January 25th, 2017

There’s a big difference between 200 and 15 000 hectares, and it would appear as if the country’s most talked about lion, Sylvester, was all too aware of this.


It took him only minutes to move out of the enclosure that he’s been in since November, into the larger Kuzuko contractual area of the park, when the fence was cut over the weekend.


Sylvester the lion gets released from his enclosure ©SANParks

The two lionesses were released on Friday afternoon when a SANParks vet darted them and fitted one with a tracking collar. As they are never far apart, one collar will provide the location of both at any given time.


“On their first night out they caught a kudu and the very next morning a red hartebeest, confirmation that they can successfully fend for themselves in the African wild,” said Addo Elephant National Park Conservation Manager, John Adendorff.


Sylvester and the other male were released on Saturday afternoon. A carcass was placed about 50 meters from a corner in the fence, the fence was cut and Sylvester was out first. He headed straight to the carcass and started feeding, followed shortly thereafter by the younger male. “Sylvester is already showing signs of being the pride leader, on Sunday night chasing the females off their kill,” continued Adendorff.


Sylvester, too, has proven that he hasn’t forgotten how to hunt, having caught an adult black wildebeest on Monday morning.


“Now that it appears he finally has a place where he belongs, without threat, and the fact that he has bonded so closely with the younger male, we are confident that Sylvester will have no need to ever stray again. His satellite tracking collar location is monitored regularly and easily provides us with an accurate assessment of where the two are,” Adendorff said.


Sylvester the lion – history:


Sylvester first escaped from Karoo National Park in South Africa, on 5 June 2015 and managed to evade capture for over three weeks. After his capture he was fitted with a combination satellite/VHF collar to find his location should he manage to get out again. This collar then alerted authorities on 28 March 2016 that the lion had once again left the park’s boundary, and played a big role in tracking him and returning him back to the park much quicker – three days later on 31 March. There was then much deliberation about where he could be relocated to, and in May 2016 he finally arrived at Kuzuko.


The two lionesses arrived at Kuzuko in May 2015. They became a national news item in December 2014 when park authorities made a desperate plea for visitors to report any sightings of them after their mother died of a suspected snake bite. More than six weeks after they were last seen and long after park staff had given up all hope of finding them alive, new light arose when a guide alerted rangers that he may have spotted them on 10 January 2015. Although skeptical, the park’s rangers still went out and miraculously found the cubs – albeit severely malnourished and lethargic.


Finally, the younger male also has a tale to tell – being the only male in a litter born to Josie last year. He would have experienced the same fate Sylvester did had he been left in Addo’s main camp section of the park – being driven out of the pride and having to fend for himself, possibly even killed by older, more dominant lions. He was moved to Kuzuko to join Sylvester in June last year.


EXTRACT FROM THE FOLLOWING THIRD PARTY SOURCE: SANParks



January 18th, 2017
Original Source: African Geographic Written by Thapelo Seleke East side of Madikwe in the middle of no where, there is life that breaths, eats and sleeps, a home to one of the most adorable but yet ugliest wild animals – with their slopey bodies and intimidating laughter (that they use as mechanism to confuse mostly lions when trying to steal their meal) doesn’t help the ugly hyena stereotype. hynea-family There’s is a home with four rooms and an outdoor toilet, a little bush that provides all the comforts of home to a family of 14 hyenas, eight adults and four cute little cubs. There used to be three young teenagers, now down to two as one was sadly attacked and killed by lions during play time while the parents were not around to supervise them. baby-hyena It was a hot sweltering Sunday in the bush and during a brief visit with guests from Jaci’s Lodges to Phiri Legae (home of the hyenas), we spotted them peacefully sleeping under the shade of the trees surrounding their four dug-out holes in which these spotted hyena have made their home. Suddenly a roar from miles away echoes close by, and we watch as it inflicts fear to the ears and eyes of young cubs and their mothers. Hyena-adolescent The hyenas began to stumble up with their ears pricked and noses sniffing at the air, searching for clues as to where the roaring could possibly be coming from, meanwhile the young cubs scattered into the dug-out rooms for safety. Hyena-adolescent The adult hyenas soldiered on determined to figure out where the lions may be so that they could chase them away from their home. Through each hole, we caught a glimpse of three pairs of black shinny eyes, dark with fear for their lives and that of their mothers, it almost looked like they were weeping. hyena-portrait But the roar was echoing from a distance and one of the alpha females returned safely to check on the babies, all cubs began to come out curiously looking out for each other, the others soon joined in and the family continued to enjoy their Sunday, carefully laying their heads back down on the dust, but ready to protect their cubs at any cost. hyena-cubs-playing It was then that I had a profound realisation, that deep down inside, I empathised with these creatures and that life in the wild is just as life amongst men and civilisation; we live to protect one another as a family because every life among us is precious.

January 4th, 2017
The African Safari Co. & Expeditions team recently traveled to Guatemala for Christmas vacation. We spent our first 6 nights in a gorgeous villa in Santa Cruz over looking Lake Atitlan and then drove to Antigua for our last two nights. The food, culture, history and scenery where incredible! Here are a few pictures from our adventure. Stay tuned for a full trip report!


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