Monday, 30 January 2017

safariLIVE Time Changes for February 2017

It’s time for a change safarians! The sun is rising later as we head into our late summer months and that means that sometimes it’s a little dark when we set out on our daily wilderness adventures. As of the 1st of February 2017 WE will be heading out on our sunrise safari 30 minutes later. This is to ensure you only get the best safari experience possible, WE always want to make sure you are out in the bush when the animals are at their most wild!

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

1 February
Sunrise Safari
5:30am - 8:30am
03:30am - 06:30am
22:30pm - 01:30pm
19:30pm - 22:30pm
Sunset Safari
16:00pm - 19:00pm
14:00pm - 17:00pm
09:00am - 12:00pm
06:00am - 09:00am

Friday, 27 January 2017

The Cat Report 20 - 27 January

Friday the 20th of January

This week’s cat report kicks off on a warm sunny afternoon. To the east the Styx pride had been found, only one lioness was present but her two fluffy little cubs were there to keep her company. The cubs suckled while mom snoozed in the shade away from the white hot light of the sun. Eventually mom decided it was time to retreat to the relative serenity of a nearby drainage line and the three tawny cats disappeared from sight.

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(Styx lioness resting in the shade, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains)

Back on Djuma, the royal family had been found in the same spot they had been left earlier. Karula spent most of the afternoon fast asleep with her graceful daughter Xongile. Hosana slept a little way off on a cool, damp patch of mud next to a murky and shallow wallow. Later as the sunset cast golden light across the lowveld Karula and Xongile took up sentinel on a fallen marula tree, the two regal females struck the most iconic of vistas against the burnt orange sky.

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(A very Karula sunset, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Saturday the 21st of January

The day roared into action with two of the Birmingham males. Tinyo and Mfumo had been found making their way through the northern section of the reserve. Not long after they were located they decided their evening travels were over and they settled for the all important day nap. The brothers nestled together in the ultimate display of brotherly love. That evening just as the sun had disappeared they roared together in unison before loping off into the darkness.

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(Mfumo telling Tinyo all about his busy day, Screenshot Credit: Marieke van Nistelrooij‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

In the heart of Djuma Karula and her young prince Hosana had been found reclining in the wide boughs of a large tree. Both spotted cats spent their morning attending to some personal grooming and a little beauty rest. Xongile was nowhere to be found, but the little princess is an expert at hiding herself in thick green bush. Later that afternoon only the great queen could be located. She was found sleeping soundly atop a large termite mound. Karula remained static for the whole of the afternoon and eventually her golden shape was swallowed by the darkness.

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(Karula getting some beauty sleep, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

On the opposite end of the scale from the sleeping cats was the highly energetic Lower Sabi breakaway pack of wild dogs. The two males and a single female sailed through the bush with agile speed. The dogs wound their way through thicket after thicket and eventually gave us the slip. In one last attempt to catch up with them, Brent sped around to the northern boundary. The dogs then popped out on cue and trotted gracefully down the dusty dirt road. After a few minutes tailing them they slipped off into Buffelshoek and left with with one last view of their fluffy white tails disappearing into the undergrowth.

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(Lower Sabi breakaway pack moving down the northern boundary, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Sunday the 22nd of January

A lazy Sunday morning began with some equally lazy lions. The single Styx lioness with her two cubs had been found on Chitwa Chitwa near the boundary of Cheetah Plains. The lioness rested her heavy eyes and paws as her two cubs suckled relentlessly. Later that afternoon the lions had made their way to the Cheetah Plains lodge where they spent an equally lazy afternoon drink and sleeping near a small muddy pan.

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(Hungry little Styx cubs suckling from their sleepy mother, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Chitwa Chitwa)

Back on Djuma, Nenha, one of the lesser seen Birmingham Boys had pulled off quite a feat. In the dark hours of the night he had managed to bring down an adult buffalo all on his own, a display of strength and power that could not be matched by many other animals. By the time we caught up with him he was taking a much needed rest.

