The week started with the most precious sighting when we noticed a little face pop out over a termite mound! Scotia’s cub was sitting around waiting for mom, although curiosity and boredom got the best of her and she gave us a few poses and then ventured off to some zebra close by where she tried some hunting skills – unfortunately, a hyena came past and ruined it for her. She moved off to the next closest tree for a look around – clearly trying to keep busy but not go too far from where mom left her. It so amazing seeing the independence coming out in her.
A few days later we found Scotia making her way down the road when something got her attention. She moved off into the bush to attempt a hunt but unfortunately things didn’t work out for her. She kept moving until she found a nice shallow hole in the ground which seemed like a nice little place to curl up for a short nap.
Some squirrel alarm calls led us straight to the Msuthlu female leopard as she was moving along the road marking her territory. She veered off into the bushes and within 5 seconds, she lay low and pounced on a bird – a little snack for the road. She finished it quickly and moved off into the thicker areas, possibly looking for some larger prey.
Enjoying the comforts of the very lodge she was raised, we found the Kigelia female leopard resting in the back of house of Little Bush Camp!
We found Ntsumi female leopard resting in the shade but as the sun started to set, she started moving towards another tree where she had her kill hoisted up in it. She leapt up and climbed a little to reach it, once settled she began to eat high up and away from any scavengers.
Following the alarm calls of francolins and squirrels, we came across the tracks of a large male leopard. After getting an idea of where they were headed, we heard vervet monkeys alarming close to the watering hole in front of Selati Camp. Reaching the crossing, N’weti was making his way to the water for a morning drink.
Another incredible sighting of N’weti… After knowing that he was on a warthog kill from the previous evening, we decided to head straight there and see what he was up to. As we arrived, he was still sleeping, which allowed us to sit with him all afternoon. As it began to get cooler, he began to get more active and headed straight to his kill to feast once again. It was incredible to witness the raw power of this male as he moved his kill around to feed.
On a cooler morning we left camp in search of a leopard and we were successful. A male leopard we seldom see, Hanyile was seen very close to Bush Lodge walking down the road and scent marking.
A Pearl-spotted Owlet in flight. What a wonderful sight!
A Hamerkop comes in for a smooth landing.
Some wonderful sightings of birds of prey…
Brown Snake Eagle
African Harrier Hawk
There is probably nothing cuter than a cheeky baby elephant who knows his mom is close at hand to give him back up if he needs it… and of course a friend to show off for in the process.
What an absolute treat that made Louise smile from ear to ear – two honey badgers digging away at a rhino midden looking for some tasty grubs that could be in there! Honey badgers are just “COOL” and to sit and watch them go about their business for a good 45 minutes without scurrying off was just a privilege.
What an incredible afternoon. We set out to find the 4 N’waswishaka male lions and headed straight to the area where they were last seen. We managed to find them sleeping in the long grass early on into our safari which allowed us to sit with them and wait until they became active, knowing that there was a herd of buffalo not too far from where they were. We sat with them for ages as they made their way closer to the herd, making sure that their presence was not known. After a few hours trailing they finally decided to make an attempt at hunting but unfortunately unsuccessful but an incredible sighting to witness.
Two days later and four lions with very full bellies!! They decided to spend a good part of the day right next to a watering hole sleeping and occasionally getting up for a drink. We are not sure what kill they managed to make but it sure fed all 4 of them well.
The Southern Pride lioness seems to be doing incredibly well. While surviving and keeping strong without the comfort of a pride, we found her resting on a rocky outcrop enjoying the morning sun.
Early one morning we found some lion tracks along the road but then disappeared into the bush. We searched, but with no luck, until they decided the get up and move along the road once again…
One very cold morning we could hear some faint calls coming from lions so we headed into the surrounding area and thought it could be a contact call. These two male lions must have lost one another and then found each other again as they popped out the bushes close to a watering hole where they stopped for a quick drink and then carried on with their morning.
Without having had the presence of cheetah cubs on the reserve for quite a few years, this morning, out in the bush was a real treat waiting for us… Two cheetah cubs exploring the open plains of the western sector of our reserve! What a treat indeed!
Our Monochrome Monday selection from the week…
African Fish Eagles – their distinctive calls have become known to some as the “sound of Africa”.
An intense stare from a hyena paying special attention to movement in the grass ahead.
A female lion takes a moment to listen to her surroundings.
A majestic giraffe watches us as we pass by.
A zebra looks back towards some other zebras.
Until next time…