For information on the Corona Virus in South Africa, please visit

Great friends and awesome memories!

Xivambalana 22 Nov

Hi everyone,

With a couple of days left, we are still seeing some awesome sights and making memories which I am sure we will continue to do right up to the last. Xivambalana came to visit camp again so everyone was treated to a tour of WildEarth camp along the way on yesterdays AM drive!

We have been amazed this week by a black mamba sitting on the road clearly focused on some potential meal in the bush, it didn’t even glance in Marc’s direction! I was so excited at seeing such a tiny warthog baby the other day and such a perfect picture moment that I had missed but luckily others caught, of the baby standing underneath mum’s belly! Priceless!

We have played with dung beetles,

watched tortoises courting,

visited the leopard orchid,

had the elephants drop in to say hi,

and even met the cub of a female leopard who we have rarely seen, Inkanyeni. Her cub is around 6 months old and was sitting in an apple leaf as the rain started to fall! WE couldn’t stick around to see his mother return but at least we saw this pale eyed young male who must be the offspring of Mvula!

Our favourite leopards have not been disapointing us either!

Xivambalana 17 Nov

Xivambalana was realxing by the side of the road on the 17th, struggling with the emense heat of the day, but as the temperatures dipped slightly it was time to move on and we caught up with him again as he inspected the road and bush in his own time! Dusk fell and as he approached the open area he was startled by Xivindzi as she popped out the bush! She called to him as if her maternal instinct was taking over and the pair continued their stroll back into the vegetation towards Graham’s old house. The sound of the even chorus was punctured by the shrill call of a bushbaby that was most put out at Xivambalana’s attempt on it’s life and made sure his ears were ringing of it!


We were blessed to have had 2 of the Matimbas join us briefly for the day of the 18th as well as Induna, both of which were sleeping on our boundaries, but thankfully far enough away from each other not to be a problem for Induna. The boys headed north as the sun set and were no longer visible from Buffleshoek cutline, but at least they had swung by to pass on their regards!Matimba males

That night Marc was lucky enough to find Xivambalana and Karula on Vuyatela access road after drive. As he watched Xivindzi joined them and the young family headed back to the West, but sadly we couldn’t find where they may have had a kill on drive the following morning. One guide had found Xivindzi in the same area but by the time we arrived, she had disappeared into the bush, leaving no trace of where she had gone too.

Xivambalana on impala road

While we had reports of Karula in the South on Chitwa Chitwa the following day, Xivambalana was found on Impala road that afternoon and we managed to catch up with him briefly as he settled down for a snooze. But it was Marc’s find of Induna the following day that proved the most interesting!

Induna was lying not far from tamboti dam and was panting heavily, with a female impala watching him close by. It was only when Marc returned were his suspicion of a kill confirmed. The impala mother was still around, while Induna rested on the opening to a nest which Marc later found to have empty egg cases inside.

Floppy ear, the hyena clan matriarch, caught Marc’s eye as they sat with the unlikely couple, but it was distracted by something in the tree;  a baby impala. Realising she had her eye on his dinner, Induna made a bee-line towards the tree and climbed quickly she charged in! It was as if he was gloating, this time he was the victor!

Induna and floppy ear

And so as the bush opera continues, it is time to reflect on what has been and what will be. As much as it is heart breaking, at least we can say we have been privileged and honored to have been able to watch and share so much much of their lives and all these amazing times, will be forever etched in our memories and enjoyed the world over with friendships found and made along this incredible journey we have traveled on together.

Once again, a big thank you for sharing your wonderful screen captures of which I am going to miss a lot. I will stay in touch, as I am sure Marc and Seb will do, on our facebook pages both public and private. I have my own blog page for those who are not on facebook and I do twitter when the latest blog is out too!


Thank you so much to everyone for all your support, encouragement, loyalty and most importantly your friendship, it has been a huge pleasure and a fantastic experience to have been on safari with you. This is not goodbye, but fair well until we meet again…..