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(Nenha resting up in the shade, Screenshot Credit: Louise Pavid, safariLIVE, Djuma)

A little further to the south the young leopardess princess, Xongile, had been located resting in a tree. She soon became bored and descended as gracefully as she could. She frolicked in the verdant grass before clambering up yet another large marula where she slowly dozed off in the warm afternoon.

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(A dozy Xongile naps away the afternoon in a marula tree, Screenshot Credit: Louise Pavid, safariLIVE, Djuma)

On the far eastern boundary of Djuma her mother, Karula, had been found mobile and on the hunt. Her cavernous belly a clear indication that it was most certainly time for another meal. Karula wove her way through the thickets before eventually stopping to rest. Once the sun began to set she was up and off, her golden rosetted pelt melting perfectly into the darkness.

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(Queen Karula resting before the hunt, Screenshot Credit: Louise Pavid, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Monday the 23rd of January

Well it would seem the Queen had a successful night of hunting as the next day Hosana was found feeding voraciously on a fully grown impala ram. Karula had left her young son at the scene while she went in search of Xongile. Soon enough mother and daughter returned to the kill. Hosana slunk off to sulk in a nearby tree as both Karula and Xongile fed to their hearts delight. Later that afternoon the cubs rested their full bellies in dense shaded bushes while Karula fed and groomed. A truly idyllic scene then played out as a small herd of elephants walked through the clearing where the leopards had been enjoying their meal. The elephants grazed peacefully as the leopard family watched on. But all good things must come to an end, the cats eventually moved on and lost us in a densely wooded block.

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(The young princess Xongile resting in a tree, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Back in the heart of Djuma Nenha had now been joined by two more of his brothers, Tinyo and Mfumo. All three male lions looked full to bursting as their beachball shaped stomachs heaved with each labored breath in the warm sunlight. The lazy trio spent most of the day sleeping in various scattered patches of shade, once the sun had set they showed signs of life once again. All three rose and looked to be moving on, but that was a far cry from the truth - instead the massive tawny cats relieved their bladders and flopped in a great heap of reddish-black mane.

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(Three of the Birmingham males waking up for the evening, Screenshot Credit: Hélène van Dijk, safariLIVE, Djuma)‎

Tuesday the 24th of January

Another wonderful warm African day was spent with the royal family while they finished off their impala kill. Karula was found making her way to a small pan for an afternoon drink, she rested a while in the shade as a large warthog joined her for an afternoon swim. Eventually Karula made her way back to the carcass and her cubs. She fed viciously on what remained of the impala ram and soon gave way her spot for an equally ravenous Xongile.

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(Queen Karula quenching her thirst, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Chitwa Chitwa)

Further east on the great wide open clearings of Cheetah Plains were our two favourite cheetah brothers. Initially all WE could see of the planet’s fastest mammal was a black and gold ear flicking periodically behind a bush. Yet as the sun set the brother arose and gracefully strode across the Mala Mala boundary and onto Cheetah Plains. Their coats reflected the golden light of the sunset as the glided across the clearings. Eventually they came to rest for the evening just as the sun disappeared.

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(The cheetah brothers making their way across the great open plains, Screenshot Credit: Kim Powers Blackley‎, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains)

Wednesday the 25th Of January

Another bright dawn greeted the wilderness and in the most elegant fashion with another sighting of the cheetah brothers. They hadn’t moved much since the previous evening and spent a great deal of time lying flat on a cool sandy road in the shade.

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(Cheetah brothers relaxing in the shade, Screenshot Credit: Joshua Gross, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains)

Back on Djuma another safariLIVE favourite popped up out of nowhere. Tingana had been found slowly making his way through Djuma in a westerly direction. He walked and rested continually through the morning until we eventually left him to his daily business. That evening WE were able to catch up with him once again on Arathusa. He was sleeping soundly in a large marula. Once the sun had set he yawned, stretched and roared out his resonating territorial saw before descending the large tree. The then ambled off into the darkness on his nightly patrol.

