Friday, 26 May 2017

A royal celebration in honor of the missing Queen!



As many of you will know by now, our great Queen, Karula, has been absent from our LIVE safaris for just over two months. With no trace of her being reported anywhere the chances of ever finding our beloved queen dwindle each day she is gone. At 13 years old Karula has certainly lived a full and happy life in the wilderness. She is one of the most triumphant leopards to have ever lived in the Sabi Sands, successfully raising 10 cubs to independence.

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(Image Credit: Tayla McCurdy, Sabi Sand, Djuma)

It is possible she may have moved territories and might be denning with a new litter of cubs as you read this. However, this is extremely unlikely as it is unusual for a female leopard to leave her 17 month old cubs, Hosana and Xongile, to fend for themselves. These two cubs were not quite ready to take the wilderness head on when Karula disappeared, yet their progress has been a cause of hope for many.

It may be that Karula was taken unaware by a foreign male leopard, an angry male lion or her old arch enemy, the hyena. She may have fallen to the same fate as the late Kwatile and been bitten by a venomous snake. With no trace of her anywhere and with no carcass, it is difficult to say for sure.

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(Image Credit” Louise Pavid, Sabi Sand, Djuma)

In her absence WE have decided to celebrate our great Queen with a Fireside Chat to be held on Sunday 28 May in the last 15 minutes of the sunset safari. Presenters James, Jamie and Tristan are going to relive their favourite moments spent with the her spotted royal highness.

On top of that WE have pieced together a look at Karula’s life over the years, as she graced the safariLIVE cameras with her presence.

WE have produced a special Karula T shirt and for the next 6 days you can buy it here: teespring.com/karula All proceeds will go towards more exciting improvements at WildEarth.

Join us, this Sunday, 28 May to celebrate the life of Queen Karula in true royal fashion!

Please see the table below for Fireside Chat start times in your time zone:


safariLIVE
CAT
BST
EDT
PDT
Sunset Safari  Fireside Chat
Start: 17:45pm
End: 18:00pm
Start: 16:45pm
End: 17:00pm
Start: 11:45am
End: 12:00pm
Start: 08:45am
End: 09:00am

The Cat Report: 19 - 26 May 2016

Saturday 20 May

As the chilly night relented, the sunrise was welcomed on the Arathusa grasslands by the shivering WE crew. As WE were enjoying the golden sunrise, we were met with the golden gaze of the beautiful leopardess, Shadow, alert and on the lookout for potential danger or perhaps prey.

Shadow’s alert outline was soon not the solitary spot pattern to be illuminated against the grassy backdrop. A smaller bouncing bundle of spots soon made it’s appearance in the grass not far behind her.

Soon mom was on the move again, cub in tow and they soon disappeared from view leaving WE with warm hearts and good memories for the workday ahead.

In the golden hue of the evening sunlight, Shadow and her cub were still resting in the vicinity where they we left them earlier in the day. Shadow was resting in the shade of a tree keeping an eye out for her curious cub and protecting her fresh duiker kill. She wasn’t in the mood to entertain when WE found her and peacefully dozed by the time we departed.

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(Shadow and cub, Screenshot Credit: Anna McDougald‏, safariLIVE, Arathusa Red Dam)


Caturday truly lived up to its name when Tingana’s muscular form appeared out of the brush we were heading home from drive. He was nonchalantly walking along the road stopping occasionally to mark his territory, reminding animal and human  who is king in these lands. Belly bulging from a recent kill he lazily walked into the thicker bushes to end off the show in true Caturday fashion.


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(Tingana, Screenshot Credit: Payton Payne, safariLIVE, Djuma - Mamba road)



Tuesday 23 May 2017

After a couple of days with no cats in sight, one of the Birmingham boys, Nenha, decided to start the morning off by wandering nonchalantly across our path to our delight, breaking our three day cat fast. His muscular form and golden mane provided a good appetiser to the days cat line up. He only gave us a brief glimpse of himself before disappearing into the the drainage line and heading North.

