What a week!!!!! With all the incredible high-profile sightings this week, we have struggled to share a balance of sightings with you all, but what a fantastic problem to have had…
A female leopard marches her way down a road, marking her territory and picking up the scent of bypassers. A couple of days later, she was seen with a couple of wounds and seems to have been in an altercation with another. Her injuries are not serious at all, and she carried on as usual.
As the sun was almost down below the horizon and the moon starting to rise, the sounds of the bush got quieter until a herd of impala started alarm calling close by. We went to see what the fuss was about and found this beautiful female leopard stalking the very same group of impala, looking for a meal.
One morning we found this older dominant male leopard on a territorial patrol, marking as he walked but also stopping at a puddle of water to have a drink.
We followed tracks of a small group of wild dogs, to later find them lying in the road. This did not last too long before they got up and were on the move again.
A first sighting for us of these lions… Four young lions who we believe come from the Kruger National Park, known as the Plains Camp Pride, were seen in a very playful mood – they found a branch on the road and each one either had to have THAT branch or find one of their own… it was a rather sweet sighting to see. More on this sighting in Tyron’s blog, “New kids on the block.”
The ultimate sunset! Ally was fortunate enough to spend the afternoon following these four young lions as they explore new terrain here at Sabi Sabi. They attempted a hunt but opted for sibling play instead. Once tiring of the playtime antics, this young male rested on a termite mound as the zebra alarm called in the distance.
Our last sighting of them for the week was of them resting with very full bellies, looking very content.
There was lots of activity one night as we could see some lion tracks moving all over. It took some time to figure out a direction, but as luck had it, we followed some tracks into an open area and realised some animals got spooked, we looked a little further to find the N’waswishaka lions lying down on the open area.
A few days later, we were on the tracks of the same lions. We heard the alarm calls of some impala when we noticed two lions running past. We followed in pursuit to find they had managed to kill an impala ram, devouring it in a matter of minutes.
For those who took part in our collage quiz yesterday, here are the answers of the beautiful birds…
Southern Ground Hornbill
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill
Some impala practice stotting in the early morning while the impala ram chases a female around, possibly to get her back to the herd.
A large herd of buffalo made their way through the long grass feeding. One male had walked straight through a spider web – you can see the stabilimentum just beside his eye. There are many theories as to why they build this structure, one being to stabilize the web itself, another to make the web visible so larger objects won’t break it as a lot of time and effort goes into making these. On the other hand, it could also be used as a distraction as the eye is attracted to the zig zag line rather than the spider itself.
Ending off with our monochrome selection for the week…
A male Saddle-billed Stork, easily identifiable by the small wattle just under the base of the bill. For those who are familiar with this bird, the eyes of the male are darker than the female’s yellow eyes which would appear lighter in a monochrome image.
On alert, some blue wildebeest stand at attention.
A male leopard steps into the morning light.
The triumphs and hardships a young male cheetah has to face out in the savanna.
Two White-backed Vultures resting on a dead tree adding to their habits of feeding on dead animals.
Until next time…