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Found 53 results

  1. I've know there are many projects and research groups for almost every animal in the Mara. Heck we saw the Martial Eagle Masai Mara Project on safariLive today, but I've not found any for leopards. I know they are elusive and sometimes hard to find, but why is it no one is studying them in that area? Lions have their own websites and cheetah have at least 3 different projects alone as do the hyena. If I could afford to live the life of a researcher and do all that I would definitely do it, but I can't and my focus would be on leopard. I think it's a bit of a shame there isn't one, at least one that I've found. Is there a leopard project in the Masai Mara?
  2. As last year, I left Selinda in the middle of the morning and landed at Kasane at noon. A driver was waiting for me. The formalities at the two border posts were carried out, as usual, without problems. Two hours later, we reached Hwange Town where we turned right and quickly arrived at Mbala Gate where my guide of last year, Washington Sibandi, was waiting for me. He was again my guide but only for the three first days. For the two last days, I joined Adam Jones, who was guiding a keen photographer who was in camp for fifty-five days. For information, the journey to the camp is about 2 hours and a half if you do not see anything spectacular on the way. In this year of heavy rains, the situation was similar to that of Selinda ; water everywhere, on the roads and on the plains. Hwange had, moreover, given itself some airs of Okavango. So apart from hippos, shy elands, solitary elephants and some plains game, we did not see a lot of mammals. No matter what, we were again able to focus on birds and smaller creatures. There were nevertheless some good and interesting sightings of lions, leopard, martial eagle, spotted eagle owls and…… bullfrogs. Concerning the camp itself, nothing more to add to what I wrote in the report on my stay last November : still a great place with great people. The day of my arrival, between Masuma and Shumba, we found the Masuma pride making its way on the road. Unfortunately, it did not stay there and disappeared very quickly on the left side in the mopanes and the kopjes. When we arrived at the camp, we were told that four lions, two females and two sub adults, called the Super Models, had been spotted nearby. Photo taken in the space between the hood of the vehicle and the windscreen, turned down on it. One of the two dominant males of the Masuma pride, Liam or Mandla, seen near Masuma. Another lion, this one nomadic, was heard roaring every night and even seen by other guests feeding on a dead elephant.
  3. Video I made on my recent trip of Satpura national park. This is huge male tiger and quite aggressive also. Somehow I managed to take good video during safari.
  4. Can you see the animal here?
  5. 20 Days Tiger direct Days Tiger direct TRIP FACTS Prices from: On request Accommodation: Luxury and semi luxury hotels/guest houses/jungle resorts. Max. Participants: No limit Min. Participants: 2 No. Of crew: 1 Vehicle type: Adventure maxi-van Duration: Days- 20, Nights- 19 Meals: Breakfast X 19, Lunch X 19, Dinner X 19 Departure: Delhi End: Delhi Departure date: On request (Best time to travel is November to May) Highlights: The Satpura landscape Sloth bears in Satpura Wild dogs in Pench Tigers in Pench, Kanha & Tadoba Barasingha deer in Kanha Birdwatching in Kanha Places to Visit: Delhi Satpura Pench Tadoba Kanha Jabalpur Delhi Itinerary: Day 1: Delhi You will be picked up from the Delhi Airport. Accommodation will be in a comfortable hostel. A short trip meeting at 18:00 hrs. No other activities are planned here. Day 2–6: Satpura National Park On day 2 after breakfast, we will fly to Bhopal. From here we will drive to the Satpura National Park. Accommodation will be in a semi-luxury resort. The landscape here is one of the most beautiful in Central India. It is also arguably the best place in India to see the sloth bear. Wildlife safaris in the national park can get us up close to sloth bears, leopards, gaur, Malabar giant squirrel along with other wildlife. On day 3 and 4 we will do both morning and evening safaris. On day 5 in the morning we will for canoe safari. In the afternoon we will drive to Churna. Churna has a very beautiful rest house from British times which is run by forest department. Its a very basic rest house but experience of being there itself is very different. Overnight stay at rest house. On day 6, we will drive back to our resort. At night we will go for a night safari. Day 7–10: Pench National Park Drive