As WE were heading out on the PM drive WE were hopeful to find our Birmingham Boy, Nenha, on the sunset safari. After a desperate search and several attempts at finding the king of the grasslands, WE managed to find the big boy….on foot. It was a breathtaking,  exhilarating and slightly frightening encounter!


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(Nenha, Screenshot Credit: Arran Hallas, safariLIVE, Djuma - North)


We were also greeted with an elegant outline perched upon a termite mound. The cat, which was later identified as Thandi, was alert and sniffing the air. She marked bushes intermittently as she moved about. She was clearly agitated being so far from her son, Thamba. The daughter of Karula made us chuckle fondly as we remarked that following her reminded us of following her mother Karula. The slender spotted form quickly moved down and around the termite mound and we had to bundu bash to keep up. Before long she eluded us and was on the move again.



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(Thandi, Screenshot Credit: Arran Hallas, safariLIVE,Gowrie main - Cheetah Cutline)



After seeing Thandi we were surprised to find her son Thamba relaxing in a tree not far from herself. The young leopard has grown quite a bit since WE last encountered him and he seems to get more and more handsome as time progresses. The beautiful grandson of Karula presented us with a stunning vista posed against the bright blue sky, on occasion raising his head from his comfortable position, no doubt on the lookout for mum who was not far off. Thamba got up to show of his stunning silhouette against the skyline moving with the grace his mother and grandmother’s genetics has endowed upon him. He returned to his comfortable perch as WE reluctantly left his side at the end of the drive.

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(Thamba, Screenshot Credit: John, safariLIVE,Gowrie main - Cheetah Cutline)


When darkness fell, a lion’s call could be heard in the distance. Likely the call of one of Nenha’s Birmingham Brothers. Nhena bellowed over the grasslands as a spectacular answer that reminds all the inhabitants of the surrounding bushveld who is indeed the king. Nenha rolled onto his back and then promptly got to his feet...possibly to assist his brother in the pursuits of the night. Where was that juicy buffalo again?

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(Nenha, Screenshot Credit: Payton Payne, safariLIVE,Weavers nest Junction)


Wednesday 24 May 2017

The morning dawned bright and cold, WE shivering set out on another search for our beloved felines. Tingana made a brief appearance early on giving us a glimpse of his golden form in the thick bush and sending us bundu bashing until WE lost track of him.

Later on the drive a vague outline appeared in the grass, barely visible, once again demonstrating the effectiveness of the leopard camouflage. There was some debate as to the identity of the cat as it was lying facing away from the camera. When it eventually looked up WE were surprised to see Tingana once again. The big muscular male rose to his feet, clearly irritated that WE managed to find him hiding in the grass. After a short pursuit, Tingana decided to ignore his admirers finding himself a more comfortable piece of grass to lounge on and commence the morning grooming session. WE eventually left him when he decided to lie down in a semi-comatose state which is the norm for the big felines during the daylight hours.
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(Tingana, Screenshot Credit: Canadian Emily, safariLIVE,Treehouse Dam)

Tingana made yet another appearance in the golden hours of the setting sun, his muscular form strutting down the road and marking his territory as WE and some of the other surrounding game reserve guests followed suit. As the sun began to set, he started sawing. His deep voice booming across the African landscape announcing his presence predators and prey alike.


Thursday 25 May 2017

Dawn broke in a chorus of birdsong serenading unbeknownst to them, the romantic dance between two lion lovers as it were. TInyo was found in pursuit of a young mystery lioness. As she moved along, he followed suit not long after. For a moment he paused in his amorous pursuit to pose atop a termite mound looking absolutely regal in a real life lion king moment. The lovers ambled along and eventually settled for the day in a patch of comfy grass. WE left to their romantic nap in the hopes of returning on the PM drive to find them consummating their romantic morning meander.
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(Tinyo, Screenshot Credit: Patricia Scott, safariLIVE,Treehouse Dam)

The afternoon rolled in, bringing with it the golden hue of the lowveld afternoon. Adding to the golden afternoon were two sets of golden eyes that chose to join us for  a short stroll along the Cheetah cutline to start off the afternoon drive. WE found Thandi wandering along the Cheetah cutline path, she was shortly joined by her beautiful male cub, Thamba, bounding up to her before giving WE a unified salute and disappearing into the thick bush for the afternoon.


