February 2022 Newsletter

In January we focused our gaze on the year’s horizon. In February, we took our first determined steps towards it and launched the inaugural Painteddog.tv Conservation Safaris, with a focus on painted dogs for 2022. Brent and Wium travelled to the Cape to extend the Pack’s range to the unsuppressed beauty of Rogge Cloof Nature Reserve in the Karoo desert, Brent was the master-of-ceremony at the South African launch of the world-famous conservation photo-album, Remembering African Wild Dogs, the team broadcast a live the collaring of an elephant in the Balule Game Reserve, and there were some unforgettable safari sightings. Come walk with us.

Conservation safaris

With our Pack’s leader, Brent Leo-Smith, having been involved in both the safari industry and conservation one way or another his entire life at some of the most sought after and remote destinations on the continent, it is only right that we provide others with the opportunity to not only enjoy the majesty of Africa’s wild, but also learn about and contribute directly towards its conservation. 

Grant & Brent monitoring the condition of a painted dog during a life-saving relocation operation.
View of the Drakensberg Mountains from Khaya Ndlovu.
Leopard at sunset in the Sabi Sands by Brent.

Our Conservation Safaris include:

  • A private Painteddog.tv guide,
  • Safaris on stunning reserves with some of the best game viewing opportunities in Africa,
  • Dinner and talks with leading conservation professionals, and
  • A day in the field monitoring painted dogs with a scientist from one of the continent’s most important conservation organisations, the Endangered Wildlife Trust.
  • Watch a promo video for the four day Conservation Safari.

We are both thrilled and humbled to say that we already have several bookings for the set departures as well as tailor-made packages.

For more information, costs, dates, what else is included, and general queries, please contact us on travel@painteddog.tv

Conservation Corner 

Painteddog.tv has been honoured to run alongside Remembering Wildlife for a large part of their journey to bring to the world their latest brilliant conservation photo album, Remembering African Wild Dogs. The Remembering series of books have all together so far raised over $ 1.2 million to go directly towards well vetted conservation organisations.

After a successful UK launch late last year, which we co-hosted virtually from the fireside on Pridelands Conservancy, on 22 February Brent was the MC at the South African launch, alongside Remembering Wildlife’s founder Margot Raggett and the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Cole du Plessis, lead coordinator of EWT’s painted dog range expansion program.

Brent, Cole & Margot at Painted Wolf Wines.

Painted Wolf Wines, a wonderful place with not only delicious wines but a steadfast commitment to the conservation of painted dogs,  were the sponsors of the venue in the heartland of South Africa’s majestic and serene winelands. The event was a wonderful success and completely sold out. Thank you to all those who participated and of course too those who have purchased a copy of the book. You make all this good work possible!

Only a few days after, on 25 February, the full team were back in the Lowveld to broadcast live the collaring of an elephant by Elephants Alive, in partnership with Ellie & May, and Wild Wonderful World. The collaring was a success, occurring in the far-north of Balule Game Reserve and just south of the Phalaborwa mines.

Elephant are attracted this mining area due to the minerals extracted, increasing the risk of human-wildlife conflict, and the hope is that the tracking collar will give the scientists and conservationists at Elephants Alive some clues as to how they could possibly help improve the safety of these giants and the people they encounter. Thank you to all those who purchased tickets to participate live in the collaring, your support means the world everyone involved!

Rogge Cloof

Brent and the mysterious magician leading the technological advances of the Painteddog.tv pack, Wium Dörnbrack, travelled south-west to Rogge Cloof in South Africa’s vast Karoo Desert. They came back with a brand-new Live Bush Cam focused on a vital water source in the area, news of other exciting projects involving the Reserve, as well as stories of warm hospitality and unforgettable sightings of Karoo cheetah, meerkat, and sunsets. We can hardly wait to share what Rogge Cloof and Painteddog.tv will have to offer our extended pack in the future, so keep your beautiful large oval ears open.

Live Virtual Safari Synopsis

We hosted around thirty live virtual safaris in February, including private, public and for those who have joined the Pack. It is almost always difficult to choose which safari to focus on each month, but we have settle on the Sunday Sunset Private Virtual Safari guided by Khaya Tlou on 27 February.  

The first sighting for our guests was a beautiful journey of giraffe, with a very confident ox-pecker hanging out right on the long nose of one stretchy friend. Not long after, there was word of leopard in another part of the Pridelands, and so of course Khaya and the guests made their way to there. When they arrived at the potential sighting, the leopard had disappeared, but Khaya and the other guides persisted and found the leopard again! She was hanging out on the large lateral branch of a marula tree, allowing for a beautiful sighting before she climbed down and disappeared. Khaya tried to relocate her for a period but she proved to be, you guessed, as elusive as a leopard. Leaving the large cat in peace, the safari moved on and enjoyed a stunning African sunset just before Khaya and guests sighted a male white rhino! What a fantastic safari it was, and thank you to all the guests who booked their seats and joined us over February. From only $15 per household, book your seat here or sign-up for the weekly schedule here.

News From The DEN

The pack’s editor-at-large, the gifted safari guide and wordsmith Victoria Craddock (this is Charles writing), currently bringing joy to wildlife lovers in MalaMala Game Reserve, Sabi Sands, managed to share a sighting with her guests that can only be describe as the safari sighting of the year so far, which will be very difficult to beat. You can hear snippets of Victoria explaining the situation to her guests. Click here or on the image below for a video of this incredible sighting. Victoria advises us the klipspringers survived the attempted hunt, but an impala was not so fortunate shortly afterwards.

A painted dog & klipspringers at MalaMala.

Thank you to our Pack Members and our sponsors – LedLenser SARogue 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

Victoria Craddock

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 editing our monthly newsletter.

Follow her journey on Instagram @vicvic_craddock2.0 and TikTok @vicvic_craddock2.0

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