to Pench National Park. Accommodation will be in a comfortable resort. Pench is well known as Rudyard Kiplings inspiration. It is home to a good population of tigers and provides us one of the best opportunities to get upclose to one. It is also home to leopards, wild dogs, gaurs, deer and around 350 species of birds. On days 8, 9 and 10 we have both morning and evening safaris planned here. Day 11–14: Tadoba National Park Drive to Tadoba National Park. Accommodation will be in a comfortable resort. Tadoba arguably has the highest tiger density in the country right now. Out of all the parks that we are visiting, Tadoba has the best tiger sightings. It also has a very good leopard and sloth bear population. The habitat here is mostly dominated by thick bamboo grooves. On days 12,13 and 14 we have both morning and evening safari planned here. Day 15–18 : Kanha National Park Drive to Kanha National Park. Accommodation will be in a comfortable resort. Kanha is one of the most beautiful parks in India. The beauty of the lush green sal forest and open meadows is unmatched. It is also home to a lot of big cats. Both tigers and leopards are in good numbers here. It is also home to an endemic species of deer named the hard ground barasingha. Kanha is a birdwatchers paradise aswell. On days 16, 17 and 18 we have both morning and evening safaris planned here. Day 19–20: Delhi On the 19th day after breakfast we will drive to Jabalpur airport for our flight to Delhi. We have an overnight stay here. Next day after breakfast, we will drop you at the airport where the trip ends. What's included and excluded Meals 3 Meals a day – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation Twin sharing for hotels, hostels, resorts and homestays Single sharing for hotels, hostels, resorts and homestays (only if extra single supplement charge paid) Includes Fully equipped transfer & safari vehicle Accommodation as specified All road tolls and vehicle taxes All ground transportation Domestic flights if required in the itinerary Meals as indicated Services of two crew Excludes Visas International flights Travel insurance Airport transfers Sleeping bag Sleeping mats Optional activities Drinks tips For enquiry - Days Tiger direct
  6. ~ This April, 2017 research article published in Royal Society Open Science presents findings from a 2012 to 2016 trap survey of Panthera pardus, Leopard, in the Soutpansberg Mountains of South Africa, in Limpopo Province. Eight leopards were fitted with GPS collars. A high mortality rate was ascribed to illegal human activity. The two explanatory articles expand and comment on the findings, urging greater protection for South Africa's leopards.
  7. ~ This January, 2014 research article from the European Journal of Wildlife Research presents a study concerning trophic interactions between two relatively endangered species in Iran, the Persian Leopard and the Urial Sheep. Camera traps were utilized to confirm details concerning predator/prey distribution.
  8. ~ This May, 2016 research article published in Peer Journal is a comprehensive survey of the current conservation status of widely separated populations of the various subspecies of Panthera pardus, Leopard. Careful review of relevant published research and field investigations suggests that global leopard populations are more threatened than generally believed. Detailed global leopard population distribution maps are provided.
  9. ~ This January, 2017 research article from the journal Oryx discusses how the perception of leopards of village residents in the Iranian Caucasus is influenced by leopard cattle predation. The Dorfak No-Hunting Area is a priority leopard reserve in the Caucusus Ecoregion. Local residents view cattle as a source of wealth hence perceive any loss to leopards as a direct threat to both status and livelihood.
  10. ~ This December, 2014 research article from Wildlife Research concerns a 2006 to 2010 survey in Bhutan's Punakha District of livestock predation attributed to dhole, tiger and leopard populations. It was found that dhole predation was much more significant than attacks by tigers or leopards. However, dhole predation was primarily outside of villages or protected farm plots, being in forested areas.
  11. ~ These local newspaper articles from Queensland, Australia report that pug marks have been found and a visual sighting which suggest the presence of a melanistic leopard. Victoria has also been a hotspot of reported sightings. The big cat research group Panther People is assembling all anecdotal data of possible big cat sightings in Australia, as well as seeking credible confirmatory evidence.
