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21 October 2008

In an unusual incident, a woman was injured by a buffalo on the unguided Idwala Hiking Trail in Mountain Zebra National Park on Saturday morning, 18 October 2008.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Els and her family during this time of recovery”, said Park Manager, Lesley Ann Meyer.

Mrs. Marna Els from Graaff-Reinet was walking with her husband on the 10-kilometre long hiking trail on Saturday morning at about 09:00 when she was surprised by a buffalo bull which ran towards the couple. The buffalo ran out of the nearby bush and onto the hiking trail, pushing Mrs. Els to the side before running off into the bush. Mrs. Els sustained five broken ribs, a broken collar-bone and grazes from the impact. The incident occurred about four kilometres from the start of the trail.

Mr. Els then summoned help from the staff at the Park who dispatched Park rangers to the scene of the incident and called an ambulance from the nearby town of Cradock.

Injured woman’s condition stable

Park rangers transported the ambulance personnel onto the hiking trail so that they could stabilize Mrs. Els and then transport her back to the ambulance with the rangers’ 4×4 vehicle. Mrs. Els was later taken to a hospital in Port Elizabeth where she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. Her condition is now stable.

This is the first incident of an injury to a person by an animal that has occurred in the Mountain Zebra National Park, which was proclaimed in 1937.

“We urge visitors on the hiking trails to continue to remain vigilant at all times to ensure that they are aware of any potentially dangerous animals such as buffalo, black rhino and cheetah,” said Meyer.

The Park offers both the 10-kilometre and a three-day 25-km hiking trail for visitors. Both routes traverse sections of the Park where wildlife may be encountered and visitors are informed about the appropriate manner in which to react to any encounters.

Media Release issued by: South African National Parks


Parched Kalahari, 3 nights serviced camping safari, exclusive camp site in Nxai National Park in Botswana

The Wilderness Safaris Collection

An Adventurer Exploration – 3 nights / 4 days
Tour Direction – Maun to Nxai Pan to Maun
erviced camping an exclusive campsite in Nxai Pan National Park

  • Safari bathrooms: At Nxai Pan there are 2 bucket shower “bathrooms” and 2 short-drop toilet enclosures per 8 guests.

  • Exclusive experience: To ensure as much privacy and exclusivity as possible, the Explorations camp at Nxai Pan is private and for the use of Adventurer Exploration guests only.

  • Routes: The route is specifically designed to provide guests with a unique Kalahari Desert experience combined with the famous Baine’s Baobabs on the edge of one of the Makgadikgadi Pans as an additional highlight.

  • Transfers: As no airstrips are in the remote Nxai Pan region, transfers are by road on comfortable tar and 4 x 4 tracks. The duration of our road transfer to Nxai Pan and back to Maun is between 4 – 5 hours and travels through small villages and through Nxai Pan National Park.


Days 1, 2 & 3:  Nxai Pan, Nxai Pan National Park

Upon arrival in Maun and once all guests are assembled, we depart overland to our pre-erected private Adventurer campsite in the Nxai Pan National Park.

The Kalahari Desert pans around Nxai Pan are fossilised and covered with short nutritious grasses and stunted acacia trees, creating wildlife-rich areas surrounded by vegetated dune savannahs. Extensive game drives explore the surrounding pans, with an excellent chance of seeing spectacular dry-season predator-and-prey interaction at the waterholes. Possible game sightings include gemsbok (oryx), springbok, even the elusive black-maned lion and a range of other different uniquely adapted wildlife not often seen in the savannah regions found in northern Botswana.

Close by is the famous Baine’s Baobabs tree island, a series of enormous old baobab trees on the edge of the shimmering white Kudiakam saltpan. These trees were painted by Thomas Baines on his exploratory expedition in the late 19th century.

Day 4: Road transfer to Maun

After an early breakfast, we travel by road back to Maun, arriving in time to bid farewell and board your departing flight.


These are only sample itineraries.
CONTACT US for a more personalized itinerary
Back to Wilderness Safaris fly in Packages

    Included is accommodation on a per person sharing basis, all meals from lunch on Day 1 to the end of the scheduled safari, a reasonable amount of soft drinks, wine and beer at meal times, national park fees, activities, guided tour of the Victoria Falls and all internal charters on a seat rate basis.

    Excluded are flights (other than specified in the detailed safari itinerary), visas, compulsory insurance, all relevant entry and departure government taxes, all personal purchases (including curios, spirit liquors, telephone calls etc.), gratuities, optional extra activities and all travel arrangements before or after the safari

  • We will gladly arrange tailor-made departures, subject to the availability of space.

  • Each departure is guaranteed for a minimum of 2 confirmed guests and operates with a maximum of 8 guests per safari.

  • Please note that all scheduled Exploration safaris operate with a minimum of two guests. Should all other bookings on an Exploration cancel or that there is only a single guest booked, we will convert the booking to an FIT package, which is in all likelihood subject to a higher price.

