Sabi Sabi yesterday, today, tomorrow

a week in the bush: vol 11

by Sabi Sabi on June 5, 2014

Welcome to another edition of A Week in the Bush… and what an exciting week it’s been. With the sun rising at a more ‘reasonable’ hour at this time of the year, we have really been able to take advantage of the amazing spectacle that is a Bush Sunrise and share this wondrous experience with our guests. The essence of such an experience was beautifully captured in this photo and made that much more special due to the fact that a big bull elephant decided to join in on the occasion. This is what Safari is about.

sunrise while on safari at Sabi Sabi

The week began with another visit from a male cheetah that has been spending a considerable amount of time on the reserve of late. He is a fine specimen of an animal and has been very successful in his hunting efforts, although as is the norm around these parts, the vigilance of the large hyena populous on the reserve has kept him from enjoying the spoils for too long.

sunrise with a cheetah while on safari at Sabi Sabi Luxury safari lodges

cheetah

The Mandleve male, a young male leopard that we have been getting glimpses of recently, was found in the southern section of the reserve this last week and looking in great condition. The fact that this leopard is new to us and that we have very little info about him did have us stumped when he was spotted again, but upon closer inspection and using his unique spot patterning, we were able to confirm his identity. (All leopards have a unique spot patterning above the whiskers on either side of the face, as well as other possible physical characteristics, which are all used to ID individual animals.)

leopard

Also featuring quite prominently yet again, are the three Sand River male lions. They have been found repeatedly near the lodge surrounds with three Southern Pride lionesses and have been continuing their attempted take-over, which seems to be working up to this point. They have also been very successful in bringing down a couple of unlucky buffalos in the process, further helping the males to keep their strength up in their endeavor to continue in their prolonged mating affair with the Southern Pride girls.

lions on a kill while on safari at Sabi Sabi

lion while on night safari

lion on kill at Sabi Sabi while on safari drive

The sightings in between sightings have also been incredibly good with our guests having been introduced to some of the more elusive animals of the bush, such as these well-captured Banded Mongooses and a very well spotted Puff Adder. The Banded Mongooses are generally very shy animals and seldom hang around long enough for us to able to get such a great shot of them, which makes it all that much more special.

banded mongoose

puff adder

Not to be outdone, some of the more common characters that we encounter around the reserve have also been in fine form and we were lucky to catch up with a few of them this last week as well.

giraffe

elephant

buffalo

Maxabeni has been in the company of the White Dam female yet again and they have been involved in a brief bout of intense mating. It seems that White Dam is in very hot pursuit of the powerful Maxabeni and is attempting to secure a position for herself within his territory by presenting him with another opportunity to expand his growing bloodline. He already has litters with both the Little Bush and Nottins females, so we may just be expecting a third litter to be on the way in the next few months. We’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on the situation over the coming weeks.

leopard sighting while on safari at Sabi Sabi

leopards mating while on safari drive at Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari Lodges

leopard

Nottins female is still doing really well, looking great and has been consistently providing us with incredible sightings of herself. The best news yet and definite highlight of the week is that she finally introduced us to her cub! I’m sure that as the weeks go by, we are going to be able to spend quite a lot of time with both Nottins and her little one/s. (We are still not entirely sure if there is only one cub at this stage.) For the time being though, we are allowing her to do what she needs to do without our interference and distancing ourselves from her current den site. When the cub/s get a little bit older we will start to introduce ourselves to them properly.

leopard and hyena

leopard cub

leopard cub

We look forward to bringing you more exciting updates soon and by the looks of things, the quality of the game sightings are going to continue at the current pace. I hope you have all enjoyed reliving the moments with us. Until next time…

BY: MIKE PALMER (BUSH LODGE RANGER)
IMAGES BY: CHARLES FERROW, PRAVIR PATEL, STEVE VOLKWYN, KYLE STRAUTMANN AND CRAIG REICHE

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

angela chase June 5, 2014 at 10:38 am

Mike, Your postings make me feel like we just left and we’ll be back any day now. It’s good to hear more news about specific animals we spotted during our visit, and a little bittersweet to see animals that didn’t show up during our visit. We still feel this was the best trip we’ve taken yet and have it on our radar to come back with our college age children. Thanks for your enthusiasm and willingness to share this wonderful world with us and all of your other visitors! Sincerely, Angela Chase

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mike June 5, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Angela, you are most welcome and I’m so glad that you are enjoying the blog posts. :)

Reply

elaine randolph June 5, 2014 at 5:48 pm

Please add a LinkedIn share to your blog. That’s where all the clients are, not Facebook or Twitter. Thanks.

Reply

mj June 9, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Thank you for the wonderful blog.. When I read these it is like being there!
What a wonderful piece of the globe you live on!

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