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July 29, 2011

Viva Safaris July Newsletter

Marcs early morning leopard sighting


Dear James

Every now and again, I remind the youth with whom I deal, including my own children, that the thinning hair on my head is silver ( not grey ), not as a result of some dye, but naturally through the years of hard-earned living. I do this not to dampen any exuberant enthusiasm but rather to introduce an element of stone-cold reality into their thinking. There can be no substitute for experience.

My experience of July 2011 is that it was the coldest month I have ever endured. Perhaps it is the daily aspirin that I take that has thinned the old blood, but I have really suffered this month ! As I write, the main double highway linking Durban to Johannesburg has been closed to traffic for 48 hours and is likely to remain closed for a while longer as a result of massive snow storms. I conducted a game drive on Tshukudu in the middle of July and I thought I might pass on. My fingers were so cold that they were stuck to the steering wheel!

The cold has a negative effect on game viewing. Like us humans, animals tend to seek shelter from the wind and cold, so on those days when it is cold and windy, the game viewing is poor. This month, when it was sunny, we had outstanding game sightings. In fact I had my personal best leopard sighting of the new millennium. My son, Marc, spotted a leopard that was lying on an earth mound about 30 metres from the car. It was sunning itself as leopards tend to do in the early winter mornings so as to warm up. The leopard then stood up and moved towards a game path. My experience over the last 45 years allowed me to guess exactly what would happen. I noticed that the game path led to the main road and so I told Marc to drive to that point where we waited. Sure enough the leopard walked diligently on the game path and appeared right in front of our vehicle, not more than one metre from us !

Marcs early morning leopard sighting

The guides report that game viewing has been generally good. On many occasions this month, they have had all Big Five on a single day ! There seems to be an increase in leopard sightings every July. However there has been a noticeable decrease in rhino sightings. I am very sad to report that the poaching issue is now really out of control. There has been a rhino poached in Kruger Park this year every 22 hours!!!! It is impossible for this situation to continue !

You will recall from my April 2011 newsletter ( if you cannot find it, please look under Newsletters on ) that my friend Spoon Phakati was walking from the border town of Musina near Zimbabwe to Cape Town to bring the plight of the rhino poaching to the attention of people he meets. He has now arrived safely in Cape Town and informs that the message to combat rhino poaching was well received all along his travels. I do believe that all South Africans are acutely aware of our predicament. The problem is to educate the Vietnamese and other nations near Vietnam. The statement allegedly made by the Vietnamese Minister of Health that his cancer was cured by using rhino horn must surely be the most irrational and murderous pronouncement ever – it simply is a death warrant for this wonderful creature. He should be charged and incarcerated !

Talking about prison, my good Italian-extraction ( like me ) friend, Mario Cesare, Warden of Olifants Game Reserve, informs me that there was a nasty incident along the Olifants River, not far from where we conduct our walks. In fact, Ismael Mia, the caretaker/owner of the area where we walk, did contact me at the time and asked me to let our guides know that there was an anti-poaching operation in progress and so we kept well away. The end result is that a poacher was shot dead and another injured by the same bullet. When the injured man presented himself at the Phalaborwa clinic, he was arrested. They had been responsible for rhino poaching in the area.


Monthly report from BONGANI

It was a very good month in terms of game viewing. Almost on a daily basis we managed to see lots of animals including the Big 5. l did most of my drives to the north of Satara and also some on the eastern side . This is where most of my guests’ dreams were realized.

To start off on the 7th of July 2011 we came across a hyena walking along the road with an Impala leg in its mouth. We followed her for about ten minutes and she led us to her den, a hole, where her puppies were hidden. After dropping the leg for the puppies she came out and started sniffing around. The day before a leopard had been walking around the area. She showed signs of distress as she jumped nervously around the hole.

Around Timbavati there are many animals like Elephants, Rhino, Buffalos and general game. These animals like the area because of the river that is located there. On the 9th we saw about 20 lions eating a buffalo and lots of vultures were hovering over waiting for the leftovers. The next day all we saw were the skeletal remains of the buffalo.

