15 April to 20 April 2009
Winter is the best time to view the small cats and during the last week we have been fortunate enough to see large spotted genet hunting francolin unsuccessfully at night. White tail mongooses were active each evening drive, they hunt ground nesting birds. Unfortunately they didn't catch anything in our presence. There are still lots of tracks around the Hyena den site, but no sighting as yet of any youngsters. General game has also been excellent for the last few days with great sightings of giraffe zebra and blue wildebeest.
On one drive after we had enjoyed sightings of lots of general game we came across some lion tracks and after following up we saw 4 lionesses and 10 cubs of the Styx Pride at One Eye Pan that had moved into our area. The cubs are about 8-9 mouths old and very relaxed in the presence of the land-rover. Later that evening the pride began to hunt blue wildebeest on the open area and a male wildebeest picked up the scent of the pride. When the cubs saw the wildebeest they broke cover too soon and ran towards the wildebeest which then ran off. After this unsuccessful hunt the pride regrouped and once again were unsuccessful in attempting to hunt a herd of impala following which the pride moved north out of our traversing area.
The female leopard Safari was picked up on Tamboti Clearing in a tree where she had stashed an impala kill. We enjoyed 4 wonderful days of this particular leopard sighting. One morning she was eating up in the tree and we were only vehicle in the sighting which our guests thoroughly enjoyed Safari eventually moved the carcass to another spot in the soft sunlight which made for great photographs. The following evening we saw her drinking at a pan, it was fantastic sighting and after she had finish we followed her back to the kill. The large territorial male leopard, Tyson has been seen on the regular basis scent marking furiously and pushing deeper and deeper into Mafufunyane's territory We followed him for a while before he went into thick bush where it was impossible to follow. Shadow, the one year old female leopard was sighted at Xigodi pan we were not able to view her for long as she vanished into the thick vegetation.
Wild dogs were sighted at Simbambili Dam one night, next. Their tracks had been picked up on our western boundary as they came in from Robsons in the morning and they were eventually sighted at Simbambili Dam in the evening. The pack which consisted of three adult dogs then moved through our property and into Vuyatela from where they eventually crossed into the Kruger National Park. It was great to have these endangered animals on our property once again.
The Simbambili Team