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Welcome to the RealLife Adventures Blog ... pls read for recent news and goings on etc.,

New Accommodation added

We are pleased to announce that we have recently added three new organisations to the areas pages (Tanamera, River House Lodge and Royal Kruger Lodge). Please revisit the Website regularly as we are always looking to update our database with new accommodation so no one visit is ever the same!

Until next time,

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on November 08, 2013.

 

Olifants Restcamp Review,

‘Breathtaking’ that is the word to explain Olifants Restcamp from first stepping out onto their viewing deck overlooking the Sabie River. from here I have been fortunate to witness a lioness hunting an antelope to feed to her two cubs in the riverbed – I kid you not. When you step out onto this viewing platform you feel like you can touch the heavens – often at the same altitude as the circling vultures and bateleurs. It is not uncommon to see Hippos and/or Elephants crossing the riverbed from a distance – this view really messes with your head. for ages work on the restaurant brought this camp to a standstill in my eyes – second rate food was served, often simply warmed up in the microwave. However, I am pleased to announce that the bar/restaurant is finally finished and in a word it is ‘fabulous’ – again overlooking the Olifants river to a cooked breakfast where the eggs (as throughout the park) are always cooked to perfection (like the steaks). When you are in the restaurant it is almost like you are in a treehouse, with the decking and the trees inter-twining so that they are almost as one. Accommodation is good at Olifants, although you always end up wishing you’d done your homework as well as booking in advance for a room with a view. Although the game isn’t prolific around here, the story i recounted earlier shows that you can see absolutely anything anywhere and the night drives are also supposed to be good. I’ve had a number of lion sightings on the Satara to Olifants Road on an evening, as well as hyena and i’ve even been fortunate to see a leopard with an antelope cached up a tree – I’ve only ever seen this twice in Kruger. Olifants is definitely one to consider when combining with Satara, but whether or not to go any further is a tough call.

A word of warning – Olifants tends to have it’s own culture. i’ve only ever been fined once for being late into camp – and i was late a lot (well – the best sightings always happen on or around closing time!) I also witnessed a family with four kids not being allowed back to the satelite camp of balule and not being given anywhere else to sleep in Olifants, but their car. this may have been a one off occurrence, but this type of treatment annoyed me a lot at the time and it is only fair to report it.

but in general i give a massive thumbs up to Olifants – just don’t go there expecting to see lions and tigers (especially not tigers ;)

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2013.

Singita Elephant Charge

for those of you who haven’t seen the video of an idiot guide charging an elephant at Singita, it can be found below. Everyone seems to have an opinion on this – from those who find it funny, to those who find it outright despicable – demanding answers from Singita. the thinking that I tend to most agree with is that of – “the guide shouldn’t have done it – but wake up and smell the coffee – less fuss is created from the masses of Rhinos, not to mention other more endangered animals regularly being slaughtered for the disgusting Chinese medicine market” – this is a far greater crime in of itself.

Without condoning this behaviour, it must be noted that the guide has apologised for his actions, fgasa (the field guide association of South Africa – of which i myself am a member) have also condoned this. And immediate discipplinary action was taken by Singita – who immediately fired the guide and his accomplices.

What came to light during this moment of insanity was the great work that Singita have and continue to do for the environment – conserving an unimaginable hectares of land in South Africa, as well as the previous conservation work the guide had been involved with – including research on ground hornbills (an intriguing creature) as well as rhinos (but it doesn’t seem elephants).

Needless to say any animal treated like this will now understandably pose a threat to humans on foot/walking safaris and oftentimes this animals have to be put down. It is my belief that a number of the incidents regarding elephants is often due to such irresponsible human behaviour and i have experienced this first-hand on a night drive from Crocodile Bridge with the ‘guide’ ahem, taxi driver, coaxing the animal to charge us – the only time i’ve been charged by an elephant in the park.

it is unfortunately because of incidents like this that kruger have banned consumption of alcohol in the parks restcamps and before long the private reserves in South Africa might decide to do the same.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2013.

