August 14th, 2017
  The afternoon safari activities at Kapama, South Africa, began with the usual mouth-watering High Tea, complete with delicious pastries, cake, tea and coffee, a variety of fruit juice, and even some thirst quenching iced-coffee – a favorite with most guests. We then gathered at the main entrance before setting off on our evening game drive adventure. There is nothing quite like the sound of the dirt road beneath the game drive vehicle, and the smell of the African bush to make you feel alive! ____________________________________________________________________________
Lioness with cubs - Jeffrey Mmadi
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After driving for a short while we noticed some giraffes standing on the side of the road staring intently in one direction – not at our approaching vehicle. My tracker and I immediately knew that this kind of behaviour meant that the giraffes were concerned about something they had seen in the bush – something dangerous perhaps – such as a lion or a leopard. ___________________________________________________________________
Giraffe on alert - Jeffrey Mmadi
 
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I asked my guests to look around carefully and to also observe the behavior of the giraffes. Being very inquisitive and curious creatures, the giraffes did very well in giving us a clue that there was something in the bushes worth looking for. As we scoured the bush, I heard one of my guest’s comment: “Wow, look how cute the baby lion is, and it is so little”. We were completely surprised when a tiny lion cub made an unexpected appearance out of the bushes. The rest of the cubs quickly followed this brave little cub, closely monitored by their mother who kept a wary eye on them to see if they were safe. ___________________________________________________________________
Lion cubs - Jeffrey Mmadi
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These beautiful cubs then entertained us as they started interacting and playing right in front of our vehicle. They romped around giving each of us the perfect opportunity to take those once-in-a-lifetime photos. While observing the cubs and their mother I pointed out to my guests that you can clearly see the difference between an adult lion and lion cubs because the cubs are full of spots on their bodies. The coloration in front of their nose is also different being pinkish when still babies and becoming black as they mature. After a few minutes, the cubs started suckling on the lioness. A tender and extraordinary moment to see the maternal and gentle side of these apex predators. ___________________________________________________________________
Lioness with cubs - Jeffrey Mmadi
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We look forward to watching these little fur balls grow up into fierce predators. One of these cubs may even grow up to become a dominant lion on the reserve. This is what makes wildlife and nature so fascinating – you never know how the story you are observing will unfold. ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ Written by Jeffrey Mmadi, Buffalo Camp Ranger

August 8th, 2017
Nature’s oldest pilgrimage plays out on the endless plains of the Serengeti National Park and the Masai Mara National Reserve, as over a million wildebeest along with gazelle and zebra stragglers charge towards better grazing areas. This is the stage on which the ‘greatest wildlife show on earth’ plays out, as it is by far the greatest mass movement of land mammals on the entire globe. These mass ungulate herds cross plains and rivers as the seasons change and rain-ripened grasses are depleted in their area, forcing them to move on to the next. ____________________________________________________________________________ The Great Migration has been listed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Not only does it offer incredible views of the plains dotted with huge herds of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle, but the rivers are often infested with large Nile crocodiles lying in wait. Some of the best safari opportunities in the world are found here, across a landscape made up of volcanic grasslands and vast plains interrupted by rocky outcrops, rivers, and forests. Visiting the right area in the right season will treat travelers to astonishing sightings of this natural phenomenon. ____________________________________________________________________________ These migration herds also attract the attention of some of the continent’s most renowned predators, ensuring that if travelers are following the Migration; big cats, crocodiles, and hyenas will never be too far behind. 1 ____________________________________________________________________________ Image result for africa great migration ____________________________________________________________________________

Where is the Great Migration?

The Great Migration generally moves in a clockwise motion through the Serengeti Plains in Tanzania and the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya, and then back again forming one big circle. The herds visitors can see is dependent on the time of year and location they are visiting. ___________________________________________________________________________ Image result for africa great migration ___________________________________________________________________________

When is the Great Migration?

The exact timing and route of the migration changes from year to year and is entirely dependent on the rains. ___________________________________________________________________________ In January and February, the annual rains hit the Serengeti allowing the female wildebeest to give birth. By March or April, the area has dried out and become desolate again so the massive grouping of animals are forced to move northwards towards Lake Victoria where they begin the mating season. After this, they head towards the Masai Mara in June or July and this is where most people witness the sight of thousands of animals galloping across the plains and crossing the notoriously, crocodile-infested Mara River. ___________________________________________________________________________ River crossings are best seen between July and September. The animals cross back and forth between the two areas during this time. In September, the animals cross back into the Serengeti. After September, there is still a tail end of the migration which lags behind the main herds. If you are late, you can still hope to catch the last of them. The animals then go back to the Serengeti plains from where they started at the beginning of the year. ___________________________________________________________________________ In Tanzania, the best time to witness the migration is divided between two different periods. In the Southern Serengeti it is in February and March. The animals are grazing and can be seen in their immense numbers. It is also a good time to see the animals dropping their young. In contrast, river crossings are best seen between July and September in the northern Serengeti. ___________________________________________________________________________ Image result for africa great migration ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________

August 7th, 2017
Whether you’re an Africa aficionado or on your first adventure to the greatest continent on Earth, you’ve probably heard of the Big Five. Initially coined by the big game hunters of centuries past, the phrase now refers to five of the most sought-after safari animals; namely, the elephant, the buffalo, the leopard, the lion and the rhino. Less known is the pantheon’s smaller counterpart – the Little Five. The term Little Five was introduced by conservationists who wanted to draw attention to the smaller creatures of the bush, many of whom are just as fascinating, and often harder to spot, than Africa’s larger animals. In a clever marketing quirk, the names of the Little Five animals correspond to those of the Big Five celebrities. In this way, the elephant becomes the elephant shrew, the buffalo becomes the buffalo weaver bird, and the leopard becomes the leopard tortoise. Image result for elephant shrew Arguably the cutest of the Little Five, the elephant shrew is a small, insect-eating mammal. It gets its name from its elongated nose, thought to resemble an elephant’s trunk. Image result for africa buffalo weaver There are three species of buffalo weaver – the white-headed buffalo weaver, the white-billed buffalo weaver and the red-billed buffalo weaver. Any one of these constitutes as a check on your Little Five list. Image result for rhino beetle Worldwide, there are more than 300 species of rhinoceros beetle, around 60 of which are found in Southern Africa. All of them belong to the scarab beetle family. These curious-looking creatures are named for their body armor, and for the hooked horn that graces the head of the male. Image result for leopard tortoise Leopard tortoises are found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, in semi-arid areas of scrubland and savannah. They are named for their unique gold-and-black markings, which roughly resemble the rosette spots of a leopard. However, some tortoises’ markings are more defined than others. Image result for africa's little five The antlion is the smallest member of the Little Five club and is by no means unique to Africa. There are more than 2,000 individual species within the antlion family, found all over the world.


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