Newsletter December 2019
Our 2019 Highlights
2019 is slowly but surely coming to an end and we are looking forward to a few quiet days in our new home in Maun/Botswana.
But before we conclude this very exciting and eventful year, we would like to share a brief review with you:
Katja & DHL
In January Katja changed her professional career and left her full-time job at DHL in order to join Rhino to manage Rhino Safaris going forward. This has been a dream of ours for a long time, and this year we decided it is time to make this dream come true.
Self-drive Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and Western South Africa
In February we started our first safari of the year - an accompanied self-drive tour through the northwest of South Africa. In addition to torrential rains in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and hot temperatures beyond 40 degrees in Augrabies Falls National Park, we will for sure remember the wet antelopes and lions in Nossob, the hunting cheetah in the Tented Kalahari Camp, the 'Look & Cook with Rhino' sessions and the foggy climb up to the waterfall in the Cederberg for a long time.
Botswana Zebra Migration
Shortly after we returned to Johannesburg, our next guests arrived, with whom we went on an 11-day zebra migration safari in Botswana. The focus of this safari is the zebra and wildebeest migration through the salt pans of northern Botswana. In addition to the huge herds of wildebeest and zebras, we also saw at least 2 different types of cats every day, i.e. lions, cheetahs, leopards and even a caracal. On the last evening of this adventurous safari we also observed a pack of wild dogs hunting down an impala right in front of our eyes (and our gin & tonic) and killing it within minutes under the watchful eye of two crocodiles.
South Africa Self-drive
We started another accompanied self-drive tour through South Africa in mid of August- this time we went to the Marakele -, Mapungubwe - and Kruger National Park as well as the Timbavati reserve. In addition to curious ostriches that came to visit our camp in Marakele Park and a completely uninterested hyena in Kruger National Park, we were particularly impressed by the wildlife sightings in Timbavati - a leopard eating its prey in a tree, a pride of lions with 9 cubs and 2 Cheetahs we were able to follow with our vehicle for almost 20 minutes.
Zambia Fly-In Safari
Right afterwards, Rhino went on a fly-in safari through Zambia with 6 guests from the USA. Zambia is still very untouched and an insider tip among safari travelers. The South Luangwa National Park captivates with its special biodiversity and the elephant café in Livingstone offers incredible close interactions with elephants. For us the highlight of this safari is the Luambe National Park – with currently only one camp in the entire park you are going to enjoy complete remoteness and solitude while staying there.
Bush & Beach
In mid-October we started one of our popular 'Bush & Beach' safaris - a combination of safari in the Kruger National Park in South Africa and beach holiday in Mozambique. We spent a few days within the north of the Kruger National Park, which is far less visited than the south. Thanks to our luck and Rhino’s tracking skills - we got to see cheetahs, leopards, wild dogs and even lions exclusively and completely on our own. Via the capital Maputo we continued to the north of Mozambique to the Barra Reef near Inhambane. Here we passed the days with different water activities - snorkelling, boat trips to Linga-Linga and to Pansy Island, a 'tipsy' sun cruiser tour and a rather rough ocean safari, on which we see a giant whale shark right in front of our boat respectively our diving goggles.
South Africa & Swaziland Trip
Finally, we embarked on an almost 3-week camping trip through South Africa and Swaziland. The definite highlight of this trip was Troy’s and David’s walking camp. With their passion for the bush and a lot of attention to details these two young South Africans have built a small, but very fine camp on the edge of the Kruger National Park, where we explored the big and small secrets of the bush on foot for 3 days. It was the first time we stayed with them, but it certainly won't be the last.
Our Move To Maun - Botswana
As some of you already know we moved from Johannesburg in South Africa to Maun in Botswana in September this year and we will keep on organizing and guiding safaris in Southern Africa from here. In 2019 Botswana was voted – again - the best safari destination in the world and we will for sure make use of this by further incorporating the still less discovered parts of this country into our tours in 2020.
The Year Ahead
Another focus point for our business in 2020 will be on walking safaris, because …… ..Rhino passed his 'Lead Guide' exam in September this year and is now allowed to guide guests through BIG 5 areas by foot. For the time being, he only got his licence for South Africa, but he plans to retrieve his certificate for Botswana during 2020. It is going to be another exciting year for us, that’s for sure.
We wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2020.
Katja & Rhino