14 September to 21 September 2008

Leopard Diaries

A word from our rangers.

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14 September to 21 September 2008

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This last week has provided us with some excellent viewing of not only Leopard and the other members of the Big 5 but also Cheetah. One male cheetah was spotted in the eastern part of our traverse area resting with a full belly. We managed to view him for 2 days whilst he remained in the area and then on the third day he managed to kill an impressively big Waterbuck. Unfortunately for him the territorial male leopard Mafufenane was in the area and watching closely. With very little ceremony the big male Leopard proceeded to chase the cheetah and promptly hoisted the waterbuck carcass into the fork of a nearby Marula tree.

The somewhat reduced Nkahuma pride now numbering 10 was also seen hanging around Three in a Row pan. This is great news as with the Mapogo male lions in the area lion sightings have been fairly scarce. There have been plenty of Elephant all over the reserve and one particularly large tusker has been hanging around the area, he is thought to be one of the new magnificent 7.

The Hyena den has been very active and the two pups thought to be around 6 weeks old have provided hours of entertaining viewing. Johan was also extremely fortunate in spotting a female white Rhino with newly born calf; it is always amazing to see how tiny the new born rhino are and they look like little warthogs.

Towards the end of the week leopard sightings suddenly started to improve dramatically and on most game drives we were viewing around 7 different leopards per drive. The female leopard, Karula very cleverly camped out around a big fruiting Jackalbery and managed to catch two feeding Duiker in as many days. Nyeleti and her two cubs have been seen daily around Serengeti Pan and in the Manyeleti close to Saseke rd. The new male leopard Umvula managed to steal the hind quarters of a Kudu from somewhere, and Shadow joined her father Mafufenyane with the waterbuck he had pilfered from the cheetah.

The Nkuhuma pride also managed to kill an adult female giraffe around Jacobin and was seen there for 4 consecutive days. They finally finished the carcass and unfortunately moved off into the Kruger National Park. With their departure, three of the Mapogo male lions arrived and killed a large buffalo bull no more than 600 metres from the lodge on Pungwe Island. This resulted in ongoing viewing for a number of days together with Hyena and Lion interaction around the carcass.

The Simbambili team




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