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(Thandi and Thamba, Screenshot Credit: Saara, safariLIVE, Cheetah cutline)

Just when WE thought we had our quota of Leopards for the afternoon, we stumbled upon Inkanyeni accidentally. The regal female was marking her territory and spoiled us a model pose in the road before moving to a patch of grass to rest in before dusk settled. WE left her dozing happily in the golden sunlight before moving on to search for other animals as the dusk began to blanket the plains.

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(Inkanyeni, Screenshot Credit: Verona C, safariLIVE, Cheetah road - Cheetah plains)

26 May 2017

The morning dawned misty and cool in the greater kruger casting an eerie appearance over the grasslands.  The Nkuhuma pride were on the move appearing invigorated by the cooler weather. When WE found them, the cubs were playing and wrestling one another while lioness mothers gazed upon their young fondly. The cubs went from climbing trees to bounding about. On occasion, the lionesses would be on the move and the cubs would follow suit..

The playful banter was interrupted by a movement in the thick bush that caught the lionesses attention. The lionesses were suddenly alert and the cubs could pick up on the more serious stature their mother’s body language had assumed. The youngsters watched attentively as the lionesses demeanor evolved into a hunting posture.

WE spent the morning following the pride through the thick bush as they trailed behind a potential prey that was invisible to human senses. WE had to give up the chase when the pride disappeared into bush that was too thick for our vehicles to traverse.

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(Nkuhuma pride, Screenshot Credit: Payton Payne, safariLIVE, Djuma - Sandy Patch)

If our drive wasn’t interesting enough with all the cats around WE were excited to hear that the Wild dogs were also in the vicinity and we rushed to their whereabouts and found them on a fresh impala kill, or what was left of it anyway. The dogs were playing around the carcass and showed all the endearing traits WE has come to love about these sociable creatures. Far too soon our turn to view them was over and WE had to move on. What a magnificent start to the day.

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(Sands Breakaway pack, Screenshot Credit: Jason Jones, safariLIVE, Arathusa - Near Airstrip)

Friday, 19 May 2017

Cat Report 12 - 19 May 2017

Friday 12 May

Friday’s sunset safari and another cat week began with the leopardess Salayexe, who was reclining in the tree as she fed off her impala kill. At one point she climbed down, calling out (possibly her two year old cub Tiyani, who remained unseen but nearby) and sniffing constantly at the ground, before jogging quickly back to the carcass.

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(Salayexe, Screenshot Credit: Chantelle De Villiers, safariLIVE, Arathusa - South of airstrip)

Xongile, all graceful lines and gorgeous spots, was sitting on the dam wall at Vuyatela after attempting a hunt she settled for the evening.

Saturday 13 May

The now not so little prince Hosana was doing some aquatic hunting on Djuma (something him and his sister have become very good at) - leaping from puddle to puddle in search for unsuspecting terrapin. Active and on the move, WE lost him along the Milwati.

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(Hosana, Screenshot Credit: Denise Diorio, safariLIVE, Djuma Milwati)

Monday 15 May

Vutomi, Inkanyeni’s young, male cub decided to briefly grace the grasslands with his presence as he was attempting to elude anything or anyone’s gaze. After a long tracking session, WE managed to catch a glimpse of his slender figure through the long grass, as he was making his way toward Nkhoro melting into his surroundings once more he ventured on to the Nkhoro grasslands.

