What an incredible week it’s been! Herewith is the next edition of “A Week in the Bush” – a week of plentiful sightings.
A very welcome sight early in the week as we tracked and found the Southern Pride lioness and her two cubs feeding on a young zebra kill.
The three Styx lionesses were trying to hunt some impala in an open area, but they were not successful and soon abandoned the hunt.
It is quite hard to miss 11 lion cubs in the middle of the road… The Styx cubs were all splayed out while the sun set, giving us a beautiful ending to a fantastic day in the bush!
In the coming days, we had numerous sightings of the Styx Pride and N’waswishaka male lions. The pride was seen with three of the N’waswishaka male lions lying in the shade waiting for a cooler time to start moving. They were also seen following the trail of a herd of buffalo but the females seemed more eager to push forward than the males who were lagging behind.
After hearing lions vocalising throughout the evening and early one morning, we decided to try and search for them. We were successful! We found three of the N’waswishaka male lions with one of the Kambula Pride females. One male, in particular, was very interested in mating with her, so much so that he blocked the lioness from going anywhere close to the other two males.
Our last sighting of them was of a Kambula lioness and the N’waswishaka male lion in the same area that they were seen earlier on. While watching them, the female suddenly sniffed the air and started moving faster along the road and stopped and glanced up into a tree where we noticed a vervet monkey had died, from natural causes, and she tried her best to climb up, but she found herself stuck halfway up and had to jump down.
Not too far from where we had found the two N’waswishaka males and the Kambula lioness, the Kambula pride itself was found with full bellies lying under the shade of some trees.
Ntsumi’s daughter was resting near a riverbed – her belly looked full, and she was panting heavily which is great news for this young female as she is now learning how to hunt successfully!
Is there anything more perfect than a leopard up a tree?! The Kigelia female was beautifully draped over the branch of a tree, enjoying the shade and the view that her comfortable spot had given her. She later descended from the tree and rested amongst some rocks nearby.
A few days later she was seen again, this time with her two cubs moving towards some water and then through a dry riverbed. The cubs are both in excellent condition and are becoming very relaxed with our presence!
With the current absence of the White Dam male leopard, this old male seems to have become very comfortable knowing that there is no competition for the area that he is in at this current time. The Dewane male leopard was found one afternoon making his way through some thickets and along a drainage line before he eventually found a comfortable spot in the shade. The following morning, we noticed some drag marks along with leopard tracks on the road and found him again with a small impala kill hidden within some thick bushes.
We watched N’weti male leopard relaxing at first, but soon saw all the signs of possible movement such as yawning and grooming and sure enough he stood up and began to walk along the road, scent-marking heavily.
We heard impalas alarm calling from inside thick bush, and so we decided to investigate and found this female cheetah darting out of the bush after some impala. She was unsuccessful and soon called her cub to join her and continued to try and hunt another herd of impala nearby.
We were pleasantly surprised to find a female cheetah and her cub along with a male cheetah. The female and her cub lay next to each other on one side while the male lay in front of them, and we could hear some chattering sounds from all of them. The male soon moved off and began to scent mark and just when we thought it couldn’t get much better, he decided to climb on top of a fallen tree, posing perfectly for all of us!
At this time of the year, the zebras stick out beautifully from the bright green colours of the bush around them.
This southern white-faced Owl sat motionless on a tree stump, allowing us to admire its beauty.
One could very easily spend an entire safari just watching the antics that happen in and around a hyena den, what fascinating creatures!
This herd of zebras were very carefully sussing out whether a male cheetah was going to prove to be a threat or not!
What a treat to have found this elusive wild cat during daylight, and it happened to be a first for Ronald and his guests!
Until next time…