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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…