Sunday, 30 April 2017

safariLIVE celebrates Mother’s Day 2017 LIVE on Nat Geo WILD!



It’s back to LIVE TV for the safariLIVE crew! And what better occasion to celebrate our return to the silver screen than Mother’s Day 2017. Some of our most astute viewers will have noticed that WE are already getting into the swing of things by practicing advertisement break intervals during our live drives.

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(Karula lovingly grooms little Xongile, Image Credit: Brent Leo-Smith, Djuma, Sabi Sand)

WE will be going LIVE on the 13th and 14th of May 2017 for a magnificent Mother’s Day extravaganza in the bush, broadcast on National Geographic WILD across the USA as well as all the usual internet platforms. Catch up with all your favourite characters from the Sabi Sand as Tayla and Tristan cut their teeth on their first LIVE TV show performances.

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(Lioness moves her naughty cub away from the dangers of the water, Image Credit: Brent Leo-Smith, Djuma, Sabi Sand.)

WE are extremely excited as this will be our first televised series of shows to feature our newest and most exciting location, the Mara Triangle conservancy in Kenya, East Africa. Brent will be racing around the vast open grasslands and perilous river crossings searching for all manner of astounding African wildlife! You’ll be able to catch up once again with the ever charismatic Kichwa Tembo pride as well as the enormous and ancient clans of hyena that are a constant thorn in the paws of the lions. There’s also the opportunity to meet some new animal characters such as the highly elusive and mysterious leopards of the Mara as well as the world famous cheetahs that use the wide flat landscape as their personal race tracks.

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(Kichwa Tembo lioness bounding through the open plains of the Mara, Image Credit: James Hendry, Mara Triangle, Kenya.)

If that wasn’t enough, WE will also be taking Mother’s Day shout outs from our fantastic viewers from across the United States! Tweet us with a Mother’s Day shout out to your mom using #safariLIVE and stand a chance for your wonderful well wishes and motherly love to be broadcast LIVE on National Geographic WILD!

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(Elephant calf takes shelter behind his beautiful mother, Image Credit: Louise Pavid, Djuma, Sabi Sand.)

WE have certainly got some incredible times ahead and can’t wait for you all to join us on the back of Wendy, Rusty and in the Mara over the Mother’s Day weekend!

Please see the table below for LIVE broadcast times in your time zone:

Date
safariLIVE
CAT
BST
EDT
PDT
13th May 2017
Sunset Safari
LIVE to
Nat Geo WILD
Start: 15:00pm
End: 17:00pm
Start:14:00pm
End:16:00pm
Start: 09:00am
End: 11:00am
Start: 06:00am
End: 08:00am
14th May 2017
Sunset Safari
LIVE to
Nat Geo WILD
Start: 15:00pm
End: 17:00pm
Start:14:00pm
End:16:00pm
Start: 09:00am
End: 11:00am
Start: 06:00am
End: 08:00am

Saturday, 29 April 2017

safariLIVE Time Change 1 May 2017



Well safarians, winter is just about upon us! That means it’s time for another adjustment to our LIVE safari drive start times. WE do this to ensure you are out and about in the African wilderness when the animals are at their most active!

Our days are getting shorter, our nights are getting longer and all the while the mercury is steadily dropping. As of Monday, 1 May 2017, WE will be venturing forth into the sunset half an hour earlier. Our sunrise drive times however, will remain unchanged.

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(Elephants graze in sunset light, Image Credit: Geraldine Kent, Djuma, Sabi Sand)

Please check the table below for new safari start times in your time zone:


safariLIVE Drives
CAT
BST
EDT
PDT
Sunrise Safari
Start: 06:00am
End: 09:00am
Start: 05:00am
End: 08:00am
Start: 00:00am
End: 03:00am
Start: 21:00pm
End: 00:00am
Sunset Safari
Start: 15:00pm
End:18:00pm
Start: 14:00pm
End: 17:00pm
Start: 09:00am
End: 12:00pm
Start: 06:00am
End: 09:00am

Friday, 28 April 2017

The Cat Report: 21 April - 28 April

Friday 21 April

After presumably picking up on Xongile’s scent, we listened to Hosana calling out on Baboon Pan before he ducked and disappeared - was he looking for his little sister?