On the 10 of July during the walking Safari we encountered 5 bull elephants. As we tried to get closer to them, one performed a mock charge and we decided to move away.

Bongani only a few feet away from a bull elephant

On the 14th of July l drove the Church group led by Fr Donovan OMI to Acornhoek to inspect what Viva Safaris is doing for the local community Firstly we went to Maromeng were we met Father Chico, head of the Comboni Missionaries in Acornhoek. He explained to us how our help is needed in the church. We proceeded to Morhotso Clinic to see the progress on the vegetable garden that was planted by the USA volunteer students from Angel Tours.

The above were my highlights for the month of July 2011. All the best and talk to you next month.

Bongani & Piero at the vegetable garden

Monthly report from PIETER

Yet another month has gone past and there is so much that has happened that it is hard to keep track of things. The month of July was the coldest month I’ve experienced in 30 years that I’ve lived here.

It’s really time for summer to start! I’ve had enough of this cold and dry weather. The animals are having a rough time finding good enough vegetation to eat and are struggling to cope with this cold. As a result they move out of the area, making it difficult for us to find good sightings. This weather makes me crave vetkoek and mince or pancakes.

If I have to choose a few highlight days, I would have to start with the 19th of this month.


We left the lodge for a morning walk at 6h00 in the morning. I didn’t expect to see much because of the freezing cold weather. On the way to the area that I wanted to walk in we stopped at Nonwane air strip to watch the sun rise.

Beautiful winter sunrise in the Kruger

It was beautiful. After the sunrise we drove on. We stopped at Hamerkop dam, in order to start our walk. We slowly walked towards Impala dam when I heard some of the other guides giving updates on the radio about some rhinos that were sleeping close by. I changed my direction west wards to higher ground in the direction of the rhinos. As we all know rhinos are big 5 and thus dangerous to approach on foot. The area was relatively dense and I must say I was a bit nervous. I know the area, but the updates were very vague on the exact location of these rhino. I took it slowly and when I heard the Oxpeckers I knew that we were very close. And sure enough a short distance further there they were. All 4 rhinos sleeping, and not even knowing there’s a whole lot of excited eyes looking at them. What a great sighting!! We watched them for a while longer and left them in peace. While walking back to the Landcruiser I realised that no one was cold anymore, and I knew that the excitement of this great sighting we just had was still on everyone’s minds. Even I was not thinking of the cold, just about how privileged we were to have seen these animals.

Kruger National Park 25/07/2011

We entered at the Orpen gate. From the gate to Timbavati area it was slow and very quiet. We saw hardly any game. Close to the Timbavati picnic spot we came across some buffalo – it was a big herd of over 200. All of them were drinking and preparing themselves for a hard day of feeding and finding good enough vegetation to sustain – they’re big – almost one ton bodies. We stopped at Girivani dam after watching the buffalo and saw a rhino right inside the dam. He was trying to get some water, but it was in vain. As he walked out of the dam I noticed his feet were dry and I realised that the dam was completely dry. I felt sorry for the poor animal and wondered whether it might be the same rhino I helped to save a few years ago. He was stuck in the dam and couldn’t find his way out. We moved on making our way to Satara for some lunch. Driving on the Timbavati road towards Satara we came across some lions that were resting not far off the road. I noticed that one of the females had a bad eye. I asked Wimpie about it later that day at the lodge, and he explained that it’s most likely it was blinded by a snake. Mozambique spitting cobras are very well known to do this to animals. The rest of the day was full of elephant sightings and a lot of general plains game species. We ended our day with a breathtaking sunset on our way out of Kruger National Park.

