Saturday, 29 October 2016

safariLIVE Time Changes for November

safariLIVE Time Changes for November

Well safarians the days are getting longer as WE head deeper into our summer months. This means it’s time for a change to the safari schedule. WE do this to make sure we only capture the very best animal action there is! From the 1st of November 2016 WE will be going LIVE for the sunrise safari 30 minutes earlier while heading out for the sunset safari 30 minutes later. For Our incredible viewers in the northern hemisphere WE have also factored in the time change brought about by daylight savings on 6 November 2016.

Please find the safariLIVE drive schedules for your time zone in the table below:

1 - 5 November
Sunrise Safari
05:00am - 08:00am
03:00am - 06:00am
23:00pm - 02:00am
20:00pm - 23:00pm
Sunset Safari
16:00pm - 19:00pm
14:00pm - 17:00pm
10:00am - 13:00pm
07:00am - 10:00am
6 November onwards
Sunrise Safari
05:00am - 08:00am
03:00am - 06:00am
22:00pm - 01:00am
19:00pm - 22:00pm
Sunset Safari
16:00pm - 19:00pm
14:00pm - 17:00pm
09:00am - 12:00pm
06:00am - 09:00pm

Time to grab those sunglasses and sunscreen. Why not grab a nice ice cold drink of your choice and join us for our twice daily LIVE safaris! WE can’t wait to have you along for the experience!
(Beautiful sunset, Image Credit: Tayla McCurdy)

Friday, 28 October 2016

The Cat Report 21 - 28 October

Friday the 21st of October

The week kicked off with not one, not two but three big cat sightings! First up was the Nkuhuma pride, all five lionesses were present with their eight fluffy cubs. Two of the Birmingham males were also present. Both Tinyo and Mfumo had singled out their own lioness and fiercely growled at each other in masculine protection. The rest of the pride was in the mood to take it easy and slept away the warm summer afternoon.

1 Amber eyes and Tinyo 21 oct PM.jpg
(Amber Eyes Nkuhuma and Tinyo, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Next up was the stunning and rarely seen leopardess, Xiluva. She had made a small duiker kill on Djuma’s most northern boundary. Jamie spent same great quality time with the perfectly rosetted beauty until she eventually moved off north and out of sight.

2 Xiluva 21 oct PM.jpg
(Xiluva, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)‎

Yet the leopard luck did not end there. On the opposite side of the reserve Jamie found herself in the presence of the great queen, Karula. As usual her royal highness was up and about pacing through the bush while she marked territory and kept a keen, sharp eye out for anything tasty to eat. Eventually Karula pulled another stunning disappearing act as she wove her way into a thick drainage line.

3 Karula 21 oct PM.jpg
(Queen Karula on her afternoon rounds, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

The African big cat trifecta was completed with a sighting of the two cheetah brothers on Cheetah Plains. The two spotted speedsters were fat, flat and relaxed. From the protrusion of their rotund bellies they had clearly enjoyed a large meal. Once the sun had disappeared behind the western horizon the brothers were up and northbound across the wide open plains. Alarm calls resounded in the twilight air as herds of impala, wildebeest and zebra marched sternly after Africa’s fastest land mammal. Soon the brothers melted into the darkness and out of sight.

4 Cheetah 21 oct PM.jpg
(Cheetah relaxing in the sunset light, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen‎, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains)

Saturday the 22nd of October

Another action packed caturday welcomed the safariLIVE crew. The first covert cat to be discovered was Amber Eyes in the company of one of the Birmingham males, Mfumo. It seemed Tinyo had given up on the fierce eyed lioness and his brother was not attempting to woo her. They copulated twice before disappearing into the shade of a thick drainage line in escape from the building heat of the day.

5 Amber eyes and Mfumo 22 Oct AM.jpg
(Amber Eyesna dn Mfumo enjoy a vulture view together, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Later that afternoon all of the Nkuhumas were together once again. The only male present was the very grumpy looking Tinyo. The lions remained flat and sleepy for most of the afternoon, that was until a very unfortunate buffalo stumbled across Africa’s largest predatory cat. Tayla heard the panicked distress calls and raced to the sighting just as it was all over. The cubs, lionesses and dominant male were already tucking into the beefy dinner with relish. Tayla eventually left as all light was lost.

6 Nkuhuma cub 22 oct PM.jpg
(Nkuhuma cub resting on top of a buffalo, Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)‎

Not far from the Nkuhuma pride Xiluva was still resting near her carcass on the Buffelshoek boundary. She remained fairly static and rather flat for the entirety of the day. Eventually she rose and moved off a little ways north before coming to a rest on a termite mound.