Satara RestCamp Review

Satara Rest Camp is a must for the first timer. When we were last there we were lucky enough to be treated to two honey badgers ‘raiding’ the camp and rustling through our bins. I took a couple of pictures until I got a glare from one of the little critters which was fiercer than it’s very own reputation. At this stage I remember crossing my legs as honey badgers (or the Ratel in Afrikaans) have a reputation leaving lions for dead in the vast African Savannah – with gonads fully removed from other appendages (they have sharp claws)! Anyway, I digress – Satara is a sprawling camp and renowned for it’s big cats. If you are of the nervous variety then I don’t suggest going for a guided walk from here! Instead consider driving the S100 dirt road nearby to the camp – this is arguably the best road in the park– where i saw my first and one of my best leopard sightings – right next to the road, as well as lions mating (with the obligatory idiot guest taken picture whilst standing on the edge of his car, with door wide open). On our last visit we saw Wild Dog and another great Leopard sighting by the side of the road on a morning drive between Satara and Orpen. Prior to this stage there was nothing but leopard scat to keep my attention (and worryingly this in itself does keep my attention – although not most guests!)

As for accommodation in Satara – it’s not the greatest always, but it really depends where in the camp you are – the circles of rondavels looking onto each other is glorious on an evening with individual campfires roaring. To be honest, you can’t really go wrong anywhere in the park.

I guess the benefits of Satara, aside from the great Wildlife, which stems from the rocks in the area, which create the soil, which grows the grass, which attracts the herbivores and ultimately the predators, is it’s proximity to other areas. Satara restcamp is situated bang in the middle of the Park and provides quick and easy access to the Orpen Gate (with Satellite towns such as Hoedspruit and the Blyde River Canyon to pick up supplies, sight-see etc.,) as well as easy access to what is arguably the most stunning of all the camps, situated on the Olifants River – Olifants (Elephants) Restcamp.

Satara is a must-stay camp, especially for the first-timer.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2013.

National Park vs. private concessions – what’s the difference ?

Something that often confuses a number of people looking to book a safari is the difference between the park itself and the Private Concessions. The Park offers it’s own (basic, but still good) accommodation within the park itself. However, the majority of privately owned safari lodges such as those found on this site, operate from what are referred to as private concessions. Although not technically within the boundaries of what most consider to be the National Park, these private concessions tend to constitute what is referred to as the Greater National Park. The only thing that separates them from the park itself are the fences (and in some cases just the gates).

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2013.

Where to spot Wildlife

travelling to South Africa can be an incredible experience, the stunning scenery is usually enough to take your breath away and many people will return to this ‘land of contrast’ just for this. However, for those travelling to the lowveld, there is usually another (even greater) draw – the Wildlife, with many tourists asking “where can i spot Wildlife ?”. for some, ‘splashing out’ on an expensive safari holiday may ensure this – sightings are often very intimate, albeit that you are often sharing the vehicle with other tourists who you hopefully get along with. However, for those also planning to dip their feet in the delights of the National Park, either instead of or as well as the luxury safari accommodation, this is often more difficult to accomplish, particularly if you are doing a self-drive safari without a guide (which you must try at least once).

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2013.

Manzini Swazi King Chalets

Manzini Chalets is situated in the South of the National Park, about a half hour (+) drive from the Crocodile Bridge gate (one of the most southern gates of the park). The lodge itself is very nice – small rondavels with a really comfy feel to them and a spacious bathroom. There is a ‘drop pool’ outside for cooling off on those hot summer days and even some sofas ! Having said this, when we stayed at Manzini Safari Lodge we experienced the most crazy lightning storms, so the Sofas pretty much got drenched through. Nonetheless, we enjoyed great access to a great area (the Southern Circle around Crocodile Bridge is highly recommended for some of the best sightings – it is lush and great lion and leopard habitat, with roadside lion kills regularly seen). We’ve always been fans of marloth park for those wishing to travel on a budget and not ever wanting to be more than a stone’s throw away from Kruger and definitely a good choice if you’re on a budget. Nonetheless, it is very well serviced with shops to pick up food for your travels as well as great bars and a fabulous coffee shop. So in conclusion Manzini is definitely worth a shot for those travelling on a budget.

