Friday, 31 March 2017

The Cat Report 24 - 31 March

25 March

Lions on the landingstrip greeted the safariLIVE crew as an autumnal carpet of marbled cloud shielded the bush from an unrelenting sun.. The Styx pride complete with two healthy cubs and three of the Birmingham males lay full bellied and in the open. The lionesses huddled with an impressive Nsuku while Tinyo and Mfumo lay further apart and tucked away in long grass. The cubs appear to be making a recovery from their mangy state. The lions remained tucked and huddled together for the majority of the day and well into the darkest hours of the night.

(Mfumo stretches out while his brother and the Styx sleep, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Arathusa)

Far removed from the sleeping lions was an explosion of excitement on Cheetah Plains. A caracal had been spotted streaking off into the undergrowth. But being the ever determined team WE are it was soon discovered again, if even only for a moment. This is only the second time WE have been able to put one of these small, mysterious cats on camera. It’s rust coloured pelt disappeared flawlessly into the verdant ocean of grass and it was decided to leave the tufty eared caracal to it’s evening business.

(An elusive caracal watches us carefully before slinking off, Screenshot Credit: Gail Murphy, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains)

26 March

Another roaring start to the day with one of the Styx lionesses and an amorous Birmingham male. The lions were once again located on the Arathusa airstrip. Nsuku, the male in attendance, faffed and fawned over his female counterpart relentlessly. Later on that afternoon she finally gave in to his numerous advances and the pair mated at least twice before the sun sank over the western horizon and it was time to say goodbye.

(Loving lions cuddle up for a prolonged day of napping, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Arathusa.)

Back on Djuma an old safariLIVE favourite popped his spotted head out to say hello. Mvula had been found resting up on the northern boundary. He spent most of the afternoon fast asleep in golden grass. Once the sun had set and the heat had dissipated he stretched out his aging bones and began to slowly make his way north east. Interestingly he stopped on occasion to take in a whiff of something intriguing and scent mark over it, behaviour that is not usually associated with a leopard beyond his prime. Eventually he slunk off across the northern boundary and melted into darkness.

(Mvula out, about and on the prowl, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)

27 March

The morning was off to a speedy start with Africa’s fastest land mammal. The cheetah brothers had been found on Cheetah Plains slowly ambling their way south to Mala Mala. The brothers walked regally through the blazing sun and swaying sea of long grass before eventually they became nothing more than two black specs in the distance.

(One of the cheetah brother casually glances over his shoulder at all the commotion following him down the road, Screenshot Credit: Louise Pavid, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains.)

28 March

Another warm afternoon was spent with the Styx pride lulling about in their new favourite spot on Arathusa airstrip. The tawny cats had managed to catch themselves a warthog earlier in the day and once their appetites had been satiated they spent the rest of the afternoon lying flat and fat in the sun. The cubs looked to be doing well and every now and then they would gently greet mom or a sibling before flopping down and back to sleep.

29 March

The Styx it seemed had finally digested enough of their porky meal, from the day before, to entertain the thought of moving about. The cubs waddled about, their swollen bellies swinging from side to side. They fluff balls played and pounced as the adults rested out if the unrelenting heat. Later that afternoon the scene had calmed substantially and all members of the pride plus their Birmingham male consort spent the rest of the afternoon dozing in the shade.

(Fluffy Styx cub lays next to one of the Birmingham males, Screenshot: Kaarina Pietiäinen, safariLIVE, Arathusa)‎

30 March

A spotted surprise lay in wait for the safariLIVE crew on this cool and cloudy morning. Tingana had been found patrolling his territory along the northern boundary of Djuma. He paced with purpose taking every opportunity to sniff around for the potential presence of intruders, once the investigation of each green bushel was complete he turned his back, lifted his tail and scent marked thoroughly. Eventually the toll of constant territory maintenance began to show and he flopped down in a heap of rosettes tucked well out of sight in the centre of large green bush. Later that evening after hours of searching he finally popped out of his chosen castle of greenery. The impressive male paced intently down a dark and dusty road scent marking as he went. Eventually WE left the dominant male to his evening business.