Big herd of buffalo preparing for the day

Bulule Sunset Drive 26/07/2011

I had a few people on this particular day – 7 to be exact. I decided to go to the York area. We departed and saw some wildebeest and other general plains game. The area is very quiet because the cold is still affecting everything around. We stopped for a quick leg stretch and some drinks at sunset, and to all of our surprises the sun faded away before setting behind a cold front rolling in from Cape Town. As we drove on I went past Impala Dam to look at the resident hippo and crocodile on the dam. We only saw them by using the spotlight as it was dark. After that we drove on and as the wind started blowing, all the animals went and hid in thick bush to hide from the approaching cold. I turned the vehicle west towards Con vd Merwe property. We came to a dry river bed with some thick sand where we have to engage 4×4 to go through. As I was about to do so something caught my eye to the right, and to my great surprise I saw a honey badger in the dry river bed. I was so surprised that I stalled my car. But the sighting got even better, there was another one. Male and female together!! I wanted to say ‘ sorry for disturbing ‘ to them because I realised that they were on honeymoon. They were mating and hiding away from us. This you almost never get to see in the wild. I thought of Wimpie and how he will turn vivid green from jealousy as this is his favourite animal. He did when I told him about my unbelievably fortunate sighting after the game drive at the lodge. And even at dinner we spoke about how lucky we were to have seen these amazing animals.

Rare sighting of a honey badger!

Monthly report for ISAAC


We were greeted on arrival at Orpen by the most elusive animal, the leopard. It was along the Orpen-Satara road about 7km before the junction of Rabalais. Before we spotted it we were watching a Giraffe and Warthogs, all feeding along the road. I saw one car about 100m away from us. I wondered how these people were watching these animals from such a distance. As I drove close to them that when I noticed there was a leopard which was walking through the grass trying to make an ambush to catch a warthog. Unfortunately the leopard was disturbed by a Giraffe. All the animals ran away and you could see the leopard was now desperately sorry for itself.

It crossed the road in front of our vehicle. Another car went in front of us to get a better view then the leopard was charging towards them as all their cameras were outside the window. We really thought it was going to attack them. It crossed the road running to the bushes. At around 11h30 on the S36 after Muzandzeni dam about 2km on, there was a buffalo carcass with only one male lion feeding by itself and the vultures were coming up and down trying to grab some meat.

We drove along the Sweni road where we saw a breeding herd of Elephants and some Buffalos. After lunch we went along the Olifants road. Just before the junction with the S90, there was a pride of lions resting, about 30m away from the main road. A male lion stood up and walked towards us and then lay down only 5m from the road. The guests were wild with excitement ! There were lots of vultures and a bad smell coming there. We realised that something had been killed some few days ago.

We drove through S127 where we came across a white rhino and a baby calf crossing the road. The calf remained behind feeding and when we stopped the mother turned back for the calf emotionally. It then pushed the calf with its head and moved away.

At around 16h00 on our way back at Ngirivani Dam we saw a baboon feeding on a dove beside the road. We do not know whether the baboon caught the bird or it was knocked down by a car. We could see it removing the feathers with its front legs and feeding on the meat.


I went into the Park with four clients. Two of them were there the previous day. Everyone just wanted to see the Big Five. We drove for about an hour without seeing any of the Big Five. As we got to Sweni Dam about 200m away, there were lots of cars lined up, all facing the same direction. As we came close two lionesses were resting near the dam and the vultures were flying all over. Another guide said there was an Impala kill, but we could not see the carcass. The lionesses stood up and walked down to the dam for a drink. We drove to the other side of the dam to get a better view of the lioness drinking. The lions did not care about the hippos which were resting on the sand bank because they were already full. As we were still watching a herd of Buffalos and Elephants also came to drink water.

At about 11h30 along S40 towards the Timbavati picnic spot a young male Elephant in musth was walking along the road towards us. I reversed the car for about 100m, but it kept on coming. When I stopped the car it came close about 10m then it changed the direction going into the bush. There was a big applause from the clients “ bravo ” (Italian way of saying that the elephant is scared of you).