Read Further:

South Africa on Safari with Wildlife Africa Safaris

Booking Code W/A SA16
Start Johannesburg OR Cape Town International Airports
13 Days / 12 Nights Tour of South Africa
You are met at Johannesburg International Airport by a Wildlife Africa representative who will transfer you by road to Sun City Complex for 2 nights, bed & breakfast basis

Around 08H00 AM you are picked up at Sun City and transferred to the Federal Air Lounge (Johannesburg International Airport). Depart at 11H30 on a direct charter flight to Ngala private Game Reserve
Upon arrival you are met and transferred to the camp of your choice at Ngala Game Reserve.
Spend two nights including Three meals a day, teas and coffees, two game drives in open land rovers, refreshments on game drives, Nature Walks accompanied by experienced armed trackers, Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance, Laundry, Soft drinks, house wines, local brand spirits and beers.

After the morning game drive followed by breakfast, air transfer to Phinda private game reserve arriving there at lunch time.
Spend 2 nights at the lodge of your choice at Phinda  including Three meals a day, teas and coffees, two game drives in open land rovers, refreshments on game drives, Nature Walks accompanied by experienced armed trackers, Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance, Laundry, Soft drinks, house wines, local brand spirits and beers.

After the morning game drive followed by breakfast, you will be transferred by road to Zimbali Lodge
Two nights on a standard room, bed & breakfast basis.
Today you will join a half day guided tour of Durban.
Road transfer to Durban Airport in time for your scheduled flight to Cape Town. On arrival you are met by a Wildlife Africa representative and transferred to the hotel of your choice in Cape Town.
Four nights in Cape Town, bed & breakfast basis.
Today you will be picked up for a Full day tour of the winelands.
Today you will be picked up for a full day tour of the Peninsula
Day at Leisure
Transfer to Cape Town Airport where our services end.

Source: Wild Life Africa

The World’s Strangest Animals

The weird world of narwals, nudibranchs, and aye-ayes—and how to see these creatures in the wild.

From June 2008

By Sarah Gold

While hiking through the flat savannah lands of western Brazil, you emerge from some shade trees and suddenly find yourself just yards away from the most outlandish creature you’ve ever seen. Lumbering forward on its front knuckles, its monstrous bushy tail sweeping the ground, the animal swings its long, bottle-shaped head from side to side. As you watch, it scratches open a termite mound, roots around with its snout, and then propels a two-foot-long tongue to flick up insects.

That’s when you realize: none of your nature TV shows or YouTube searches have adequately prepared you for this moment. Some animals, like this giant anteater, are so strange they have to be seen to be believed.

These days, it’s possible to encounter all kinds of exotic creatures without ever leaving home: Animal Planet and The Discovery Channel run endless repeats of Shark Week and Meerkat Manor; zoos have round-the-clock panda-cams and baby-rhino-cams; and web sites let armchair naturalists download the sounds of rare animals (croaking leopard frogs, bellowing polar bears) as cell-phone ringtones.

With all these virtual animal adventures just a click away, it’s easy to forget the value of actual face-to-face wildlife encounters. After all, tracking down wild animals—especially really unusual ones—can be time-consuming, difficult, expensive…is it really worth the trouble?

Absolutely, says Greg Greer, the staff naturalist for adventure-tour outfitter International Expeditions. As a guide for wildlife expeditions all over the globe—including western Brazil—he’s seen the reactions people have when they first come face-to-snout with creatures like the giant anteater.

“Their jaws just drop,” Greer says of his tour participants. “No matter how much people think they know about these animals, they’re always blown away by seeing them for real. They are just way, way more bizarre in person.”

Like the anteater, some creatures are unique in ways that don’t really come through onscreen. Proboscis monkeys, for instance, look plenty strange in photos—but nothing compares to the all-sensory experience of having them leap among trees right over your head, shaking branches and snorking through their huge Groucho noses. Other animals move so slowly that they’d never make for scintillating video—yet scuba divers who happen upon psychedelically colored nudibranchs (sea slugs) can use up half a tank of air just hovering over them as they flutter across corals and sponges. Safari trekkers lucky enough to spot a three-horned Jackson’s chameleon may not be rewarded with much action, either; the prehistoric-looking lizards’ movements are almost exasperatingly slow. But being able to closely inspect the chameleon’s long spiraling tail and crayon-hued scales, and look it right in its independently rotating eyes, is gift enough.

There’s also something singular about seeing rare animals where they belong—in their native habitats, going about their ordinary business (which can be much different than their behavior on camera or in captivity). Since many of the world’s most unusual creatures are also endangered, encountering them in the wild can inspire a new sense of awe—even reverence.

“People instinctively whisper in the wild,” says Dennis Pinto, managing director of Micato Safaris (which leads group treks to remote locations in Africa). “They don’t want to disturb the moment. It’s more than just seeing the animals—it’s being a part of their world.”

In that world, perhaps, it’s us—humans—who are truly strange.

Source: TravelandLeisure



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