Djuma Private Game Reserve » General Experience the Magic of Djuma Live! Thu, 15 Jan 2015 15:41:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 DJUMA in 2016! Tue, 06 Jan 2015 08:15:59 +0000 Happy New Year!! Djuma wishes you all the best in 2015!

For simply a bush break, school holiday, that up and coming special Birthday, Anniversary, Valentines Day, Easter celebration, Christmas and New Years 2016, BOOK NOW!!!

We have opened our 2016 bookings –

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Djuma Research Camp Wed, 11 Jun 2014 11:15:32 +0000 Last month was extremely exciting for us here at Djuma, it saw the opening of our new camp, Djuma Research camp.

Its residents for the next 3 months will be 20 students from the University of Connecticut (UConn). 4 groups at 3 week intervals will embark on the most amazing experience.

Nature Guide Training the facilitator is a specialist guide training company owned by Sarah and Lee Gutteridge. The school has been training guides for over a decade with many of their students going on to become Head Rangers, Managers and even General managers.

Lee is one of only 7 FGASA Scout guides in South Africa, with FGASA Level 3, and SKS qualifications in Dangerous Animals (DA), Dangerous Game (DG) and Wild Flowers (WF). He is also a Palaeo-anthropological specialist guide and a Senior Tracker and Tracking instructor and assessor. He is a recognized Assessor and Trainer for FGASA with more than ten years of assessing and training experience in the field. He also completed a diploma in Game Ranch Management during the mid-nineties.

He has authored 5 books so far including the best selling South African Bushveld – a field guide from the Waterberg (2008), as well as co-authoring the Okavango field guide (Gutteridge and Reumerman 2011) and Bushman Rock Art (Forssman and Gutteridge 2011). He is a passionate trainer and loves what he is doing!

Joining them is their Principal Instructor, Diana Griffioen who has trained with them full time for over six years,and is a qualified school teacher with an additional 8 prior years of experience in this field too. She is a FGASA Level 3 Guide, with a Cybertracker level 4 in Track and

Sign, a full level 3 Tracker and is also an experienced Trails Guide. Diana is currently completing 2 different SKS qualifications in Birding and Wild Flowers.

There’s nothing better than to kick the course off with first aid practical training with Jens. Bandaging, back-boards, CPR exercises, judging wilderness hazards, carrying “patients”, suffering the screams of the “victim”, and watching out for wild animals. With no better teacher than experience, the students take control of learning the basics by really getting into the first aid scenario. Though the wounds were fake, the adrenaline and sense of urgency was real, and the ability to make the right decision is the real test. I just hope this time I am informed of when the practical will happen and avoid scolding myself with hot coffee again as I jumped to my feet to figure out what and where the screams were coming from, there were certainly a few great actresses in the last group and although serious training, the students seemed to have great fun.

The Students also partake in a track and sign course ending at he end of their stay in an assessment. Lee and Diana put the students through their paces teaching them the difference between a buffalo and rhino track to name a few. To my amazement, the students at the end of their three week course could tell the minuet difference between a Yellow billed Hornbill and an Arrow Marked Babbler – truly amazing!

During the first week they were also joined by Derek Solomon who opened up another dimension of the bush with his sound equipment, it can pick up and amplify distant calls of the wildlife around us. It was interesting to sit by the dam at dusk with our headphones on, and listen to the dynamic spectrum of the bush “radio”.  The sound safari really does open up ones senses to the bush.

The Students also enjoyed an interesting lecture from our very own Jurie Moolman about the history of our beautiful county and Michael Grover about the Ecology of the Sabi Sand.

Besides amazing sightings the students were also part of some other very exciting activities.  Wisani Day Creche in the village of Dixie, just on our reserves borders were lucky enough to have the students volunteer to give the school a much needed freshen up. The ‘artier’ students painted beautiful murals on the walls, the stronger students to make fun and interesting obstacle courses sank tires and I… well, stood back and enjoyed watching humanity at wok.

It was very sad indeed to see our first group leave but just as exciting to welcome the next!  More on the shenanigans of Djuma Research Camp soon to come.



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Forget the cuddly toys, heart shaped chocolates and red roses this year… Thu, 02 Jan 2014 08:00:21 +0000

Spoil her, ( her family and friends) with a visit to Djuma instead.

She’ll love you forever. Trust me. You can’t go wrong with spoiling either your man or woman this Valentine’s at Djuma Private Game reserve.

Romance in the Bush Valentines Special

Galago and Vuyatela offer a wonderful personal safari experience for family or friends. The two self-catering lodge’s have five en-suite bedrooms, suitable for groups of up to 10 guests. Have the freedom to tailor-make your own African bush experience, without compromising on comfort, luxury and bush expertise.

Our valentines gift to you this year is 15% off all bookings between the 1st and the 16th of February 2014 at either Galago or Vuyatela.