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(Tingana waking up after a hard day of napping, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Arathusa)

Tingana however was not our only spotted surprise for the afternoon. After investigating Karula’s impala kill site and discovering a carpet of hyaena tracks in the area it became clear the leopards had moved off, but not far however. Karula was found resting up at a small pan just across the boundary on Chitwa Chitwa. She spent the afternoon resting on the cool damp mud at the water’s edge. As the afternoon wore on she was visited by a young elephant bull who came for a drink and a mud bath. Neither animal was in the least concerned by the other and once the elephant moved off Karula was off to sleep once again.

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(Karula resting up in some shady grass near a waterhole, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Chitwa Chitwa)

Thursday the 26th of January

The morning was off to a great start with three of the Birmingham males and one Nkuhuma lioness. The big cats had managed to bring down a small buffalo cow in the darkest hours of the night and spent the remainder of the evening hours feeding hungrily. By the time WE had caught up with them there were full bellied and content. Later that afternoon it seemed the lioness had returned to her pride but Tinyo, Nsuku and Nenha were all sleeping off their beefy breakfast. They remained static with bursting bellies for the entire afternoon and well into the night.

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(A full to bursting Nsuku gazes at us with his golden eyes, Screenshot Credit: Ravi Teja, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Just to the south and west of the Birmingham males were two Styx lionesses and their scruffy little cubs. The cats were mobile for the first part of the morning, mom and sister strode along while the cubs worked their stubby little legs to keep up. Eventually the lionesses stopped and lay down, the cubs seized the moment for a long sweet suckle. They then spent the entirety of the day reclined in the road appreciating the cool and overcast weather.

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(Styx pride and cubs on their morning walk, Screenshot Credit: Gail Murphy, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Friday the 27th of January

Another roaring start to the morning, quite literally as WE caught up with Nenha yet again. We found him slowly making his way south. He stopped and called out a number of times on his journey in search of his brothers. While on the way he attempted a stalk on a small breeding herd of buffalo, however after realising how many angry bulls stood between him and his potential breakfast, he thought better of the idea. He then continued his trek south and eventually came to rest under a thick leafy bush on Arathusa.

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(Nenha on his morning prowl, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

#safariLIVE Viewer Profile: Norman Hunter

Norman Hunter sent in a photo of his safariLIVE Viewing Station - a cockpit of sorts, with everything an avid safarian needs to enjoy their favourite wildlife show. And WE have to say, it would make any of us jealous.

"Starting on the upper left is computer #1 logged into my Twitter account. For sending in questions.  Below that is my safariLIVE shirt. The proper attire for watching safariLIVE. Just to the left of the shirt is my safariLIVE mug. The only thing to use for some hot tea while watching. Above that is computer #2 with the safariLIVE live stream running on it. To the right of that is computer #3 with the live stream from the Djuma waterhole cam. There might be something on it that needs to be reported. Just below that is computer #4, a Chromebook that also has the safariLIVE live stream. It is for taking any necessary breaks. Like for snacks or the bathroom."

Norman's personal Final Control is born out of a love of wildlife and technology. The retiree has used his free time to not only volunteer at his local library, but also dedicate himself to watching and participating in the drives.

He found safariLIVE on YouTube by searching for wildlife and animal content, specifically eagles. He found a webcam that piqued his interest. "It was watching a bald eagle nest. From that I looked for other live cams and found you."

His favourite sighting to date has to be the surprising instance of a chameleon in a Birmingham male lion's mane. "I show the lion and chameleon to lots of people when I am out," he says. Norman is certainly a great, and passionate, ambassador for the safariLIVE drives.

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!

