Bush Tales

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvellous”
~ Aristotle ~

Welcome to winter!

It is the beginning of June and we are officially welcoming our winter season here in South Africa.
As we start to enjoy our cooler mornings and evenings, we are cozying up next to the fire to share what has been happening in the bush around us lately.

Guests often ask the question “What time of the year is it best to go on safari?”
We at Nzumba find it incredibly hard to choose a specific season as each has something special to offer.
Here are a few things we personally enjoy about our winter:

  • As our rain fall is experienced in our summer months, it starts to get a bit more dry and less dense. This allows for slightly easier game viewing whilst out on drive
  • The clearer, crisp skies offer up some spectacular sunrises (to be enjoyed with an Amarula coffee, of course) and sunsets (with none other than a classic gin & tonic!)
  • Warm, ambient fires that are lit to welcome you back from your game drives
  • David and Vusi, our incredible chefs, have incorporated a few warmer tantalizing meals that are sure to make you forget about any chill.
  • Gladys and Noris have got the electric blankets on the beds to keep you cozy while you sleep.
  • Jaime and Matt have the hot water bottles all ready to go for the morning game drives and Siobhan and Meg will be ready to welcome you back with a warm face cloth.
  •  The natural pans start to dry up, meaning that more animals are likely to come and quench their thirst at our waterhole right in front of the camp!
In saying that, we have already started to see an increase in animal sightings at the waterhole.
Just last week we were visited by a herd of +- 200 buffalo!
A rather surreal experience of sitting quietly watching them “pour” into the waterhole.
We are really excited to see herds moving back into this area again.
The elephant herds have been plentiful and are always such a delight to enjoy whilst relaxing around the pool or enjoying a dinner on the front lawn.
It’s fascinating how such large creatures can move so silently!
These breeding herds have also provided us with some amazing, and even close up, sightings whilst out on gamedrives.
Jaime and Matt always show utmost respect in giving elephant their space and being able to gauge their behaviour provides our guests with wonderful encounters.


We have been frequented by leopards such as the gorgeous big Emfuleni male and Xivindzi, who is quite a relaxed female, and who we find quite enjoys the attention of our guests.
A beautiful small leopard has also been visiting the waterhole of late, it is unknown to us.
Karula and Tingana are still doing well as they continue to grow up.
And most exciting, we have two new cubs on the property, we suspect the mother is the same mother of Karula and Tingana.  They are approximately 5 – 6 months old.
Another exciting apex predator we have had the pleasure of seeing on numerous occasions is the African Painted Dog | Wild Dog. There is currently a female who is heavily pregnant, and we are all keeping our fingers crossed that they may den near us quite soon!
The one predator that has been slightly quieter of late has been the lion.
We are seeing the Western Pride, the River Pride and, most often, the Timbila Pride.
The Timbila pride has 3 young cubs (they are approximately 4 months old) so we believe the mothers are slowly starting to introduce them to their surroundings and we hope that they will be making their way into our area soon. Jaime, Matt, Thomas and Peter will continue to track and search for the king of the jungle.
Follow our social media to see when this happens!
Speaking of dens, we are lucky enough to have had hyenas den close by to the camp meaning a lot of cuteness overload as the young and curious pups start to venture out of their den and towards the game vehicles offering up the perfect ‘aawwwww’ moment.
A Hyaenidae!
Matt shares one of his very special sightings with these hyena

Proof that not all mornings are made equal. As a field guide, I am very lucky with what I get to witness on a daily basis. Sometimes though, a particular morning can really stand out amongst the crowd.
Last week was one such day.

It started like many in the Klaserie, with a magnificent sunrise gleaming through the wispy clouds. Suddenly, through the dry riverbed, a lone Hyena bolted past us having heard something exciting in the distance. We followed him for many kilometers, pausing with him as he read his morning newspaper, stopping off at various trees or grasses to catch up with the night’s events before rushing off again. The anticipation was growing with every turn waiting to see what he would lead us to. We finally came across a waterhole where he slowed and paused sniffing excitedly around a small thicket. This must be it! We followed in slowly waiting for any sign of what had caused this lung-busting journey. Alas after a few minutes, he carried on lazily through the thicket where we could not follow, seemingly lost interest in whatever sound or smell had caught his attention some 30 minutes earlier.

Not perturbed, our group continued back all the way we had come to the perennial river, crossing through and following its still-green-tinged banks for a while. We came up along an old cutline and around a bend to find more Hyenas in the road. These, however, were round-bellied and full, lounging in the early morning sun beside the edges of the road. We looked to the right and saw another larger female peeking out of a hole in the termite mound- fantastic, a den site! “If you will excuse the guide joke”, I said over my shoulder to the guests behind me, “what a Hyaenidae this is turning out to be!” We approached slowly and found 2 young cubs behind the mound barely 12 weeks old playing ferociously with one another. We observed them for some time watching as they played building their young muscles and training their reactions with each other. Suddenly one disappeared headfirst, having misplaced a step, and tumbled,into a small hole in the back of the den. While the guests chuckled at the scene straight out of a cartoon, the sibling approached the hole and carefully peered down to see where his brother had gone. Unexpectedly, he darted to the side as his brother came rushing out and straight back into play not disturbed by his fall, although we did note they were both much more careful of the gap going forwards.

In the meantime, a group of Giraffe and Zebra had heard the commotion and came over to investigate. Seeing the clan sleeping in the open, the stallion alarm-called and the herd dashed off into the bush leaving the giraffes nervously watching. The mother Hyena, woken up by the sound, rushed to block any intruders and simultaneously the cubs darted into the same hole, with much more grace this time round. After seeing there was no threat, the mum relaxed and went back to her previous position and we decided to head off for our morning bush coffee – leaving the young family in peace.

For those of you who would like regular updates on exciting happenings and aren’t already on our Facebook, please “like” our Klaserie Camps page. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Contact details:

Website: www.klaseriecamps.com
082 727 7766 (WhatsApp)

Written by: Siobhan, Lee-Anne & Matt
Photography: Jaime & Matt

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