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A Birthday Bash in the Bush!

We absolutely love what we do.  For us, there is nothing better than getting out into the African wilderness to spend time following and observing our amazing wildlife in a way which can be done almost nowhere else.

It is such a natural thing for us to do and enjoy, but for many of our guests, a safari is a very special occasion.  So special, in fact, that they will sometimes make sure to share these experiences with their extended families when they reach important milestones in life.

So it was with one of our long-standing guests, who decided to bring his three children and their spouses – along with eight grandchildren – for a 70th birthday bash to remember, at one of our favourite places, the northern Sabi Sand Game Reserve.

We had the most incredible four days, worthy of this significant life milestone. The trip started off in spectacular fashion, as we encountered a pack of 22 African wild dogs on our very first game drive!

We gleefully watched the endangered canines as they did their usual pre-hunting greeting and ablutions, drank water at a nearby waterhole, chased a few impala, sniffed out hyena middens and gradually moved northwards into the neighbouring Manyaleti Game Reserve.

The grass is still long after all the very good rains that we’ve had over the last few months, so it is easy to overlook even big lions lying in the grass, never mind leopards and other smaller creatures! But incredibly, one of our guests spotted a pangolin on the side of the road – an animal that many people, including experienced guides – may never get to encounter.


The pangolin slunk out of sight into the long grass, but we were able to track it down on foot and get a superb sighting of it, also calling on the radio for other safari-goers to view this amazing endangered species. Many guests come to see the Big Five, but spending time with a pangolin easily eclipses any of those sightings!

As usual, the area delivered on its world-class leopard viewing. One evening, we heard a leopard calling for a mate, and the next morning we came across a male leopard heading towards where the female was calling. Fanoti, the other guide on the trip, tracked the male and Lex eventually found tracks of the female heading in the male’s direction.  That evening, we found the two together and watched their mating nuptials, another rare and extraordinary sighting. It’s worth mentioning that all in all, we saw eight different leopards, an average of two per day!

On another beautiful bushveld morning, we heard a lion roaring from camp, and found one of the males from the Avoca pride, who shook the vehicle with his awe-inspiring roar. We also came across a lioness with a single cub, as well as a female cheetah – a very rare sighting for this area.

The migrant birds are also still hanging out in the lush bushveld, well into autumn. Levaillant’s cuckoo, woodland kingfisher, barn swallows and European bee-eaters were present in abundance.

The birthday boy (or grandpa!), certainly enjoyed an unforgettable time, and how very special it was that he could share it with the people he loves most.

Contact Us to book your own dream birthday in the bush!