  12. Leopard - Pench national park Sloth bear - Satpura national park Small pratincole - Bhigwan bird sanctuary 360 degree view point of Agumbe Herd of Asiatic elephant - Periyar tiger reserve Sambar deer - Sillari zone of pench national park, Maharastra Mahaveer female cubs - Kanha national park Cranes - Little rann of kutch Wildass - Wildass sanctuary of little rann of kutch
  13. I hope you enjoy this unique encounter Here's a nice photo from the experience.
  14. We have two trip back to back for 2017 and 2018 Check the link of trip itinerary 82 Days trans Himalayan expedition Places we are covering in this trip - Leh (Trip departs - highest desert city) Turtuk (Remote tribal village) Tso kar (high altitude alpine lake) Jispa (riverside stay) Manali (hill station) Spiti valley (desert mountain valley) Kullu (hill station) Great Himalayan National Park (trek in high altitude national park) Shimla (Hill station) Dehradun (Stopover) Mussoorie (Hill station) Rishikesh (Banks of Ganges – river rafting) Jim Corbett National Park (Tigers, elephants and more) Ghatgarh (Birding, nature trails) Nainital (hill station, birding - Sattal, Pangot) Dudhwa National Park (Elephants, tigers, rhinos, crocs) Bardia National Park – Nepal (Gharial crocs, rhinos, elephants & birds) Lumbini (birth place of Gautam Buddha) Pokhra (place to relax, Tibetan bazaars, Phewa lake) Chitwan National Park – (Elephants, rhinos, tigers) Kathmandu (City tour) Koshi tapu wildlife sanctuary (birding) Siliguri (Stopover & time to relax) Darjeeling (Hill station, tea gardens) Singalila National Park (Drive/trek, chance for red pandas) Gangtok (City tour) Neora Valley National Park (Nature trail/treks for red panda) Jaldapara National Park (Rhinos & elephants) Manas National park (Elephants, rhinos, water buffalo, tigers, capped langur, golden langur) Kaziranga National Park (Grassland ecosystem, tigers, elephants, rhinos, water buffalos) Guwahati (Trip ends) 61 Days necklace of India - places we are covering in this trip - Delhi (Trip departs) Bharatpur (Migratory birds) Ranthambore (Wildlife reserve + fort) Jaipur (Forts + palaces + monuments + street culture & food) Jodhpur (Forts) Jaisalmer (Desert life + sand dunes + wildlife reserve) Bera (Wildlife reserve for leopards) Little Rann of Kutch (Salt marsh + wildlife reserve) Velavadar (Wildlife reserve) Ahmedabad (City culture + shopping + food) Indore (Night halt) Jabalpur (waterfall + boat cruise + water sports) Bandhavgarh (Wildlife reserve) Kanha (Wildlife reserve) Achanakmar (Wildlife reserve) Satkosia gorge (Wildlife reserve + tribal life) Chilika lake (Lagoon + migratory birds) Bhubaneswar (World heritage site temples) Tajpur (Sea beach) Kolkata (Monuments + museums + street culture & food) Sunderbans (Mangroves + wildlife reserve) Jaldapara (Wildlife reserve) Darjeeling (Hill station) Kalimpong (Hill station) Gangtok (Adventure sports + Trip ends) contact -
  15. Some of the top sightings of the 22 Days Big Cats of India Feb trip. The success of the trip was incredible with 9 tigers, 8 leopards and 4 lions all together. Other than the big cats we saw tons of other wildlife as well, like jungle cats, deer, wild boar, gaur, antelope etc. The overwhelming success of the trip is very encouraging and we are already looking forward to the next departure: 5th Dec, 2017 Asiatic lion - Gir national park Cob of mahaveer tigress - Kanha national park Umarpani male - Kanha national park One of the cubs of mahaveer female Leopard sitting on tree top Leopard - Bera More pictures will be posted soon.........
