Celebrating 20 Years of Magnificent Wildlife at Royal Malewane | The Royal Portfolio
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3 April2020

by Nicole Sorour

With 20 Of Our Favourite Safari Images

New Year’s Eve marked The Royal Portfolio‘s 20th Anniversary. 20 years since the Biden family converted their holiday home in the Greater Kruger National Park into what is now Royal Malewane. Over the last 20 years we have enjoyed many spectacular wildlife encounters with our guests. During that time Royal Malewane has fostered the most qualified guiding team in Africa and now runs one of the most sought after apprenticeship programmes in the industry. The team is passionate about wildlife and conservation – never more so than now.

The ripple effect from the collapse of tourism due to Covid-19 threatens to wipe out decades of conservation work. As communities feel the economic burden of Covid-19, some may turn to illegal poaching for short term financial gain. The Royal Portfolio Foundation remains committed to supporting critical conservation and community projects – ensuring that patrols continue in the relentless battle against animal poaching.

Wherever you are in the world, we hope to inspire you with these beautiful wildlife images. Don’t stop dreaming. And nor will we, as we look forward to a day when we can welcome our wonderful guests back to Royal Malewane.

The Stalker

“The lion may be the king of beasts, but the leopard is the prince of darkness.” By Craig McFarlane

Impala Kaleidoscope

“When the rutting season comes to an end, the stronger Impala rams organise their females into tight harems. Impala are often overlooked because they are so common, but I still think they are some of the most photogenic antelope in the African bush.” By Juan Pinto

Take Flight

“The lilac-breasted roller has an array of bold colours – eight to be exact. I snapped this shot as he took flight after catching and eating an insect during a wildlife photographic safari.” By Andre-Fourie

Regal

“Kudu are some of the most striking antelope of the African bush. They are also quite shy, and don’t afford one many photographic opportunities. This young bull peered at us from behind a thicket – just long enough for me to get a quick photo.” By Juan Pinto

Curious Cat

“Winter in the Lowveld is an excellent time to view nocturnal predators. The days are shorter and cooler, and the cats generally become active much earlier than they would in the summer months.” By Riaan Fourie

High Alert

“We are very privileged to enjoy exceptional wild dog sightings at Royal Malewane, despite the fact that they are the most endangered carnivores in Southern Africa. The decline of populations in Africa is ongoing, due to habitat fragmentation, human persecution, and disease outbreaks.” By Nicola Jooste

I Am Woman Hear Me Roar

“Juan Pinto and his guests encountered the Blackdam Pride minutes before they killed and ate a zebra. Female lions are smaller and more agile than males, making them the primary hunters of the pride. They use teamwork to hunt and kill their prey which is generally faster than them.” By Rudi Hulshof

Magnificent Beasts

“A sighting that one day soon may only possible in photographs. Relentless poaching is leading to the imminent extinction of this endangered species. We have to do all we can to protect our earth’s wildlife.” By Rudi Hulshof

Masters of Disguise

“A cheetah’s spots serve as camouflage by offsetting shadows in the grasses they inhabit. Camouflage is essential for stalking prey but also for protecting cheetah cubs from danger.” By Ryan Jack

Family Time

“Baby elephants are fiercely protected by the rest of the herd. This cheeky pair had cooled off by simply standing under the spray created by larger adults. It was a great way to end a hot afternoon.” By Rudi Hulshof

Golden Hour

“This leopard was captured in the late afternoon as the light turned golden. The body structure of a leopard is built for tree climbing, with powerful legs and muscular backs that propel them high into the canopy.” By Andre Fourie

Poetry In Motion

“Typically, a running impala will simply jump over anything in its path as it flees from nearing predators.” By Juan Pinto

Amber Glow

“The magnificent amber eyes of a cheetah. Being the fastest land animal in the world, a cheetah can reach speeds of up to 112km per hour in just three seconds. ”  By Juan Pinto

All Creatures Great And Small

“When the average temperatures slowly begin to drop, cold-blooded reptiles are forced into hibernation. These scaly creatures will eventually emerge in warmer weather to try and fatten up before winter really settles in.” By Ryan Jack

Dazzling

“There are many long-standing theories among scientists about why zebras have stripes. Their unique patterns are believed to confuse predators, control body heat and may also have a social purpose – helping zebras to recognise one another.” By Juan Pinto

Lockdown

“Adult bulls will spar in play, to assert dominance or in hot-tempered fights. Our guests loved seeing these two large bulls wrestling in the soft evening light.” By Rudi Hulshof

Impalas At Dawn

“Graceful, humble and undeniably elegant – it’s always worth stopping and spending time observing impala in their natural environment.” By Juan Pinto

Fattening Up

“When most of the migratory birds had already left our shores, this Red-Backed Shrike decided to stay a bit longer and bulk up on the abundance of insects. Extra energy is vital as his yearly migration North will take him as far as the Czech Republic.” By Juan Pinto

Monochrome

“Cloudy, overcast days are sometimes perfect for monochrome photography. These two White rhinos stayed and posed perfectly for the photograph.” By Rudi Hulshof

Double Trouble

“Cheetah cubs are born with all the spots they’ll ever have. A long, silvery strip of fur called a mantle acts as additional camouflage to keep them hidden from dangerous prey.” By Ryan Jack

A Few More of Our Favourite Moments

No Royal Malewane photography piece would be complete without these three final images. The first is an award-winning image called ‘Confusion’ taken by field guide Rudi Hulshof. He won the LUMIX People’s Choice Award for capturing the moment when these two rhinos would walk past each other, creating the illusion of a two-headed rhino. The second picture is also by Rudi – another confusing and comical image that featured in many newspapers around the world – is it one or two giraffes? The third has become a signature image of Royal Malewane – a magical moment captured by a guest just as the elephants appeared to drink from their private plunge pool.

Which image is your favourite? Please share your own magical safari moments from Royal Malewane with us by tagging @theroyalportfolio on Facebook or Instagram and adding #TRPLife

To discover more about Royal Malewane watch our videos of the Main Lodge and of The Farmstead.

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