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

WE welcome Tristan as a new presenter at safariLIVE

Tristan Dicks is the latest bushveld expert to join the safariLIVE team. Born and raised in the big city of Johannesburg South Africa, a love of the bush was instilled in him early on. His grandparents were avid bush lovers and whenever the opportunity presented itself, they would whisk a young Tristan away to the Kruger National Park with them on holiday. His grandfather, John, was made an honorary ranger and this inspired Tristan’s love and interest in the Natural world.

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Once his schooling was complete he studied a Bachelor of Commerce degree specialising in Marketing at the University of Johannesburg. During his time at university Tristan would adventure to Kenya where he spent his time raising orphaned baby elephants. It was during these times when he realised a career in the corporate world was not for him and these incredulous experiences set his guiding career in motion.

(Image Credit: Tristan Dicks)

He began his training at Singita in 2009 and spent two years there gathering valuable best experience and knowledge. In 2011 he moved on to the northern Sabi Sand and began guiding at a new favourite spot of the safariLIVE family, Chitwa Chitwa. After two years of guiding there he moved as far south as you can go to Lion Sands on the Sabi River at the start of 2013. From there his adventures took him to the UK for approximately 8 months before love of Africa called him home. His first port of call once back on African soil was Sibambili where he guided for 18 months before deciding to join the safariLIVE family.

Tristan’s favourite animal to observe and spend time with in the bush is the iconic spotted cat WE have all come to love, the leopard. He finds their mysterious and elusive lives to be one of the most interesting stories out here. Their solitary nature and fearless approach to living in the harsh African wilderness has always captivated his interest.

(Image Credit: Tristan Dicks)

WE couldn’t be happier that Tristan has decided to lean his talent and wilderness expertise to the safariLIVE crew. One of the things he is most excited about is being able to learn from the myriad of experienced wildlife experts around him. He also looks forward to spending time with some of the smaller and less appreciated, yet no less amazing, animals of the African wild. Furthermore he shares the crew’s excitement about being able to share his incredible knowledge and experience with anyone from anywhere in the world on a LIVE, interactive safari.

Welcome to the team Tristan! WE can’t wait to go on all the adventures with you!

Friday, 20 January 2017

The Cat Report 13 - 20 January 2017

Friday the 13th of January

This week’s Cat Report limped into action with Nsuku, one of the Birmingham males. The large male lion spent his day resting in the relative shelter of a small bush near the Vuyatela dam, his walk was labored but there was no obvious injury to any of his legs. Every now and then he’d call forlornly to his fellow coalition mates then gaze hopefully into the wilderness straining his ears for a response. Eventually we left him to his evening business and later reports indicated he had hobbled his way east to Torchwood.

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(A forlorn and injured Nsuku gazes into the wilderness, Screenshot Credit: Agnes Zsiga‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

To the south a spotted surprise lay in store. Hosana and Xongile had been found resting up on a termite mound to the south of our boundary. The visual of the cats was not great, and the cubs lay in abject laziness and barely moved as the afternoon wore on.

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(Hosana wakes for a brief moment before turning over, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Saturday the 14th of January

The next morning the royal family returned to Djuma and settled into a small breakfast of freshly killed grey duiker.  The kill had been stashed in the high boughs of a large tree, the cubs took turns ascending the tree to feed while Karula fussed over her dirty paws and slept in the relative peace of another day in the wild. Later on that afternoon the cubs were found, flat as pancakes, near to the nearly-finished carcass.

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(Xongile resting in the tree tops, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

To the east, the ever-growing and extremely handsome Quarantine had been found on a massive kill. Quarantine spent the morning feasting to his heart’s delight, the kill itself was too big for him to gracefully hoist into a tree so instead he stashed it as best he could under a nearby bush. Once he had eaten his fill he spent the rest of the day relaxing on a termite mound.