  16. Our recent trip to the Mara (December 2016) was again magical. Every day was jam-packed with outstanding sightings. We are novice videographers and put much more effort into photography. I just haven't had a chance yet to start processing any photos from the trip. Heck, I'm still processing videos; I have about 4 or more videos I have yet to upload, including our final compilation of each place we visited in Kenya. Here's some lengthy video of each day in the Mara. Most video capture is a bit raw and shaky, but hopefully you can enjoy the animals despite our lack of skill. All thumbnails for the videos are my unedited photos from that day. Day 1 (just a short evening drive; not too much to see in this video: Day 2 (good action! Lion kill and Malaika hunting with cubs): Day 3 (more great action!): Day 4 (outstanding elephant river crossing): All the rest of our videos are here:
  17. For anyone interested in a safari to the Kafue National Park in Zambia check out our new video which should hopefully give those of you who have always wondered what it might actually look or feel like a glimpse in to what is on offer in this truly wild, truly world class wildlife destination... We still have space have space for the 2016 season (although September/October is all but full) and as such if you need a little nudge to get away on safari this year and are looking for something a little different to the 'norm' then feel free to contact me for more information and for special offers... With warm regards from the Kafue! Tyrone McKeith +26 0974173403 tyrone.mckeith (skype)
  18. Pictures from Satpura National park (When I used to work there as a Naturalist in Reni Pani jungle lodge) Satpura national park is one of best parks of India, it is located in Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh in Central India. It is spread over Satpura Hills on highlands of Central India. Satpura is a Sanskrit word, that means seven mountains (sapta=seven;pura=mountain). Most of the Satpura range was heavily forested, These forest provide habitat to several at risk and endangered species, including the Tiger. It is one the areas of this landscape preserved marvelously for protection of flora and fauna. This park is spread over 1427 sq km and was formed in 1981 after joining Satpura, Pachmari and Bori sanctuaries and the altitude ranges from 300 to 1,352 metres (980 to 4,436 ft). The terrain of the national park is extremely rugged and consists of fascinating deep valleys, sandstone peaks, narrow gorges, rivulets, waterfalls, thick dense green forest of Sal and other medicinal herbs, it also has large tracts of Teak forests. Its fauna comprises Spotted Dear, Indian Bison(Gaur), Tigers, Leopards, Wild boar, Wild dog (locally called Dholes), Sloth bear, Black buck (unique attraction), Porcupine, Sambhar, Four Horned antelopes (Chowsingha), Otters, Crocodile, Malabar squirrels, Langurs etc. Indian Giant squirrel, Sloth bear and White Bison are a special feature of Satpura National Park. It offers good birding opportunity due to its unique terrain and many water bodies including the Tawa reservoir. From November to March it also hosts a variety of migratory birds in the Tawa reservoir and fields around the park. Sloth bear Denwa backwater Asian Paradise flycatcher Common wanderer Crested hawk eagle Indian wilddogs (dhole) Leopard Flock of Oriental White eye View of Inside the park near elephant camp Sloth bear
  19. Guranteed Depature on 10th Feb 2017 Itinerary of the trip -- Prices from: Rs. 250000/- per person Accommodation: Bush camps (dome tents), budget hostels Max. Participants: 8 No. Of crew: 2 Vehicle type: Adventure maxi-van Duration: Days- 22, Nights- 21 Meals: Breakfast X 21, Lunch X 21, Dinner X 21 Departure: Jabalpur End: Ahmedabad Departure dates- 10th Feb 2017 Highlights of the trip Wildlife safaris in game rich jungles Royal Bengal tiger Indian leopard Asiatic lion India's diverse culture Indian cuisine bush camping Rajasthani & Gujarati hospitality Places to visit - Jabalpur (Trip departs) Pench national park (tigers & leopards) Kanha national park (tigers) Bandhavgarh national park (tigers) Khajuraho (temples – world heritage site) Ranthambore national park (tigers & leopards) Bera (leopards) Gir national park (Asiatic lions) Ahmedabad (Trip ends) Day to day Itinerary of the trip - Day 1: We will pick you up from the airport/railway station in the Central Indian town of Jabalpur. Today there will be a trip meeting at 18:00 hrs. No activities are planned today and tonight's stay will be in a good hostel in this city. Meals – lunch & dinner. Day 2: This morning we will start early and take the drive up to the Pench National park. Accommodation is in dome tents at a bush camp. After reaching and setting up the camp, evening will be at leisure. Meals – breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 3: This morning we will go for the jungle safari and explore this tiger heaven for 4 hours. Post lunch we will take the afternoon safari. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 4: After having our breakfast we will drive to our next destination, Kanha National park (approx 157 km). Accommodation will be in dome tents at a bush camp. After setting up the camp, evening will be relaxing at the dry river bed with sundowners. Guided birding is also an optional activity. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 5: Kanha has an amazing diversity of both mammals and birds. It surely is one of the most special places to see a wild tiger. Today we will take both morning and afternoon jungle safaris in the park. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 6: Continuing our search for the ever elusive tigers, leopards and other animals of Kanha, we will start the day with a morning safari. After a relaxing afternoon and lunch, we will go for the afternoon jungle safari. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 7: Moving on to the next tiger country, today we will take the drive up to the Bandhavgarh National park. Bandhavgarh arguably has the highest tiger density in India. Accommodation will be in dome tents at a bush camp. After setting up the camp evening will be at leisure. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 8: Both morning and afternoon jungle safaris are planned for this day. We will spend the evening in a wildlife artist's studio learning how to paint tigers and other wildlife. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 9: Starting the day early, today we will explore Bandhavgarh again on both morning and afternoon safaris. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 10: Taking a break from the jungle & the big cats, today we will drive up to the historical city of Khajuraho. Aptly declared a World Heritage Site, this place will take you back in time. Accommodation will be in a good hostel in the town. In the evening we will go for the sound & the light show about the temples. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 11: Today we start very early as we have to cover more than 400km to reach our next destination, Ranthambore. It’s a very special place to see tigers and other predators among the ruins of a 1000 year old fort. Reaching Ranthambore late afternoon, we will do the camp setup and evening will be at leisure. Meals- Brunch & dinner Day 12: Waking up to the calls of the peacocks and deer this day, we will explore the interesting terrain, forest and wildlife of the Ranthambore National park on both morning and afternoon jungle safaris. This park combines the tigers with history. Evening will be very entertaining with the rich Rajasthani folk music. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 13: The day again starts with the morning safari looking for tigers. Post lunch we will do the afternoon safari in the park. In the evening we will visit a local wildlife artist's studio. Dinner will be hosted in the traditional Rajasthani way at a home-stay tonight with all sorts of local cuisine. Camel ride is also an option in the evening. Meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 14: Leaving the abundance of Bengal tigers behind, this morning we will drive to our exclusive leopard destination called ‘Bera’. Conserved and maintained by the royalties, it arguably has the best leopard sightings in India. After setting up our camp evening will be at leisure. Meals- Brunch & dinner Day 15: Both morning and afternoon jeep safaris are planned for today looking for a wild leopard. The culture around the little hamlet of Bera is also something to be experienced. Meals- Breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 16: Same as day 15, both morning and afternoon jeep safaris are planned for today looking for a wild leopard. Meals- Breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 17: Finishing up with leopards in Bera, we will drive up to the city of Ahmedabad. A night’s halt is planned here. Meals- Breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 18: Leaving Ahmedabad early in the morning, we will drive up to the savannah country of India, the Gir national park. It’s the only place in world where one can see Asiatic wild lions. Accommodation here will be in a budget hostel. After checking in at a comfortable budget hostel, evening will be at leisure. Meals- Breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 19: The day begins with a morning safari in Gir national park looking for lions. There is a very good possibility of leopards here as well. Post lunch we will take the afternoon jeep safari in Gir. Meals- Breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 20: Same as day 19, both morning and afternoon lion safaris are planned for this day. Meals- Breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 21: Moving towards the end of this trip, today we will drive back to the city of Ahmedabad. Tonight’s accommodation will be in a budget hostel. Meals- Breakfast, lunch & dinner Day 22: Marking an end to our experience in the Central and North Western India with the Big cats of India, we will share our experiences in our post trip meeting for the last time and then depart for the Airport/Railway station. Meals- Breakfast Includes and excludes Meals 3 Meals a day – Breakfast, Lunch, DinnerAccommodation Single sharing dome tents for camping Twin sharing for hotels, hostels and homestays Single sharing for hotels, hostels and homestays (only if extra single supplement charge paid) Includes Fully equipped safari vehicle Camping and cooking equipment National park entries, forts/monuments/heritage building entries, city tours, adventure activities as mentioned in the itinerary All road tolls and vehicle taxes All ground transportation Meals as indicated Services of two crew + 1 local guide (if applicable) Excludes Visas Flights Travel insurance Airport transfers Sleeping bag Sleeping mats Optional activities Drinks, tips Items of a personal nature "For enquiry kindly contact us at" Thanks
  20. I just signed the petition: "STOP GOVERNMENT WHO IS LIFTING BAN ON THE HUNTING OF LIONS AND LEOPARDS IN ZAMBIA'S GAME PARKS" Will you join me in supporting this issue?
