Leopard Diaries. 23 November 2009
This week has been a wet and rainy week at Simbambili. During the week we received over 100mm of rain, the small drainage lines are all flowing slowly, while the Pungwe River close to the lodge also began to flow slowly this week. We were all waiting for the Manyeleti River to come down in flood but surprisingly that never happened.
It is hard to believe what a change the rain has made to the bush, there is so much green around and there is fresh green grass and leaves for all the animals to feed on. All the baby impala have now been born and there are nurseries of these cute little impalas, all bunched together for protection, the zebras also have a lot of foals as well as the smaller antelope like the steenbuck and the duikers. Lion
Lion sightings this week have been phenomenal with the Tsalala Pride making up the bulk of the sightings as they have been hunting within our area. The 8 little cubs are not that little anymore as they are now nearing close to 7 or 8 months of age. They are becoming a lot more boisterous and playful than before, and their mothers are doing a great job in ensuring that they are well feed all the time. Within a few months these young lions will be out there helping their mothers with the hunting.
The Mapogo male lions were also seen this week, once on a buffalo kill and the second time in our traversing in the east. These two males seem to get bigger and bigger every time we see them. They always seem to be the most well fed lions in the Sabi Sands as they do not have to depend on any females doing any killing for them, they are both fine hunters and are killing buffalo and giraffe with ease.
The Sandypatch lioness was also seen this week with her cub. They still seem to be little bit thin but nevertheless are doing fine. She was seen hunting on a few occasions during the week. Leopard
As always leopard sightings were fantastic during the week. The female leopard, Salayexe and her cubs were seen on two kills this week. Once on a warthog kill and the ¬†other on a small duiker. Her cubs are both doing really well and also growing by the day, the little male is almost the size of his mother, and we were even fortunate enough to see the cub take an entire warthog head high up into a tree. This is amazing for a cub this size do this.
The big male, Mafunyane and the female Tandy were also seen on a kill this week. It looked like Mafanyane had moved in on Tandy's kill and stolen it from her, After he finished the kill he began to mate with Thandy. She is still too young to conceive but hopefully over the next few months this might change.
The territorial male, Tyson was also seen as well as the other females, White Cloth, Shadow, Mbilo and Nyeleti. The old female, Safari was also seen but definitely looks to be on her last legs and we are not to sure how much longer she will be around as she has a very deep wound on her back leg.
Elephants, rhinos and buffalos have all been plentiful, as well as all general game such as giraffe, zebra and wildebeest.
Until next week
The Simbambili ranger team.