(Tingana, in infrared, taking a brief reprise from his territorial patrol, Screenshot Credit: Sandy NY, safariLIVE, Djuma)

31 March

The morning began still and quiet, blood red skies gave way to washed out blues as the sun traced a fiery line on its journey from east to west. Reports of a big male leopard kept the game drive radios chattering constantly as guides scanned the north western corner of Djuma looking for any sign of the prince of cats. Out of nowhere, he appeared on a white sandy road before quickly moving off into an ocean of drying grass. Eventually WE caught up and found ourselves in the presence of Tingana. Again, he was determined to refresh his territorial boundaries and paced intently through the veld sniffing and scent marking as he went. After spending some quality time with the large male WE left the sighting to allow other excited safari goers a chance to spend some time with, what is often considered, the most elusive of big cats.

(Tingana out on patrol, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Thursday, 30 March 2017

safariLIVE Time change 1 April, 2017

The evenings smell like the smoke of wood fires, the bush is slowly turning from summer greens to autumn yellows. All the while our sun moves ever faster across the sky, rising later and setting earlier. Winter is coming and with it comes a necessary time change, to make sure not a second of the most active hours of the wilderness are missed. As of 1 April 2017 WE will be starting the Sunrise Safari 30 minutes later while our Sunset Safari will be starting 30 minutes earlier. This means there will be a change to your safariLIVE viewing schedule, as WE inevitably venture into our cooler months.

Please see the timetable below with the live safari start times in your timezone:

1 April
Sunrise Safari
Start: 06:00 am
End: 09:00 am
Start: 04:00 am
End: 07:00 am
Start: 00:00 am
End: 03:00 am
31 March
Start: 21:00 pm
End: 00:00 am
Sunset Safari
Start: 15:30 pm
End: 18:30 pm
Start: 13:30 pm
End: 16:30 pm
Start: 09:30 am
End: 12:30 pm
1 April
Start: 06:30 am
End: 09:30 am

burning - James.jpg
(Image Credit: James Hendry, Djuma)

Friday, 24 March 2017


17 March

As the darkness set in, three of the Birmingham Boys scattered themselves amongst the long grass of Impala Plains. The cats went by the powerful names of Mfumo, Tinyo, and Nenha. All three of their faces were scarred with old wounds, but we admired the marks as we imagined the stories that are carved alongside each one.

(A lion with many tales. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

18 March

The gorgeous Nkuhuma family woke up full bellied with the golden sunshine in the grasses of Arathusa. There were rumours that they had an impala kill to feast on during the darkest hours of the previous night. This seemed highly plausible as we watched them clean themselves tip-to-toe. They licked off every last spot of blood that had been smeared over their satisfied faces. We left them to relax and digest their meal!

(A mother cleaning her satisfied cub. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

The Nkuhuma’s were spotted again in the evening as they snoozed on the shady grasses of Arathusa. The cubs are still adorable, but they are beginning to look a little bit more like sub-adults as they are growing exceptionally quickly! Temperatures were high during the day, so we suspect that continued to lie flat for quite a few more hours, before getting on the move!

(The sleepy & intertwined Nkuhuma’s. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

19 March

WE haven’t seen the Styx pride for a while, but this changed as we came across them on Arathusa. The two cubs were still looking slightly mangy, but their health is definitely improving, which is great to see! Nsuku, one of the Birmingham Boys also lay alongside the pride, gathering up energy for the evening events to come.

(The Styx Pride & a Birmingham Boy relaxing before the sunsets. Screenshot Credit: LevLoveLev Bklyn, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Near to the end of the sunset safari, Nenha, another Birmingham boy was found taking a very slow stroll along the roads of Djuma. He weaved in and out of the bushes occasionally, as he marked his golden territory by scent marking. We said goodnight and let him go on his way.

(A Birmingham Boy, Nenha, having a refreshment break. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

20 March

The gorgeous Amber Eyes seems to be playing hard to get with us as she had a very brief visit on our traverse. She crossed in from the North, as we noticed her walking along the road from a distance. This was short lived as she gave us the slip through the thicket and crossed west onto Arathusa. WE hope to see you again soon Amber Eyes!

(The gorgeous Amber Eyes. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

22 March

WE had been searching for the mysterious Tingana the entire day, and finally when the sun had set WE found him dawdling along the roads of Djuma. He looked like he was wearing a layer of base, as he had remains of sand on his face after digging in a termite mound.  The big male weaved in and out of the grasses, scent marking here and there, as well as sawing, which was great to hear! Eventually he gave us the slip and he ventured into the thick bush, WE said goodnight.  

(Tingana looking like he’s wearing make-up. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE)

WE were so lucky to find the cheetah brothers again. It’s great to know that they haven’t split up again! They were looking absolutely radiant in the long grasses of Cheetah Plains as the golden sun was setting. Their bellies didn’t seem to be full, we suspect that this could’ve changed later on that evening!

(A radiant cheetah brother. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Friday, 17 March 2017

The Cat Report 10 - 17 March

11 March

The stunning Xongile enjoyed her time alone as she curled around the branch of a marula tree, and used her lucious tail to flick away any lurking flies. As time passed she climbed down the tree and repositioned to keep a lookout between naps on top of a termite mound. She noticed an elephant passing by but wasn’t bothered whatsoever as her head sunk further down and her eyes closed even tighter. 

(Xongile enjoying some alone time. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

The Investec Pack payed a short visit on Djuma as they moved quickly through our traverse. They all looked happy and healthy as they trotted along, eleven of them sticking together like superglue. Occasionally taking brief pit stops to lie down on the road, but generally they were just hot footing it across towards Manyeleti. 

(The Investec Pack passing through. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

WE like to think that the members of the Sands Pack howled at the moon later on in the evening. The alpha was easy to spot with his tattered ears and dominant demeanor. An absolutely picturesque moment of the family underneath the pink African sky that surrounded the bright moon peeking through the tops of a giant Marula tree. 

(A member of the Sands Pack posing in front of the moon. Screenshot Credit: Di Priem, safariLIVE, Djuma)

12 March 

Thandi & Thamba found the most comfortable tree there was on Gowrie main. Thamba soon got restless and slowly crawled down to laze around in the long grass instead. Thandi was happy and content enough to stay put on a cosy branch, watching her mother roll around in the thicket below. 

(Thandi and her golden eyes. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma) 
A perfect explanation as to why these beautiful creatures are named “painted” wild dogs. The colours of this scene was incredible, as the golden sunset lit up the defined tortoise-shell mixture on their detailed coats. There was constant affection within this family as they rubbed noses, cuddled and played around like little kids in a playground.
(Affection amongst the Sands Pack. Screenshot Credit: Di Priem, safariLIVE, Djuma)

13 March 

An unidentified wild dog chased an impala into the water of Sydney’s dam. The dog waited patiently along the dam’s edge in high hopes that he was going to be eating antelope for dinner.  The impala seemed to be a bit gormless, simply watching the predator’s every move. To the impala’s joy the dog lost his patience as he hesitantly trotted away, possibly off to search for the rest of his pack. 

(A hungry wild dog contemplating his next move. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)  

14 March

The Nkuhumas seemed to having a group cuddle as they tangled themselves together on the grasses of Arathusa. There were five lionesses, including the gorgeous Amber Eyes, and the six adorable cubs were all accounted for.  As the sun started to say goodbye, the pride slowly opened their eyes wider as they became restless while the cubs began to play. 

(A tired Nkuhuma cub. Screenshot Credit: Di Priem, safariLIVE, Djuma) 

15 March

The cheetah brothers have reunited! WE can only imagine what their greeting ceremony could’ve been like! They camouflaged themselves in the long grass of Cheetah Plains, lying flat and lazing around. Something startled them suddenly as they lept up and ran hand and in hand along the landscape. This was short lived as they came to a standstill along the road, scanning the horizon for any movements. They looked more beautiful than ever as they stood with pride underneath a pastel pink African sunset.  

(The happily reunited cheetah brothers. Screenshot Credit: Agnes Zsiga, safariLIVE, Djuma)

16 March

WE sadly didn’t find Karula on her birthday, but Hosana and Xongile made up for it the morning afterwards. Hosana rolled around in the sand along the drainage line, and Xongile lay in a marula tree above, observing her brothers antics. Xongile eventually decided to join him, as she climbed down and pounced around and played with Hosana in the long grass. 

(Hosana begging his sister to come play with him. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma) 

The Nkuhumas were lazing and having an afternoon nap on Arathusa, sheltering themselves from the heat of the harsh African sun. The cubs had brief bursts of energy as they pounced around in the thick grass. Affection between the lionesses and cubs was evident. Lots of cleaning and licking was going on, sprucing themselves up for the evening events! 
(The Nkuhuma pride cleaning each other. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma)

17 March

The brave Birmingham Boys made an appearance on Djuma early in the morning. Mfumo, Tinyo and Nenha seemed very content as they lay underneath the shade as the sun started to peek out. They were extremely sleepy, dozing in and out of sleep. However, their bellies were far from being full so WE suspect a hunt is in order for these handsome felines very soon! 

(A gorgeous Birmingham Boy hiding from the morning sunshine. Screenshot Credit: Lily Brown, safariLIVE, Djuma) 

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Daylight Savings March 2017

The winds are blowing and with them comes a change of season and a change of time! Many of our viewers across the USA will be entering Daylight Savings on March 12th 2017.

Our live safari schedule is not yet changing for the winter,  but WE wanted to put out a little reminder to all our viewers. For those who do observe Daylight Savings, your adventures in the African bush will begin one hour later than usual.

Please check the updated safari start times for your time zone below:

Sunrise Safari
Start: 05:30 am
End: 08:30 am
Start: 23:30 pm
End: 02:30 am
Start: 22:30 pm
End: 01:30 am
Start: 20:30 pm
End:23:30 pm
Sunset Safari
Start: 16:00 pm
End: 19:00 pm
Start: 10:00 am
End: 13:00 pm
Start: 09:00 am
End: 12:00 pm
Start: 07:00 am
End: 10:00 am

Chitwa o-a-3.jpg
(Image Credit: Tayla McCurdy, Chitwa Chitwa)

Friday, 10 March 2017

Happy Birthday Karula!

The Queen of Djuma, Karula, is turning 13 years young on the 15th of March! WE thought there would be no better way to celebrate than to ask YOU to share your favourite moments spent with this astounding leopardess while out in the African wilderness.

Copy of Copy of Copy of Tayla McCurdy- Karula-1.jpg
(Image Credit: Tayla McCurdy, Djuma Private Game Reserve)

WE are hosting a competition in celebration of the great Queen and want YOU to be a part of it! Put together a short video clip of your best and most memorable moments featuring our favourite spotted birthday girl and post this to the safariLIVE Facebook page using the hashtag #KarulasBirthday. WE will only be taking submissions from Facebook and of course don’t forget to tell us who you are!

Copy of 20160928GeraldineKentKarula.jpg
(Image Credit: Geraldine Kent, Djuma Private Game Reserve)

Our FC team will then choose the top three video’s and play those out during the sunset safari on the 15th of March in honor of her majesty. Be creative and have a little fun, add some cool music, a few funny moments, a dash of something special and maybe a tear jerker or two. Of course no copyrighted music may be used for clips going LIVE across the globe, so why not click here or here and check out some fantastic royalty free beats to give your Karula clip a competitive edge! Keep your clips short and punchy with a duration of 1 - 1:30 minutes long. Don’t miss your chance to show off your favourite royal experiences LIVE on safari!  

(Image Credit: Louise Pavid, Djuma Private Game Reserve)

All submissions must be in no later than the evening of 14th of March 2017 EST. WE can’t wait to get the birthday celebrations under way. Happy birthday Karula!