Brett's Blog

Stories from the African wilderness

10 Days in Namibia with Repeat Guests, Gary & Gary

Gary Franklin is a third time repeat client of Brett Horley Safaris, and Gary Lisney is a second time repeat client, so it’s fair to say we thoroughly enjoy working with these two to create the safaris they love enough to keep coming back for! The Garys and their wives, Tania Franklin and Susan Lisney, recently went on a 10-day Namibian adventure to celebrate their wedding anniversaries and we believe they had the most spectacular time. Here, we are sharing their safari itinerary and the images and videos they took while enjoying the trip! You can read their feedback here.

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People of the Wilderness: Vincent Mathebula, entrepreneur in South African tourism

Brett met Vincent Mathebula many years ago while guiding at Singita Kruger National Park. At that stage, Vince was a part-time bar tender, which was a job he had taken as an opportunity to gain access into the tourism industry. Vince’s brother gave him the good news that this position had opened up and Vince took it in both hands, hopeful that he could learn and grow with his foot in the door. Today, Vincent Mathebula is a successful entrepreneur with his own business in tourism, and it is due to his hard work and determination to persevere in the industry that was waiting on his doorstep as he was growing up in Acornhoek. His message is one that highlights the importance of teaching youths in communities surrounding the Kruger Park that there are opportunities to work in tourism – a booming South African industry.

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Epic 2018 Team Safari at Djuma Private Game Reserve

Djuma Vuyatela is one of our all-time favourite safari accommodations in Djuma Private Game Reserve bordering the Sabi Sand and Manyeleti. It is prime Greater Kruger Park territory and an outstanding spot in Southern Africa. What makes it a cut above the rest is the exclusivity of the safari experience. Djuma only shares traverse with a handful of landowners and the legends behind safariLIVE, so sightings are private and unhurried. Recently, Brett Horley Safaris booked two nights at Djuma Vuyatela for the media and reservations team plus a few special guests to enjoy the epic safari experience that defines this place.

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People of the Wilderness: Steven Hearne, land owner and custodian of Greater Kruger wilderness

So far, our People of the Wilderness series has covered some of the people we respect and admire the most in the world of conservation and ecotourism. Sharon, a woman with an unrivalled passion for hyenas and leader in the Balule Private Nature Reserve; Sam and Nico, a unique guide and tracker team with an innate love for nature and belief in the importance of educating children about conservation; and Bruce, a wilderness trails guide with over 30 years of experience in the field and a long list of accolades to show for it. And now, we speak to Steven Hearne, who has watched the development of tourism unfold in the Greater Kruger Park and seen the extension of the Kruger Park boundaries from his piece of paradise in the Balule.

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People of the Wilderness: Bruce Lawson, Wilderness Trails Expert and South African Safari Legend

Bruce Lawson has defined the meaning and value of true wilderness for the many, many people who have had the opportunity to walk with him, be guided by him, and learn from him in the bush. His enthusiasm for the natural world, and to totally submerge himself and others in it, is not a passion; it is a belief. Brett met Bruce in 2005 when he was trained under Bruce and mentored by him, forming a steadfast relationship that has led to countless unforgettable experiences on safari. Bruce Lawson has a long list of accolades and achievements, including 17000 hours (and counting) spent on trail, walking 12 000 km, unassisted, from Cape to Cairo, and all after being told by doctors he would never walk again after a car accident in early childhood.

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People of the Wilderness: Safari Guide and Tracker Team, Sam Mbokoda and Nico Sithole

The second instalment of our People of the Wilderness series is here, and this time we’re talking to two men who have rooted their careers in their passion for wildlife and nature. Safari guide and tracker team at Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge, Sam Mbokoda and Nico Sithole, sat down with Brett to talk about what has drawn them to their lives in the wilderness and how important it is to pass their ambitions on to the next generation. A few weeks ago, we introduced you to Sharon Haussmann, who is effecting change in her position as Chairperson of Balule Nature Reserve, and now we take a closer look at two men who describe their love for nature as being something that runs through their veins.

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People of the Wilderness: Sharon Haussmann, Chairperson of Balule Private Nature Reserve, Greater Kruger Park

Our People of the Wilderness series began as a concept that would celebrate conservation and those who have built their lives in and around the world of safari. Brett Horley Safaris is synonymous with ecotourism, and that is due to an innate worship of all that is wild, natural, and untamed, and with that, the desire to share this wondrous world with visitors from all over the world. Our African hearts connect with those who share our sentiments and our passion, and over the years exploring, learning, and living in the bush, we have connected with like-minded people who have become our mentors, friends, and colleagues in conservation.

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5 Top Tips for Safari Photography

Award-winning wildlife photography has depicted some of the greatest nature out there, and it has been used to promote tourism, conservation, appreciation, education, and passion for the outdoors. African safaris are a celebration of wildlife, and walking home with that image of a leopard relaxing in the bough of a tree, or a hippo’s wide open jaws in the middle of a dam, an elephant throwing a trunkful of water over its head, or a scrub-robin fluffed up in the morning chill, are #goals.

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Rosey’s Review of the Popular Bateleur Main Camp in the Timbavati

Safari Specialist and itinerary designer for Brett Horley Safaris, Rosemary Marx, recently visited a host of safari lodges in the Timbavati Nature Reserve to get familiar with the camp grounds, staff, safari experiences, facilities, and all the other notable factors she considers when choosing properties for safari itineraries. Rosey spent her nights at Bateleur Main Camp, which is where many of our walking trail safaris are based, and she had the following to say about her experience at this popular Timbavati camp.

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In the Field for Ground Hornbill Conservation

Recently we spent a morning out in the Timbavati and Klaserie Private Nature Reserves with our friends, Kyle and Carrie, from the APNR Ground Hornbill Project. We had been invited to join them on their routine nest checks, and to help them launch a new artificial nest for a group of 3 ground hornbills that had not found a place to nest in their area. Naturally, we jumped at the opportunity to get a glimpse into the secret world of these endangered large birds and to have a helping hand in the work being done to conserve them.

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