Life on our Planet

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet, has just been released in cinemas around the globe and is reported as “a first-hand account of humanity’s impact on nature and a message of hope for future generations.” It’s not surprising that humanity has had a significant impact on the environment, with the world’s population approaching 8 billion. In 200 years Read more

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August Change

This past week has heralded two significant landmarks – firstly, that interprovincial travel (and alcohol sales!) may re-open, and secondly the return of the yellow-billed kites. Coincidentally, the yellow-billed kites all started to leave South Africa right at the start of lock-down, and this past week I saw my first “YBK” of the season, just as South Africa moves Read more

Banded Mongoose

One of the questions that gets asked by guests is whether the lockdown affected the behaviour of animals. With only a limited number of vehicles on the reserve during the lockdown, this naturally resulted in animals coming into contact with vehicles a lot more seldom. Based on discussions with the wildlife team, guides and the anti-poaching units, there does Read more


With ministers changing their minds and documents being published and then retracted, these are indeed times of confusion. In the bush, a group of wildebeest is known as confusion, and it is easy to see why when gazing at a wildebeest, which always to me to have a vague look of puzzlement etched on their faces. Wildebeest belong to Read more

5 Reasons to visit Thanda Safari

Thanda Safari – IsiZulu for ‘Love’ – is a private Big Five reserve that protects a vast tract of undulating savannah and its wild inhabitants in the heart of the subtropical Zululand region. It lies a stone’s throw north of Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, which is not only the oldest game reserve in South Africa but also the most important in terms Read more

The Zebra

How do you tell the difference between a male zebra and a female zebra? Well, the one is black with white stripes and the other is white with black stripes! In fact, embryological evidence has shown that the zebra’s background colour is dark and the white is an addition. All zebra have a unique stripe pattern, similar to fingerprints, Read more


One of my favourite songs – Africa – is by the American rock band Toto and appeared on their fourth studio album. The song was an instant success and reached number one on the United States’ Billboard chart, although ended up being their only Billboard number one.

I hear the drums echoing tonight But she hears only whispers of Read more

The lion who didn’t want to look like a giraffe!

If lions are the ‘king of the jungle’, then leopards have got to be its’ ‘prince regent’! Powerful, athletic, graceful and stealthy, they are the epitome of an apex predator. Leopards are one of the most adaptable of all cats, having a wider distribution than any other large carnivore. The fact that it is the most common large predator Read more

Marula Tree

One of the more remarkable trees at Thanda Safari is the marula tree or umganu. Marula trees are of course famous for the liqueur Amarula, which is made from the fruit of the marula tree and is a staple for any fireside nightcap. Marula trees are deciduous trees, found over much of Africa, and can grow up to 18 Read more


One of the positives of the lock-down as a result of COVID-19 pandemic is the BirdLasser LockDown Challenge. The objective of this challenge is to record as many bird species over the lockdown period observed from the comfort of your house using the birdlasser app. As of today, the 30th of March 2020, the top birder – Adam – Read more


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