Wow!!! What a week it’s been! Temperatures have been high this week and the animals have been taking refuge from the sun and resting in the shade as well as frequenting numerous waterholes around the reserve.
The Southern Pride continue to be seen as a unit of 5. They seem to be doing well for themselves as their condition is very good. In our last sighting of them for the week, they were seen close to a large herd of buffalo, hoping to strike as the night cools. Also, not far off – no more than 200m away – was a Mhangeni male lion. Interesting times ahead – will the Southern Pride accept this lone male?
Leopard sightings have been off the charts again this week with all the favourites being seen.
The White Dam male made for some interesting viewing as he delayed Kevin and his guests on their way back to the lodge… He kept staring in one direction, but we could not see anything that might have suited his abilities, but what was laying in his line of sight was a crash of 4 rhino… Surely, he would not be eyeing them out for a meal… He headed straight for them – no detour at all – but the closer he got, we soon realised he had seen something beyond the sleeping rhino. He took position, eyes focused on some impala in the distance who hadn’t caught scent of him yet. Realising he was probably not within striking distance, the young leopard gave up on his hunt to save his energy for later.
Kigelia has been seen quite a bit this week and is nursing some injuries from what may have been a fight. Nevertheless, she still looked as graceful as ever.
It’s all love and no war for N’weti and Ntsumi as they continue to mate. Between mating sessions, the male would take a breather and lay down in the cool riverbed, whist Ntsumi seemed to be having a good time climbing up and down a fallen over tree.
The following day, Ntsumi was seen again, with two impala kills in two different trees within close proximity to one another. After feeding on it for the duration of the morning, she was seen resting relatively contently in the afternoon alongside one of the kills. The next morning, and sadly nothing remains. Possibility that she had dropped the larger carcass and it was stolen by Spotted Hyenas. We however were able to find her as she was concealing herself from the heat.
Shortly before departing Little Bush Camp for morning safari, Frederik and his guests heard Vervet monkeys alarm calling. They immediately made their way to where the commotion was coming from and came across a pack of 10 wild dogs (5 adults and 5 pups) feeding on what seemed to have been a female impala. Later in the morning, they were resting in a shady area in a dry riverbed. It was great to see the pups running along with the pack as they are now of age.
The pups were a joy to watch as they were trying to figure out how safe it was to drink out of the waterhole…
As we always say, it’s not always all about the high-profile sightings – and we were treated to some amazing general sightings again this week…
Until next time…
Blog by Wendy Claase
Images by Frederik Aucamp, Kerry-Lee Roberg, Kevan Dobbie, Kevin Van Der Linde, Louise Murray and Renche van Heerden
Videos by Greg Heasman & Louise Murray