Christmas at Pridelands is characterised by warm evenings, melodies of migrant birds, and dramatic afternoon thunderstorms. Our festive season was a little busier than most, as we hosted a record number of LIVE Private Virtual Safaris, all while navigating the less glamorous challenges of life in the bush. While most of our readers probably didn’t spend their Christmas season in the wild, we are more than willing to bet that most of you enjoyed the luxury of electricity and running water. Settle in as we update you on the month that brought 2021 to a close.
We are delighted to announce that Remembering African Wild Dogs, for which Painteddog TV were the co-hosts of its launch in November, has raised £100,000 for African wild dog conservation! This amount (calculated to the end of November) includes the advance $25,000 USD donation made to African Parks and The Endangered Wildlife Trust earlier in the year towards the historic translocation of wild dogs to Malawi, with the rest scheduled to be distributed over the coming months. A huge congratulations to Margot Raggett and her team, as well as all of those who contributed to such a worthy cause and ordered a copy of this stunning book.
Daily LIVE Private Virtual Safaris
We had such a positive response to our Festive Season Special, that we have decided to conduct daily Private Virtual Safaris going forward, at a reduced price – all thanks to you!
– YouTube safaris – US$ 15.
– Zoom safaris – US$ 25.
We cannot tell you how grateful we are for the support we received over the past month, during which we shared some amazing sightings and experiences – from lazy lions and hunting wild dogs, to close-ups of giant land-snails and comical baboons. Keep an eye on the app, our website, and your inbox for dates and details. If you do not have the app yet, download it here.
Click here or on the image below to see the close encounter guests and safari guide Khaya had with one of Africa’s Super Tuskers, Ezulwini, during a recent LIVE Private Virtual Safari.
Private Virtual Safari Synopsis
The bush is like an old friend, the more time you spend with it, the more it opens up to you. Having conducted twenty-two live drives for the month, it should come as no surprise that, even in the wet season, guests were treated to fantastic sightings of elephants, lions, painted dogs, hyenas, giraffes, and everything in between.
It is difficult to pick out one highlight sighting but, if we have to name one, it must be the sighting Brent and Matt had on the 18th of December with our namesake, painted dogs. Brent whizzed through the reserve faster than the speed of the internet (literally, the feed couldn’t keep up with how fast he was driving) to get to the pack of painted dogs, who had been found at Leopard Dam. Brent and Matt arrived just in time to show the viewers a spectacular greeting display before the dogs dashed into the green thicket ready to hunt. In true painted dog fashion, they zig-zagged about and made following them a very tricky endeavour. After an hour of top-quality painted dog viewing, the dogs eventually settled down, and just in time as the Badger had sustained a flat tyre in all the off-roading.
News From The DEN
Christmases in the bush are always slightly unconventional, this year was no different as HQ was without water and electricity for most of the month. Even without creature comforts, the team had a vibrant Christmas celebration that included a garden lunch prepared the original South African way, on an open fire. Guests Zachary Blake from S.P.E.C.I.E.S and Hannah Edwards, a Ph.D. student studying spotted hyenas, joined in the merrymaking. Click here or on the image below for a fun video about this year’s Painteddog TV Christmas Tree.
While the rest of the pack navigated the complexities of running a tech company off the grid, Yuka flew the Painteddog TV flag in her home country, Japan. As is the Painteddog TV way, work never ends and, when she was not getting haircuts and satisfying her Japanese food cravings, Yuka was engaging in high-profile newspaper interviews, addressing students at her university, and making guest appearances on Japanese talk shows.
Animal World LIVE
The topic of the AWL’s was ‘The Wet Season’. Held on the 12th of December, hosts Brent, sporting a swollen lip after an altercation with a branch, and Khaya, fresh off a live drive, shared some of the trials, tribulations, and treasures of what has been unfolding. The treasure, and showstopper for this AWL, was footage of a birthing impala. On their way to a meeting, Charles, Wuim, and Brent were delayed by the miracle of birth, and, knowing the bush never fails to deliver, they were equipped with the necessary gear to be able to capture the moment on camera. They then discussed a more somber topic, the shift in the dynamics in the hyena clan, that resulted in the euthanasia of a beloved young Pridelands hyena clan member
The next AWL was held on the 19th of December. Sharing footage of Ezulwini the elephant, and stories of when they last had their hair cut, Khaya and Brent slid right into the groove of the show. Among other things, viewers were spoiled with footage from the penguin cam and more from Ezulwini who had an up-close and personal moment with Khaya earlier in the day.
Thank you to our Pack Members and our sponsors – LedLenser SA, Rogue Outdoor Gear – as well as Pridelands Conservancy and Kwenga Lodge, where you will find our ‘dog den’. And of course, to all our supporters for running with the pack.
Be sure to keep an eye on the Painteddog.tv app, as well as Painteddog.tv on YouTube, Instagram on @painteddogtv, and Facebook. Until next month, goodbye.
A special thanks to
A safari guide, writer and friend of the pack.
With a passion for wildlife, conservation and the written word, Victoria is the perfect person to have composing our monthly newsletter.