“I hope you have an experience that alters the course of your life, because after Africa, nothing has ever been the same…” ~ Suzanne Evans
We followed the Kigelia female leopard as she made her way through some thick bush looking and smelling around for something to eat. The following morning, after leaving the lodge very early, we heard Vervet monkeys alarm calling. We chose to follow up and to our surprise, we had not one, but two leopards. The White Dam male was finishing off an impala kill and eventually moved off to the road side (not without the female having a ‘growl-off’ with him). Kigelia kept a close eye on the remains of the kill that was hanging in the tree.
The following morning, the duo became three when Xovonekela male leopard joined the scene. Kigelia didn’t stick around for too long and left the two males alone. Read more about this sighting in Ally’s latest blog, “Three’s a crowd”.
Our final sighting of the above leopards was of Kigelia and White Dam mating not too far from Little Bush Camp.
Whilst on the topic of mating leopards – N’weti male and Ntsumi female also continue to be seen mating. The pair have been seen mating in the past, so hopefully the mating will be successful, and we that we see little ones running around in 3-4 months’ time!
A beautiful leopard we don’t see too often, Scotia, was seen this week as she followed something through some dense bushes. It turns out she was hunting Common Grey Duiker. We decided to stick with her to see the outcome. Unfortunately, she was unsuccessful, but she gave us some beautiful opportunities to photograph her as she used termite mounds as vantage points.
The Southern Pride were seen early in the week with a decent size buffalo kill! A fantastic size meal for this pride of 5 ever-growing lions.
The Avoca males were also successful this week and were seen with a buffalo calf kill!
Over the weekend we enjoyed numerous wild dog sightings, including a pack of 14 dogs! The adults were extremely active as they attempted 2 hunts on impala, with the desired antelopes fleeing in all directions! Some of the dogs had blood on their faces from a recent kill, so they did not pursue their hunts any further and spent a great deal of time right next to our vehicle, intensely smelling some hyena scat.
This same pack was seen at the waterhole in front of Selati Camp after finishing off their impala kill. The pups played around for a while whilst the adults were having some time out. It wasn’t long before 3 Spotted Hyena arrived to cool down in the water and the Wild Dog did not seem too keen on that idea, constantly harassing them and yapping at their hind quarters.
This hippo was very curious and walked to the edge of the water where our vehicle was parked. He stared at us for a bit before he ran back into the water and splashed around, showing off his big mouth with teeth he uses as defence.
With a small amount of rain experienced on the reserve over the last two weeks, many of the tree species have started to produce their first bit of foliage heading into the summer rainfall season. Here a Brown-headed Parrot makes the most of these changes as he was found perched in a large green Knob-thorn tree.
Whilst making our way back to Earth Lodge for breakfast one morning, we passed a breeding herd of elephants and backtracked upon spotting a baby, who to our surprise, appeared to be severely lacking melanin thus resulting in the pink colour of some of the skin. This little guy’s lack of melanin will likely make life a little more challenging, but there have been cases where elephants in similar situations have managed to survive just fine. After all, this is a wild elephant and nature can be surprisingly resilient.
A Dwarf Mongoose appears from its small cavity within its burrow to see if there are any potential predators around before continuing with a full day of foraging.
A large herd of Cape Buffalo have been seen regularly moving between various waterholes in our Southern property of Lisbon. Here the herd were seen grazing just moments before sunset.
A magnificent Wahlberg’s Eagle leaves us in awe as he wisely moves off the road grasping his recent snake kill firmly in its talons.
A special sighting viewed from the deck at Selati Camp of a baby giraffe and a zebra who seemed to be its babysitter, nudging it along to get it to drink. A Grey Heron and some African Black Ducks were also seen close to the giraffe and zebra.
Until next time…