Offer subject to change and cannot be used in combination with any other special offers. Applicable to new bookings only. Offer Valid until 16th February 2014




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ITS HERE… ITS HERE….CHRISTMAS IS HERE!!!!! Tue, 24 Dec 2013 06:57:40 +0000 Leopard Jumping
May your Christmas sparkle with moments of love, laughter and goodwill, And may the year ahead be full of contentment, joy and happiness.

Thank You for all your patronage in 2013, we look forward to seeing you in 2014.

Happy holidays from all of us here at Djuma!


Great photo by Richard Costin

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Christmas in the bush!! Thu, 26 Sep 2013 08:09:09 +0000


Pay for 3, stay for 4 or 10% off a 2 night booking.
*Offer includes last two weeks of November, first two weeks of December 2013 & the WHOLE of January 2014 for Galago*

Email for more information and availability or check out our website www.djuma.comOffer subject to change and cannot be used in combination with other special offers. Applicable to new bookings only.

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Some great reviews!! Thu, 26 Sep 2013 07:47:29 +0000 We have had some wonderful guests over the past few months and by their reviews and feedback  on Tripadvisor we are pretty sure they will be back.

Glen Baker and friends recently stayed with us and had this to say:

We have just spent 5 nights at Vuyatela – an awesome time was had by all. This is our first trip to Vuyatela, we have had 7 previous trips to Galago. The accommodation is top notch and facilities excellent. Although we chose to do our own catering, Luzile was always on hand and assisted with inspirational dishes. 

Taxon and Amos were great on the game drives. All the staff are to be complimented on the excellent work they do. Our 2014 trip has already been booked. Thanks to all at Vuyatelo for making our trip so memorable

Baker, Bartlett, Hayes and Lines party

We also had the honor of hosting Nancy and Bob Ferraro from Boston USA  for their 60th Wedding anniversary. They brought with them, their 7 daughters and partners and 16 grandchildren from all over the world to share the special occasion with them. Nancy had this to say:

Bob and I want to tell you that our family had the trip of a life time at your Safari Camp!! It could not have been more perfect! We want to thank you and all of your great staff for a wonderful time. They were all so friendly and accommodating with all our needs!  Your rangers and scouts were outstanding.  The meals were prepared very well and the waitresses always had a smile for everyone.  Our rooms were always clean and prepared for us and clothes washing was done on request. 
Thank you for a fabulous trip and memories for a lifetime!  We hope to see you on our next trip!
Nancy Ferraro

Thank you for your feedback and comments, we so enjoy knowing that you have had a wonderful stay with us!! We look forward to welcoming you all back to your bush home!




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Can a ‘Paperless Office’ App Save Africa’s Rhinos From Extinction? Wed, 15 May 2013 06:55:15 +0000

Rhino and Calf rinoceronte bianco Img1-41638

Coveted for its supposed medicinal benefits or as a status symbol for the rich and eccentric, rhino horns are in huge demand again, a trend that conservationists fear could wipe out the most vulnerable rhino species in a matter of years. In Asia, where demand is strongest, the Javan rhino was declared extinct in Vietnam in 2011, and two others Asian species are critically endangered. Now, with the street price of rhino horn around $65,000 per kilogram, poachers have turned to African rhinos.

“It started about four years ago, when we had about 10 to 15 rhinos killed. The next year it went up to 250. Last year it was over 660. The numbers just keep escalating,” says Michael Grover, a wildlife conservationist at South Africa’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve. According to South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs, there were 273 rhino poaching incidents reported through April 30.

Grover’s small team of conservationists and security officers patrol an area 80 times larger than New York’s Central Park, and to fight poachers, they needed a more intelligent plan of attack. Grover wanted to know where and when the break-ins were occurring, how the rhinos were being attacked, and who might be behind the killings. “I went on to Google one day,” Grover recalls, “and typed in ‘how to make a BlackBerry app.’ That’s when I found the guys at Canvas.”

Canvas Solutions, a Reston (Va.) software developer that pushes companies to ditch paper in favor of digital sharing, wasn’t an obvious choice. London 2012 organizers used Canvas to manage certain inventory and security matters during the Summer Olympic Games, and an aircraft fueling company uses it for crane inspections. “A lot of NGOs use us too,” says Canvas co-founder and Chief Executive James Quigley. For example, medical researchers used Canvas to record from the field patient details during a suspected outbreak of avian flu in Madagascar in 2008.

Canvas users record various data points such as GPS, image capture, barcode scanning, electronic signatures, and the like, then transmit the details to the cloud, where they can be compiled and crunched in real-time by co-workers. Grover thought he could use Canvas’ software to pull in data from the daily patrols and map the points to show patterns in how intrusions were occurring. His team, all equipped with an Android-based smartphone, take, for example, geotagged photos of rhino slayings or cuts in the perimeter fencing to learn how the poachers are getting onto the reserve and what caliber of weapons they are using. They also record tracking data—photos of footprints that can be put in a database and matched against other images to see if the intruders are repeat offenders.

