1 February to 8 February 2009

Leopard Diaries

A word from our rangers.

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1 February to 8 February 2009

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01 February to 08 February 2009


We have received a substantial amount of rain over the last week, which has allowed not only the Manyeleti River in front of camp to flow, but just about every tributary to carry water  for the first time this year. In one very heavy downpour we received approximately 85mm of rainfall and this lifted the level of the Manyeleti River by almost six feet in a matter of hours!


The weather has not however, affected the game viewing and in a number of cases even led to some exceptional sightings. The chaos caused by the heavy rain , thunder and lightning which accompanies most African thunderstorms, meant that prey species have difficulty in detecting the presence of any predator and we found both lion and leopard on kills following the heavy downpours we received on Tuesday  and Wednesday.

Tyson, a large male leopard was found literally on our doorstep, about 100 metres up our driveway. He had killed a large male impala and we had a great sighting of him feeding on the carcass of the freshly killed antelope. The antelope was discreetly hidden in a thicket of Round-leafed Teak and he remained in the area of the kill for the entire day. The carcass however had started to smell and as he had not hoisted his kill into a tree the remainder of the kill was lost to the resident hyena clan.


3 Males from the Mapogo male lion coalition were seen in the area surrounding E.P. airstrip, at first we only saw two of the males feeding on a wildebeest carcass. The following morning after further investigation a third member of the 6 male coalition, was found feeding on a freshly killed zebra about 50 metres from the wildebeest kill. The wildebeest and zebra appeared to have been killed on the same evening as they sheltered from the heavy rain. The three males stayed in the area for the following 2 days finishing both kills before moving off in an easterly direction, roaring and scent marking as they moved. The Styx pride was also seen in the east of our traversing, a great sighting of the entire pride including their 9 cubs.

Nyeleti leopardess and her year old cub were spotted on Saseke road, after we were alerted to their presence by the alarm calls of an impala herd. Both leopard are in good health and moved through the bush providing us with a fantastic sighting.


A number of elephant breeding herds have moved through the area and we have also had a number of sightings of a large bull in musth, seen shadowing the herds as they move through the reserve. A number of small groups of buffalo bulls have been utilising the many wallows and pans to cool off in the late morning and afternoon.


We are looking forward to a new week of adventures.



Kind Regards



The Simbambili Team


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