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Posts By: Arathusa


Early on a chilly Spring morning, the Styx Pride was lying huddled together for warmth. Even though we didn’t expect much activity, we sat with them for half an hour – and who could blame us for staying? We were enjoying the breeze and had blankets and coffee waiting in thermos flasks in the back.   

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Looking for a place to cross a steep-sided stream bed on our way to view rhino, we found the fresh signs of a leopard who’d earlier found the same way across. We were all now wide awake with the prospect of our Big Five game viewing shooting up to two in a matter of minutes!   

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In Denmark, where I live, we always say with a smile that people who travel to the same place again and again are old and living a boring life without much change. I am a traveller myself, addicted to exploring wildlife destinations, and lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel all over the world   

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Elephants are a ‘keystone’ species meaning they support the healthy functioning of ecosystems and even the survival of other species. Due to their large size and energy requirements, elephants have a big impact on their environment. Elephants are quite destructive feeders and push over trees to access green leaves on the crown. They also debark   

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Five species are well represented in the Sabi Sands lowveld due to large predator and prey populations, and include the lappet-faced, white-backed, white-headed, hooded, and Cape vultures. Vagrant palm-nut and Egyptian vultures are also recorded in the neighbouring Kruger National Park from time to time. Rüppell’s vultures and bearded vultures are absent from the area,   

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Over the past week or so, we have seen the return of the infamous, and sometimes elusive, Styx lionesses and their youngsters. We had some epic sightings, managing to watch them twice on a kill – just missing by mere seconds seeing them bring down a young zebra. We did, however, hear the commotion right   

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At Arathusa, we are very fortunate to see South Africa’s rarest carnivore – although not predictably, fairly often. There are reportedly only about 4 500 left in the wild. Habitat loss is a cause for the decline of many species’ populations, and African wild dogs, who need a whopping 500 to 1 000km2 range in   

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The spotted hyena is arguably the most successful large carnivore in Africa, because it is both a proficient hunter and scavenger – displaying resourcefulness and stamina in its foraging pursuits. It is the only mammal that can digest bone, which it crushes in its powerful jaws, and thereby extracts calcium and protein unavailable to other   

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Hukumuri – a new and relatively young male (about 5 years old) – has cleverly and successfully wedged himself between the western male, Anderson’s and the eastern male, Tingana’s territories. They were either not frequently enforcing their boundaries, or didn’t detect him quickly enough to deter him. New kid on the block – Hukumuri male   

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Many of you may have heard of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows visitors from around the world to leave a ‘heart print’ on communities in their travel destinations. As a proud member of this incredible initiative, we are grateful to all of our guests who saved some space in their luggage to   

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