Game drive sighting from Nyala Safari Lodge.

1915
As the sun dips low, casting its golden hues, the horizon becomes a canvas ablaze with fiery brilliance. From the vantage point next to the game viewer, I witnesses nature's masterpiece unfold in panoramic splendor. Silhouettes of the trees stand as sentinels against the backdrop of the descending sun, while the rhythmic sway of grasses whispers tales of the day's end. The air is imbued with a sense of serenity, punctuated only by the distant calls of wildlife bidding farewell to daylight. In this moment, time stands still, and the beauty of the African sunset captivates my soul.

 

 

Recently, Travel & Things undertook a Lowveld road trip that included 3 Sun Destinations™ properties. Nyala Safari Lodge was the second Lodge on that trip. These are just some of the sightings that I enjoyed.

 

 

 

The game viewers at Nyala are different from those at most other lodges I have visited in the past.These have space for 6 guests, which means that they are not cramped while on a drive.

They have a side door that allows easy access to the rear seating, meaning that visitors do not have to climb over the body of the vehicle to get in and out. This fact I only discovered on my second day, when one of the guides showed me the door. I have to admit that both guides and the Swiss visitors on the vehicle at the time had a laugh at my expense

 

 

 

It looks as if this young leopard cub had been the subject of some an attack as there was a  wound on its head and above its eye that seemed to have been inflicted relatively recently.

The mortality rate amongst leopard cubs is high, given that they can fall prey to a variety of predators that include lions, hyena and even male leopards who might see them as competition.

This dangerous game species that gets my adrenaline flowing and my heart racing every time I get to see one.

 

 

 

Time to call a friend? Seems that way. Being this close to a lion while it vocalizes is a never-to-be-forgotten experience.

A lion’s roar can be heard up to 8 km away and can reach 114 dB. (This noise level is the equivalent an ambulance siren: 112 decibels. Diesel truck accelerating: 114 decibels. Chainsaw: 115 – 120 decibels. Cinema movie-action scenes: 118 decibels). 70 dB is considered to be the level that most human ears are comfortable with.

A lion can use its roar to establish dominance and territory over other lions in an area. It can also be utilized to locate members of their own pride if they have become separated.

 

 

 

On the lookout for prey? This lioness was on the thin side, which probably meant that she was overdue for a successful hunt.

This predator species do not have a great record when it comes to their kill rate, with only 25% of their attempts(as a pride) providing a meal.

A single lion/lioness hunting in daylight has a success rate of only 17-19%.

 

 

 

This giraffe caught the attention of the local lion pride, as can be seen from the scars on its legs. Luckily for it…and unluckily for the lions, the hunt was not a success. And the giraffe survived with minimum damage.

 

 

 

Large tusks like these are few and far between on elephants in this area. In order to qualify as a ‘tusker’ elephants must have tusks each weighing 50 kg or more.

Although this elephant might be on the way to becoming a ‘tusker’, the opportunities for witnessing a big tusker in the wild are slim. There are possibly as few as 20 left in Africa, many of which reside in Tsavo and a few can still be found in the northern Kruger National Park.

 

 

 

Did you know…The bristles on an elephant’s tail do not regrow if lost?

The tail can be as long as 1.3 meters and is tipped by a series of very coarse, wire-like hair. Elephants have an extraordinary degree of control over tail movement and use them as fly swatters against insects.  Research shows that the tail hairs of elephants are significantly different to their body hairs, and are more like the keratin found in rhino horn.

 

 

 

A muddy rhino and a scratching post. The tree stumps are chosen by the rhino to rub of the mud and the parasites.

Used over and over by generations of rhino, the stumps get rubbed smooth, looking like they have been worked on with sandpaper. A closer look will often show the parasites adhering to the hardened mud left behind.

 

 

 

“I see you”…It was lambing season when I was at Nyala and the bush was alive with herds of impala lambs.

 

 

 

Could you imagine trying to invent a giraffe? The last animals that were this tall, were around in the Dinosaur Age.

Did you know?  As the tallest land mammals, males can grow to almost 5.5m, while females can reach 4.8 m tall.

 

 

 

We found this jackal pup not too far from its den. It was out in the open while its mother was out looking for food. Although this sighting was on a morning drive, we had seen it the previous evening being chased back to the den as there was a leopard in close proximity.

 

 

 

I have looked at clouds from both sides now…

 

 

 

To learn more about what this Lodge offers, click on the logo above.

 

 

 

Check out the archived and current interviews… click on the image above.

 

 

 

All images are the copyright property of

and may not be used without permission.

All images used in Travel & Things posts are edited using Ribbet software. To learn more about the product and what it offers both amateur and professional photographers, click on the logo above.