Written by Tara

, , , ,

22 Responses to Great friends and awesome memories!

  1. jody morrison November 23, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    Ah Tara. I hope you still have a copy of your “professional love letter”.. I do have a copy if yours has disappeared so let me know if you need one. LOVE YOU

    • Tara Pirie November 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

      I do thank you Jody! I will be using it thank you! 🙂

  2. Jan Chudosky November 23, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    *Heart* you BIG time, Tara. The joy and pleasure you have graced us with are indeed etched in memories that will last a lifetime. For that I Thank You, along with each and every presenter, camera person, behind the scenes person, tech wizard person, people I don’t even know exist person (!)…from the bottom of my Karula loving heart – Thank YOU! It’s been quite a ride!

    Still having a hard time even just saying “…till we meet again…”. Can’t believe it’s almost…over…

    And who’s idea was it anyway to have final Drive on our Thanksgiving here in the States? Geeeeez! We’ll have to be content being Thankful for having had the tremendous pleasure of Y-O-U…and Karula 😉 (And for your love of her, and her Family…I am eternally grateful!)


  3. Sally Wehner November 23, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    Tara, I have learned so much from you, Marc and Seb in the short time I’ve been able to watch the live drives that I could never have gotten from a book.

    Good luck to you and the rest of the team as you all go forward. Many thanks for everything all of you have given.

    Sincerely, Sally

  4. gloria sapp November 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    The knowledge learned The friends made The happinness you/marc/seb and all the guides who have been there on our drives will never be forgetten..The pain of losing this may ease but friends are usually forever. Good luck to all of you as you go forward in your lives but we will miss ya”ll so much Wuv ya gloria(glo12)

  5. Rosie Rosewald November 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    Tara, so sad to see you go. This has been a wonderful adventure for me for the past few months. I have learned so much from you, Marc and Seb. I will never get to visit Africa but I have gotten to see so many wonderful things during your drives that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to see. Thank you for sharing your time and knowledge with all of us. It has been so interesting and educational. Good luck with your future plans. It would be wonderful if the 3 of you could be a part of this again someday. Hope we can keep in touch with all of you as you mave on with your lives. Sincerely, Rosie

  6. REDTAIL November 23, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    Tara you are such a talented person it is our loss that we wont be gettingto see any more of it thats for all you have done for us redtail
    cant wait till we can get to meet your friend

  7. littldov November 23, 2011 at 9:34 pm #

    Thanks again Tara for the wonderful blogs and also the wonderful drives. I am going to miss them so much, because you,Marc and Seb did such a wonderful job and made us feel as though we were in the ganda with you, real, not just virtually. I love your knowledge of the animals, the love of the animals and the love you all gave us. Thank you so much for the friendship you have extended to us.

    Good luck to what ever you decide to do after this and know I will keep you all in my prayers and will think of you all fondly!

    Joyce Morgan

  8. Robin Matthews November 23, 2011 at 10:47 pm #

    Tara, I’m so sorry that the drives will no longer be able to be conducted due to finances. I couldn’t sign in often due to work, but when I was able to do so, it brought me right back to my several day stay at Vuyatella 2 years ago. You guys did a fantastic job, and I will miss it very much. Hopefully, you’ll be able to keep us posted on Facebook on what’s going on there. Any chance that at some point, it will start up again?

  9. Annie Kauffmann November 24, 2011 at 12:45 am #

    Dear Tara, Marc and Seb,

    My dream has always been to see Africa. In my present youth of seventy, I will not get there.

    You have given me such a wonderful gift through all your drives that I feel my dream has
    come true. It breaks my heart to know that you will no longer be with us all.

    Each of you take care and may your journeys be happy. You each deserve to have the
    joy and happiness that you each have given me and all those who have followed your
    wonderful safaris.

    Know that you will be missed.


  10. Janine November 24, 2011 at 2:44 am #

    Thank you Tara, Marc & Seb for all the memories. We will miss you and the drives. If possible, please can someone save the last drive on YouTube. I am not sure that we will be able to watch it.

