The Majestic Leopard

The Majestic Leopard

The Majestic Leopard

Leopards are a part of the big cats with their golden, spotted bodies and elegant, however they have vicious hunting techniques. Leopards are commonly considered to be an African species, but they can be found all over the world. Despite their broad spectrum, their population is declining.

Leopards are bigger than domestic cats, but they are the smallest of its big cat species. They only reach a length of 0.92 to 1.90 meters. Their tail lengthens them by another 0.64 to 0.99 cm). The weight of females and males differs. Females are generally 21 to 60 kilograms, while males are typically weight 36 to 75 kg.

Leopards are predators who are not picky about what they eat. Gazelles, cheetah offspring, baboons, rats, primates, reptiles, large birds, fish, antelopes, warthogs, and porcupines are among the animals they would feed on. Leopards are ambush hunters, meaning they crouch down to approach and pounce on their victim before it had the chance to respond. A leopard can kill its prey by snapping its neck with a single swift bite.

Leopards have a three-month pregnancy and generally give birth to a litter of 2 to 3 cubs inside a den. Each cub is born blind and just about hairless, weighing just 500 to 600 grams. They eat exclusively from their mom and will not exit the den before they are three months old. The offspring can live on their own between 12 to 18 months, and at two to three years old, they will have their own cubs. Leopards survive in the wild for 12 to 15 years.

Leopard habitats are diverse. Leopards can be found in tropical forests, vegetation plains, deserts, and alpine regions, but they can also be found close to major cities like Mumbai and Johannesburg. Leopards ignore grassland and prefer riparian forest and koppies. Prey distribution is most likely behind the preference for riparian woodland.

Leopards use several communication mechanisms, including vocalizations, body postures, and chemical communication, identical to most cat species. When guiding her cubs elsewhere, the mother uses her tail as a visual guide, and when she returns to them, she greets them with a chuffing sound made up of three or more short, sharp puffs. Leopards often have a distinctive hoarse, rasping cough that they use to announce their presence as they move across their array or territory. Leopards can be heard purring loudly during or just after eating. Range limits, like those of lions, are clearly defined by scent or announced by making specific sounds.

Leopards face major threats across Africa, including habitat conversion and extreme persecution, especially in retaliation for real or perceived livestock losses. In 91 percent of their current range, lions and leopards are sympatric. According to a recent study, the amount of available prey of appropriate size allows for resource partitioning among lions and leopards, enabling their coexistence. Leopards’ ability to climb a tree might have been an especially valuable adaptation that allows them to live side by side with lions without actually segregating them.

All about the Warthog

All about the Warthog

All about the Warthog

Warthogs are, like their cousins, plump, hooved beasts with wide nostrils at the end of the snout. According to the Animal Diversity Web, they have no hair, except for a mane that runs down the spine to the middle of the back. Their tails finish in a tuft of hair as well.


Warthogs dwell in aardvark-made dens. However, they do not fight for the holes. In general, warthogs are passive and opt for dens already abandoned to make their nests. They usually favour grasslands and savannah woodlands in Africa, these are usually open areas.


Female warthogs, or sows, are highly social and live in groups called sounders, which can include up to 40 members. Females clean each other and huddle for comfort together at night. Adult males may be territorial and are not as social. They sometimes live alone. Around dawn and the sunset hours, warthogs forage in general. They forage at night if they live in a dangerous place.


Sometimes, warthogs are seen as aggressive creatures who attack and eat prey. Currently, warthogs are herbivores, which, means they consume vegetation. Roots, fruit, bark, seeds, grass and plants are included  in the diet of a warthog. Warthogs can consume meat during periods of scarcity, but they do not hunt. They munch on dead animals as they forage, larvae or bugs that they encounter.


Female warthogs can have up to eight babies at a time, although they are typically just two or three years old, following a gestation period of around six months. Piglets are baby warthogs. They weigh between 450 and 900 grams at birth.

Young piglets live with the tone of their mum. Around 4 months old, piglets are weaned to become mature at 20 months. Females prefer to live as adults with their mother, while males tend to go out on their own. Warthogs live between 12 and 18 years.

More facts

Warthogs are able to sprint up to 48 km/h. They are helped by their speed to outrun predators. They zoom right to their dens and first enter the rear, with their tusks sticking out for extra protection from the entry.

It can stab the attacker with its tusks and strike with its sharp teeth during the occasional instances a warthog chooses to face an attacker instead of hiding in their den. Oxpeckers and other birds consume insects from their bodies and travel on warthogs. To get rid of mosquitoes and to cool off on a hot day, Warthogs will even wallow in mud. Warthogs do not have sweat glands to cool themselves, as do pigs.

Warthogs have protection on their knees. They kneel down to eat the lower grass or gobble up bugs.

Predators they fear

As an adult warthog they have to fear lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, crocodiles and African wild dogs. Piglets have to fear and watch out for birds of prey.

All about the Honey Badger

All about the Honey Badger

All about the Honey Badger


Honey badgers are land, quadrupedal creatures that can be about 60-70 cm long with a cylindrical body. Their forefeet are long and wide, with sharp claws used for digging and scaling. In comparison, there are smaller, restricted claws on the hind legs. They are at a height of around 25-30 cm on the shoulders.