On our way back we came through Rabelais where we saw Wild Dogs feeding on an Impala. A Tawny Eagle was on the side of the road about 20m feeding on the remains of the meat. We watched them for about 20mins and they finished the whole carcass and went off. As we left the second gate at Orpen a huge Rhino came from the bush and stood in the middle of the road, blocking the road. There was a traffic jam for about five minutes, then it disappeared into the bush.

Monthly report for MAYNETH


We spent a fairly normal day in Kruger and had a brilliant ending.

On our way out of the park we came across a leopard walking on the road. It was walking freely, but when we got closer, it went into the bushes to hide. The cover was for a short period of time, because after a few minutes of quiet it reappeared and started to walk on the road right in front. It walked along, looking on both sides of the road trying to see if there any animals around.


A pride of lions killed a wildebeest at Ngotso dam. There were two big males and three lioness with two cubs. The cubs were feeding with the two male lions, while the lionesses were watching. Only when the males were full did the females start eating. Next to the kill there was an Elephant breaking branches of trees very close. After the lions were all full they went under a shade and lay down relaxing.


On H7 we saw a leopard crossing the road. It tried to stalk some Impalas, but it was misty. It went into hiding for a few minutes and then came out again. It then sat in an open area until we left

Towards Mudzazeni on S36 we found one big male lion which had killed a buffalo, next to the road. There were so many cars around. It then dragged one big piece of meat about 20m metres away from the road, then started eating in peace.


About 5km north of Satara a huge pride of 20 lions killed a buffalo. The carcass was about 15m from the road. When we got there, they were almost full. Some of them including the cubs were lying under the shade of a tree. Two were mating while the 4 male lions were feeding. The presence of vultures and jackals made it interesting, because when the lions relaxed, the vultures tried to take over, so the lions had to guard the carcass.

Monthly report for BERTUS


Between the the first and second gate at Orpen, we came across three Cheetahs that had killed an Impala. We came closer and they all stood up looking around with blood dripping from their mouths. This was really amazing because it was just before we entered the park proper. We then saw a Bateleur Eagle eating a squirrel on a Marula tree. Near Satara we saw a female Rhino and her calf about 200m from the road. The calf was running around in front of the mother. On our way to lunch at Satara we saw many Zebras and Wildebeests crossing the road in front of us.

After lunch we took the Ngirivana road on S12 we saw a herd of Buffalos on both sides of the road. We drove slowly in between them and they never paid attention of us and they kept on grazing.

On the way out of the park, the same Cheetahs were still at the same place.


We went into the Park and drove on S127 towards Satara. On H1-4 we came across a massive herd of Buffalos. They were in their hundreds and about 25-30m away from the road. At 13h30 we drove towards Satara and had a good sighting of Rhinos which were about 15m from the road, busy wallowing.


As we drove in, only a few km from the gate we already saw three of the big 5 : Buffalos, Elephants and Lions. We made our way to Timbavati picnic spot and opposite the Big Baobab tree a lioness and male lion were relaxing on the open area enjoying the sunshine. We turned on to H1-4 towards Satara about 11km down, just past S90 we spotted 7 lions. What we could see was one male lion eating. From what we could tell it looked like a Buffalo and about 2m from the lion there was a Blackbacked jackal waiting for his chance to grab a piece of meat. The White-backed vultures were also waiting for their chance. This was really a great lion day for us.

After lunch we went back via H1-4 towards Sweni road on S100 we spotted a two lions which were mating. We stayed there for about 15minutes. We then had a great sighting of 3 big Elephants that were drinking water and when we left we came across two male Giraffes fighting to impress a female. We drove 8km then another lion sighting – they had also killed a buffalo. This was very close to the road, about 2m from our vehicle. The clients were so happy, because many of them wanted to see them very close. I must say this was the most excellent and amazing day.


