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A rare and up-close encounter with the elusive Pangolin

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 …
READ MORE > A rare and up-close encounter with the elusive Pangolin

Baby booms when summer blooms…

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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Oxpeckers – a herbivore’s best friend…

  Oxpeckers get their name from their habit of picking ticks off the bodies of medium and large sized herbivores such as buffalo, antelope, zebra and rhino; which is where they also get their Afrikaans name Renostervoëltjie (“rhino bird”). The smallest animal an oxpecker will associate with is a warthog. Interestingly, the waterbuck cannot stand …
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What’s in a name? by ranger, Jamie Sangster

Every single species of plant, animal and other type of living organism on earth has a Latin name. In fact, some only have a Latin name and no English or ‘common name’. It should be noted that about 70% of so-called Latin names are actually Greek or at best a combination of Greek and Latin! …
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No place like (a hornbill’s) home, by ranger Jamie Sangster

Grey (Tockus nasutus), Red (Tockus erythrorhynchus) and Yellow billed (Tockus flavirostris) hornbills have a unique and ingenious nesting strategy, involving remarkable trust and cooperation between a bonded pair of mating individuals. This bond is formed by prolonged and elaborate courtship displays involving gifts from the male enticing the female, to prove what a wonderful father …
READ MORE > No place like (a hornbill’s) home, by ranger Jamie Sangster

Hyena pounces on an injured impala, by ranger Jamie Sangster

  Hyenas are believed to be lazy, incompetent hunters and cunning thieves. While the latter is true, hyenas are in fact highly capable hunters; despite lacking the stealthier hunting techniques of their Feliformis* (cat-like) counterparts. Hyenas often forage alone, in fact more than they do as a group. This increases their chance of encountering food …
READ MORE > Hyena pounces on an injured impala, by ranger Jamie Sangster

The Styx pride maintain their reputation

  On Friday afternoon, the 3rd of February, we were both lucky and unlucky to witness an incredible, albeit distressing event. A pack of 15 African wild dogs were relaxing around a small water source, north of the lodge. Some of the members were fast asleep, while others were grooming themselves and a few of …
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Birds of prey: Tawny Eagle

Dark Tawny Eagle The Tawny Eagle, scientifically known as Aquila rapax, is one of the most powerful birds of prey. Like all eagles, it belongs to the family Accipitridae. This is a large eagle although it is one of the smaller species in the Aquila genus. These birds are found in good numbers around Arathusa – they are permanent residents …
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Arathusa receives some rain, by ranger Rein Kock

We recently received some much needed rain. Although only about 20mm, we are still extremely grateful as it brought very welcome relief to both humans and animals. The game in the area rushed to cool themselves in the puddles left after the downpour, and we are sure they will soon be able to enjoy the …
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Hyena feast at Arathusa, by ranger Rein Kock

A few mornings ago, we woke up to some commotion around the lodge. Hyenas and monkeys were calling, but we were not complaining. What better way is there to be woken up in the African bush? Upon inspection we discovered a pair of hyenas in the open area near the lodge. These scavengers seemed quite …
READ MORE > Hyena feast at Arathusa, by ranger Rein Kock

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