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

WE then raced off to find Tingana before the end of the sunset safari, having been notified of his presence at the corner of Vuyatela Access and Impala Road. Find him we did, lying down but alert and getting ready for his nightly vigil.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]


Saturday 22 April

Hosana found little sister Xongile at her favourite haunt, Twin Dams. He joined her briefly in her hunt for terrapins and then together they moved off north into Djuma.

[Screenshot: Sherie]

Nearby, three unidentified wild dogs (possibly a breakaway from the Sands Pack) investigated, perhaps picking up on the scent of the Royal siblings (which may have been the reason the cats ran off) before disappearing south into Little Gowrie.

[Screenshot: Di Priem]

Less active, were two of the Styx lionesses and two cubs, flat on their backs on Chitwa Chitwa, having killed a waterbuck the night before. However, Jamie caught them on the move when day turned to night, drinking from a pan of water, full from the kill and the cubs looking like walking bellies with legs.

[Screenshot: Payton Payne]


Sunday 23 April

WE finally managed a sighting of The two Styx lionesses with all six of their cubs, also in the company of one of the Birmingham Boys. Four of the cubs could not have been much older than two months and there was much squealing and suckling, initiating big hugs from their proud mother.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

On foot in front of Galago Pan, James and Herbie found a hungry Xongile moving nervously down the drainage system as birds’ alarm calling gave her away to a herd of elephants. After dissolving into the dense bush, she left us to look for something smaller to eat.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

In the last hour of the sunrise safari, her more confident brother Hosana went into full stalk mode, having spied a scrub hare moving guilelessly through the thickets. Aided by our infra red lights, WE had hoped to witness him make a small successful kill, but he missed his chance and the scrub hare lived to see another day.

[Screenshot: Paul]


Monday 24 April

The shift from summer to winter has begun and Vutomi did not live up to his name this morning - showing us little signs of life as he huddled against the cold on Cheetah Plains.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Tayla found us some viewing time with the popular Styx pride and their adorable cubs, who have stolen all our hearts. The youngest cubs were furiously nursing from their mother (the lionesses having just returned from a short attempt at catching an impala) while the older ones were much more playful - more interested in finding sticks to chew than cuddling up to mom.

[Screenshot: Agnes Zsiga‎]

Most active of the apex predators today was the Sands Pack and in the last of the golden light, WE followed them on a hunt and then watched them polish off an nyala kill. There was some play fighting amongst the dogs for dominance - but the rest of the bush went silent, as if mourning the loss of a fellow animal.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]


Tuesday 25 April

Having been so inactive the day before, we caught a brief glimpse of Vutomi before he pulled a vanishing act from Cheetah Plains,  possibly in search of someplace warmer. Later on the evening drive however, it was revealed he had not warmth but nourishment on his mind when Jamie discovered him diving for terrapins. While the water must have been quite chilly, it was a successful end to the day for little Vutomi with his terrapin supper.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown‎]

Tingana was also on the prowl this evening, creeping up on herds of zebra and impala as he
scent marked his crossing from Djuma into Chitwa. We lost him as he moved off into the night, his saws growing softer as he treaded out of Chitwa alerting others of his territory.

[Screenshot: Agnes Zsiga‎]


Wednesday 26 April

After a lonely week apart, Xongile and Hosana were found walking down Gowrie Main before giving us the royal slip.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown‎]


Thursday 27 April

Today WE celebrated the birth of safariLIVE 10 years ago. How fitting then that our cat sighting of the day was Vutomi, whose name means ‘life’ in Shangaane - the morning sun turning his still fluffy coat to gold as day broke on Cheetah Pans and Wild Earth welcomed in another year of live safari drives.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown‎]

Thursday, 27 April 2017

WE are 10




WildEarth began broadcasting LIVE safaris 10 years ago today on the 27th April 2007.

