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Image of The Month | August 2017

The African Wild Dog, one of Africa’s most formidable predators, is always high up on the wish list for anyone visiting Africa’s famous national parks and wildlife reserves. The reality, though, is that this fabulous species is often one of the most difficult to find, and is classified as endangered, with only 6,000 odd left on the entire continent!

Sadly, like most of the world’s wildlife, the African Wild Dog population is on a downward spiral, owing largely to habitat fragmentation, persecution by humans and the odd disease outbreak. They are also dominated by Lion and so tend to steer clear of areas where these large cats reside at high density. In a nutshell, Lions rule the savannas, ensuring they have access to the zones where prey species occur at the highest densities, and are a serious threat to both adult and young Wild Dogs. For this reason, Wild Dogs prefer areas of denser bush country where the grasses are not as sweet, soils are not as nutritious and animal densities are far lower. To make up for this, they have become one of the most successful of all the African predators when it comes to hunting. This they do as a pack, and through sheer stamina, strategy and will power, they can generally wear down any prey species that they go after. 

The finest locations to try and find African Wild Dog these days are in the Southern African countries of Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe, which hold the largest numbers. Protected areas such as Moremi, Chobe, Hwange and Kruger all offer breath-taking wildlife viewing opportunities, including some of the best chances of seeing African Wild Dog on the planet. Our recently completed Best of Botswana & Victoria Falls Wildlife Safari showcased the very best wildlife sites in this fabulous country, including Moremi and Chobe, and the tour lived up to all the hype and more. Highlights comprised of some exceptional Lion sightings – including a close male roaring, which is an incredible experience – Leopard on four different occasions – including a mother with two 3-month old cubs feeding on an Impala – numerous Elephant, Spotted Hyena at a den site with small pups, and Bat-eared Fox, together with some rare species such as Aardwolf, Side-striped Jackal, Spotted-necked Otter, Springhare, Honey Badger and African Wild Cat! The group were also royally entertained with two separate African Wild Dog sightings. The first was when a small pack was found on a freshly devoured kill and the second encounter was a pack that we followed on the hunt! Click here to see a video taken by Liz Hides, one of the participants on this year’s trip.

Botswana continues to be one of our most popular safari destinations and the reasons are easy to quantify. Marvellous wildlife, incredible habitats, excellent standard of game drive vehicles and idyllic accommodations and food make this a stand out destination. While we have already received a number of provisional bookings, our 2018 departure still has a few spaces available. Click on the following link to see more about this exceptional tour.

Our next tour to Botswana:
Best of Botswana & Victoria Falls Wildlife Safari 2018
28 June – 09 July 2018 (12 days)

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JR - Private Rwanda

Trip has been wonderful! Dale is second to none! Really thrilled to have him and Eric (driver)!

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LH - Best of Botswana & Vic Falls 17

We were very lucky to have such knowledgeable guides, Shadow had the ability to place us in the right spot at the right time when other guides were still thinking about it. It was nice just to sit and observe the interactions.
Great tour, the mix of participants also worked well. Many eyes help spot things which might otherwise be missed (back seats are higher and sometimes you just catch a glimpse that the front seat people miss).

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EB - Best of Botswana & Vic Falls 17

Great communications and customer service.
One of the best trips I’ve been on. The sightings were fantastic, Andre was great, the food phenomenal and the support staff exceptional!
Andre was an excellent guide in all regards and made sure everything went smoothly.

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I.T - Best of Botswana & Vic Falls 17

The tour was excellent. The staff from the Safari company were also excellent.

South Africa & Botswana
LH - Tailor-made South Africa & Botswana October 2018

I want to thank all of you at Rockjumper who worked to give me and my six friends the trip of a lifetime! The trip was perfectly planned; we saw a wonderful array of sights in perfect settings and lodgings all throughout the thirteen days. Logistically, everything worked like clockwork and it took all the stress out of traveling.

But without a doubt, what made the trip so incredibly special was our tour guide/leader, Rainer Summers. He not only lead us to the sights, through airports and into the bush but he managed to keep us all together, without losing anyone for more than five minutes – and I can assure you: that was not an easy task. (We really are not senile – just a bit independent).

His knowledge of what we saw and where to take us, especially in Cape Town improved our experience greatly. His knowledge of the wildlife and its social structure and behavior at Mala Mala and in Botswana increased our appreciation of what we saw exponentially. Nothing was too much trouble whether it was showing us how to use binoculars or camera or how to spot birds.

He also made sure that everyone was comfortable and at ease in all situations. He anticipated everyone’s needs and he ensured that we all had what we needed and/or wanted everywhere.

But most of all, Rainer was delightful to be with. He was fun and his wit and sense of humor made him a great companion. He is a tremendous asset to your organization. We all would like to return to Africa and Rockjumper’s tours but we will want to have no one but Rainer with us!!! We cannot envision a tour leader who could top this experience.

So, thank you for arranging the tour and a special thanks for choosing Rainer to be our guide. It was a magnificent experience and a week later, I am still wishing I was in Africa!

Sincerely,
LH

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