Our week started off with a sighting of drag marks and leopard tracks which led us to a drainage line where we found Maxabeni with a duiker kill up in a tree. After finishing his meal, he groomed himself thoroughly before moving away from the area.
After a successful morning safari, we started to head back to the lodge when we noticed Xovonekela lying on a termite mound in the distance. We went to investigate and suddenly heard the vocalisation of another male leopard (White Dam) not too far away. Xovonekela then started vocalising and growling, making sure the younger male leopard was out of his territory. Later in the day, we located Xovonekela again and watched him help himself to a steenbok kill he had just come across, possibly killed by another leopard that had been spotted earlier.
Soon after departing Bush Lodge, Msuthlu female leopard was found resting on a termite mound. With it being a nice cool, overcast morning, she lay in the open keeping an eye on a kill stashed close by.
Ntsumi was resting in a Marula tree after a good impala meal, along with several hyenas waiting patiently under the tree for scraps.
We found Kigelia female leopard up in a dead tree, staring only in one direction the entire time. Before we could absorb what we were looking at, we heard a strong growling and took off in the direction were the sound came from and found White Dam and Msuthlu mating.
We found Scotia female leopard with her cub playing around with a young impala kill. The cub was full but carrying the kill around playfully.
A pack of wild dogs continue to be seen on a regular basis. We watched the pups playing around with one another after some much-needed rain when suddenly some of the adults appeared with blood on their faces and brought back a duiker head for the pups. This created great excitement amongst them, and they ran around all trying to get their share.
A few days later, we had another incredible wild dog sighting. We noticed vultures circling around a waterhole one morning so headed in that direction only to come across a pack of wild dogs, including several puppies devouring a fully-grown female impala carcass. One of our guests, a repeat guest who has been on numerous safaris and never seen wild dogs, burst into tears with overwhelming emotion! One of the adult wild dogs ran towards the puppies with a baby impala that had either just been born or was tugged from the womb of the deceased mother. The wild dogs spent their time chasing off the vultures as well as playing around with the baby impala.
Early one morning we found the Mhangeni Pride of lions, along with the Othawa male, near an open area as they were on the move trying to hunt some impala that were feeding close by. We followed them for a while when we noticed a Tawny Eagle sitting on a termite mound. One of the females took off and ran towards the eagle and to our surprise, we saw the eagle trying to fly but with something in its claws. As we got closer, we noticed the eagle had killed a newborn impala and it could not fly away with it since it was too heavy. The lioness picked the young impala up and ran away while a male lion was chasing her. She eventually gave up and dropped the kill and the big male who ate the meal alone.
As we were about to head back to the lodge from safari, the vehicle in front of us signalled forward and we drove closer and saw this beautiful cheetah moving around before settling in some shade.
A young zebra having a morning graze in the golden light.
An older buffalo enjoys the morning sun as him and 2 other males grazed and moved along in the long grass.
An immature Bateleur doing a walk about.
Some impala males allogrooming under Tamboti trees.
A very special sighting close to Earth Lodge today of a newborn impala lamb taking its first very wobbly steps.
One of our experienced trackers, Sydney, spotted this beautiful Pearl-spotted Owlet while returning from safari.
A group of Guineafowl quench their thirst as the heat of the day starts to rise.
We spent some time with a couple of hyenas relaxing at a waterhole. One decided to face-off with an approaching wildebeest, but they eventually gave up and left each other alone.
We feel you little guy! Using a trunk is hard!! The newest addition to the herd drinks alongside mom at a nearby watering hole, but the struggle certainly is real!
Until next time…