Sound Safari

Black-collared Barbet

Eavesdrop on the Wild

Have you ever wondered…
If hippos talk underwater?
If ants talk at all?
Why elephant shrews tap dance?
Why birds sing at dawn?

A Sound Safari experience with Derek Solomon shares these answers and more.

Using specialised sound equipment, we eavesdrop on the wild and hear what mammals, birds, insects and other animals have to say. From the more audible lion roar, hyena whoop to the quieter elephant rumbles, birdsong and insect buzz – there is much to listen to.

The adventure includes a fascinating talk on the world of sound: including how and why the big cats roar, birds sing and insects chatter. It covers infrasonic elephant rumbles and underwater conversations by hippo, fish and others; as well as non-vocal sounds by mammals and birds. And wrapping up with hints and tips on sound recording with basic equipment including smartphones.

Game-drive vehicles are fitted with our sound equipment and guests are connected with individual headphones to listen in to nature’s orchestra and discover that there is even more going on in our wild places than we thought!

There’s never been a better time to reconnect with nature. 

Microphones and elephant

Join us on a Sound Safari in 2024!

Makalai Private Game Reserve is a 25 000 hectare conservancy with a strong conservation and research ethic. It is in the bushveld region west of Kruger National Park and is home to array of wildlife including lion, rhino, buffalo, elephant, cheetah, hyena, plentiful plains game and a variety of  birdlife.

In this wilderness is Job’s Halt – a charming rustic camp where we will be based for a 2 or 3 night sound safari experience. This intimate little camp is set in the riverine forest on the banks of the Makhutswi River.

Chose a date that suits you for a group of 4 (min) or 6 (max).
Costs from ZAR4975 per person per night sharing.

A short after dark recording from one of our sound safaris at Sausage Tree Safari Camp – Scops Owl calls continuously, interrupted by a Leopard. Pure and simple – nature at her best.

A 2 minute recording of elephants made whilst surrounded by a herd in the early evening – with rumbles, breaking branches and feeding; interrupted by the beautiful call of a Pearl-spotted Owlet.

Now listening in to Dwarf Mongoose – they have a wide range of calls including predator alarm calls, aggressive growls, submissive calls, begging calls, and in this sound clip, contact calls.

Another sound safari experience, this time using our hydrophone for an underwater recording – a host of sounds in the headphones – high-pitched squeaks, clicks, ticking sounds and what we think is some movement in the water. 

Several male Chacma Baboon started calling around dawn as they left their tree-top roost  asserting their dominance within the troop. 

This large cow crossed the road – her footfalls crunching loudly on the gravel. A leopard calls in the background at about 16 seconds and the elephant rumbles softly towards the end of the recording.

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