  21. In January 2002 a sensational story broke regarding a Lioness who had adopted a Oryx calf. This astonishing event happened in Samburu Kenya. The local Samburu had named the lioness Kamunyak, the blessed one. By the time we arrived in Samburu in October she had adopted four calves and since the fourth calf there had been no more news on any further adoptions, so we arrived without expectation, just a little disappointed of having missed such a sensational event. Samburu is our favourite park. It's scenic beauty sets it apart from others, though Meru comes a close second, and we always feel at home when we are here. The whole reserve area actually comprises of Samburu & Buffalo springs reserves, one separated from the other by the Uwaso nyiro river (Brown water), but connected by a bridge near to Samburu Serena lodge where we were staying. Our first few days were very rewarding with good sightings of Samburu's famous northern species, Grevy Zebra, Gerenuk, Somali Ostrich, Beisa Oryx and the most beautiful of Africa's Giraffe, the reticulated. Birdlife was prolific, as it often is in dry country, with a good selection of eagles and even an Egyptian Vulture, and Elephant sightings were also very good. Our forth morning continued in the same vein with Elephant crossing the Ewaso Nyiro river, but then we came across one of Samburu's many Leopards and it was only 7.15am. We left the leopard resting in an Acacia tree up along the ridge and headed down onto the plain which once was home to black Rhino who fed on the Croton bushes when we first came here. As we ambled along enjoying the beautiful scenery reflecting on what a lovely morning it had been, Leonard our driver stopped the vehicle and reaching for his binoculars said "Alan, look at the small Acacia tree ahead, then to the left, there is something at the bottom of the bush". I found the bush and yes, there was a Lion. "yes, I see it Leonard" I said, and he replied "not the Lion, to the right of it". Looking again I saw something move and thought it must be a cub and said "yes she has a cub". "No" came the reply, "look again". This time it stood up, turned around and laid down again, this time clear of the bush. By now my wife had found it and in a whispered breath said "oh my goodness it's a baby Oryx". Yes, it really was. We sat there for what seemed like an age in total disbelief, then reality sank in and with camera at the ready we move as close as the road would allow us, and although with binoculars we could see perfectly, it was not ideal for the camera, but this was not a time for regrets. When we left the UK it was with our usual expectation of, you see what you see, and with no thought of seeing such an incredible moment in nature, especially as there had been no more news since the adoptions earlier in the year. This would be her fifth adoption and if I am honest, there were times I could so easily have cried with the sheer joy of being so blessed in witnessing something so monumental. I asked Leonard if he knew the Lioness had adopted another baby Oryx? "No, no" he said, "I am as amazed at seeing this as you are". I only took a few photos as it seemed to make more sense to try and take in every minute detail of what was before us, and to enjoy what would surely be a once in a life time event. When we arrived back at the lodge our good friend June Kyula (manager) was in reception and asked us if we had had a good drive?..... She contacted the ranger station and passed on what we had told her, Leonard gave them the approximate position and we spent the whole of breakfast going over & over every detail. We checked on them during each game drive we took, and June was there that afternoon as was everyone else. Thankfully the lodges were not to busy so disturbance was kept to a minimum, and the rangers made sure it stayed that way. On our last evening Leonard drove to a high point in the Buffalo springs reserve which over looked Samburu. It was a beautiful spot with views of the Ewaso Nyiro river lined with Doum palm's which cast their long shadows towards the hills with Mount Longonot in the distance and the sun setting behind us. We were totally mesmerised by the scene that lay before us, and it was the clinking of glasses that brought us back to reality. June had arranged a sundowner for us on our last night at Samburu Serena before we moved on to Ol Pejeta conservancy. It was the perfect finish to what will always be our most memorable safari moment