This is not the first time conservationists have used data analytics and mobile technologies to fight poachers. Worldwide Fund for Nature recently announced it won a $5 million grant from Google (GOOG) to launch drone patrols that will protect vulnerable rhino populations in Asia and Africa from poachers. At South Africa’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve, early attempts to tag the rhino horns with chips secretly embedded into the tissue didn’t work. Once the poachers caught on, they routinely sent the horns through an X-ray machine and then cut them out.

Grover and his team started using Canvas on patrols in February. In one recent photo of a slaying taken by a patrol member’s smartphone, a dead rhino is pictured on its back with its horns shorn off. The patrol member details the crime scene particulars. “Bullet wound visible,” he writes in the “info” field. The boxes “cut in fence” and “footprints” go unchecked. The photo contains an automatic time stamp and GPS location and can be shared instantly with Grover several miles away.

Already Grover’s team has shared its data with adjacent Kruger National Park, which is also fighting poachers, to develop a more comprehensive security plan for the entire region. “They have data, and now we have data, and we share it,” Grover said. “It may lead to some arrests in the coming months. In this case, it might have been a better investment for us than buying the patrols more firearms.”

This article was written by the Bloomberg Businessweek innovative & design website. Just goes to show, this battle needs more than just money thrown at it!

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A great stay at Galago! Thu, 04 Apr 2013 08:41:08 +0000 Dear Jurie,

I want to thank you and your staff for an exciting, wonderful experience at Galago with Gavin and our group. Aubrey and William were simply fantastic. .FYI, none of the other camps we visited had trackers and guides at the some level, I sensed a big difference and know that we missed more than a few sightings at other places. Starting out on our first (my first ever) game drive with the big 5 probably spoiled me forever, as I realize now, just how special that was. The early morning and evening times were made special as Elizabeth and her crew (Mildred and Thembi) started us off with a made to order Breakfast and then served great “home” cooked, delicious, meals at the end of long, event filled days. Trust me, there was no problem going to sleep in those really comfortable beds in the luxurious cabins.

One lingering moment was the “Baby Charge” by a very young, rambunctious elephant which caused “Papa” and his harem to become very agitated at us. Kids, even in the animal kingdom, can cause trouble. After all the dirt throwing, foot stomping, ear flapping, blustering, etc, the “roar” of the almighty diesel reigned superior and calm, sanity and resignation returned to its rightful place in the order of things.

One last thing, I wanted to thank William for getting up early and going back to our last stop of the evening before our departure to look for my glasses which fell out of my pocket during the last phase our last drive. Again, Thank you for one of the best, most enjoyable times of my life.


TR Jones

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The best sound in the African bush Fri, 15 Feb 2013 08:48:04 +0000 Best sound in the African bush

These two Matimba Males started to roar just as the sun was setting right next to our vehicle. What an incredible sound.

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The Blakeys loved their stay at Galago! Mon, 11 Feb 2013 13:15:26 +0000

I would like to say a very big thank you to Leisure Wheels (Ramsay Media) for the absolutely wonderful prize which we won in their magazine and especially to Djuma for their very professional and amazing team who gave us the privilege of staying in this lodge for 3 unforgettable nights. The prize was for a 2 night stay at their lodge Vuyatela (5 star), but due to an unfortunate booking error by a temporary staff member, we could not stay at Vuyatela. We could not change our dates so the management offered to put us in Galago (4 star) and offered us an extra night. This was a blessing in disguise as we were able to stay an extra night in what we considered to be 5 star luxury. It was good to see that Djuma supports the local communities and contributes significantly to their development.

We had 4 family members join us from the UK and South Africa, and with my daughter, son and his friend were a party of 9. Every morning and evening we went on a game drive with the resident ranger, Aubrey and tracker, William; who were such a great team. They have extensive experience of animals and birdlife in this area, and Aubrey was very proficient in his 4×4 driving skills. We saw the big 5 within the first 2 days and were privileged with an amazing leopard sighting on the 3rd day, which was mainly due to the diligence and skill of these 2 men who tirelessly searched and tracked to give us an awesome experience.

After each game drive we would arrive back at the lodge to find everything freshly cleaned and prepared for us. Elizabeth, a really good cook, prepared our meals as we requested and we appreciated how quiet and unobtrusive the staff were as they went about their duties. Roaring log fires and air-conditioned rooms were all a part of this unique experience in this beautiful bush land. We will be recommending this camp to friends, especially a family group visiting from New Zealand as this was a truly unique experience.

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