Fur with a course, dorsal grey mantle band that stretches from the top of the head to the tip of the tail characterizes the exterior. A white horizontal line distinguishes the gritty white mantle from the black ventral fur on either side of the body. At the base of the head, the white margins form a concave pattern around the bottom of the badger that stretches from the forehead, which is around 12-15 mm above the eye corner and runs to the ears’ upper edges. Honey badgers have small, long-sighted, deep-set eyes that are black and typically reflects light at night.

Having two anal glands on the posterior end, the tail is small and bushy. The two glands are diagonally from the anus and are covered by tissue near the scrotum in male badgers. These glands are used when the honey badger is agitated, for the release of a yellow fluid emitted or used as a defensive mechanism when attacked and for terrestrial marking.

Their skin is thick, tough, and loose, making it easier for the honey badger to twist to break their attacker’s grasp. It also allows the honey badger to navigate in small spaces and gives protection from predator bites.

Honey badgers are mostly a nocturnal species, but they transition to being diurnal during cool, dry months. Compared to females seen foraging with their cubs in their early months, males are often solitary. They are seen hunting in pairs during the breeding season.



The sound created by honey badgers is guttural, defined as a high-pitched screaming bark. The males produce a noisy muttering sound during the breeding season to lure their female counterparts. Vocalization is a distinct sound and frequency during contact with larger carnivores, which comes out like a rattling scream. Juveniles produce a moan of slightly low pitch and make hiccup noises while in pain. Interestingly, they use scent marks for open contact with other badgers, as the male home range can stretch to 500 km2.


The species occurs in a wide range of habitat types, but they are normally absent from the grassland and Nama Karoo biomes in more open and central areas. Their preferred habitat is mostly in desert areas, but they can also be found in grasslands and forests, as mentioned above.

They use their long fore claws to dig tunnels that can be 3 meters long and about 1.5 meters deep. As a place of rest for the honey badgers, these passages or chambers are used. Honey badgers are habitat generalists because they can build homes from something readily accessible, such as uncovered tree roots, rock cracks/gaps, and old uninhabited termite mounds. They also take over tunnels dug out by yellow mongooses, spring hares, Cape foxes and bat-eared foxes because they are courageous animals.


Rooted in their ‘honey’ badger name, many people falsely claim that honey badgers consume honey, while simply attacking beehives in search of bee larvae, creating conflict with bee farmers. As it has been found to feed on the scraps from the beehives left behind by honey badgers, the Greater Honey guide birds have an opportunistic partnership with honey badgers.

Information from the field guide shows that the honey badger is a generalist species and an opportunistic hunter. The diet consists of a wide variety of prey. Therefore, their diet is likely to be affected by seasonal change as it has been found that the honey badger moves between species of prey, highly reliant on the availability of prey.

Easily usable resources for food. Tiny mammals form the basis of the diet for honey badgers and the diet of a honey badger shifts to less lucrative small reptiles and scorpions as smaller animals are less available and there is a rise in the search period for small mammal prey due to the decline in availability.

The Pride of the Kruger National Park

The Pride of the Kruger National Park

The Pride of the Kruger National Park

Out of all of the many, many animals in the Kruger Park, there are very few that are as synonymous and iconic to the Kruger National Park, than the Lion. The Lion is a powerful member of the Feline family and is also the second largest member of the family. The lion has been crowned as the king of the Jungle as it is powerful and provides a menacing feeling when in an area. Let us investigate and explore this majestic and powerful member of the Kruger National Park.

The Lion is a large cat that stands at 1.2m tall at the shoulders and weighs up to 200kgs.The females weigh slightly less than the males at 130kg. Both the males and females have a dusty tawny coat colour. The male has a very iconic mane that is hair that is much longer on the cheeks, chin and neck, that is found only seen on a Lion Male. With some Lion Males, their mane can be almost black in colour aside from the normal darker colour. The females have spots and rosettes on their undersides that can still stay with them to adulthood.

Lions are powerful carnivores that feed on large animals such s Buffalo, Wildebeest, Gemsbok and Zebra. Smaller prey like impala, porcupines and steenbok are all easy prey that are hunted when no large food animals are available. Lions hunt in large packs that are mainly full of females. These females will travel the savannah looking for prey. The females will stay in the tall grass, using their tawny skin to stay concealed. The lions will split up allowing them to flank their prey when the ambush takes place. Lion males will feast on the prey first and only after the males are done, will the females and cubs have time to feed.

