Blue, Wild and Wonderful

Nambiti Hills-82-IMG_6929

Despite their melancholy sounding name, there’s nothing sad or blue about the beautiful and interesting Blue Wildebeest – a common sight here at Nambiti Hills Private Game Reserve.

Wildebeest are able to cover large distances in search of the best resources, and we always find them on our game drives, stretching to all corners of the reserve. In fact, where there is grass, there are Blue Wildebeest. And if they’re not grazing in herds, then they’re lazing around in an attempt to keep cool during the hot African summers.

As a lion’s main source of food, and because they exist in such large herds and are easy targets, Blue Wildebeest are always on high alert. So it makes sense then, that they have one of the most solid family units – the breeding females and young calves stick together in what is called the ‘breeding herd’, while the dominant male keeps his herd fed, strong and safe from predators.

At a young age, male bulls are actually kicked out of the breeding herd by the dominant bull, who ‘owns’ the land his herd resides on – usually the best area in town. He is the strongest and healthiest of the herd, with an uncanny ability to attract females roaming around him, keeping them in his area and mating with them – all part of nature’s plan to ensure only the strong and healthy genes are passed on to the next generation of Blue Wildebeest.

They’re definitely an interesting herd to watch. So, the next time you join us for an exciting wild African adventure at Nambiti Hills, we’ll get up close and personal with the Blue Wildebeest and learn more about their way of life.

Ranger Kelwan

Magical Moments

Beautiful sunsets and close encounters of our favourite kind; wild sightings, proud posers and intimate moments caught on camera. These are just some of the wonderful things that we were lucky enough to sight see this month. While every day here at Nambiti Hills Private Game Reserve is different, the feelings we get are the same: wonder, awe and a sense of pride to be a part of the African wildlife magic.

Game Drive
Feeling friendly? This beastly giant surely was, as lucky guests got to get up close and personal, from the safety of the game viewer. A moment that will take your breath away!

Lioness and Cub
An intimate and precious moment shared between a lioness and her cub.

Vultures
Arguably the best part of the day, when the heat rises off the land and a calm sets in. Time for sundowners and some game spotting.

DSC02005
From dusk to dawn, and all things wild and wonderful in-between.

Gemsbok
What a gem! This gallant gemsbok stood his ground on the side of the road as the game viewer drove past with excited guests.

The Circle of Life

Giraffe Carcass at Nambiti Hills

Finding a disintegrating Giraffe carcass right on the side of our safari trail brought about a collective exclamation from the guests in our game viewer.There’s no doubt about it; seeing something like this for the first time can be disturbing. But with a moment’s thought, one soon realises that this is the nature of the African wild.

Animals are born, they feed, they hunt, they fight, they run, they die… and then they decompose; back into the earth as a full completion in the Circle of Life.

Survival was unlikely for this defenceless Giraffe, as he was surrounded by the reserve’s Lion pride. It didn’t take long before they were enjoying a meal; and then reluctantly sharing it with loitering scavengers who took their pickings.

Now, an eerily beautiful pelt and skeletal remains serve as a reminder that out here, life is both precious and expendable. And even though there is a darkness to the way that life ends, it serves its purpose as part of the greater wildlife picture.

World Water Day

DSC02005

Water!
Arguably the most important substance on earth!

Humans need and use it for most of our daily tasks, nature needs it to grow and flourish and animals need it for basic survival. It is so intrinsically entwined into our lives that often; we take it for granted.

Which is why today, the 22nd of March, has been declared World Water Day. It’s an opportunity to observe and learn about water issues; to become inspired to tell others about its value and its scarcity, and above all, to take action to make a difference in the world, by protecting it.

In light of the recent drought that South Africa has been experiencing, at Nambiti Hills Private Game Reserve, we are particularly aware of our reliance on water, and its true life-giving value.

DSC02004

Recent rains have fallen in the Ladysmith region and we could not be more grateful. It’s a beautiful sight to see, as the land saps up every vital drop and begins to sprout in a tapestry of greens and khaki hues.

There seems to be a renewed sense of energy among the wildlife too, as we are seeing more and more game venture to the rising water holes to quench their thirst and play about. Bird life is plentiful and herds graze alongside each other to share the buffet of restored tufts, while the healthy long grass renders them practically invisible because it’s so healthy and tall.

We’re really excited about the recent rains here at the reserve and can’t wait to show you how a little rain, goes a long way in restoring our beautiful earth.

Spread the word this #WorldWaterDay, and do your bit to protect our precious water. Until next time, stay water conscious and join us soon.

DSC01972

A Ranger’s tale of the African Rock Python!

IMG-20160318-WA0000

It’s been a special time for us Rangers at Nambiti Hills, witnessing the capture and release of a beautiful but endangered species – the African Rock Python.

We were in Ladysmith when we received a call from Bryce, telling us that the team from “Ladysmith Snake Removal” had just caught a female African Rock Python in Ezakeni. They wished to bring it to Nambiti to release it. We were excited to meet this interesting team of people who’ve spent their lifetime catching and relocating snakes in Ladysmith.

Kingsley and I were to be the “deliverers” of that special package and were very proud to be part of this important mission. When we arrived, they introduced us to the gorgeous female snake who was about 3.8m long, 9.8 Kl and approximately 5-6 years of age, judging by her size. She was then placed carefully into a bag before we headed back to the reserve.

The 45 minute journey to the lodge was very noisy. From the bottom of the bag we could hear her hissing louder than the radio, almost telling us “Listen both of you, I’m being shaken left and right here. Go slower on the bumps!” Of course, we were aware of the road’s terrain and were careful to ensure that she was transported quickly and safely.

We brought her to the lodge and kept her in the bag near a shady and quiet area so that she could feel relaxed. Twenty minutes later, after she settled, Kingsley put his hand into the bag – we could hear her hiss louder. He gently but firmly caught her behind her head so that she wouldn’t be able to bite us. I quickly caught the rest of her body which was very heavy, thick and long. Surprisingly, she stopped hissing – she probably sensed that we were only trying to help her.

We quickly held her up for a photo – proof that we were completely crazy handling an almost 4m snake. She wrapped 1/3 of her body around my arm to balance herself and only a person that has touched such a snake would understand how easy it would be for her to strangle and kill her prey.

We gently placed her onto the ground and she headed straight toward the water where we left her to the peace and quite of the dam. Hopefully, she will readjust to her new surroundings and find a mate close by.

We are very proud of this unforgettable day, working with other teams within the community to ensure that our wildlife is always safe and protected.

A Tale by Ranger Iris
Snake Pic

Snake Pic 3

Snake Pic 4