Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Family safari to the Soutpansberg, Pafuri and the Timbavati

This was just one of those crazy safaris where everything fell in place in typical text book, or rather fairytale fashion. Wherever we went the wildlife not only showed itself but the general quality was out of this world. White Rhino on a walk in the fist day, remarkable scenery, a large Snouted Cobra which we got to inspect close-up, Leopard hunting a making a successful kill Lions by the dozen and a wide array of other wildlife. If this was not enough we even managed to catch up with a pack of Wilddogs, Africas second rarest carnivores. Its always a treat to see these guys but no one could believe our luck when we had them surrounding and attempting to hunt a young Wildebeest. 

To share al this with a wonderful and energetic family was a true treat and we certainly cannot wait to meet again for future adventures. 

But there is always room for improvement and as the below comments will show. The actual comments are on the photo below but for clarity reasons I have typed it below.

Guest comments :

It was a perfect two weeks...well almost perfect. Here are a few ideas for next time:
1) It would be nice if the leopard cubs could do a dance for us. 
2) The Egyption cobra must learn to look at the guests and NOT the guide.
3) I feel the Wilddogs can improve their hunting success if they developed a team chant while circling the Wildebeest. 
4) The Elephant must learn not to to keep blocking the view of the Rhino. 
It must be reassuring to know there is room for improvement!

Love from H, C and family. 

Indeed room from improvement :) and we cannot wait to offer our new improved safari package:)

Our first stop, Leshiba Wilderness in the Soutpansberg was planned to break the long journey between Johannesburg and the remote Pafuri region. This proved to be much more than just a stopover. Wildlife about and we were treated to our first and best sightings of White Rhinos of the trip. Forts one of the big Five ticked. 

White Rhinos on our very first afternoon. 

Unperturbed they allowed us a safe and close approach. 

Our second stop of the safari was an old favourite of ours. Pafuri Camp in the far north of Kruger. Although wildlife is present his region is wild and remote and rich in history both recent and ancient and offers the opportunity to emerge oneself in the wilderness rather than offering big cats around every corner. It offers the freedom to explore on foot and from a vehicle and we certainly did our best to visit some of the diverse and scenic spots the area offers.

The wild, remote and very scenic Pafuri region in the north of Kruger was our next stop.Here we are posing for a quick photo after a morning walk though the fever tree forest. 

Pafuri has some of the most amazing and ancient Baobab trees. This one is one of our favourites and one of the biggest ones around. 

Lanner Gorge is a must see destination and a great sundowner stop. 

On a game drive along the Levhuvhu floodplain. 
Next stop was in the Timbavati where our aim would be to search for the big cats. Although the area offers consistently great big cat viewing no one would have thought that we would see our first Leopard only five minutes out of camp lying gracefully in the fork of a Marula tree. Shortly after finding her, she came down the tree and started stalking a herd of Impala in the distance. 30 minutes later from a respectable distance will saw her stalking and hunting a large male impala. Sadly we missed the actual kill but saw her again as she suffocated the hapless impalas. 

Stalking through the grass in search of an Impala. 

Our first view of one of Africas rarest predators. 

Keeping up with the quality of sightings thus far they walked past within inches of us... 
Getting up close with scorpions in a safe manner. 

A very successful fishing trip. 
...and proceeded to hunt wildebeest. 
The Blyde River Canyon is within easy reach of our lodge and we had a full day out to have a picnic on its bank and take a dip into the river from probably the most scenic rope swing in South Africa. A secret spot of ours. 

Relaxing on the river some jump into the water from a rope swing. 


Lions at point blank range. 
Sub-adults playing in the morning. 

It seemed like the lions wanted to be seen. One morning we decided to stay in camp only to have a group of four females walking past This happened on two mornings. 

Unbelievably we were the first guests to see the leopards cubs. 

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