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  • The 6 Hour Battle at Londolozi - Buffalo Vs Lion

    By Matthew Sterne |

    Epics such as this six hour battle between buffalo and lion at Londolozi Private Game Reserve are not uncommon in Africa. Such sightings quickly remind you that a safari in a private game reserve like the Sabi Sand is real and raw. Get the word zoo far from your mind. This is life untamed. It must have been a tense mix of fear and thrill – not wanting to turn away but tiring as the hours ticked on – for the fortunate travellers who watched the rumble unfold from the seats of their open game vehicle. Africa's animals, however, are no sissies... The Daily Mail article reporting on the battle explains how the two big cats targeted a buffalo bull "on a cold winter's morning in the bush, kick-starting a six-hour battle of endurance." We'd just like to interrupt this to say that some of our team missed this incredible moment by two days. Two days. "The bull was able to use its horns to flip one of the big cats into the air, but the lioness soon returned to the fray." "'The spectators sat transfixed - the whole event will remain embedded in the memories of those fortunate few who got to witness the battle,' a Londolozi field guide said." "After a six-hour struggle, the buffalo was able to stand up, shake of the lionesses and make a run for it." ...Best the young cats pick on someone their own size. In the ranger's words, "'The evolutionary arms race was playing itself out - this was truly the survival of the fittest." Londolozi is not new to being in front of the videocamera - its name has been celebrated in the numerous documentaries filmed in the reserve by Londolozi co-founder and acclaimed wildlife filmmaker and conservationist, John Varty, whose camera has captured the antics of the leopards for which the reserve is renowned. Other great epics caught on film in the South African bush include the Battle of Kruger in 2004 - an eight-minute amateur video showing a confrontation between a herd of Cape buffalo, a pride of lions and a lone crocodile at a watering hole in the Kruger Park. Posted on YouTube in 2007, it currently has 74,517,335 views. It even won awards - the Best Eyewitness Video in the 2nd Annual YouTube Video Awards. National Geographic covered it in a 2008 documentary. Such is the cinematic potential of the African wilderness. Best we get back to the airport, nose pointed north... The bush is calling.

    Read our recent blogs on Londolozi: Winter’s Secret Weapon and No place like the African bush.

    Watch our video on Londolozi and contact us to find out about heading to the reserve for your own safari.

  • Welcome to Delaire Graff Estate

    By Matthew Sterne |

    Smoky, smoky... I detect gooseberry, aromas of cut grass, hints of citrusy tropical fruit. The way people talk about wine is almost absurd. It makes poets of us all. We are utterly seduced by finding the right words to describe the precise flavours that tickle our palates and noses. 'Wine is sunlight, held together by water,' said Italian physicist, mathematician, engineer, astronomer and philosopher, Galileo Galilei. In those words he perfectly captured what it is that spurs the world's love affair with vino and vineyards. Sunlight, beautiful sunlight. But it doesn't take a physicist to see that. A philosopher, perhaps - a few sips of good wine definitely have me contemplating the fundamental nature of life. Nowadays you can enjoy a bottle from just about any wine estate right from the comfort of your chaise longue at home. But nothing beats going to the source of the magic. There are wine farms, and then there are wine farms. Ones that stay with you long after you leave, like the subtle layers of honey and almonds in one of Delaire Graff's Chardonnays. A five minute drive from Stellenbosch, Delaire, a member of Relais & Chateaux, has always been one such estate for me. It is an affair that started the moment I made my way up its meandering driveway to a look-out point with the most magnificent views in the whole of South Africa's Cape Winelands (Galileo would agree). It just happens to also be a world-class winery, restaurant, hotel with villa-style suites and a spa. Something you can enjoy right from your chaise longue at home are our two new videos of Delaire Graff... Our videographers recently visited the estate to film the grounds. Take a look at our exclusive footage below, including interviews with key players at the farm. The second video focuses on the magnificent food and wine on offer. Dig in... 

    Start planning your Winelands sojourn

    For more information about Delaire Graff and the Cape Winelands of South Africa, and to book a tailor-made itinerary to suit you, contact one of our travel experts. Take a look at some of our Winelands tours for a taste of what to expect.  Delaire Graff Estate | Address: R310, Helshoogte Pass, Stellenbosch

  • Snow Falling on the Winelands

    By Matthew Sterne |

    On the last few days of August, as Spring Day approached, snow began to fall on the peaks across the Western Cape. Locals raced up Table Mountain to photograph themselves in the snow - doing everything from tonguing the white powder to stripping and mooning the camera. People like us raced up to the Cape Winelands to behold the white peaks that for just about every other week in the year are bare and brown against the sky. Being the final week of winter, it was as though the season was not quite ready to give up and wanted to give us one last show. A snow show. While the rest of our Marketing Team headed to the Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl for wine by the fire, our two videographers gloved up and spent a few hours capturing the snow on the upper peaks of the Du Toitskloof Mountain, between Paarl and Worcester, about 70 kilometres from Cape Town.

    Take a look at the video and photographs from the trip below:

    Du Toitskloof

    Did you know: The Du Toits Peak is the highest peak in the Western Cape within direct sight of the ocean. Take a look at the snow on Table Mountain in this Facebook photo album by No Danger Diaries. Contact one of our travel consultants for more information about booking a trip to the Cape Winelands.