It has been a roller coaster journey with many ups and downs but an absolute privilege to be on a mission to connect people around the world with our wildlife.

In the beginning WE could only afford to have 80 people watching at a time and we all remember how our loyal viewers would have to rush to "jump on the back of the The Tank". There were false starts and a period when we had to stop broadcasting, but today WildEarth is stronger than ever and safariLIVE is growing from strength to strength.

WE are very grateful for the incredible support from you our viewers over this long and wonderful journey. Often it was only knowing that you were out there watching us and egging us on that kept us going. Truly there would be no safariLIVE today were it not for your unfailing support and unwavering faith in this simple but magical experience.

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(Image Credit: Brent Leo-Smith, Djuma)

Today we celebrate all that WE have achieved, all the trials and tribulations, all those that have run with us for a while but have now moved on, all those viewers that are no longer with us and all that the future promises.

WE also launch our new WildEarth merchandise shop at shop.wildearth.tv where you can buy various branded T-shirts and other items. There are also a few shirts celebrating our first 10 years LIVE with a drawing of one of our safariLIVE vehicles on the back. The drawing was done by Rebecca Moolman.

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Rebecca is the daughter of Pippa and Jurie Moolman, the owners of Djuma. Without the incredible and unwavering support from Pippa and Jurie throughout the years we would not be here today. A very special thank you to them.

WE 10th birthday drawing.jpg

All the proceeds from the shop will go towards our commitment to keep connecting you to wildlife ... it’s in our nature.

Today (Thursday 27th April) we will be doing a fireside chat in honour of the ten years we have been broadcasting. We have put together a short video where we hear from some of our viewers about what the journey has meant for them. Also our current presenters will be showing you clips from their first ever safariLIVE drives. Please join us to celebrate our 10th birthday.

Please see the start times for the WE birthday FSC for your time zone below:


safariLIVE
CAT
BST
EDT
PDT
Fireside Chat
Start: 18:15 pm
End: 18:30 pm
Start: 17:15 pm
End: 17:30 pm
Start: 12:15 pm
End: 12:30 pm
Start: 09:15 am
End:09:30 am

Friday, 21 April 2017

The Cat Report: 14 April - 21 April

Friday, 14 April

Xongile was found stalking impala on Gowrie Main. Darkness fell quickly and WE didn’t see her make a kill but left her hunting in the rain. 

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]


Saturday, 15 April

Just past Cheetah Plains, camouflaged in long, long grass, Thandi and Thamba had hidden an impala kill (possibly from the day before). Keeping a watchful eye, Thandi and Thamba ate their fill.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]


Sunday 16 April

WE witnessed a very playful mother and cub interaction between Thamba and Thandi around a termite mound, in the same area we had found them the day before.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

On the appropriately named Cheetah Plains, the Cheetah Brothers were stalking impala. After being spotted by the impala they gave chase anyway then sat down and simply watched them.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Leopardess Shadow was found with her new cub on Philemon’s cutline, with Shadow giving the most heartwarming display of a mother’s love. At one point Shadow sensed danger, and gave a snarl to warn her cub into hiding. 

[Screenshot: Anna McDougald]

Love was in the air this evening between a Nkuhuma lioness and Birmingham Boy Tinyo. Having paired off and been flat cats for most of the afternoon there was a brief display of mating at the end of the sunset drive.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]


Monday 17 April

The mating pair from last night, Birmingham Boy Tinyo and the Nkuhuma lioness, were found having satisfied the two main interests of a lion’s life - that of food and that of procreation - with not one but two kills on Tripple M South. While lions do not often hunt during periods of courtship, they are opportunistic creatures and the sight of a sub adult zebra with foal must have been too good a circumstance to let slip by.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Xongile, having been harassed by a troop of baboons on Djuma Dam on the sunrise safari, had to leave her fresh supply of terrapin in search of another food source. On the sunset drive, Jamie followed her intuition as to where Xongile might go and WE had the most amazing glimpse of the young leopardess leaping from tree to tree in hot pursuit of an agile bushbaby. It was a lost battle but what a sight!

