as though their hunt attempts the night before were successful and after lazing around during the heat of the day, they eventually arose, stretched out their powerful bodies and ventured off into the opaque folds of the falling darkness. It remained a mystery as to the location of the other 2 Nkuhuma pride members.

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(Nkuhuma pride, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)
Saturday the 16th  of April
More lions today with both Sam and Jamie. Initially it was Sam who spotted one of the Nkuhuma lioness lazing in some long grass. But soon after being found she was up and east bound, towards cheetah cutline. Unfortunately Sam and Dave were forced to give up on the trail as the camera encountered an incident with an aggressive branch. Jamie and Bryan moved into the area to pick up where Sam had left off. Unfortunately all she could find was the tracks of the lions crossing the eastern boundary and soon after, reports from Torchwood confirmed the pride had moved east.

Sunday the 17th of April
Another great start to the morning. In the final minutes of the sunrise safari James and Dave managed to catch up with Tingana, this time lazing about on Arathusa. Although the sighting was short lived there was relief as it seemed he had recovered from the injuries to his back legs. James left the powerful leopard sleeping soundly as the sunrise safari ticked away it’s final seconds.

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(Tingana, Screenshot Credit: Debra W. Baudoin, safariLIVE, Arathusa)‎