Take to the skies

Ever wonder what it would be like to float on a cloud?

Treating yourself to a hot air balloon flight is the closest you can get.

What better place to do this than over the Pilanesberg National park. Pilanesberg boasts some of the most magnificent views with its rolling hills and natural Bushveld. The peace and tranquility from the air is just indescribable, hearing the birds and sometimes the lions roar as you float above the trees.

Let our pilots share their wealth of knowledge with you as you have a birds-eye view of this 1.3 billion year old extinct volcano.

This is something we think should be on everyone’s bucket list. With a hampagne celebration after you land and a buffet breakfast at one of the bush lodges, it will be a morning to remember.

Things you may not know about elephants

The African elephant and Asian elephant are the only two distinct species of elephant left in the world.

The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is slightly larger than their Asian cousins and can be identified by their larger ears that look somewhat like the continent of Africa.
African elephants have two finger-like tips on the end of their trunk which allows for extreme dexterity (Asian elephants only have one).
The trunk is an amazing limb containing an estimated 100,000 muscles and tendons.

The African elephant and Asian elephant are the only two distinct species of elephant left in the world.

The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is slightly larger than their Asian cousins and can be identified by their larger ears that look somewhat like the continent of Africa.
African elephants have two finger-like tips on the end of their trunk which allows for extreme dexterity (Asian elephants only have one).
The trunk is an amazing limb containing an estimated 100,000 muscles and tendons.

African elephants gestation period is 22 months making it the longest gestation period of any other land animal in the world.
When the little one is born they can weigh anything between 90 kg to 120 kg (poor mom).
Just as a human baby sucks its thumb, an elephant calf often sucks its trunk for comfort and it is so cute to watch them learn how a trunk actually works.
The elephants are extremely social animals, the herds that one sees is usually comprised of a family group of females and their young. Males will either leave the herd or get chased away at around the age of 15 years. These males will then often join up with other males to form a loose-knit bachelor herd.
Both male and female elephants possess tusks, which are actually modified incisor teeth.
The elephant’s tusks will continue to grow throughout its life making use of them for digging, foraging, and in the males case, fighting.

Just as people can be either right-handed or left-handed, elephants are either right-tusked or left-tusked as they will favor using one over the other.

In bachelor herds the males will often play fight as seen in the photo above, this is to help assert dominance within the herd.

Elephants don’t posses sweat glands like we do and therefore need to make use of other methods to cool down. They use their ears to regulate their body temperature (“earcon”).
Inside of an elephant’s ears there are a network of large veins and the skin over the back of the ear is very thin. As the elephant flaps its’ ears they create a light breeze over the veins helping to cool the blood in their ears and in turn, their body.
Elephants will also make use of natures cooling system…mud and water. Elephants love to swim often fully submerging themselves and use their trunks like a snorkel.

An elephants eyes are very small meaning that they have poor vision. This is made up for with a fantastic sense of smell and hearing.

Elephants get six sets of teeth throughout their lives. As the teeth wear down from all the chewing they do, they are replaced by new ones emerging from the back of the mouth and moving forward, similar to a conveyor belt. Each set being bigger than the last in order to accommodate a growing skull.

Checkout our elephant videos from our YOUTUBE Channel:

A once in a lifetime sighting!

It may seem cruel agreed, but this is nature at its’ best.

 

Only around 30 percent of lion hunts are successful making it a rare and fantastic sighting when you can actually see it for yourself. Our guides and guests were treated to such an experience on the 27 November 2015. Below are the photos of the action as it happened, taken by one of our field guides Greg Esterhuysen.

While on an afternoon game drive the guests and guides were sitting watching a pride of lions walking along the waters edge at Mankwe dam. After a little while they all started looking intently in one direction, the next thing out of nowhere a warthog dashed out of the treeline and one of the lionesses gave chase.

Her speed was enough and she managed to get a grip on the back of the warthogs neck.

The male and other members of the pride then came running to see if they could help or in the males case take over.

The female was not impressed with the male and swiped at him as he came closer.
In doing so she lost her grip on the warthog, almost losing it.

The male was quick enough to re-catch the warthog and suffocate it.

The whole pride then joined in on the feast. There was a lot of growling and snarling over the warthog as with a big pride like this a warthog is not the biggest of meals.

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