Lions are non seasonal breeders and some of the few species where the females usually synchronize their births. Lions have a gestation period 110 days and can give birth to up to 4 cubs in a litter. All the females in the pride form a nursery where they take care of each other’s cubs. The Prides consists of dominant males and up to 12 females and their cubs. Lion males have a very impressive and intimidating roar that can be heard up to 5 km away. Lions communicate using mainly sound, using a variety if roars and grunts to convey a message as well as using scents to mark areas. Lions prefer sub Saharan areas that have plenty of cover like tall grass, bushes, rocks and trees which lions require to effectively ambush and hunt their prey. The Sub Saharan areas of the Kruger Park has a large gathering of animals that provide a decent and semi reliable source of food and also has great cover from the intense heat and also has enough watering holes to satiate

Plan your post quarantine travels with our list of helpful tips

Plan your post quarantine travels with our list of helpful tips

COVID-19 threw the tourism industry and tourists alike quite the curveball. Trips that were years in planning and only months away were abruptly cancelled or postponed, borders were closed and the South African tourism industries, one that employees millions, suddenly ground to a halt, just about overnight.

And while the country remains in a travel ban lockdown, with even the locals unable to enjoy the beauty of the county (and with good reason), we think it is probably the best time to start day dreaming about the travel adventures that will come after this.

When we are all stuck at home, planning your trip after this storm passes will become not only a great way to spend your time, but it will also be good for your mental health as it will take your mind off of the chaos that is seemingly engulfing us all at the moment.

Keep in mind that this is not a permanent situation. It will come to an end and when it does, it will help to have something to look forward to.

This is how you can plan your trip.

  1. Do some online window shopping

We are lucky to be living in an era where most of us have some form of access to the internet. Not only does the web keep us well informed about what is going on around us, but it is also perfect for providing a number of travel options that you can browse through and literally do some “window shopping”

Think about what kind of trip you’d like to experience, and then look at your options. South African safaris are always a fantastic place to start because our country is so diverse and filled with plenty to see, besides going on an authentic safari trip.

  1. Give your travels more thought

In the past, we took travel for granted and often took unnecessary trips to places that perhaps didn’t live up to expectations.

Now that you have the time to plan, it is the ideal opportunity to make sure that the destination you are looking at is truly capable of satisfying your wanderlust. You can now not only have a look at what is cheapest, or what is easily available, but really do your research on the holiday you are considering.

  1. Organise your logistics

There is nothing quite like learning how to take full control over the planning of all of the logistics involved with your trip. Yes, travel agents are a godsend when you are looking for a pain free trip planned in between your busy day, but this time presents you with the best opportunity to learn how to plan your own trip. This will allow you to travel on your own terms and book a meaningful adventure.

If you have been day dreaming about paying South Africa a visit once the borders open, Royal Safaris can help you create the safari trip of a lifetime. We are the nations only tour company with permission to enter the Kruger National Park after dark, and we offer our guests a few unique tour packages that other companies don’t.

Great Trees of the Kruger

Great Trees of the Kruger

Great Trees of the Kruger

The Kruger National Park is a beautiful place that can be found in the Lowveld that contains a large variety of animals, insects and plant life. In the Kruger National Park, visitors get to experience untouched wildlife and get to see animals that you cannot see anywhere else in the Lowveld.


Kiaat trees are beautiful trees that have some of the most beautiful wood that can be turned into planks to make all kinds of products from bowls and sculptures to trinkets and even cutlery. The Kiaat only can only be found in a very limited number of areas in the Kruger National Park, namely close to the Rest Camp, Pretoriuskop. The reason for this is the Kiaat prefers arid and sandy areas to grow, which is why it grows around Pretoriuskop’s deep sandy soil. Kiaats are slow growing trees and are very loved by elephants. As mentioned, Kiaat is popular for making furniture as it handles very easy and also looks beautiful when sanded and polished. Kiaat trees have very beautiful Yellow Flowers that bloom during the late Summer.

The Baobab

The Baobab is one of South Africa’s most iconic trees known for its extremely wide and smooth trunk that stands very strong and stout in the ground. The Baobab has a unique crown of branches and leaves that extend from the top of the tree, similar to hair growing out of a head. There are no branches that extend from the trunk except for the crown. The Baobab isn’t actually a single giant tree but rather multiple saplings growing together and merging as they grow tighter and tighter. The Baobab is actually hollow inside as the saplings grew in a circle, leaving the inside empty. Many people have made a house of the Baobab and one was actually turned into a bar. Baobabs can reach widths of 25m+, with some trees being recorded to be 4 000 years old.

Red Bushwillow

The Red Buswillow is an extremely popular choice or browsing animals and is at the staple of many herbivore and omnivore’s diets. Red Bushwillows are the second most common trees in the Kruger National Park, beaten only by the Majestic Mopani. The leaves of the Bushwillow are actually palpable and also are mildly poisonous. There is evidence that eating these leaves can cause prolonged hiccups. The Red Bushwillow gets its names from the reddish-brown colour the leaves turn during the winter months. The Red Bushwillow is also very draught resistant.

Knob Thorn

The Knob Thorn or Acacia is the third most common tree found in the Kruger National Park. The Acacia is a medium sized tree  that is known for its widely spreading branches and the long white spines that grow on the branches. This tree reaches its most beautiful during Summer when the beautiful yellow flowers start to bloom. During the winter months, the knobs on the tree grow darker. The acacia is a drought resistant tree that has very heavy wood, but the tree is very susceptible to the cold.