TOP SAFARI MOMENT: DEAN OELOFSE

Situated in the far north of the Kruger National Park, you will find two of our lodges – The Outpost and Pel’s Post. The diversity of wildlife, vegetation and see-it-to-believe-it landscapes in our region are difficult to beat and we are lucky to experience so many magical safari moments. We chatted to Dean Oelofse, our Head Guide, about one of his favourite safari memories to date.

A SPECIAL PLACE TO CALL HOME

We are lucky to be situated in the Northern Pafuri region of the Kruger National Park – a diverse ecosystem and biodiversity hotspot that’s rich in life. After having spent some time in the area as a Field Guide, I have developed a deep understanding of this true and ancient wilderness and I am amazed every day by its wonderful birds and forests.

The area and the animals are so unique, so it is difficult for me to pick a specific moment that would be my top experience in the bush, but there is definitely one day that lingers in my mind…

A DAY TO REMEMBER IN THE EDEN OF KRUGER

We were making our way to the Luvuvhu River floodplain on a crisp winter’s morning, with the intention of completing a walking safari to one of the pan systems. Whilst talking through the safety briefing, I had to raise my voice as a black-backed jackal was calling loudly in the distance. The calls were so intense, without pause, that I felt there was something quite unusual going on. Two minutes into our walk, a spotted hyena sprinted past us in the direction of where the calls were coming from. We decided to follow the hyena, picking up the pace to keep up with the intrigued animal. The next moment, three more hyenas came running past us in the same direction the energy was contagious and our hearts were beating with Adrenalin.

Losing sight of the hyenas momentarily, we scanned the area and spotted them a few hundred metres away, busy feeding furiously on an impala. Standing there in awe and disbelief we watched the hyena feeding, but something still seemed unusual as the vervet monkeys where calling in alarm about two hundred metres south of where the hyenas were feasting. As we looked through our binoculars in the direction of the monkeys, a big male leopard came over the rocks and looked directly into my eyes, he stood still for a moment and disappeared behind the ridge.

Still not sure if all of this had just really happened, we took the guests out of range of the sighting to a nearby fallen tree to have a break and discuss the whole experience. It was truly amazing how everything revealed itself. We surmised that the jackals had found the leopard on a fresh kill and, being the opportunistic and cunning animals they are, they started calling loudly to lure in the hyenas to steal the carcass, so that they could get the left over scraps when the hyenas were done feeding.

Experiences and moments like this are rare and don’t happen every day! To make the whole experience even more surreal, we found a Pel’s Fishing Owl when we reached the pan! What an incredible day it was.

Keen to visit our special part of the world in Northern Kruger? Watch our video and explore more about The Outpost and Pel’s Post. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions. We are here to help.


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