With another cycle having come to an end and having reflected on it, it is amazing to think about the number of amazing sightings I had the privilege to have been in.
It is always great to see cheetah on the reserve and during this cycle I was fortunate enough to have multiple sightings of these cats. With a young male as well as a female cheetah with two sub adult cubs making appearances on the reserve, these cats never fail to amaze the guests and myself as we marvel at their beauty.
The Southern Pride was up to their usual antics and skillfully managed to pull down several buffalo during my cycle. This pride’s ability to hunt these extremely dangerous opponents is second to none. I am yet to see or hear of a group of females who take down buffalo in the quantities the Southern Pride do. This skill has set the pride up to be dominant in this region of Africa for a long time to come.
Elephants are a personal favorite of mine. The beauty in their eyes has always fascinated me. I am also mesmerized by the feeling of calmness I get from a breeding herd as they go about their feeding exploits, with the constant low rumbles that come from deep inside as they communicate to each other. Hours could be spent with these peaceful giants.
The Kruger male lion is a cat whom I admire. He is always seen as the underdog yet no other male has managed to overthrow him in the southern Sabi Sands. Therefore it was amazing to see him feeding on a kudu bull and watch the power of the old warrior, even as the pressure mounts with new males entering the area.
The young sub adult males of the Southern Pride are cats that I am extremely interested in. It is going to be interesting to see what the future holds for them, with some very powerful coalitions originating from the pride. It is always a privilege to see them developing into the powerful males they are surely destined to be.
Another very interesting interaction that I was lucky enough to witness was the Nottins female having an interaction with her mother “old Nottins”. The old lady managed to kill a Banded Mongoose and the commotion attracted her daughter to investigate. They both stared each other down, with the old lady hissing at her daughter. Soon after young Nottins moved off in the other direction leaving her mother in peace.
The Little Bush female posed beautifully for us one morning after being forced up a tree by Solo and the Eyrefield male who stole her well-earned impala. It was amazing to see how relaxed this leopard could be once up the tree, with two large male lions consuming her meal not far from the base of the tree where she then slept.
It is always a rare sighting to see cub when out on safari. In this cycle I managed to see two different leopard cubs, as well as the new members of the Southern Pride. These sightings were extremely special moments during my cycle as well as my career in the bush thus far.
The eyes of a male lion can be extremely intimidating and gives one the feeling that if it were possible, a look could kill. The interaction I witnessed on my last safari before going on leave was extremely interesting as the young Skukuza male seemed to intimidate Solo into submission without any of other three members of the coalition present. This interaction leaves us all wondering when the Kruger male will eventually be overthrown. Will it be these young males who will take over? With all of this I am already excited to get back into the bush and create new memories and take part in all the adventures that life at Sabi Sabi has to offer.