It has been another incredible week on safari!! Without further ado, herewith the highlights from the past 7 days…
When guests arrive at the lodge and say, “We would love to see a Honey badger”, you know you have your work cut out for you! And this was the case for Ronald… But luck was on their side as one of his guests spotted a Honey badger in the distance, crossing the road and they were fortunate enough to follow it along the side of the road for a while! What a great experience!
Another incredible and extremely rare sighting of a Caracal stalking some Crested Francolins.
Wild dog sightings have been spectacular this week!! A pack was seen in a “game” of tug of war with hyenas over the remains of a kill. We had numerous sightings of them, as well as the pups playing around with one another, and their food!
We tracked White Dam male on foot and found him sleeping under a tree before he moved off trying to stalk some impala.
After some intense tracking, Maxabeni was found resting in a riverbed away from the rising temperatures. He eventually moved off, probably scanning the riverbeds for any potential meals. He was seen regularly in the week, hunting and marking his territory.
While doing a transfer between the lodge and Skukuza Airport, Ruth came across the Nchila male leopard resting during the heat of the day.
We followed up on some squirrel alarm calls and found Kigelia stalking a scrub hare. She later proceeded to a small puddle of water for a drink.
We found tracks belonging to the Msuthlu female leopard, but she made hard work for us as she was moving all over the place. Later we located her again as she made her way through the long brown grass heading into the sunset.
After following up on tracks of another female leopard – Scotia – we were finally rewarded when we found this beautiful leopard walking with a baby Duiker kill. Later that day, we went back to where we had last seen her and she had made another kill – an impala, which she was feeding on with her cub and after a full day of feeding, she was eventually able to hoist the kill to safety.
We found the Mhangeni Pride of lions resting in an open area as the sun was about to set. Shortly after locating the lions, a big male hippo approached the lions who were already aware of his presence. They didn’t waste much time before trying their luck, but never stood a chance against such a big hippo.
An exciting evening when some hyenas were spotted eating off a kudu kill. On approach, a large male leopard was lingering by, we assume since the hyenas stole his kill, but not long after, the Mhangeni Pride and Othawa male came running in and claimed the prize for themselves.
We found fresh lion tracks and it was pleasant to see that they belonged to the lone Southern Pride female after her last run in with the Othawa male.
A young giraffe nurses while moms keeps a watchful eye.
We spent some time at a waterhole and got to see a Hamerkop, Green-backed Heron and a Woolly-necked Stork fishing!
We stopped for a drink along a riverbed under the shade of a Fig tree. Whilst enjoying our drinks, we could hear baboons alarm calling in the nearby trees. They kept coming closer to where we had stopped and were obviously disturbed by something. We started looking in the trees and spotted a massive Python up in the tree next to us.
We were about to stop for morning coffee when we noticed a lot of vultures landing close by. We went to investigate and found vultures trying to open the carcass of a dead wildebeest. It seems it died of natural causes as there were no predators or any sign of tracks around. One young hyena arrived quickly and started to claim the prize, chasing all the vultures. The youngster lay against the carcass, not knowing what to do with all the meat, or where to start!
Until next time…