  22. On safari in Samburu with all its specialised species, and with a good chance of seeing Leopard, we had one of our most memorable experiences. Samburu is a beautiful park, and never disappoints. One Leopard in particular was very accommodating, and gave us wonderful photo opportunities. The third time we found her she was resting up a tree, when suddenly she climbed down and set off at a pace. We followed her, keeping a respectful distance. We got ahead of her and positioned ourselves for some more great photos. To our surprise she came strait towards us, and without breaking stride she lowered her body and disappeared under our vehicle. She re-appeared on the other side, her body hugging the ground, her shoulder blades working like pistons. It was then we noticed a Dik-dik behind the bush directly ahead of her. When only metres away she froze, time seemed to stand still, then suddenly she exploded forward. For a moment we lost sight of her amid the dirt & dust her powerful back legs through up as she launched her attack. The Dik-dik never knew what hit her. Seconds later she appeared from behind the bush with the Dik-dik clenched firmly between her teeth. Amazingly she repeated the feat the next day.
  23. Russia planned to reintroduce persian leopards in the Russian Caucasus ten years ago. It seems that the first releases will start in the short term. Here is the press release from WWF Russia:
  24. 1) Name of property and country: (Please also include name of property and country as topic title and include as tags as well) Lion Sands River Lodge, Sabi Sands, South Africa 2) Website address if known: 3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known). Sept 2015 - Peak season is approx Dec 18-Jan 3 We did get a special offer of 2 free nights in Capetown 4) Length of stay: 4 days, 3 nights 5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? The safari was only a part of what we did in SA. We chose here based on almost guaranteed sightings of cats/tripadvisor reviews, no kids, and we wanted to relax in a luxurious room after being on numerous flights and over 30 hours of driving to and from places. 6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? Direct - yes 7) How many times have you been on Safari? First time 8) To which countries? NA 9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? NA 10) Was the camp/lodge fenced? Yes 11) How many rooms/tents does it have? 20 rooms 12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? I think #4. It was not connected to another room. There is a lodge layout on their website. Our room overlooked the Sabi River. Fantastic view!! Across the river we saw elephants, impala, and kudu. One afternoon I woke up for a nap and saw a lioness hunting! 13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? Extremely comfortable. Well stocked bar with alcohol and chocolates. 14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. Yes! There was so much delicious food you won't be in danger of going hungry. The desserts were ok, everything else was superb. 15) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?) Breakfast menu was the same each morning, though it offered at least 7 options. Lunch and dinner were varied. I am not vegetarian and can't comment. 16) What is the default dining arrangement? Single tables or communal dining? Do the guides/managers host at meal times? Depends on the meal. Breakfast and dinner were usually communal (no guide) and lunch was single table (no guide). One day out of 3 there was a traditional south african theme night with a bonfire. We sat with our guide and vehicle group while the staff sang and danced. 17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? NA 18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. open safari, 4WD. Pic to come 19) How many guests per row? 3 rows, stadium seating. 2 guests per row 20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? I don't have the best sense of direction but yes there were varied routes taken. see 21 21) What are the standard game drive times? Are game drive times flexible: i.e., if agreed in advance, can you go out earlier than suggested and stay out later, i.e., not returning for lunch but taking supplies with you? Set game drives: morning game drive 0530 to 0830, evening game drive 1630-1930. The morning and evening drives we stopped for a sundowner outside the vehicle. Private vehicles available, not sure of the cost 22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like? Private conservancy. Lion Sands limits the vehicles that traverse the property. The most we saw at a sighting is 4. 