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From our blog


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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Pangolins are renowned for their inconspicuous traits – being highly nomadic, solitary, nocturnal and secretive, and hiding underground much of their lives. Field guides can sometimes go for years without spotting one. However, at Arathusa we’ve been fortunate enough to catch more than one sighting of these critters. The change of season from winter to   

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We have already passed the spring halfway mark and temperatures are rising dramatically, which means summer is definitely on the way! The warmer, balmier days with a lot more cloud gathering indicates that the rains are also not too far away… We’ve already had our first downpour – a much appreciated 20 mm! Hopefully, a   

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  We have recently noticed a change in the leopard dynamics around the lodge. With the loss of female leopards, Karula and Salayexe, a space has been created for new arrivals as they move into the vacant spots. Shadow has now moved more towards Karula’s old spot, which means we no longer see her around   

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