November 12

A Week of Unbelievable Silvan Wildlife Sightings: Silvan Safari Blog

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By Nigel Ridge on
November 12, 2021

After a long 14 days off, many rangers can’t wait to get back to the bush for some Silvan wildlife sightings. Something always draws us back, and we’re excited to see what’s in store for us.

I am one of those rangers, and boy, what a welcome back it was…

Surprising Silvan Sightings

Pangolin at Silvan Safari
No sighting stirs excitement among trackers, rangers and guests quite like that of a pangolin. Image Credit: Nigel Ridge

It’s always incredible how the bush manages to surprise you at every turn and throw something so magical out there when you least expect it.

On my first afternoon back at Silvan Safari in Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, we came across the most surreal and unexpected sighting. While we stopped for drinks, we heard two male lions roaring nearby.

And so, we quickly packed up the drinks and headed straight to where the noise was coming from. Another ranger who assisted us in finding the lions decided to drive into the block where he suspected they might be and stumbled upon the biggest surprise!

Right there, in the middle of the block, some movement caught his eye. And there is was, not the two male lions we were looking for, but one rare and famously elusive pangolin.

We quickly hurried over and had the most memorable sighting of this exquisite animal, foraging around our vehicles, seemingly unbothered by our presence. Without a doubt, this was my favourite pangolin sighting ever.

On the Leopard Front

Kuchava and her cub at Silvan
Kuchava’s cub took some time to step into the spotlight for us recently. Image Credit: Nigel Ridge

How do you top seeing a pangolin? It’s something not only most guests dream of seeing but also many guides. 

But off we went, trying to track down some elusive big cats. We were in luck once again, with some more unexpected sightings. We picked up on a female leopard’s tracks, and it looked like she had a small cub with her, so we continued tracking. Eventually, when we thought our luck had run out, we turned a corner. And there was Kuchava, the mother leopard.

We admired her beauty and, suddenly, a fluffy cub popped out and ran towards mom. It was pure magic. After such a long tracking process, and to think that we almost gave up. To then experience something like this brings tears to your eyes.

Who Let The Dogs Out?

wild dogs kill inside the camp at Silvan
Wild dogs take down a Nyala at a previous sighting, Image Credit: Kyle Olivier

Early one morning, as we set out on safari, we quickly picked up on tracks for our famous Tiyani leopard and her two cubs. So, we began to follow them.

We went through the river and up to the other side and, suddenly, bumped into another surprise – a pack of African wild dogs! Moreover, they had just made a kill and taken down an impala. The noises and action that unfolded looked like a Hollywood action film. Hyenas surrounded them, trying to get in on the fun and steal some of the kill. However, the wild dogs managed to chase them off. 

There was chaos and commotion everywhere. But, within minutes, it was over again. Had we arrived a couple of minutes later, we would’ve missed it! There’s just nothing like a wild dog frenzy to get your adrenaline pumping in the morning!

Nothing Like Seeing Lions

Avoca Male at Silvan Safari.
The Northern Avoca males are fast becoming some of the most impressive male lions in the Sabi Sand. Image Credit: Kyle Olivier

It’s always special to see lions. However, this morning we had the honour of enjoying a couple of extra-special ones!

We managed to find one of the Northern Avoca male Blondie at a waterhole late in the afternoon. As it started to cool down, we hoped that he might wake up and put on a show for us. And, indeed, that’s exactly what he did. 

He woke up, gave a yawn, and then started roaring right next to the vehicle. The vibration of that sound trembled through the vehicle and my body. We were mesmerised by the sheer majesty of this magnificent animal. It’s an experience that’s hard to explain. When a lion is mere meters away from you – it’s just something that you can never get tired of hearing and seeing! 

The three Nkuhuma females and their seven young cubs managed to bring down a young giraffe, providing us with some spectacular viewing and entertainment of them at the kill. It’s always special to see young lion cubs in the wild and the power of the three adult lionesses at the kill site.

Come Experience Our Silvan Wildlife Sightings for Yourself

It has been a special start to the cycle with some fantastic sightings that have provided our guests with some incredible memories, photos and experiences that they will cherish for a lifetime. Come see for yourself and collect memories at Silvan Safari! 

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About the author 

Nigel Ridge

My passion and love for wildlife started from a young age. I was fortunate enough to have parents who took me to the bush every chance we got. I then pursued a career in nature conservation. During my practical year, I spent some time as a guide and fell in love with showing people animals for the first time and teaching them about this amazing place I live in. There is nothing better than an early sunrise, late afternoon sunset or staring up at the millions of stars with dead silence around you. Doing this is how I want to spend the rest of my life!

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