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30th August to 4th September 2010

Leopard Diaries

A word from our rangers.

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30th August to 4th September 2010

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Leopard Diaries 30th August - 4th September

ld-aug-01This week has seen the start of the spring season and for the first year in a long time spring day was fantastic, with warm sunny weather and some really great game viewing.

A slow change is definitely happening in the bush, with the Acacias starting to blossom and the Bushwillows also starting to bud.  A bigger number of the migratory birds are being seen already.

The wildlife has also been unbelievable this week with some really exciting animal interactions being witnessed. We have another pair of mating leopards, good lion viewing and some great viewing of some of our resident leopards. The highlight of the week definitely must have been the sighting of the entire pack of Wild Dogs including four new pups.

Leopard

The pair of mating leopards were found in the middle of the week, in the eastern half of our traversing area. Mafufunyane and Ntima had been mating for a period of three days and we hope that this mating session will be a successful one for the female leopard who has not had the best record with cubs, having lost her last two litters.

Rhulani, the recently independent male was seen on a number of occasions this week as he moved through the area surrounding the lodge. He was also seen in the company of his sister Nsele, who appears to be taking to independence much more readily and we watched her aggressively confront her brother. Rhulani, is bigger and always dominates the slighter female, this was clearly seen when we came across the pair after Nsele had killed a female impala and had unfortunately lost the kill to the resident hyena clan. Rhulani had followed the sound of the kill and was following the hyenas as they dragged the remains of the carcass away. Nsele followed a short distance behind the whole procession but as soon as Rhulani spotted his sister he aggressively chased her for a long way before relenting and moving off towards a large herd of buffalo that had caught his attention.

ld-aug-02 ld-aug-03

Lion

The Styx Pride spent a short time on the property this week, although thin, all five members are looking healthy and we watched as they slowly groomed and stretched before heading off to hunt, in the early evening .

The Tsalala Pride were spotted on a few occasions this week, the whole pride has not been together for the entire week with two of the adult lionesses having moved away from the pride. Reports from the our southern neighbours are that the two lionesses have been seen mating with the Majingilane males. The oldest lioness and all six of the sub-adults have been moving about in the south-western half of our traversing area.

ld-aug-04 ld-aug-05 ld-aug-06


ld-aug-07Elephant

The elephant numbers have been good this week,with a number of larger herds being seen. There have also been a number of large bulls moving through the area and one of these bulls has a large pair of tusks that must measure in excess of one and half meters each and both tusks are beautifully shaped and symetrical.

Buffalo & Rhinoceros

The large herd of six hundred buffalo have moved through the property this week. There have also been a number of smaller groups of buffalo bulls who have been seen utilising the remaining waterholes throughout the area.

Rhinoceros sightings have been good with a number of the territorial bulls being seen. The larger groups or crashes appear to have separated into either solitary individuals or pairs of animals and are therefore a little harder to track down.


Wild Dog
ld-aug-08The pack of wild dogs returned for a quick visit late one afternoon. We had just set up for sundowners when one of the guests pointed out an animal coming to the nearby waterhole.

It turned out to be the entire pack of wild dogs, with four of the new pups in tow. We watched in amazement as they came down to the water, to an inquisitive interest from the resident hippo bull. The pack then moved off and started to hunt.

Kind Regards

The Simbambili Guiding and Tracking Team

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