Until next time ,

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2013.

Many Saved by recent floods as tourists forced to flee safari destination,

Mpumulanga is well know for it’s long history of flooding, with last year’s floods causing immeasurable damage and causing Wildlife to flee to the hills for cover. Although recent rains have been on a smaller scale, tourists were still forced to flee it’s confines via the Mapungwe main gate.

Although efforts by the South African National defence force have been applauded, at least 6 people have died as a result of the floods. Meanwhile tourists within the park were forced to gain a height advantage over the floods using both hills and rooftops. More rains have been expected, threatening to close more of the safari camps and gravel roads.

for more details on this story, please >> read here <<

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2013.

What is the best restcamp ?

this is a question that most new holiday makers/ travellers want to know the answer to. Well, the jury’s still out on this and there are even plans afoot to build a new restcamp in the serene North East of the Park, near Crook’s Corner where ivory smugglers, for example used to illegally cross countries with ivory e.g. from South Africa to Mozambique and Zimbabwe and vice versa. Anyway, I digress – the answer to the above question depends on what you’re after – if it is a stunning location, then I’d recommend Olifants restcamp towards the middle/North of the park, or perhaps even Mopani (though this is probably the worst area of the park for wildlife as the mopani trees for which the area is named are not favoured by grazers). If it is a luxury safari lodge / camp you’re after, then i’d say the new fancy tents at Punda Maria are a must, with there own braiis on an elevated porch. for camping, you’ve got many options – pretoriuskop restcamp, the satellite camp to mopani (the name evades me) or even tamboti near the Orpen Gate (once it’s recovered from the previous devastating floods). If you want the ‘full package’ then you need to be focusing on camps such as Skukuza, Satara, Orpen, Lower Sabie and Crocodile Bridge. Berg en Dal is a really unique and special camp tucked away in the southern corner of the park. and if you’re heading up North don’t miss the elephant museum at Letaba and Shingwedzi camp is a must.

So, the verdict is – take your pick !

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2013.

Crowdsourcing for the naturalist !

the crowdsourcing Website ‘latest sightings’ is all the rage at the moment, but is the concept anything new ? The crowdsourcing element to latest sightings is what is so impressive – granted – i probably wouldn’t have attempted this as you have to see crowdsourcing in effect to believe it ! Nonetheless, i find myself wondering, as a naturalist and web designer myself, could the data not be presented more effectively ? the site itself is messy, and like an amateur attempt at an outdated version of facebook. It is the information that draws people back time and time again to view recent Sightings either from within the National Park, or just out of curiosity, from outside – to keep the excitement going. Anyway, the fact remains that this data needs to be presented in a more user-friendly and visually effective way.

thx,

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2013.

Drones Over Africa

According to the guardian a rhino farmer in South Africa is planning to fight poaching using US military surveillance drones after being granted permission by the US state department to purchase drones. Clive Vivier now only needs permission from local civil aviation authorities to test a number of drones over South Africa.

Vivier believes that extreme solutions are necesary to combat the current poaching situation in South Africa now that more than 650 (a new record) rhinos have been slaughtered last year for Asian Markets.

Vivier believes that despite the country’s efforts, many residents and even conservationists are comparable to historians (simply recording the demise of a species). He states that the ground war is useless as there simply aren’t enough people on the ground to fight it compared to the size of the area where poaching is occurring .

In the Kruger National Park (2m hectares) alone an estimated 400 rhinos have been killed this year, stating that it is understandably impossible for a limited number of rangers to guard effectively.

