Finding the most powerful eagle in Africa

Any birder who comes to Africa will know of the Crowned Eagle, Stephanoaetus coronatus.Birding in Kruger Park with Nature Travel BirdingThis mighty bird mainly occurs in our forests in Africa from Senegal to Ethiopia to South Africa. It is often seen soaring high above the canopy calling its characteristic kewick-kewick-kewick call.

With its powerful talons, the Crowned Eagle preys on small antelope and monkeys. Pairs have been documented hunting monkeys cooperatively.

Imagine my excitement when I spotted a juvenile Crowned Eagle along the Sabie River on a recent birding trip in the Kruger National Park with some guests. This was my first sighting in Kruger and the first sighting of the species for our guests on a Nature Travel Birding trip. My heart was pumping and it was amazing to see this normally shy species out in the open for us to admire. We all managed to get cracking views and photos of this amazing bird. It was even more special for one of my guests as he had always wanted to see a Crowned Eagle in the wild. What an exciting and rewarding sighting.

Birding in Kruger Park with Nature Travel Birding
Crowned Eagles are rare in Kruger National Park but are common in the forest plantations just outside the southern part of Kruger.  It is believed that birds looking for territory do wander into Kruger National Park on occasion. Why the birds don’t become resident in the Southern part of the park is a mystery as the habitat along the rivers is perfect and prey availability is high. One theory is the competition and pressure from the other large eagles in Kruger, like Martial, Tawny and Fish Eagles.

The species is near-threatened and it is great to see juveniles looking for territories and setting up territories to breed.

Every birder should experience the joy one gets when looking up into the African sky and seeing a raptor soaring above you. It is a mesmerising site which will stay with you for a long time.

Come and experience the Kruger National Park with us – an amazing adventure awaits! For more info about birding trips or safaris to the Kruger National Park, get in touch with us at info@naturetravelkruger.com

Written by Nature Travel Guide: Marc Cronje

Duke – A true legend of our time

The story of Duke with Nature Travel Kruger
Duke was one of a kind. He had an incredible set of tusks that was as big as some of the biggest “tuskers” that roamed the African savannahs. And on top of that he was very relaxed and approachable which is not common as most of the Elephant Bulls with big tusks keeping a low profile and in areas away from tourists and people in general.

He roamed a very big area in the southern part of the massive Kruger National Park in eastern South Africa and was often seen in the area north of Lower Sabie. Most of the other big tuskers of Kruger Park were found in the more popular, in Elephant terms, northern part of the park with Mopane Woodland the dominant vegetation type.The story of Duke with Nature Travel Kruger

He died of natural causes a couple of years ago and it is great that an Elephant with such incredible tusks survived until old age in an area where Elephant poaching is constant threat. It was a true privilege to have seen him on two separate safaris to this great park. We can only hope that his genes were passed on that there will be many great tuskers to come.
The story of Duke with Nature Travel Kruger
These type of intimate connections we make with nature is part of the experience when you join Nature Travel Kruger on safari. For more info get in touch with us at info@naturetravelkruger.com

The Magical place they call The Kruger National Park

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How to summarize a safari in the Kruger park? It’s nature at its best, a birders paradise with the most beautiful landscapes and breathtaking sunsets. And if you want to take superb photographs, this is the place to do so. Then we’re not even mentioning the fantastic wildlife sightings.

There is nothing that can compare to the smell of nature while quietly admiring the Big 5 in their natural habitat. And tonight when the sun sets and the evening noises fill the air you won’t want to be anywhere else in the world.

If you get the chance, visit the Kruger and if you get the chance to go again, don’t let it pass by because you might just be surprised and experience something new this time round.