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(Vutomi, Screenshot Credit: Chantelle De Villiers, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains - Boundering Nkhoro)

Tuesday 16 May

As the afternoon sun glowed orb-like creating a glow across the Cheetah plains landscape, the stage was perfectly set for the honeymoon couple to engage in their amorous endeavours amongst the tall grass. WE caught up to the lovers in their grassy honeymoon suite where they were lying. Young Quarantine was completely oblivious to the onlookers as he was captivated by Inkanyeni’s grace and prowess. She would dance about him upon occasion, as leopards do, to entice him into mating with her. Quarantine was so enamoured with her that she barely had to touch him and he would be more than happy to oblige her request. They continued engaging one another in this leopard lovers dance, only resting occasionally when WE moved on to Further explore the African plains.

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(Inkanyeni and Quarentine, Screenshot Credit: Sierra, safariLIVE, Cheetah plains boundering Nkorho)

Wednesday 17 May

Wednesday morning, one of our favourite Birmingham boys,Tinyo, was found basking in morning glow. His mane was shining with the morning dew drops embellishing his golden mess of a mane. Nothing seemed to bother or stir this Birmingham boy from his slumber. He was fast asleep dozing as only the king of the grasslands could. WE left Tinyo in the hopes of revisiting him in the evening and finding a more activity on his part.

Upon returning to Tinyo with the late afternoon fading into early evening, Tinyo was still stationary in his aforementioned position. The large feline had failed to move even an inch during the day and did not move a muscle. He was insisting on lulling his audience into the same slumber he so enjoyed.

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(Tinyo, Screenshot Credit: Payton Pay, safariLIVE, Chitwa - Near Airstrip)

Saturday, 13 May 2017

safariLIVE time change 16 May 2017



Well safarians winter is finally upon us and that means one final time change as we delve into the cooler months of the year. Dawn breaks over the African wilderness ever later, the dawn chorus is lulling as migrants and fledglings spread their wings to soar to faraway places, and the safariLIVE crew’s alarm clocks will resound through camp 30 minutes later than they are at the moment. On May 16 we will be heading out on fresh, misty mornings 30 minutes later for the sunrise safari.

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(Image Credit: Louise Pavid, Djuma, Sabi Sand)

WE do this to ensure you have the best seat in Africa at the best times of day when the animals are up to the best wilderness antics. To make sure you never miss a moment of safari please see the table below for the sunrise safari schedule changes in your time zone.

safariLIVE
CAT
BST
EDT
PDT
Sunrise Safari
Start: 06:30am
End: 09:30am
Start: 05:30am
End: 08:30am
Start: 00:30am
End: 03:30am
Start: 21:30pm
End: 00:30am
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, 12 May 2017

The Cat Report: 5 May - 12 May

Friday 05 May

The week kicked off with the young prince Hosana and his prized impala kill. WE caught up with him at the end of Sunset Safari as he secured his carcass in the boughs of a tall tree.

[Screenshot: Lily Brown‎]


Saturday 06 May

Hosana was a flat cat for most of the day, panting heavily as he digested his impala kill in lush green thickets beneath a tree. As dusk approached he rose and moved towards the dam, possibly wanting for a drink of water.

[Screenshot: Di Priem]


Wednesday 10 May

Reports had flooded in after an aggressive encounter between the young prince and the dominant male in the early hours of Sunday morning. Loud growls were accompanied by dashing steps as the cats confronted each other. WE searched for both cats following the drama (some of which had been captured on the dam cam) but it was only on Wednesday afternoon during the sunset safari that Hosana was finally found lying in tip-top shape on the wall along Treehouse dam- unscarred from his tussle with Tingana but weary with the knowledge that he’s treading on another cat’s territory (walked past a herd of impala and did not react).