On this day we saw four of the big five (buffalos, rhinos, elephants and lions) On S127 about 30m in the bush one Rhino was lying under the shade. We drove 2km from the rhino and there was a herd of Elephants crossing the road. The females were protecting the young ones and trumpeted loudly showing signs of anger. My clients thought it was fantastic ! We came down the Orpen road we turned on S40 towards Ngirivane dam. We saw many cars parked facing the waterhole. There was a rhino drinking water. About 100m from the dam we spotted a lioness with two cubs which walked straight to the waterhole to drink water.  This month was the best of all.

Monthly report from WIMPIE

This past month was most probably the hardest month in my whole guiding career. The weather was the worst I’ve experienced yet in the lowveld. Even the animals went into shock from the cold.

This strange and extreme cold made sightings very difficult. The rain we had was way too early and with that, the cold set in. To make things worse, on certain days, the wind blew everything to an almost standstill.

Apart from the weather I have also put in a lot of hours with regards to my SKS DG behaviour studies that I’ve completed. That was truly a big challenge.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the people that motivated me to bite the bullet and push through a very intense time. And even with the subtle smile or just the odd joke here and there, gave me the strength to finish what was most probably the toughest project I’ve ever had to do.

Thank you to Piero and Sandra Colia. Without your support and help to get my amazing camera to do my studies, I wouldn’t have completed it. Your support, talks, and advice is a true inspiration to me. You have no idea how that carried me through the times where I wanted to quit. God bless you.

To my fellow guides Pieter and Bongani at Tremisana. Thank you so much for the updates to let me know where you found game and Pieter, always ready with his camera to show me what he has seen. Pieter you are a true friend and like a brother to me.

Then the 2 interns at the lodge, Jarryd and Camille, thank you for all the jokes and willingness to learn from me. That in itself gave me a lot of motivation.

Then to all my guests that I’ve had, thank you so much for the opportunity to share the bush and all these amazing animals with you.

If I have to choose a few highlight days it would be all in Balule. There were some nice days in Kruger national park, but as I’ve only spent 2 days there I would prefer to report on this area.

Day 1

I woke up, and when opening my curtains I saw that it was overcast and very windy. I thought to myself, “how on earth am I going to conduct a successful walking safari on a day like this?”

I decided to go to the Nonwane area for the excursion. Stopping at the air strip in the freezing weather, we waited for the sunrise. The sun didn’t show because of the clouds, which was very disappointing to me.

Just before we started walking from the air strip, we heard the lions having a argument with each other close by. I immediately told my guests what to expect and briefed them on safety and so on. And we were off. Walking in the direction of the sounds I saw fresh tracks as well as the scuffle marks where they fought with each other.

Walking and tracking them was difficult because of the wind and lack of sunshine, but sure enough we got to see them. I didn’t want to push my luck because the wind was constantly changing direction, and the impala and zebra gave away our position. We saw about nine lions that morning! The rest of the walk was quiet simply because of the presence of the predators that were in the area.

Day 2

Yet again this was a very cold morning. But luckily the wind was not going at it again.

I chose to walk the York area on this specific morning.

While driving to the area we were definitely freezing, but a breath-taking sunrise warmed us up very nicely. It’s amazing how something like a sunrise can motivate you. We finally arrived at the area where I wanted to start from, and shortly after starting the walk we came across some giraffe that were busy with the hard job of finding good vegetation or leaves to eat. Winter in the bush puts everything to survival mode – moving far distances in search of sufficient food and water. We came very close to them, and watched in awe as 2 bulls started fighting with each other by hitting each other with their long necks, obviously trying to find out who is the stronger and more dominant. We left them at peace, and moved on. I decided to go to Impala dam because the rest of the bush was very quiet. When we got there we saw some zebras that were drinking and the dominant hippo bull out of the water. The scent of buffalo that was at the water the night before was still hanging in the air. We watched the hippo going about his daily routine for a while, but well out of sight. These animals are very dangerous to view when they’re out of the water and can very easily reach speeds of about 40km/h on a charge. When he decided to go into the water we went onto the dam wall to take a good look at him, and as always he impressed us with a massive yawn. Yawning with hippo is not as with humans, they open their big, massive mouths as wide as they can to show off or to display their dominance over the threat at hand, “us near his water”, to warn us that he is king over here. The morning warmed up nicely and we could peel off some layers of clothing during our short break. After some water and snacks, we moved on. I heard some birds making a hell of a noise and upon investigating we found an African wild cat that was trying to move undetected. Obviously his attempt to do so was not very successful. The birds were going crazy, with the fork tail drongos and crowned lapwings mock- diving the poor feline, quite a funny sight. The cat was trying so hard to stay away from the birds that it didn’t even see us. And before we knew it, the time to go back to the lodge for a delicious breakfast was at hand. We moved to the car in silence, I think everyone was speechless with what we just experienced. And I must admit so was I.

