Sunday, 29 March 2015

Bathing Hyena

Summer in the Lowveld South Africa and the midday heat normally means that animals take cover in the shade. But not this group of Hyena who prefer a cooling dip.


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Written by Will Fox

Magnificent doesn't come near to describing them

We all love to see lions on safari. They are undoubtedly magnificent creatures and probably on the very top of the wish list for most of our safari guests. But it is only when you are in the wild and in their presence that you can fully appreciate their power. Magnificent doesn't come near to describing them.
 Guests shoulder in shot
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Saturday, 28 March 2015

Memories that last a lifetime - more than a tag line

Can you spot our safari guests.
Guided bush was are always popular and a great way to feel the African bush.
Safety is of-course the highest priority, but if you sit quietly, it's amazing what you'll see.
This inquisitive youngster was interested in our group, but as you can tell by the relaxed attitude of our two guides (safe on the termite mound), there was no need for concern. But what a wonderful moment and moreover memory to take home.
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Thursday, 26 March 2015

It's everywhere

One thing for sure is that there is a huge variety in nature. From the big to the small, we look for them all on safari. I think best described by a recent guest who sat back taking in all around her and said "there is beauty everywhere". That just about covers it, no more to say.
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Monday, 23 March 2015

Waiting for the final day

Volunteers with a lion cub
As a wildlife conservation based Safari Company it would be less than candid, if we were to avoid mentioning some of the conservation issues that African wildlife faces. There are of-course many issues with poaching high on the list, but one that I think worthy of further mention is canned lion hunting. 
Canned hunting’ is the somewhat controversial practice of holding a captive bred lion in a fenced enclosure to be shot by international hunters, who subsequently export the skin/carcass as a trophy.
It is estimated that 6,000 lions are held in the canned lion hunting industry. 
Within the conservation lobby, there are arguments for and against canned hunting. The against is I suppose self evident (breeding captive animals to be shot for the self gratification of so called hunters), while those for make the case that at least those hunters leave wild lions alone. 
Whatever your view, an element of worthwhile note is that the source for canned hunting stock is often petting zoos, and or unethical rehabilitation establishments. Where money is made from tourists who enjoy holding a cute lion cub and return home proudly showing off their photographs. What they don’t know is that it is likely that the cute cub in their photograph will eventually be killed in a canned hunt. It is simply too dangerous for tourists to continue to pet them once they grow beyond infancy and they are too expensive to keep around for 15-23 years, and more stock of cubs are needed for the petting zoo, so once they grow they are moved on to canned hunting establishments.

As I figure you might guess our safaris do not visit such establishments, nor have any association with them, indeed we actively support initiatives to outlaw canned hunting.

Waiting for the final day

Some facts
Only 4 years ago hunters killed an average of 400 captive bred lions, in 2013 an alarming 1,200 lions were killed in legal and illegal hunts. An increase of 200% in just four years!
Trophy prices paid for male lions are much higher than that of a lioness. Hunting prices range from about £2,000 - £45,000 for a full maned white lion. In South Africa a number breeding projects still exist with some of them holding as many as 400 lions in a single breeding project.
Heros all
Written by Will Fox

Saturday, 21 March 2015

400+

Keen eye
Even those who aren't keen birders would struggle not to be enthralled by the vast variety of bird species we see on safari. In fact we often find that our guests become more and more 'into' birds as their safari progresses.
Waiting for breakfast
Of-course the raptors and vultures always make for popular sightings, but with an annual count of over 400 species there is always something new to find. Some are migratory birds and others resident, with a whole different attitude as seen below.
'Ground' hornbill

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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Visitor at the back door

It's always nice to see Elephants on safari. Sometimes they push the boundaries and visit our lodges, but that's just part and parcel of living in the African bush.
When they call by, its's time for our guests to get 'that' pic. And as below our guides often join in.
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Sunday, 15 March 2015

Ele's rule

So what should you do when an Elephant wants to drink from the dip pool at your lodge?
You've guessed it, get out of the pool.
Thankfully its not such an issue when there is a dam near by.
Magnificent animals, you can't help but love them. 
And of-course, respect them, they are the bosses.
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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Rhino vs Lion

What to do when a Rhino walks towards you?
Just stand up and walk cooly away.
Nothing to see here.
Written by Will Fox
www.ontarcksafaris.com

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Hyena - who couldn't love them?

How could anyone not like hyena. Inquisitive and cute when young. Okay a little less cute when fully grown, but still amazing creatures.
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