SA bush moments: the wild wonders and tragedies of 2015


Cape Town - South Africa is one of the world's most recognised and sought after wildlife destinations.  A moment with a lion, cheetah, impala, or rhino is always a thrill, whether it is a live or virtual experience.

This year our fascination with the bush allowed us to capture many precious, happy moments and some very sad ones too.Take a look at South Africa's unforgettable bush moments for 2015 ...

PICS: Animals take in the humans on safari!

1. Prince Harry part of Kruger poaching shoot-out

When the Kruger National Park captured eight rhino-poachers, we found out that His Majesty Prince Harry of Wales was at the forefront of the mission.

Prince Harry had joined a military camp and went on night hunts to find the poachers and when three of the poachers were found, he was present.   

ALSO SEE: PICS: Prince Harry, the ginger guardian of SA's rhinos

2.  PICS: Quick-thinking tourists save Kruger guide in ambush leopard attack

A game ranger survived an attack from a leopard that jumped at him through the open window of his vehicle. The tourists in the vehicle started beating the leopard with any random object they could find in order to save the ranger from the attack.

Another tourist saved the day when he drove his vehicle towards the leopard to scare it off. 


3. WATCH: Terrifying (and hilarious) video of lion opening car door goes viral

Did you know lions could open car doors with their teeth? We did not, and neither did these American tourists. They stopped their car in front of a pride of lions to take some pictures when the curious lioness came right up to the vehicle. She sticks her head in the window and decides to open the door with her teeth. 

4. Hunting industry told to clean up its act after protected lion killed in shock 'legal hunt'

American hunter Walter Palmer sent out a furore of shock across the world when he killed Cecil the lion in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. It drew much-needed attention to the hunting world and the severity of poaching in Africa.

Palmer in turn blamed the hunting organisation - saying he was not aware of the Cecil's great fame in Zimbabwe and believed the hunt was arranged legally. 

5. WATCH: Is this Kruger Park's biggest IDIOT?

A delivery driver spooked two baby elephants playing in the middle of a Kruger National Park road by hooting and swerving around them to hurriedly get to his destination.

The unruly behaviour is a perfect example of how NOT to behave around wild animals, especially in their own territory. 

6. The Tragic Lion Park killing

We cannot forget the incident in which US citizen Catherine Chappell  was mauled to death by a lioness at the Lion Park in Joburg. The 29-year-old special effects editor who worked on the massively popular series, Game of Thrones, had only been in South Africa for three days before the fatal attack. The incident re-opened criticism of captive lion breeding and petter, with the Park announcing a month later that it would be no longer allow guest to interact with lion cubs from 2016. 

READ: Joburg Lion Park cans lion cub petting

7.The Release of Blood Lion 

Ian Michler of Invent Africa is one of the continent's finest wildlife guides, as well as an outspoken conservationist who has fought for the protection of African wilderness and wildlife. 

For 15 years Ian has researched and campaigned against the canned lion hunting industry in South Africa. The release of his film 'Blood Lions' in July has sent shock waves through out the hunting industry - with SA's own hunting industry eventually issuing a statement against the practice of half-tame lion hunting.

READ: Blood Lions: 6 Harsh truths about canned lion hunting


7.Photographer captures incredible pics of leaping Kruger kudu

A professional photographer was on hand to capture the sight of a lifetime when a Kruger kudu bull jumped several metres in the air after he was spooked by a warning call from a Franklin. The sequence of images captured were just incredible - 

8.PICS: Epic beach and bush wildlife action... only in SA!

Pictures of two huge lions killing a kudu in the middle of the H7 road between Orpen Gate and Satara Camp in the Kruger National Park were an instant hit on Facebook.

The powerful images gave many a close-up experience of the power of the lion and how they capture and kill with remarkable ease. When we thought things could not get any better the footage of a shark photo-bombing another shark in Mossel Bay was an instant hit!

(Carrie Dunford)

Bonus inclusion... 

WATCH: SA game ranger goes 'boss', loses his cool with German tourist

We just can't forget the video of a game ranger repeatedly losing the plot with a unobliging and obnoxious German tourist made South Africans nod their heads and enjoy a silent chuckle. It turned out the crazy bush video was a hoax from Careers24 - encouraging short tempered and stressed out workers to find the right job for you. 

Have incredible wildlife footage to share? Email us at or connect with us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
Who do you think is going to win the 2020 US election?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Biden is going to take it
47% - 7528 votes
It's four more years for Trump
53% - 8647 votes
Brent Crude
All Share
Top 40
Financial 15
Industrial 25
Resource 10
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo