Thursday, June 9, 2016

Greater Kruger at its best

The legendary Kruger National Park is undeniably one of Africa's greatest wildlife destinations. It really offers everything from some of the most informative and exciting wilderness trails to game lodge experiences without rival. Regardless of ones interests, it is sure to deliver. We have hosted a safari to some of the premium lodges in the area namely Londolozi and Singita Lebombo. Although within the same region these two properties are significantly different and offers some of the best wildlife out there.  

Our first stop was Londolozi and upon arrival, we basically encountered all of the big and charismatic animals, the highlight being a pride of seven lionesses feeding on a day old dead buffalo, a great  portent of what was to follow over the next few days. The total tally of lions alone was 44 animals while we encountered no less than 7 individual leopards.
Increasingly under threat of poaching White Rhino in the Mopani scrubland.  
Thanks to the very active and effective anti-poaching activities whithin the conservancies White Rhino populations are still stable and we were lucky to encounter a few of them.  
A large female leopard emerges from the shadows. 
Londolozi is known for its pioneering work on Leopard habituation and now offers a world class experience with the most elusive of the big cats. This female is reputedly related to the original mother leopard that was initially habituated to game viewing activities in the 70's.

Highly skilled and professional trackers and guides ensures safe yet exciting viewing.
Part if a group of 14 lions of the Shishangaan pride, a single lioness splits off briefly for an afternoon drink in the Nwanetsi River.
Next stop was Singita Lebombo. This private concession on the very eastern corner of Kruger National Park and straddles the Lebombo mountain range on the border of Mozambique. What leds additional appeal is the meandering Nwanetsi river.  With current drought South Africa is really affecting wildlife and wildlife areas tremendously. Although disturbing to see, one still has to keep in mind that this is a natural process that also contributes to wildlife population control. Wildlife viewing can actually be very good during these dry conditions. Watercourses such as the scenic Nwanetsi river is an artery of life and attracts large numbers of grazers while predators follow shortly behind. The Lebombo concession is known for its large lion prides. The Shish pride, for instance split up into ten and 17 animals respectively with four large males ranging over both subgroups.

A young male lion of around 3 years strolls towards us at the break of day. 
And within the Shish pride lurks one of the most enigmatic of African mammals currently to be seen on the continent. A white lion. As luchk would have it we didn't find this rare individual until our second last day. But what a great sighting we had once we located the pride. The arresting vision of a lions glare through unusual blue eyes is something to experience. Words fail hopelessly.

With only three known wild white lions in the world, all of them within Greater Kruger, its a sight never to be forgotten.  

A playful moment. 

And finally, just to show that it doesn't have to be rough out there, here are some images of the exquisite Singita Lebombo Lodge. 

The main lodge with long bar area. 

Pool Area. 

Main bedroom viewed from the veranda. 
If you would like to arrange your safari to any of these destinations please contact us here.

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