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(Quarantine male leopard resting under a bush, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains)

Sunday the 15th of January

Morning arrived with a symphony of roars echoing through the bush. Tinyo had been found meandering along Twin Dams road slowly making his way north. Tinyo took a brief nap, but soon after he was up and at it again. By the time the afternoon rains fell he was making his way past the Djuma pan. He called a few more times before the rain hid him from sight.

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(Tinyo calling out to his brothers in the early light, Screenshot Credit: Linda McCaslin, safariLIVE, Djuma)

On the eastern boundary however Karula was found with intent gleaming in her golden eyes. Like a laser, she was focused on a herd of hapless impala. Her initial stalk was foiled and she then lay out in the middle of a wide clearing. But soon the wind and rain picked up and she seized her opportunity to kill once again. After a heart pounding stalk that seemed to last an age she made her move, yet the nervous impala were just a hair faster than her and she slunk off into the undergrowth.

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(Karula carefully watching a nearby herd of impala, Screenshot Credit: Karen Gilliam, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Monday the 16th of January

The morning day dawned in a haze of pouring rain yet this did not deter the exuberant antics of Karula’s cubs Hosana and Xongile. The little leopards dashed through the bush as spotted streaks as they played relentlessly, they clambered up trees and pounced on each other in the cool weather. Eventually the cats calmed themselves and settled down for a morning nap. Later that afternoon only young Hosana could be found. He spent the entire afternoon sleeping soundly on the top of a termite mound.

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(Young Hosana clambers up a thin branch, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Further to the east Amber Eyes, of the Nkuhuma pride, had been found being tailed closely by Mfumo. The lions wandered through the misty rain looking less than impressed in their soggy state. Mfumo made a few hopeful attempts at seducing Amber Eyes, yet these were met with a growl of aggression and the odd swat of a clawed paw. Eventually the cats made their way east and out of our traverse.

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(A damp and grumpy Amber Eyes walks through the rain with Mfumo, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Wednesday the 18th of January

Two slender spotted lumps lay in wait for the safariLIVE crew today just across the boundary of Mala Mala and Cheetah Plains. The two cheetah brothers had been found making their way across the open plains, yet by the time we got there they were as flat as pancakes. Every now and then one of the brothers would poke his head up to survey his surroundings before slowly drifting back to sleep.

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(Flat cat cheetah pokes his head up to have a look around, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains)

A little further to the north of the two cheetah brothers, Thandi and her six month old cub had been found resting in the high boughs of a large tree. Thandi spent most of the blustery afternoon sleeping soundly while her little cub swatted at his tail, trying his best to avoid boredom. Eventually the clouds cleared and the cats were bathed in golden African sunlight. WE eventually left the sighting when it became too dark for a clear view.

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(Thandi’s young cub, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains)

Thursday the 19th of January

A spectacular dawn poured bright sunlight over the Sabi Sand as an equally spectacular trio of spotted cats weaved through the southern section of Djuma. Karula and her cubs had finally returned from the south and were found meandering their way about near Treehouse Dam and back to a fresh impala kill Karula had made. Out of nowhere young Hosana appeared with a large and very dead water monitor lizard. It is unclear as to whether he made the kill himself or stumbled upon the giant reptile. He carried the carcass with his head held high and delighted us all with his antics. That afternoon the cats rested in the cooling shade, taking refuge from the blazing sun. Once the day had cooled off the royal family began to wake up, but soon the darkness enveloped them and WE left them to their evening business.

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(Young Xongile rests in the shade twirling tails with Karula, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Friday the 20th of January

The royal family had been found once again frolicking in the ethereal mist that diffused the dawn light. The family appeared to have been enjoying breakfast when we arrived on the scene and each of them took turns nibbling on what was left. Once their tummies were full the cubs played in the long green grass as Karula groomed and kept a motherly eye on them.

