It’s that time of the year, food is scarce and water is a precious source. All the herbivorous game is busy entering that last final stretch of the dry season as we start that transitional period between winter and spring as they patiently await the first rains due in November/December.
We have noticed large movements of Cape Buffalo all over the property searching for palatable grazing opportunities and mostly water.
And so, with these large breeding herds of Cape Buffalo there are going to be lions trailing not too far behind. A young sub-adult coalition of 7 males entered the property following up on these Cape Buffalo, however they were unsuccessful in their quest due to their unperfected hunting skills and settled for some slightly different meals.
With all these movements of lion on the reserve, this didn’t stop the surviving Southern Pride members from making an appearance as they were seen on regular occasions in the southern property of Lisbon.
A pack of African Wild Dogs were seen early in August with two pregnant females and four males, however, it seems they have decided to den in the southern section of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, so we will not be seeing the pups until they are old enough to move away from the den site. We do continue to see the rest of the pack hunting on our property from time to time.
We were lucky enough to have multiple sightings of a female Cheetah with her two cubs through our northern and southern property, an amazing scene to witness due to their decrease in population as they are now listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Numerous breeding herds of elephant have been witnessed on the reserve of late due to the amount of water and vegetation available to get them through the dry winter months.
With all this good news, unfortunately something quite devastating has happened this cycle as we will no longer be seeing the Little Bush female around anymore as she was caught by the Mhangeni sub-adult coalition of lions and fed on, leaving nothing left for a positive ID. With that we haven’t seen her in nearly 3 – 4 weeks and her territory has been taken over by her latest surviving offspring, the Ntsumi female.
The Maxabeni male is still as strong as ever as he still holds his territory and protecting it from intruding males despite his age.
A new face and one that is starting to become a slight resident, the N’weti male. A young male leopard that is constantly pressurizing the territorial male on our eastern sector. A force to be reckoned with in the future.
The Kigelia female is back and spending a lot more time around Little Bush Camp, the area where she was born and grew up. Could this possibly be her returning to scout for a potential den site of her own?
All these old faces making a return, but one very familiar and a beautiful leopardess, the Tatowa female. Pushing the Ntsumi female south out of her territory, the Tatowa female is back after raising her litter of cubs where she succeeded as we believe her male cub is close to independence.
The White Dam male has been seen not as often as we thought, could this possibly be his father slowly starting to push him away out of his territory or has he lost interest and decided to determine a territory of his own…
A very mature and elderly male enjoys the peace and tranquility in our southern property as all the younger male leopards have situated their territories in the northern property as there are many young females that are ready to produce offspring.
Here’s just a few of many general sightings that one forgets about on safari, its not just the high-profile sightings, but the general game that are just as iconic on an African safari.
Lastly, I leave with the beautiful golden rays minutes before sunset over a wide-open area with a herd of Blue Wildebeest grazing before dark to end my cycle.