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]


Tuesday 18 April

WE were treated to an incredible sighting of a pack of Wild dogs feeding off a fresh nyala kill. James estimated the dogs couldn’t have brought it down more than fifteen minutes earlier but already most of the antelope had been devoured. A pack of 3-4 adults and some youngsters, they displayed some of intense social interactions typical amongst these tight-knit pack animals, with much sniffing and muzzle licking as well as some playful mating behaviour between two of the yearlings.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Further north, impala alarm calling interrupted Birmingham Boy Mfumo’s afternoon catnap.  

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]


Wednesday 19 April

The lions roared last night and sunrise began with the good news that Xongile had caught a duiker and hoisted her fine kill up a tree.

Tingana, in his spectacular camouflage, was discovered in repose in the long grasses of Vessels, at that time of day when a leopard begins his territorial patrol. There was a bit of yawning, followed by some sawing - vocalizing his sovereignty with the utmost of confidence. 

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

On the sunset Safari, WE sat for a bit with a Birmingham Boy who was flat but awake. He gave some smooth roars, provoking James into calling him the Cliff Richard of lions. It didn’t look like he was hungry, or preparing for a night on the hunt - but more that he was calling out and waiting for some answers. 

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]


Thursday 20 April

Dawn broke with the sad news that Xongile lost her duiker kill to one of the Birmingham Boys.

Later, on the low in the lowveld, Jamie spied on the Cheetah Brothers passing through Cheetah Plains.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]


Friday 21 April

South of the dam on Chitwa Dams, WE spent some time sitting with the lonesome Thamba who lay curled up in a ball while waiting for his hunting mother.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Saturday, 15 April 2017

WE are Expanding into the Mara

WE are Expanding into the Mara



safariLIVE is expanding and in the next month or two. You will be able to follow the animal characters of the Masai Mara in Kenya as well as your favourites in the Sabi Sands in South Africa.
Some of the team are packing up their binoculars, spot lights, cameras and toothbrushes, polishing their East African wildlife knowledge, getting on a plane and making the great migration to the Masai Mara in Kenya. James, Jamie, Stef and Brent along with some other crew members are embarking on a new adventure.



Tayla, Tristan, Byron and Ale along with many others will remain at Djuma initially but they too will be going to the Mara later on. This means that your daily LIVE safari’s will now be brought to you from not just one but two of the best wilderness areas in the world.


The Maasai Mara can be found in the southwestern parts of Kenya.  The savannah wilderness is not constricted by fences or boundaries allowing the animals to wander wildly and freely. This is not only good for the wildlife but it also allows people to respectfully roam freely.



Millions of wildebeest, Thomson's gazelles and zebras move in mass herds from the Serengeti in Tanzania into the Maasai Mara and back again throughout the year. WE think that this is a spectacular, not-to-be-missed experience and want to share it with you - after all it is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.


safariLIVE has been preparing to launch its new operations in the Mara for a while. We are nearly ready to start broadcasting and tests should start in early May.
Just remember that nothing will change for you. There will still be two three hour LIVE safari’s everyday but instead of them only coming from the Sabi Sands now they will come from the Masai Mara as well.



This means a plethora of new animals to meet and a whole new ecosystem to learn about. It’s going to be a real adventure and we are excited to bring it to you LIVE and daily.
Below is a checklist of things to remember for the upcoming Migration! Get your pens out and start ticking!




Things to Remember:

  1. Start an East African  Mammal / Bird / Butterfly / Tracks list
  2. Start new Animal Character folders
  3. The Annual Great Migration happens from early June - Mid October
  4. Broadcasts from Kenya start in early June
  5. Djuma will be broadcasting as usual twice daily, every day and from early June we will add the Mara.
  6. Most of all, have fun!

