7 April to 14 April 2009
Winter is once again upon us, the mornings are becoming a lot colder than normal, and the nights are also becoming colder. I think we are probably past the rain, as we haven't received any rain over the last week. We are also seeing the colour changes in the grass and the leaves on the trees, they are moving from the summery green colour to a more greenish- brown tinge. The natural water holes that were filled with water from all the rain are also starting to show signs of drying up!
On the mammal sightings front, there has been plenty of action. For the entire week we have had two different herds of buffalo both numbering about 300 moving in and around the property. The elephant herds have been a bit scarce, but we have had some exceptionally large bulls present throughout the week. One such bull had the most massive pair of tusks, Im sure he could be an up and coming tusker for the future. The rhino sightings have also been fantastic, with a very large 'crash' of 7 animals seen nearly every day, as well as another 4 separate animals and a female with a young calf.
Our two little hyena pups are not so little anymore, but are doing very well and are growing every day. They are both still based at the den, but on a few game drives we have come across them out hunting with the rest of the clan. These two pups are producing some great viewing for our guests as they are not at all nervous of the vehicles and now come right up to the vehicles and on one occasion the braver of the two even went right under the vehicle to investigate.
This last week we have enjoyed daily lion sightings. The one Mapogo male lion with the broken leg has been hanging around our property and providing some fantastic sightings. He seems to be moving more easily now, and was even able to steal a kill from the female leopard Salayexe which kept him busy for a few days and this allowed him to rest and restore his energy! He was also seen calling frequently for his brothers, and on Friday morning they replied and he began to move south to meet up with them.
News from the south is the Tsalala pride lionesses have had cubs and even though the cubs have not yet been seen the females have been seen with suckle marks, so hopefully within the next few months we will be able to view the new arrivals.
The territorial male leopard, Tyson was again seen this week but later moved south, the other territorial male, Mafufenyane was also seen, but seems to be feeling the pressure a lot more from Tyson and also that of a new male from the north called Jordaan, this particular male is massive and was even seen trying to kill buffalo calves within the buffalo herd this week. He tried to jump onto the back of one but was thrown off and moved into very dense bush after that. We look forward to ongoing sightings of this magnificent male. Of the female leopards both Salayexe and Ntima have definite suckle marks, which is a great sign that they both still have cubs, the White Cloth female and her cub who are resident in the eastern section of our traversing are also doing really well.
Nyeleti was seen during the week on a regular basis but without her cub Mbilo so it appears that she has finally been able to get send her demanding teenage cub out into independence. Shadow was also seen twice on impala kills and Safari was also seen a lot of the time.Thandi was also getting in on the act when we had a great sighting of her posing on a termite mound for about an hour and we managed to get some great photos.
Both cheetah and wild dog tracks were seen this week as well an amazing sighting of a sub adult giraffe that was killed by a crocodile in the east. The giraffe was pulled out of the water which provided us with some incredible viewing of crocodile and hyena interaction and large numbers of vultures were also present. A Cape Griffon Vulture was seen which is an incredibly rare sighting in our area.
The Simbambili Team