Day 3

I just came back from a few days off. I was very sad, and the reason for that was that I got very bad news. My best friend of almost 11 years passed away 2 days prior. He was also a very well known tattoo artist, and is responsible for all the tattoos that I have. My first day back I went on another walk with my guests.

We walked in the York area again and had good fun stalking some general game, impala and zebra as well as giraffe. But I was constantly thinking of my friend and his family. We came across a crocodile at Impala dam where a few days ago, before I went on my days off we found the hippo out of the water. While watching the crocodile and hippo, I looked up and just said a short prayer for my friend’s family. Something caught my eye and I turned a bit to get the sun out of my eyes when I saw what it was. A beautiful boom slang, one of the most venomous snakes in Africa, if not the most. It’s an arboreal snake with very big eyes. They are usually green in colour, but often also seen in a light brown and black or yellow/green form. It’s a back fanged snake and has a very potent hemeo toxic venom. Also, one of the only known species of snakes that can identify prey that is completely static. What an amazing sighting. I also called some Pearl spotted owlets. They are very beautiful and always fun to see them looking for the intruder in their territory. This walk definitely boosted my morale. And yet again before I know it my time for the walk was up. We drove back to the lodge and had another amazing breakfast.

Crocodile spotted at Impala Dam

We also did some bush clearing in front of the lodge where the water holes are. We got rid of most of the Sicklebush also known as Dicrostachus cinera. It’s an intruder and has the habit of growing very dense. Since doing that a lot more animals are coming to the water holes to drink. Even 4 big mature elephant bulls are hanging around almost every day. Since the bush is cleared and more open general game also are more relaxed to come and drink here.

Elephants at the waterhole in front of the lodge

The usual Winter clean up and renovations are on the go. We have done the usual maintenance of roofs, painting of wooden balustrades, cleaning and acid washing of swimming pools etc etc.

Tremisana is looking good and the waterhole is attracting a lot of game throughout the day and night. A Wild Cat has taken up residence somewhere in or near the camp and he successfully causes chaos on moonlit nights by disturbing the monkey troops.

Marc’s Camp seems to have huge numbers of Nyala these days but fewer Buffalo. Perhaps the buffalo have moved to the plains areas of Motlala. The Breakfast Dam is attracting a large number of warthogs.

There have been three serious contenders to lease the Cheetah Inn. Proposals have been sent to us and we are in the process of finalising the Lease agreements. Our concern is that the new Lessees not only make a success of the venture but also maintain the standards that have been enjoyed by the many tourists Viva Safaris has sent to Cheetah Inn, especially the large volunteer groups that do so many good works for the local communities.

I include some reviews posted recently on

“Lovely, tranquil place, superb game viewing!”

Reviewed July 25, 2011

We spent a wonderful long weekend at Tremisana Lodge. The staff were friendly and attentive. The skill and knowledge of the guides greatly added to our enjoyment of the game drives and we were fortunate to see the “Big 5” on two consecutive days. I wholeheartledly recommend this lodge to prospective visitors of the Kruger National Park.

Stayed June 2011, travelled with family



Reviewed July 19, 2011

Outstanding friendly service, delicious food and well-informed friendly guides who inspired me with their knowledge and passion for the Bush. Very comfortable room. Excellent location for watching game at water holes, on drives and walks; I was amazed at how much I saw. Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends.


“What an amazing experience”

Reviewed July 19, 2011

Wow, for most of our week on safari we were left speechless. No words could describe how much we enjoyed our stay with Viva Safaris. Your guides provided us with a constant stream of knowledge and their love and passion for the bush was an inspiration to us all. The staff at the lodge kept us constantly smiling with the amazing service and fantastic meals. We would like to thank you for an amazing week and it was a highlight in both our lives. Congratulations on an amazing venue and all the staff involved, it was a remarkable experience.

We wish Viva Safaris the best of luck for the future and may God bless you all

Regards Craig and Christine

Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends



Reviewed June 26, 2011

We had a wonderful time at Tremisana Lodge, Pretty was a lovely host, the rangers were great. The food was wonderful. the room was clean and bed comfy.

We saw the Big 5 and many other game. Pretty sorted out our daily activities, We visited the next private game lodge one evening, Kruger for a full day, the rehab centre and of course the walking safari.

It was great to see different areas of the national park.

Stayed June 2011, travelled with friends.


Sydney, Australia


“Fab stay!”

Reviewed June 12, 2011

Cosy place with lovely grounds.We sat around the pool chilling out which was great.

There is a little viewing area where you can chill and watch any animals where we watched giraffes.

The food was great and they feed you well. In the evenings we all sat next to the braai and it was nice to socialise over dinner and talk about our day. The staff were all lovely especially Florence who was the hostess and really on the ball knowing everyone’s itinerary off the top of her head. And of course we realise that the cooks and helpers in the background were also vital to our great stay. We also did a lot of trips with Bongani who was brilliant.

What we loved about this place is that it was part luxury/part rustic which works well in the bush. A must place to stay in on safari!

Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple



Letters received from our guests

Hello Piero and Sandy,

Congratulations once again on the birth of Jake; may he bring you and his parents much joy!

Thank you for allowing us to spend a wonderful weekend at Tremisana. We had a great time. The staff were very helpful and caring; Florence and Bongani in particular went out of their way to look after us. The knowledge and skill of all the guides was superb. We all felt we have learned greatly from them, and their enthusiasm enhanced our experience of the bush. We were very fortunate to see the BIG 5 on two consecutive days. The sighting of a lion with his kill, and with lioness and cubs nearby was certainly the highlight of our visit!

We enclose just a few of the many wonderful photos we took. Thanks again and we look forward to seeing you again soon.


Gina and Rosario Lamparelli

Rosario’s leopard sighting


Dear Anthony, Trevor, Piero and Everyone at Tremisana and Marc’s Tree House Lodge

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Words alone cannot express how grateful we are for the awesome time we spent at the two lodges in June. We blown away by everything we experienced – from the food to the accommodation to the game drives. But most of all, by the genuine warmth, hospitality and friendliness of all your staff, including Piero! A special thanks from all us, especially, to Pretty, Pieter and Bertus (even though we didn’t get to go on a drive with him), who were like familiar, old friends to us during the time we were there.

Thank you so much for your extreme generosity and for making our stay at Kruger an amazing experience for all of us and for the life-time memories we were able to take away with us. Hopefully we’ll see you soon again sometime, but next time we are definitely flying up. Man, that drive from Cape Town is long!

Believe it or not, I actually met one of our students from Brazil at Marc’s while were staying there, so I am really glad that we have been able to send some business your way. I will be certain to continue doing this from side.

Please let me know if you or any of your staff are ever in Cape Town, as I would love the opportunity to repay your kindness.

Kind regards

Craig, Bronwen, Angela and Kristin

Thanks for the lovely sentiments !

Until next month…

With kind regards,


General Manager

Viva Safaris


Tel: 27-11-4768842 (all hours)

Trevor Cell: (27) 82 450 9930

Piero Cell: (27) 82 444 7654



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