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(Karula resting in the long grass keeping a motherly eye on her two cubs, Screenshot Credit: Sandy NY, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

#safariLIVE Viewer Profile: Kathleen Vollo

A recent addition to the safariLIVE community, Kathleen Vollo says she has loved nature and "creatures, great and small", as far back as she can remember. "I was taught at an early age about all types of birds and how to identify them by their calls," she says. She came across the live drives on her YouTube homepage as a suggestion.

Her current home has a large backyard, "where a bunch of critters live and birds visit". "I guess you could say I have my own lil' pan."  She spends hours viewing nature around her home from her screened in porch. "I once witnessed a feral cat eat a poor squirrel. Yikes! Never saw something like that before."

These little sightings cement her interest in the wildlife she gets to see on the other side of the globe. Her favourite sightings have been of the young of the various species, including the leopard and lion cubs and new born impala sightings.

Last year, Kathleen performed a rescue mission in her own backyard. "This past summer I was stepping on to my porch and noticed the pool water rippling. I looked and noticed a baby rabbit doing the dog paddle! I quickly got my skimmer and scooped the poor lil thing to terra firma!"

She feels that "if you enjoy animals and nature and warm welcoming people this is the place for you".​safariLIVE and the 'safarian' community, gives thousands of people like Kathleen a window through which to see the world. "Thanks for allowing us to express our love of nature and I want to thank you all for showing us the wonders of South 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!

Friday, 13 January 2017

The Cat Report 6 - 13 January

Friday the 6th of January

This weeks Cat Report couldn’t get off to a more exciting start. Just minutes before the sunrise safari kicked off Karula caught an impala lamb just meters from the vehicle. Once she had caught her breath she promptly hoisted the kill and went in search of her two hungry cubs. By the time the sunset safari was coming to a close, young Hosana was feeding hungrily on the carcass.

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(Karula preparing to hoist her fresh impala lamb kill, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

The Styx pride had also made a return to Djuma on this warm afternoon. WE caught up with the mobile cats as they walked into a dense thicket to take refuge from the blazing sun. All three lionesses were present with their two tiny new cubs. The lions made slow progress to the west throughout the afternoon, stopping every now and then to allow their noisy little fluff balls a chance to suckle.

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(Little Styx cub walks up to mom for a cuddle, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Saturday the 7th of January

Karula, Hosana and Xongile were once again found in the early hours of the morning. They were mobile south and as they walked so the cubs bounded and played with each other. Eventually they made their way through a rather dense thicket and we lost sight of them. Later that afternoon both the young princess and prince were found resting near treehouse dam. Xongile was restless and after a short drink set about exploring her surrounding from the tops of various termite mounds.

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(A bored looking Xongile resting on a termite mound, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Further to the west the Nkuhuma pride had been found once again on a buffalo carcass. Although only scraps remained the lions still squabbled over meaty bits of bone. Only three lionesses were present with the six naughty lion cubs. One Birmingham male, Tinyo, was also present and created havoc as he chased lionesses off what little of the carcass remained. There was also one brave little female jackal who seized her opportunity to steal from the king of the beasts while all the cats napped off their swollen beefy bellies.

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(Nkuhuma lioness takes a break from feeding and fighting for a drink, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

WE were fortunate enough to have one more stroke of spotted luck for the day. Thandi had been found resting up on the southern boundary with her young cub feeding on a small nyala kill. Thandi slept peacefully atop a termite mound while her little ball of spotted fluff fed hungrily on what remained of the carcass. Eventually WE left the sighting as these two cats were in popular demand by other eager safari goers.

Sunday the 8th of January

Hosana and Xongile were still knocking about where the Queen had left them. Clearly bored they played and explored until faint contact calls could be heard. Sure enough Karula had returned to fetch her two quickly growing youngsters. Within minutes they had been safely shepherded across the southern boundary and out of sight.

