Walk the Mapogo Males

You may never heard of the Mapogo Male Lion Coalition of the Sabi Sands. For years a six male coalition “ruled” the Lion prides in the Sabi Sands. Two of these (now ten year old) Lions are still alive. Today we found and walked these two legendary males. We took a direct approach in which we made sure that the Lions knew we were there. The picture above was taken during the encounter.

We approached to about 50 meters (~ 130 feet) when one of the Lions showed some sign of “dis-comfort” with our presence. We extracted slowly (and safely) from the sighting. It was one of the most exciting things I ever done in my life!

We then went back and viewed them from our game viewer.

In the last few days we completed walks 6,7,8 and 9. This makes it now 49 km (= 31 miles) and 28 hours walking in the bush during the last week. The two pictures below are sightings of White Rhino and Buffalo on foot.

PS: If you like to know more about the Trails Guiding Course go to http://www.africanaturetraining.co.za. A great experience, even if you do it for fun and not for professional reasons.

To read more about the Mapogo males go to
http://blog.sunsafaris.com/2012/04/17/history-of-the-mighty-mapogo-male-lions-by-brett-thomson/

Caught in the Trap

On Tuesday morning the camera trap (in front of my tent) picked up this Hyena (it was at 1:30am in the morning). I was sound asleep at the time but it only passed a few meters (feet) from my feet.

The night sounds around my tent are incredible. Before I go to sleep I can hear all kinds of animals calling including sometimes Leopards, Hyena and Elephants! What a place :-).

I will finish the first half of my course on Friday and then I will be back at Nkombe camp for the second part after the Advanced Rifle Handling Course, the Land Rover Driving Course and the Snake Handling Course.

First Dangerous Game Encounter

Walks 2, 3, 4 and 5 – Trails Guiding Course – Africa Nature Training on Sabi Sands Game Reserve

Well, so far it was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed all the walks very much, even if I ended up very tired and with a few blisters 🙂

In the last three days we walked almost 29 km (~ 18 miles) in approximately 15 hours. We had four dangerous game encounters (1x Elephant and 3x Rhino) and saw some animals I had never seen before (e.g. Lesser Spotted Eagle and Giant Plated Lizard) or which I had never gotten close to (e.g. Dwarf Mongoose)

This afternoon I did my first walk as Backup Guide. This means carrying a rifle and being in charge of the group of walkers when the Lead Guide is busy tracking and/or dealing with a dangerous game approach/extraction. I got a good review from our trainer Andre 🙂

The picture shows the first dangerous game encounter during this course. This White Rhino female is quite the unfriendly type, so we kept our distance (around 60 meters = 150 feet). She knew something/someone was there but we extracted before she decided to follow-up!

PS: All pictures on the walks are being taken with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS-10. I do not carry an SLR on the walks. Also, if you like to know more about the Trails Guiding Course go to http://www.africanaturetraining.co.za. A great experience, even if you do it for fun and not for professional reasons.

Trails Guiding Course – Walk No.1

Well, I did it!

Everyone – that knows me – knows that walking is not my forte. But I enjoyed my first Trails Guiding Course walk and I not even too tired. We tried to find Rhino or Buffalo but were not successful tonight. Nevertheless we saw a beautiful small flower (Impala Lily) and a group of the smallest predator on the Sabi Sands Game Reserve (Dwarf Mongoose).

PS: All pictures on the walks are being taken with a Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS-10. I do not carry an SLR on the walks. Also, if you like to know more about the Trails Guiding Course go to http://www.africanaturetraining.co.za. A great experience, even if you do it for fun and not for professional reasons.

Large and Small

This morning we had two visitors in the camp. A breeding herd of Elephant and a Chameleon.

The herd walked around the camp and then they took dust baths on the road nearby.

The Flap-necked Chameleon spent its time sunning next to the road.

Enjoy the pictures!

Bush Accommodation!

Well, after a nine-hour car ride from Kwazulu Natal to Mpumalanga I have arrived at the Nkombe Camp on Sabi Sabi.

This is a picture of my home for the next seven days. The camp is in a big five area, so I expect quite a few nightly visitors around the camp. I will set up a trap camera (with motion sensor) in front of my tent to capture all wildlife that passes through at night.

Here are also three pictures I took from the car while I was driving. The first gives an impression of the scenery, the second of the special road condition (You are not supposed to stop, so speeding is no problem 🙂 and the third of bovine road blocks!

 

It was an interesting and enjoyable, but very long, trip. Now I am tired. A quick bucket shower, then dinner and an early night!

PS: My 3G USB internet modem works great around the camp. Modern times in the bush 🙂