    Best wishes to all of you.

  11. Anne Johnson November 24, 2011 at 2:50 am #

    Thank you Tara for the blogs you have written and also you Marc and Seb for the drives. I have only been watching for 3 months and enjoyed them very much, I will miss you all and the rides. I hope that you all find exciting new experiences to continue your lives.

    Best wishes, Anne

  12. Deana November 24, 2011 at 3:11 am #

    Hi guys just want to say Thanks for all the months i have been on drives with day and night ! what amazing sights i have seen cause of all of you, god bless all , and Marc , just need to say you are a super great person, and your love for the bush is so awesome ! Cause of you i now know Africa . Thanks so much . I know we will see you back ! And i will always be here, Please Marc think about a coffee table with all your Beautiful photo s i’ll be waiting for it ! So meany people love you Marc all because of this live cam ! So don’t be sad because your leaving be happy cause you where here ! Your new friend Deana from Mich.

  13. Susan Cook November 24, 2011 at 3:21 am #

    Hello, to all of you… Marc please go home and write your book you are sitting on a gold mine i would be buying that book and would love it if you would sign it for me… get a tape recorder and one of us would gladly type it up for you..
    Tara, girl i’ll miss your giggle and you being tara, Hope you have fun with you family and hope you will find employment soon.
    Seb my Tarzan… you have grown to be a good presenter and the interaction with marc and tara made the drive alittle goofy like kids in a car going on a trip and bugging mom and dad… atleast the drives were never boring.. You have a great adventure.
    Ok iam gonna miss you all so much, Thank you for taking me threw the bush i loved every min of it… If you ever need photos i have over 3 thousand thanks…I won’t say good bye only will say See you Later.. cuz i know you’ll be back one day.. I hope nothing but the best for all 3 of you… I’ll be watching you 3 to see what your up to.. LOVE YOU LONG TIME SUSIE COOK SO. CALIF.

  14. Jane November 24, 2011 at 4:33 am #

    Donate to Safari LIVE
    Safari Live
    Donate To Save the LIVE Safaris from the Djuma Game Reserve

  15. Annie Kauffmann November 24, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    So very sad to see the end…I would gladly subscribe to have it back….the safaris’ were truly the highlight of my days for months! Thank you all…please come back soon.

  16. Paula Johnson November 25, 2011 at 2:30 am #

    Thanks to Tara, Marc and Seb for their dedication in bringing Africa to my house. Allowiing me to experince things I would never have dreamed of. You are very special people and will be greatly missed.

  17. CaffieneMaxine November 26, 2011 at 5:20 am #

    I watched the last drive last night. Marc and Tara, you did a great job. The only one missing was Seb. Very sad to see it end. I had a difficult time leaving the chat. Lots of tissues were being passed around and I went through a few myself. Best of luck to you Marc, Tara and Seb. Marc I wish you all the best with your health. I hope someday soon the drives will come back. I won’t give up writing to the folks I think would be interesting in helping. This has been a most wonderful experience to be a part of and I know I’m not alone in that thought. You all are very fine teachers. I will miss having my coffee with the ellies and all the wonderful things you all share with us in your part of the world. Take care and stay safe! 🙂

    Best Regards,

  18. Naomi November 27, 2011 at 10:26 am #

    Thank you to everyone. From the owners of Djuma to all the Rangers making our hearts warm just watching the drives – unusual sightings – fantastic info on all the animals you (we) encountered – friends we made through chat. Thank you for the professional manner in which you all conducted yourselves. Made me as a South African very proud. Best wishes to all of you in whatever you do for the future.

  19. Virginia November 28, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    My heart is broken into three parts, one for each of you. Please handle it with care and hopefully one day it will be put back together. Thank you for introducing me to the fantastic animals of Djuma. The ride was the best of my live. Go Forth and Conquer.

  20. Lula December 1, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    Where is the facebook like button ?

Leave a Reply to Rosie Rosewald Click here to cancel reply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.