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(Hosana and Xongile waiting patiently for Karula to return, Screenshot Credit: Gail Murphy, safariLIVE, Djuma)

On the western boundary of Djuma and Arathusa the three Styx lionesses and their cubs had been found on a fresh kudu kill. The lionesses fed hungrily and filled their bellies to the point of bursting before dozing off. The cubs rested and took the opportunity for a nibble at the carcass and a chance to suckle whenever they could.

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(Styx lioness, Screenshot Credit: Agnes Zsiga‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Monday the 9th of January

A roaring start to the morning with the Nkuhuma pride on a fresh buffalo kill. Only three of the lionesses were present with their six little trouble makers. The lions fed greedily on the carcass before eventually flopping over for a good day nap with full-to-bursting stomachs! Later that afternoon the cats were much the same and WE left them in search of something a little more active.

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(Fat little Nkuhuma cub resting after eating all night, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

To the far east WE managed to locate young Vutomi on a tiny little tortoise kill. Once he had finished he moved about in search of yet more morning snacks like any other young and quickly growing man. He eventually found an old buffalo carcass and munched away happily at the hard and dry remains.

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(Young Vutomi cleaning some tortoise out of his tooth, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains)

Later that afternoon WE were treated to a sighting of Kuchava, Thandi’s oldest independent cub. She was found resting up on Cheetah Plains, soon she became bored and decided to go on a little adventure that lead her straight into trouble. A small rock monitor lizard caught her attention and she swatted at it playfully, the monitor however did not take as kindly to her and with one cracking lash of its powerful tail, Kuchava was sent in the opposite direction. She then spent the rest of the afternoon playing on termite mound and in the tops of trees.

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(Young Kuchava exploring the tops boughs of a marula tree, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains)

Tuesday the 10th of January

Some more lion action lay in store for the safariLIVE crew today, well, perhaps “action” is a strong term. The lions were still feeding on their buffalo carcass, not much remained and the only evidence that a buffalo was even there was in the low, round and swinging bellies of the lionesses and the equally as rotund cubs. The cats then flopped in a tawny heap under some thick and shady bushes, sleeping off the remainder of the beefy feast.

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(Nkuhuma lioness licking her rather large chops, Screenshot Credit: Agnes Zsiga, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Wednesday the 11th of January

The sun broke the horizon, crisp and clear as roars of the Birmingham males echoed across the lowveld. WE eventually caught up with three of the dominant males shortly after they went flat on Arathusa. Tinyo, Mfumo and Nenha were all present and looked rather fetching with their salon quality manes gleaming in the morning light. They then spent the majority of the day motionless and asleep, when WE caught up with the big cats later that afternoon they seemed to have barely moved at all!

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(Nenha looking particularly fetching in the morning light, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Arathusa)

Thursday the 12th of January

The morning brought with it an incredible golden sunrise and what better way to appreciate it than with a sighting of Hosana and Xongile moving through the verdant grass in a golden halo. The two cubs stalked and pounced on each other before some unwelcome guests sent them dashing into the tree tops. A group of three spotted hyaena trotted through the area no doubt looking for a few scraps. The two cubs peered down at them curiously before we eventually had to leave the sighting.

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(Young Hosana relaxes on a small termite mound, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Later that afternoon WE were treated to a sighting of the Queen herself. Karula was first found on foot and soon a vehicle was called in for a closer look. The Queen sat, regal as ever, in the warm light of yet another hot African day. Yet soon she was up and on the hunt, she wove through the bush trying every which way she could to lose us and eventually she was successful.

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(Queen Karula on the hunt, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Friday the 13th of January

Roars broke the pre-dawn silence as Nsuku, one of the Birmingham males called out to his brothers from the Djuma dam this morning. WE rushed to the scene just in time for him to begin his day-long cat nap. The big and impressive male lion lay in all his splendor across the cool sandy road. Eventually he rose and took refuge under a large bush where he spent the rest of the morning napping peacefully.

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(Nsuku resting calmly while waiting to hear from his brothers, Screenshot Credit: Gail Murphy, safariLIVE, Djuma)