23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity? 24) Are you able to off-road? Yes. No off-road driving in Kruger 25) Are there rotation policies for sightings i.e., You face the risk of queuing or being bumped from a sighting. I'm not sure if there is a specific policy. If we spotted something, we'd observe on our own, then use the radio to call others. When others radioed us, we'd get a decent position, then get a better position as others left. There were never more than 4 vehicles to a sighting. 26) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings? Big 5, including leopard. Did not see cheetah. Excellent sightings including leopard on 2 days out of 3, a lion with his tooth hanging out, and a lion and lioness with 2 cubs. Also saw baby giraffe, baby elephant and rhino. 27) How was the standard of guiding? Very good. We had the head guide, Landon, and he was in constant radio contact with other guides. The only frustration was we didn't seem to have much say in what we pursued for the game drive. Our vehicle wanted to see cats but since we had seen so many already we were taken to buffalo and rhino. None of us spoke up so not sure if that would've made a difference. 28) If you had a bad experience with a guide, why? Did you report the issue to management, and if so, how did they deal with the issue? NA 29) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why: He had thorough knowledge of the animals and their history. 30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? Definitely! With a smile, nothing was too much trouble though we are not high maintenance guests 31) Does the property support a local community conservation initiative. If so, please provide brief details and website address if known. Pack for a Purpose - guests bring suitcases packed with basic yet necessary supplies as listed on the Pack for a Purpose website Save the Rhino Foundation - anti-poaching rhino Bhubezi community projects - educate and provide car for children, create jobs for disadvantaged 32) Safaritalk trip report link: 33) Any other pertinent details you wish to add: no children under 10 allowed. Management has set the bar for this property. Service and friendliness were better than our honeymoon at the St. Regis in Bora Bora. I loved everything about it and would definitely go back. 34) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings. Pics to come
  25. Hi Safaritalkers ! Time for another trip report. This time I went my self, and the trip was a combined trip with four days in Ol Pejeta and four days in Samburu. I booked it all including private car/guide through Bush Adventure, and in Ol Pejeta I stayed in Sweetwaters and in Samburu I stayed in Sopa lodge. I left Stockholm, Sweden friday evening and had an uneventful flight with Ethiopian via Addis and landed in Nairobi in the morning. There I was picked up by my guide David and we left for Ol Pejeta. I brought my "standard" equipment kit: 2x Nikon D4, Nikon 600mm f/4, Nikon 300 mm f/4 PF, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8, Nikon 24-70mm f/2,8, Ricoh GR and a bean bag. Day 1, 5th March 2016 After a long drive we arrived in the afternoon in Ol Pejeta. Wasting no time, after a quick check in, we continued with a "game drive". I don´t really like that expression, but I use it because of lack of a better term. First off we were greeted by an reticulated giraff. Next thing we bumped in to a family of white Rhinos. Here is one of the adults. Wonderful sighting, and something I got used to as rhinos both black and white is seen frequently at Ol Pejeta. Another strong and impressive animal is the Buffalo. They are easy to forget as they are so common. We were still at the "Elephant Dam" and it did also offer some birdlife. A pair of Grey Crowned Cranes with chicks. And of course the Herons, Black-headed Heron and Grey Heron We turned back out to the plain and had some nice sightings of Jackson´s Hartebeest and a trio of Thomson´s Gazell. . The light was falling fast, and a pair of Impalas made beautiful posé. Common animal, but with the background and light, I was very happy with this. Heading back and just outside the lodge a couple of lionesses found a interest in a warthog in the distance. I got a couple of shots before it was to dark and we had do leave the scene. Serena Sweetwaters is a really nice lodge. Everything is well organized, very good food and good service. This was a very good first day. Good sightings, good light, and a very nice lodge. What I also like with Ol Pejete is the grass. It has a small crown (not as big as in Lake Nakuru) which I think is beautiful for photos and easier to work with than normal plains grass (like in Masai Mara).

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