7 Xiluva 22 oct AM.jpg
(Xiluva aka “The flower” resting in the shade, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Sunday the 23rd of October

The morning started overcast and gloomy with the threat of imminent rain. Yet no precipitation appeared and the morning continued in stuffy humidity. First stop was the Nkuhuma pride, still stuck in their beefy breakfast. The lions fed ravenously before eventually collapsing in piles of fluff stained with blood. The cubs played with pieces of discarded carcass while the adults lazed about in the close morning air. Later that afternoon the lions were found by Tayla resting up in a shady patch near Buffelshoek dam. Their rest however was rudely interrupted by a large elephant bull who wished to make his way down to the water for a drink. The standoff between the pride and the elephant was brief and intense, as he approached the lions made a quick escape. The elephant then passed and all was at peace once again. As the sunset the lions made their way to the water’s edge for a drink.  

8 Nkuhuma pride 23 oct AM.jpg
(Hungry Nkuhuma pride feasting on buffalo, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Far removed from the familiarity of the Nkuhuma pride was a spotted mystery. The game drive radio burst forth with reports of an unknown leopard on Djuma. Tayla made her way over to check out the enigmatic newcomer. After much debate and a few wild guesses eventually her identity was uncovered. It turns out this young leopardess is known as the Young Ingrid’s Dam female. If these rumors do indeed turnout to be true she has wandered a long way from the southern section of the Sabi Sand. She spent the morning in an iconic pose, splayed across the thick sturdy boughs of a large marula where she surveyed the goings on around her.

9 Ingrid's dam female 23 oct AM.jpg
(Young Ingrid’s Dam female leopard resting in a marula tree, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)‎

Monday the 24th of October

Chaos reigned over the eastern sections of Djuma on this cloudy morning. The lions were having a field day with the buffalo. First, Byron found the Birmingham male known as Mfumo along with two Nkuhuma lionesses, they managed to bring down a small buffalo calf. Mfumo stuck around to finish the job while the lionesses continued their stalk across the eastern boundary. Meanwhile Tayla had caught up with the rest of the pride just to the west of the first kill. The three adult lionesses and eight cubs made their way intently towards the bellowed cries of distress. Along the way they stumbled upon an old buffalo carcass that was infested with waves upon wave of squirming white maggots. Lions are not usually fussy about their meals, this however was an exception, they turned up their noses and continued east. Not five minutes later they stumbled upon a collapsed and dying buffalo. His bellows wrought the air as the lions began to feed. Yet their interest in an easy and fresh kill dwindled soon after as yet more buffalo bellows echoed through the woodland. The lions once again began their steady journey east and soon crossed out of Djuma and into Torchwood.

10 Nkuhuma pride 24 Oct AM.jpg
(The Nkuhuma pride on their way east, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Tuesday the 25th of October

After a loud and stormy night the safariLIVE crew headed out for another fantastic morning in the northern Sabi Sand. Up first was a thrilling and high intensity dog chase. Thats right, the Lower Sabi pack was back! Although the sighting was fleeting it was still a tremendous treat to spend some time with the African Wild Dog. The three prancing pups dashed through the wilderness keeping up a steady trot. As soon as they appeared they had once again disappeared off our traverse.

11 Lower sabi wild dog pack 25 Oct AM.jpg
(Lower Sabi wild dog pack, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

The dogs however weren’t our only surprise for the morning. Once again the fabulous Herberth had managed to track down the lions. Byron made his way to the sighting just in time to spend the last five minutes of the sunrise safari with Africa’s apex cat predator. All five of the Nkuhuma lionesses were present with their eight cubs, all safely tucked away in cool and shady drainage line. As so the lions remained, fast asleep for the rest of the day. When Byron caught up with them on the sunset safari their eyes were tightly shut and their paws rested.

12 Mfumo 25 Oct PM.jpg
(Mfumo aka “The Authority” resting up in the shade, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Wednesday the 26th of October

The well rested lions soon put their conserved energy to good use however. The Nkuhuma pride had once again brought down yet another buffalo in the darkest hours of the night. Roars could be heard booming out across the land in triumph. By the time Tayla had caught up with them on the sunrise safari they were already well tucked into their meal. The eight fluffy terrors fed and played with youthful exuberance while the adults nibbled here and there or slept after a long hard buffalo battle. Later that afternoon the cubs were clearly energised by the beefy breakfast they had enjoyed. They played constantly around the sleepy adults. Once the sun had set and the sky began to turn an inky blue, the lions made their way down to the dam for a long refreshing drink.