[Screenshot: Lily Brown‎]


Thursday 11 May

Hosana was found, still resting up at Treehouse dam. He then took us through some dense vegetation on the sunset safari, performing the same evasive skills his mother Karula was so adept at. Once again, WE were astounded at just how well he has coped with premature independence and developed the skills necessary of a solitary cat. Already a master of the sleek leopard walk, he faded away into long grass to hunt, beautifully suiting the autumn colour scheme of the Sabi Sands.

[Screenshot: Karen Gilliam]

Tristan had raced off to Cheetah Plains to see what surprises the far east had to offer and there, also moving through the yellowing grasses of autumn, was another spotted cat - the Cheetah Brothers. They appeared to be on the lookout for food, heading north along the Mala Mala boundary towards another open clearing, but they must have already walked quite a bit today, for they stopped to catch their breath and sat low on the plains while they waited for the twilight hours of the dusk.

[Screenshot: Karen Gilliam]


Friday 12 May

This report’s Cat week ended with the striking Salayexe, a female leopard WE have not seen in a long time. With an impala kill hoisted in the tree above her, she settled quite close to us, relaxed but also alert to the fact the there might be other leopards on Arathusa.

[Screenshot: James Richard]

Monday, 8 May 2017

safariLIVE May rehearsal schedule 2017



With another appearance on television screens across the US hurtling towards us, WE need to polish up and practice until our performance is perfect. That means WE will be having just a few private rehearsals in the week to come. While this does mean that you will miss a safari or two it also ensures that WE are able to give you only the best live safari experience!

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(Little lion cub gives mom a big hug, Image Credit: Brent Leo-Smith, Djuma, Sabi Sand)

WE will be having private rehearsals on the 11th, 12th and 13th of May. Trust us it will all be worth the wait! In a thank you to the crew for all the hard work that goes into these live productions, WE will also be cancelling the sunrise safari on May 15 to allow for some well deserved rest.

WE have got some truly exciting surprises in store for our marvelous Mother’s Day weekend safari extravaganza! WE will be going LIVE across the United States TV screens on Nat Geo WILD as well as all usual internet platforms on the 13th and 14th of May, celebrating mothers of all shapes and sizes!

Please see the table below for changes to the live safari schedule in your time zone:

Date
safariLIVE
CAT
BST
EDT
Date
PDT
11 May 2017
Sunrise Safari
Start: 06:00am
End: 09:00am
Start: 05:00am
End: 08:00am
Start: 00:00am
End: 03:00am
10 May 2017
Start: 21:00pm
End: 00:00am
Sunset Safari
PRIVATE REHEARSAL



11 May 2017

12 May 2017
Sunrise Safari
Start: 06:00am
End: 09:00am
Start: 05:00am
End: 08:00am
Start: 00:00am
End: 03:00am
11 May 2017
Start: 21:00pm
End: 00:00am
Sunset Safari
PRIVATE REHEARSAL



12 May 2017

13 May 2017
Sunrise Safari
PRIVATE REHEARSAL



12 May 2017

Sunset Safari
LIVE TO NG WILD
Start: 15:00pm
End: 17:00pm
Start: 14:00pm
End: 16:00pm
Start: 09:00am
End: 11:00am
13 May 2017
Start: 06:00am
End: 08:00am
14 May 2017
Sunrise Safari
Start: 06:00am
End: 09:00am
Start: 05:00am
End: 08:00am
Start: 00:00am
End: 03:00am
13 May 2017
Start: 21:00pm
End: 00:00am
Sunset Safari LIVE TO NG WILD
Start: 15:00pm
End: 17:00pm
Start: 14:00pm
End: 16:00pm
Start: 09:00am
End: 11:00am
14 May 2017
Start: 06:00am
End: 08:00am
15 May 2017
Sunrise Safari CANCELLED



14 May 2017

Sunset Safari
Start: 15:00pm
End: 18:00pm
Start: 14:00pm
End: 17:00pm
Start: 09:00am
End: 12:00pm
15 May 2017
Start: 06:00am
End: 09:00am