He continued: “We need to change the rules of the game. We need technology. The only thing that can see these people before they do the dirty deed is surveillance drones.”

for more on this article read >>HERE<<

A Warm Welcome to Mosetlha

We would like to wish a warm welcome to our newest premium accommodation – Mosetlha Eco Lodge. What’s interesting about Mosetlha who are based in the world famous Madikwe game reserve is that they market themselves as a non-luxury eco lodge. However, what makes Mosetlha the perfect accommodation is that instead of being about luxury they are all about conservation and being close to nature – our shared ethos ! … preferring that guest spend less by avoiding luxury, but benefit from a closeness with nature (through rustic accommodation) that is difficult to come by in today’s world!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2013.

there’s a snake in my bonnet …

you know what’s coming next – “don’t shout about it or everyone will want one !” . Nonetheless, it was exactly this that was documented by the latest sighting Website– forget luxury – nothing less than a massive African Rock Python in a guests bonnet ! Car troubles can often give clues as to where the trouble in your car is coming from – I myself have broken down in Kruger (for the car to be a towed out in the morning – a great sighting for anyone !) thankfully i got out just before dark after unwittingly attempting to push the car into action next to an onlooking hippo! Although this guest's car would reveal the problem, the guest would have struggled to predict what came next – after lifting the bonnet – a standard first check procedure – a huge African Rock python was found wrapped around the entire engine of the car, presumably trying to keep itself warm ! On being disturbed it make a quick break for the exit, but not before providing a number of nervous (and excited) onlookers with a sighting they wouldn’t forget in a hurry …

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2013.

Latest Sightings donates money to staff

the manager of the ‘latest sightings’ Website, has got together with a local school – King David’s Highschool, Linksfield, to send donations to the World famous Kruger National Park. This move was prompted after the crowdsourcing Website received so many images of flood devastation in and around lodges in the park, that the owner of latest Sightings felt compelled to act. Donations, which were meant for staff victims who lost clothes etc., in the floods were delivered to the lodges by the generosity of the Land Rover Owners Club Southern Africa, in association with the latest Sightings Website.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2013.

Archie Maclean is head chef of two Singita luxury lodges. He reveals his highlights of his job.

What are the biggest challenges of working in the National Park?
Apart from being careful not to be eaten by lions on the way to work, the obvious challenges are the logistics and communications. My suppliers deliver twice a week, but it takes the closest one three-and-a-half hours to get here. There is no supermarket nearby to pop round to if something has been forgotten, so I need to be on the ball and anticipate as far ahead as possible. Telephone and fax lines are often not working, but luckily we have our own cellphone tower for emergency calls.

you can read the full interview here

This entry was posted in Uncategorized on June 17, 2013.

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* featured

Manzini Chalets

 

Manzini Swazi King Chalets is a luxury lodge located in the breath taking game reserve known as Marloth Park, in Mpumalanga.


pls check out our brand new KRUGER SIGHTINGS BOARD for up to the minute sightings

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Latest News ...

NEW ACCOMMMODATION

We are pleased to announce that we have just added new accommodation. If you are searching for luxury accommodation then please visit the Website regularly as we are constantly adding new accommodation to our database.

 

Mosetlha Eco Lodge joins RealLife Adventures as our newest premium accommodation! We would like to offer a warm welcome to Mosetlha Eco Lodge - the antithesis to lodge luxury ! if being close to nature is what is important to you can check it out Here

Kruger floods claim six lives as tourists forced to flee ...

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latest kruger sighting -

"#KNP 18:29 #Lion. H4-2 near Crocodile Bridge Rest: tinyurl.com/a6rkt2d" 1 hour ago/undefined/

Kruger Safari Lodges receive rave reviews ...

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Rhino poaching on the increase

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Sanparks to open new tented safari lodge/accommodation in North near Crook's Corner ...

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Kruger floods claim six lives as tourists forced to flee ...

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Sightings board proving a big success

the 'Latest Sightings' Website' is proving a big success for it's attempt to use outsourcing to help people to 'spot' wildlife in the Kruger National Park for that chance at a rare sighting ! Of course we also have our own latest sightings board here -

Drones over Africa

Drones are becoming the latest technological weapon in the war against poaching in South Africa, with a number of proposals to release drones over the kruger in the near future as a means of sighting potential poachers before they spot and kill any animals as part of the far east ivory 'trade.

for more on the story please check out this article ,'

 


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