  • The Botswana Files - Wild Dogs of Chobe

    By Matthew Sterne |

    Tales from the Great Botswana Expedition

    Dust rises up from under the tyres of our 4x4. I get a face full of it as I look down at the sand. We’re following wild dog tracks on our third day on safari in Botswana. Our andBeyond ranger Mompati calls them hunting dogs. Wild dogs, hunting dogs, painted dogs, whatever you want to call them, they’re the coolest animals in the African wild in my opinion. They have a nonchalance about them, an uncanny animation that'd make them instant stars in a Disney film. We find the dogs sleeping. Typical. They're lying down on a grassy knoll next to a marsh of lily pads as we exit Moremi Wildlife Reserve and head for Savute. But it's not long before one hops up and has a go at another’s bum. The bitten gets his revenge and soon the pack of three have all risen from a short respite to play silly buggers, jumping on each other, yanking each other’s tails with their teeth, and letting out barks that sound more like cute, playful yaps. Everyone in our vehicle (my co-pilots Geraldine and Catherine from Rhino Africa and Thulani from andBeyond) starts talking about their dogs at home. Like Savanna, the border-doodle. It’s easy to mistake these wild dogs for domestic pooches, but watch them tear apart an impala and opinions change. Nevertheless, they’re the most social and entertaining of the animals we see on our safari. Showmen of the bush.

    Watch the Wild Dogs of Chobe here:

    We see wild dog again a few days later as we move from Savute into Chobe. There are about twenty five running along the length of the great Chobe River. [Word of advice: When a traveller/ journalist says 25, it's more 10-15 in reality]. They’ve had a kill recently, as the blood around their necks and mouths show. We track them slowly as they run, the sound of our engine and cooler box whirring along with birds' songs overhead. It's mid-afternoon and we're meant to be on a flight out of Kasane to Maun in an hour. But this is too good to miss. The dogs stop often on the water’s edge to scout out the activities and players nearby – crocodiles, birds, hippos... They're skittish around crocs and we watch the whole pack almost fall over their paws backing up as they spot one. They scamper off into the distance, stopping to fool around as they go. We watch them, through binoculars and camera lenses and video camera lenses, on this early morning in the wilderness. The landscape continues forever, thick bush and trees alongside bare open plains. And this river... Here the dogs have only each other as guards and companions. It's “all for one, one for all”.
    Look out for more blog posts and videos from our Great andBeyond Botswana Explorer Trip! Have you seen our Buffalo VS Lion clip yet? Do it here! Enquire now about a trip to Botswana with Rhino Africa by contacting one of our expert travel consultants.

  • This is Madikwe Game Reserve - Watch the Video!

    By Matthew Sterne |

    Madikwe Game Reserve is one of the best places in South Africa to see the famous African wild dog. Another reason it's so special is its unique location - a transition zone on the edges of the Kalahari, where several rare species occur naturally.

    Watch Our Latest Madikwe Video:

    Situated in the North West Province on the border with Botswana, Madikwe is a 4 hr drive or 50 minute flight from Johannesburg. It's a malaria-free and great year round family safari destination, and is one of South Africa's prime safari destinations. Madikwe is home to lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, rhino and cheetah, as well as a large number of plains game and over 360 species of bird. Founded in 1991, the reserve is a conservation success story. Not only does it preserve the region's flora and fauna, but it was created to boost employment in the area and provide a sustainable environment for the local people. [caption id="attachment_11716" align="alignnone" width="550" caption="Wild Dogs at Jaci's Lodges"][/caption]


    The Madikwe Game Reserve is home to many luxury lodges that we recommend exploring the reserve from. These include the following properties - click on the link for more information: [caption id="attachment_11710" align="alignnone" width="550" caption="Madikwe Hills"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_11712" align="alignnone" width="550" caption="Madikwe Safari Lodge"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_11711" align="alignnone" width="550" caption="Sunset game drive at Jamala Madikwe Royal Safari Lodge"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_11714" align="alignnone" width="550" caption="Royal Madikwe Luxury Safari Lodge"][/caption]


    Interested in exploring the reserve for yourself? Contact one of our expert travel consultants who've been there, seen that, done it all, for more information and to start planning your own tailor-made trip! Take a look at our Madikwe map!

  • Londolozi Founders Camp Gets A Facelift

    By Matthew Sterne |

    A few of us from Rhino Africa popped in to Londolozi Game Reserve this weekend past to have a look at their upgraded Founders Camp. Earlier this year, flooding struck the Kruger and Sabi Sand regions of South Africa. Torrential rain swelled rivers, such as the Sand River, which runs through the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Several lodges in the reserve took quite a beating. While floods create great destruction, though, they often tend to bring with them new life. Such is the case for the 14,000-hectare Londolozi Game Reserve. Founders Camp experienced great structural damage, especially to the lower deck, forcing temporary closure of the camp. After extensive renovations to public areas and rooms, the camp re-opened last month with a bang!

    Watch the video!

    Take a look at the new deck and rooms here in our latest video: The refurbished chalets have brand new decks, refurbished bathrooms, outdoor showers, raised private plunge pools and salas, each enjoying exceptional elevated river views. The public area has been relocated and transformed into an elevated dining sala with a spectacular 270-degree river view made from exquisite Grappa Hardwood. The look and feel is modern and minimalist; luxury in the bush at its best.

    Where is Londolozi?

    Take a look at our map of the Sabi Sand below. Interested in taking a closer look? Contact one of our expert travel consultants for more information on the Sabi Sand and Londolozi and to start planning and booking your trip.