13 Nkuhuma and birmingham 26 oct PM.jpg
(Brave Nkuhuma cub pounces on Tinyo, Screenshot Credit: Gail Murphy, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Thursday the 27th of October

Love was in the air as the summer sun rose over the lowveld. Tinyo and Amber Eyes were found having an early morning drink at the Djuma pan. Once their thirst was quenched the lions had a little sniff around before making their way west. En route they passed both the lodge and the safariLIVE crew camp where they spent some time pondering James’s golf net. Once they had moved on the lionesses keen, deep orange eyes spied some unawares nyala browsing in some thick bush. She flattened her body to the ground and very nearly ended the young life of a tiny, fluffy nyala lamb. The youngster managed to escape the jaws of the lion this time and the big cats moved off into some cool shady thickets. Later that afternoon you couldn’t shake a stick at any bush without a lion jumping out of it! During the heat of the day a few of the lions were spotted having a drink at the dam. Byron made his way to the area and managed to catch up with two Nkuhuma lionesses and Mfumo, another one of the Birmingham males. The lionesses greeted each other and then continued on their way in opposite directions. The amorous pair kept on their path westwards. Soon they came upon yet another dead buffalo. They spent some time nibbling on the old carcass before heading off into yet more thickets. Just when Byron thought his lion sightings had come to and end, Amber Eyes popped out of nowhere and headed down to the galago pan for a drink just as the evening began to darken.

Amber eyes 27 oct PM.jpg
(Amber Eyes having a refreshing drink, Screenshot Credit: Marieke van Nistelrooij‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Yet the lions were not the only cat’s on the prowl today. To the west on Arathusa Tayla managed to catch up with a new leopardess in the area, the young Ingrid’s Dam female. This time she was discovered in the most iconic of leopard poses - sprawled across the wide and comfy bough of a massive marula tree, she spent the morning cat napping in the most spectacular fashion. Tayla wasn’t able to stay with the stunning newcomer too long as she had to make room for other eager safari goers.

15 Ingrids dam female 27 oct AM.jpg
(Young Ingrid’s dam female sleeping soundly, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Arathusa)

Far removed from this leopardess in the west was Tingana on the eastern boundary of Djuma. Tayla had a brief sighting of him in the morning before he disappeared into a thick drainage. That afternoon however, the big handsome cat had positioned himself in a far more convenient viewing location. He rested for the majority of the day while furiously flicking his tail and lashing out with his massive canines at the cloud of flies swarming around his head. His irritation and frustration was palpable as he constantly swatted out. Once the sun had set and the day had cooled he slowly ambled his way towards the southern boundary, still swatting frustratedly.

16 Tingana 27 oct PM.jpg
(Hot and bothered Tingana resting in the shade, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Friday the 28th of October

More spotted luck this morning in the far east on Cheetah Plains. Quarantine male had been spotted and Tayla made her way over to investigate. Upon her arrival an incredibly unique scene played out. Quarantine was not alone, Inkanyeni was pacing around him growling softly and flicking her tail in irritation. It was clear from her behaviour that she was not fond of this youngster from the west intruding into her territory and potentially threatening her ten month old cubs. It seemed the two leopards had also engaged in a little spat before WE found them. Inkanyeni had a fresh gash just above her right paw that was bleeding freely. She tended to the wound when she could. Eventually Quarantine began to make his way further southeast before eventually crossing into Mala Mala. Inkanyeni followed him closely and we eventually lost sight of them.

17 Inkanyeni 28 oct AM.jpg
(An irritated Inkanyeni keeps a close eye on Quarantine, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen‎, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains)

Back in the heart of Djuma the lions had been found. Stef was out on bushwalk looking for all manner of interesting creepies and crawlies when he heard the lion calling not far from his position. He made his way carefully towards them and soon enough two Nkuhuma lionesses and one Birmingham male poked their heads out of a bush and watched him carefully. Stef then called Byron in on the vehicle before moving off. Once Byron was in the sighting the lions stretched and made their way to a nearby pan. They had a brief drink before disappeared into a shady thicket to escape the heat of the day.

18 Nkuhuma lioniess 28 oct AM.jpg
(Nkuhuma lioness making her way past the vehicle, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Thursday, 27 October 2016

safariLIVE Viewer Profile: Emma Dalton

Emma Dalton discovered safariLIVE by pure chance. "I was flicking through YouTube channels, and got lucky!" she says. "The surreal aspect of being able to witness goings-on in South Africa from the comfort of my apartment is such an incredible experience."

