March & April 2022 Newsletter

March and April were full of fantastic live virtual safaris, an important and ongoing live virtual conservation event, a few very fun festivities, and a new beginning too. We’ve kept you waiting uncharacteristically long since the last newsletter, so let’s get right into it!

Conservation CORNER

Those of you who have enjoyed our Private Live Virtual Safaris over the last couple of months would have been lucky enough to spend time with a small pack of 4 painted dogs, who have made Pridelands Conservancy part of their home-range. None of the 4 dogs have tracking collars, and so a couple of generous supporters, Connie O’Neill and Christina Jones, put up funding for the veterinary bills to collar the pack, as well as the live broadcast so that this important conservation operation can go out free-of-charge for everyone to enjoy and learn about painted dogs. A huge thank you to Connie and Christina!

The dogs are being collared as part of the the Endangered Wildlife Trust‘s Greater Kruger National Park Wild Dog project, and will provide information on the location and movements of the pack. EWT scientist and conservationist, Grant Beverly, will then know when they enter into areas with a high risk of being caught in deadly poacher snares, pose a threat to domestic livestock, as well as other crucial data to help protect this endangered carnivore.

Grant from EWT, the vets from WildScapes, and decided to start the window for the collaring from 15 April, and so when the dogs are spotted on Pridelands they will all spring into action for the collaring and broadcast. However, there are two prides of lions in the area that had other ideas – the Ngati and Break-away prides. The lions have been spending a lot of time in the area, and with up to 20 lions on Pridelands at a time the painted dogs knew better than to hang around and have been spending their time north of the reserve. We have therefore decided to keep the collaring and broadcast window open indefinitely until the dogs make their return to Pridelands.

Keep you eyes on the free phone app and on your inbox for updates! 

NEW – Monthly Pack Members Chats with Brent

You may be aware that after 2 years and 86 episodes of Animal World LIVE, we very reluctantly had to discontinue broadcasting the show. Unfortunately, the time and effort it took to produce AWL did not justify the return to our fledgling business. We will miss the show and sharing it with everyone very much, and thank you all for the memories and having being a part of it! Fingers crossed that it will be back in the future.

For those feeling as nostalgic as we do, click on the image below to watch episode 1 of Animal World LIVE, broadcast on 30 January 2020, where we interviewed Kyle Middleton, a conservationist and scientist from the APNR Southern Ground-Hornbill Research & Conservation Project.

In place of AWL, in April we launched Brent’s Monthly Chat with The Pack, which will go out to all those who have joined the pack. You can join for as little as $1 per month on

Not forgetting, we still have a show almost every Wednesday, Live Bush Cams Chat with Khaya Tlou, where Khaya, a expert safari guide, discusses with viewers the exciting, funny, and fascinating things seen on our 24-hr streaming Live Bush Cams

Live Virtual Safari Synopsis

We conducted 86 live virtual safaris over March and April, with lots of great big cat sightings, as well as of smaller but no less vicious creatures, such as a puff-adder!

On the afternoon of 15 April, Brent and his guests were in for a treat, but they did have to stay on their toes. The safari began with a wonderful sighting of a African hawk eagle hunting guinea fowl, and though it did not succeed, everyone was thrilled to see the large raptor in action. Following a short excursion further south into Pridelands, Brent found the Break-away pride of lions relaxing in the shade. After some time watching the lions bonding over grooming, and baring their teeth with wide yawns, the safari moved even further south and Brent managed to track down a leopard with a kill in a marula tree! It was an exciting sighting of a young male called Twinspot. Twinspot used to be a very relaxed young male, but Brent’s guess was that he hasn’t seen vehicles in a while, and as such was very wary and even snarly at times. Nonetheless, Brent managed to get his guests an excellent viewing as he took them through a masterclass of how an experienced guide must approach a nervous leopard. Not an easy task but the rewards are so worth it!

Twinspot, captured during a Private Live Virtual Safari, by Brent Leo-Smith.

News From The DEN

The were not 1 or 2 but 3 birthdays celebrated in March and April. Our finance fundi (South African for student/expert), Charles, celebrated his 39th on 5 April, and our editor extraordinaire, Bryan, celebrated his 36th on 20 April. Welcome to the dark-side of 35, Bryan. But the most fun was definitely had at the 24th birthday party for Khutso, the son of our housekeeper and Queen of HQ, Mama Lucy.

One sunny Saturday afternoon, Lucy and Khutso invited us to their beautiful home 30km/19mi south of Pridelands, on the rolling hills on the outskirts of Acornhoek – a nearby town/village. We cannot tell you how much fun it was, with an assortment of fresh roasted nuts from the garden, delicious salads, a braai/BBQ, and of course lots of dancing! 

Mama Lucy.
Khutso the birthday boy.

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 app, as well as 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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