Leopard Diaries 19th to 25th October
The dry season still continues here at Simbambili with some very hot, dry days being experienced this week with Sunday peaking at a scorching forty three degrees centigrade!!! There is still no sign of significant rainfall that will herald the arrival of summer and the dry and dusty bush is in desperate need of rain.
The game viewing as can be expected under such conditions has been very concentrated around the main waterholes and dams. The Simbambili Dam area has been a hive of activity with lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo being seen almost daily in the vicinity.¬† Big Dam has also been busy with two different leopards and rhinoceros drinking at the dam almost daily and this has given us some fantastic sightings throughout the week. The highlight of the week was a sighting of three different predator species utilising the remains of a zebra at Simbambili dam. Leopard Salayexe
and the two cubs are still providing us with some exceptional sightings. All of the family was found early one morning as the female leopard led the cubs back to a freshly killed impala. There was a pleasant surprise when she was joined by Tyson
the territorial male and father of the cubs. The four leopards fed on
the carcass for the entire morning and had finished it by the time we arrived back later in the day on the afternoon game drive.
A lesser known leopard to our diary pages is Karula
, who has two, year old, cubs. Both of these cubs are males and due to these leopards utilising a territory further north of our traversing area they are not seen regularly. During this week she had moved into our property and Karula
had managed to kill a young impala ram and had hoisted the carcass into the branches of a marula tree. The two cubs and their mother were viewed feeding on the carcass for a full day.
been no large lion prides on the property this week as all of the prides have presently moved further south. We have however been lucky enough to have the Sandy Patch
lioness almost permanently utilising the area around Simbambili Dam. ¬†The lioness and her cub are still struggling to find a constant source of food but were fortunate
enough to come across the carcass of a large zebra stallion that had died of natural causes. Both of the lions managed to have a good meal and were left resting at the carcass late one evening. As we were leaving the area, we spotted a female leopard, who turned out to be Shadow,
who had also come to investigate the chance of a free meal. On returning to the area in the morning the carcass had been stolen and finished by the local hyena clan, the lioness and cub had moved away and were found resting in a large Guarri
thicket not far from their last location. The leopard female Shadow was
also found later that morning as she moved into the area to investigate if there was any of the carcass left over.
A larger number of elephant have been on the property this week, with at least three breeding herds and a number of mature bulls being seen throughout the week. The largest herd numbered well over twenty five animals and had a very young calf, who we guessed to be barely a few days old. The little calf was still unsteady on his feet and his ears still had a pink tinge to them!
Buffalo & Rhino
A large herd of approximately a hundred buffalo moved through the property during the week, utilising the bigger dams and the waterhole in front of the lodge for their daily water requirements. The group of five buffalo bulls have been seen daily in and around the lodge, utilising the waterhole to get some relief from the scorching midday temperatures.¬† White rhinoceros have been seen almost daily with a crash of four utilising the area around Big Dam.
The Simbambili Guiding Team