As a newer viewer, Emma's introduction to the live drives came in the midst of the incredible cat sightings we've experienced recently. She found the sighting of Thandi and her cubs being pursued by baboons "exciting and nerve wracking".

"It was such an unbelievable thing to witness. I also love the moments of affection between any of the animals with their babies."

A student of History and Literature at university, she aims to become a teacher in the coming years. Perhaps we'll see Ms Dalton's class joining us on the back of the vehicle one day.

Emma, an animal shelter volunteer in her spare time, would love to visit the Sabi Sand one day and see these incredible views of the wildlife there for herself. She has advocated for the experience of drive to her father, brother and roommate and claims responsibility for getting them hooked on safariLIVE too.

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!

Friday, 21 October 2016

The Cat Report 15 - 21 October

Saturday the 15th of October

A Saturday-caterday kicked off in the best way possible. Jamie returned to the scene of Karula’s latest victim to discover the royal family reclining in all their spotted grace. Karula was up a large marula tree feeding. Xongile and Hosana played with the reckless abandon of youth. They made great leaps at each other culminating in spectacular aerial collisions, tails and claws flailed wildly before loud thuds reminded the young cubs that gravity does indeed exists. Jamie left the sighting to allow other eager safari-goers a chance to spend sometime with the royal family. Later on that afternoon when WE returned to the scene we found the spotted felines up and on the move. They soon crossed south, out of our traverse and WE moved on in search of Africa’s other amazing animals.

Hosana 15 Oct AM.jpg
(Young Hosana feeding on the fallen carcass, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Sunday the 16th of October

Booming roars ripped the silence of the night apart at one Nkuhuma lioness and two of the newly named Birmingham males made a nighttime appearance at the Djuma dam. By the time the sun rose however, there was no sight of them, but clear signs in the form of large paw prints told us they had crossed out of our traverse. All hope was not lost, reports on the radio soon came in that the Nkuhuma pride was on Buffelshoek. Luckily WE had a very long distance view of the stunning lionesses from Djuma’s northern boundary. Only one lioness was visible, she looked both relaxed and well fed. One of the cubs soon came over to greet her before he disappeared behind a thick clump of verdant leaves. With such a limited view, Jamie did not stay for long yet high hopes of the lionesses imminent return turned the air rife with expectation.

1 Nkuhuma lioness 16 oct AM.jpg
(Nkuhuma lioness resting on Buffelshoek, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

The Tsalala pride are back and they looked better than ever! Tayla made her way west to the Arathusa airstrip where the five felines had been resting up during the hottest part of the day. Lions are not known for standing on ceremony and despite the cooler temperature of the afternoon they remain flat and immobile. Three lionesses accompanied by their handsome subadult males lazed away the day while WE watched on. Eventually Tayla moved on from the less that action packed sighting.

Tsalala male 16 Oct PMjpg
(Subadult male of the Tsalala pride, Screenshot Credit: Agnes Zsiga‎, safariLIVE, Arathusa)

Monday the 17th of October

Lions tracks littered the northern boundary of Djuma during the sunrise safari as steely grey clouds rolled across the African sky. The Nkuhuma pride were back on Djuma and all WE needed to do was find them. This was far easier said than done and after three hours of tracking and with Rexon’s expert help we eventually managed to find the covert cats. James raced to the sighting and managed to make it with just five short minutes left of the sunrise drive. WE didn’t get a view of the whole pride but we did manage to see the eight ever growing little Nkuhuma fuzz balls. The Nkuhumas are sterling huntresses and today was no different, they had made yet another buffalo kill between game drives this morning. When we caught up with them on the sunset safari the cats were well tucked into their beefy meal. That was until another safariLIVE favourite character showed up. The short trunk elephant and her precious little herd trumpeted through the scene chasing all 13 lions from the carcass. Eventually the elephants moved off and the clever cats circled round and continued to enjoy their well deserved lunch for the rest of the afternoon.

3 Nkuhuma pride 17 Oct AM.jpg
(The Nkuhuma pride, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Tuesday the 18th of October

The day kicked off with high action antics and nail-biting intensity. The royal family who had been discovered still enjoying the remains of their impala kill when all of a sudden breakfast was gate crashed by a rambunctious troop of baboons. The peaceful scene exploded into mass panic as the predatory primates chased the slender rosetted cats. One of the cubs shot up a tall nearby tree followed by what seemed to be the alpha male of the troop. The troop soon moved on and WE were able to get a glimpse of Karula and Hosana, yet Xongile was nowhere to be found. Eventually WE left the sighting hoping against hope, that the little princess was alright. WE got the answer soon enough. That afternoon the royal family was discovered in completion, both cubs had survived the ordeal as did the great queen. They spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and finishing off mom’s hard earned meal.