Friday, 14 April 2017

The Cat Report: 07 April - 14 April

Friday, 07 April

WE paid another visit to the Nkuhuma pride to see how they had gotten on with their meal. Having spent most of the day feasting on the diminishing buffalo kill they were stretched out contentedly, stomachs expanded to the maximum, breathing heavily to release the excess heat generated from another scorching day in Sabi Sands.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Saturday, 08 April

Two spots on Gowrie Cutline gave away the stealthy Mvula on the Sunrise Safari. Having surreptitiously concealed his impala kill in the long grass, the tired old chap had taken his chances on a morning nap.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Meanwhile our dominant male leopard, Tingana, sought his own victory on Arathusa. Flat on his stomach in hunting posture, he had watched a herd of impala until they spotted him. Undeterred, Tignana moved on - expressing both disdain and declaring dominance with a low deep saw.

 
[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Saturday ended with the Nkuhumas who had all but finished their buffalo kill. After being thoroughly amused by the cubs being scrappy as to who should get the leftovers, we left them bonding and grooming under a waxing moon.

 [Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Sunday, 09 April

Xongile’s search for her mother led her to Ribbon’s den on Sunday morning. A potentially dangerous place to be, the clever girl avoided risk by climbing up a nearby tree.


[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

There was much excitement when, less than a kilometre away, WE chanced upon her brother Hosana, who was distressing a family of warthog on their way to wallow in some water. It was clear from his robust appearance that he had been successful in feeding off the smaller offerings of the bush following his mother’s disappearance.

 
[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Tingana was caught red handed in a tree with Mvula’s stolen impala, with two opportunistic hyenas parked off in the shade below hoping for some meaty droppings.

 
[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Monday, 10 April

On the sunrise safari WE were treated to a magnificent sighting of Thandi and her cub Thamba posing together on a fallen tree, with a recent kill of theirs stashed nearby.  Like most of Thandi’s offspring, Thamba has grown into an absolutely beautiful young male leopard.


[Screenshot: Lily Brown]  

Xongile was spotted in the morning on Vuyatela Dam, looking like she was on the hunt for more terrapin. Later she demonstrated her improving hunting skills by successfully catching a water monitor lizard.
 
[Screenshot: Ann Del Tredici‏]

The day ended with Tingana (who had napped and cleaned for most of the afternoon) out on patrol of his large territory.

 
[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Tuesday, 11 April

WE had an exciting start to the day when James discovered lion tracks belonging to BB Boys Nhenha and Mfumo.

Thandi and her not so little cub Thamba were found again on Chitwa, still with their kill. Thamba was not as playful as he had been the day before and Thandi got irritated by the flies and snarling when they nipped her nose and ears.

 
[Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Leopard tracks were also discovered. WE suspected them to belong to Xongile following in Tingana’s footprints from a distance.

 
[Screenshot: James Richard]

Byron found Nhenha and Mfumo fast asleep near Galago Waterhole. They must have been tired from their evening patrol and barely stirred when a young elephant bull passed by.

 [Screenshot: Lily Brown]

Wednesday, 12 April

Leopards Inkanyeni and her son Vutomi were found hiding up two trees, having been chased by a pack of wild dogs. While the chances of a vicious conflict had been high, the wild dogs moved on and the cats climbed down from their trees. Both cats appeared to be suffering from crushing fatigue, as common in the aftermath of a huge shock. Vutomi especially looked exhausted by the incident.

 
[Screenshot: Jennifer ]

Hosana was found at Twin Dams, looking like he might be hunting terrapins. In uncharacteristic leopard hunting technique,  he made a run at a herd of impala who were all too big for him.

 
[Screenshot: Lily Brown ]

Thursday, 13 April

Brent started the day with good news and bad news. Good news being that the royal siblings Xongile and Hosana have reunited and the bad news that  they had crossed out of our area and we would not be seeing them.

Tingana, who had been on the move a lot this week, appeared to be taking it easy after a busy night patrolling and marking his territory.


[Screenshot: Lily Brown]  

We spent some time following the Nkuhuma pride along the main road MMM before they gave us the slip and disappeared with the fading of light into long grass.

 
[Screenshot: Lily Brown]  

Friday, 14 April

Thandi and Thamba were found on Chitwa finishing off a steenbok kill.  They shared a tender moment post meal before crossing over into Milwanini.

[Screenshot: Sherrie ]