4 karula and hosana 18 Oct AM.jpg
(Queen Karula with the little chief Hosana, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

The lions on the other hand had a far more relaxing start to their day. They were found in the same location finishing off what was left of the buffalo kill. Most of the cats were fat, flat and fast asleep. The cubs, energetic as ever, scampered around and made the general nonsense associated with toddlers. The lions remained in this state of peaceful bliss for the entirety of the day.
5 Nkuhuma lioness 18 oct AM.jpg
(Nkuhuma lioness, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Wednesday the 19th of October

Another day filled with spotted luck! WE kicked off with a royal visit at Karula’s kill site. All three leopards were most relaxed despite the intensity of the baboon ordeal. Xongile kept her distance while she peered down her nose at her playful brother greedily consuming as much impala as possible. Karula, the great queen, rested nearby and groomed bits of impala flesh and fur from her mucky paws. Soon every morsel of the kill had been consumed and the Djuma royal family moved off into a thick drainage line.

6 Hosana 19 oct AM.jpg
(Young Hosana, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Later that afternoon reports came in that Tingana had been found on a kill in Arathusa. Jamie meandered her way over and sure enough the big dominant leopard was found sprawled on the cool dusty ground next to red dam. The general size and shape of his stomach seemed to indicate that he had swallowed a beachball-shaped warthog! Soon he was up, he labored away at carrying his fully belly and eventually (and with great effort) he made it to the water's edge. He drank deeply for quite some time before waddling a few meters aways and laying down in a state of absolute gluttony. Then, out of nowhere, Shadow appeared! She cast a sultry look in the direction of her most favourite male leopard before slinking into a nearby donga (no doubt hoping to sneak up on Tingana without him noticing.) Jamie then had to leave the sighting to give others a chance to enjoy the elusive spotted cats.

7 Tingana 19 Oct PM.jpg
(Tingana resting after a large meal, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Arathusa)

Thursday the 20th of October

Another regal morning was in store for the safariLIVE crew. Karula had been found resting her gorgeous head upon the crest of a huge termite mound. She surveyed her kingdom with slight interest before a big stretch and a slow amble into the bush. Tayla did a sterling job of keeping up with the great queen and she wove her way through a somewhat thick block of bush. Anyone familiar with Karula knows that is no easy feat! Eventually the queen came to rest on the side of the road. She watched a hapless herd of impala for some time before she decided this was not the moment to pounce. Eventually she disappeared once again into the thickets.

8 Karula 20 Oct AM.jpg
(Karula, the Queen of Djuma, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)
The sunset safari kicked off with an absolutely heart stopping sighting. Stef with the aid of the incredible Herberth, had managed to find the Nkuhuma pride on foot! There were low growls of warning emanating from the lionesses as they ushered their cubs away from the threat of humans on foot. Stef stayed with the pride until Jamie was eventually able to move into the sighting. It seemed the Birmingham male known as Tinyo was romantically involved with Amber Eyes, yet the stunning lioness did not really reciprocate his feelings. He followed her around like a shadow while she tried to maneuver past to rejoin her pride. As with all good things however, the sunset safari came to an end and we left the amorous pair to their evening activities.

9 Tinyo and Amber 20 Oct Am.jpg
(Tinyo and Amber Eyes, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Friday the 21st of October
Another action packed sunrise safari! An unawares buffalo herd had accidentally walked straight into the Nkuhuma pride. This was a sure recipe for buffalo disaster as the cats immediately jumped into action. Tayla arrived just as the lions had singled out one scared and lonely subadult buffalo. One lioness and the Birmingham male known as Mfumo had the buffalo trapped. The brave bovid charged and Mfumo jumped as if an electric current had passed through his paws. The buffalo managed to run into the road, but out of nowhere a second lioness pounced and took down the buffalo in a manner that would impress most professional wrestlers! The pride along with Mfumo pinned the buffalo down and began the slow and upsetting process of killing. Eventually the buffalo took it’s last breath and the whole pride, complete with cubs tucked into yet another hard earned meal.

10 Nkuhumna lioness on buffalo 21 oct AM.jpg
(Nkuhuma lioness leaps on buffalo, safariLIVE, Djuma)