Leopard Diaries 31st May-6th June 2010
The bush has started to turn and the colour palette of red, yellow and brown so often associated with this time of year has become so much more evident over the last week as we move steadily into our winter period. The wildlife has also put on a spectacular show this week with some really good predator viewing being had.
Lion viewing, in particular, has been fantastic with both the Tsalala
pride and the two Mapogo
male lions being found feeding on buffalo kills. This meant that they were seen over the week as they fed on the huge meals that they had acquired.
The female cheetah and her cub have once again made an appearance in the area and have been seen utilising the open areas of one of the airstrips to hunt resident impala herds. Leopard
Leopard viewing this week has proved to be a bit difficult, this may be attributed to the increased lion activity in the area. We found Salayexe
as they moved through a thicketed area after losing an impala kill to the resident hyena clan. Mbilo
was also seen this week as she moved through the area around Kudu-drift road, scent marking and coursing through the thickets that are found in the area.
The highlights of the week has been the presence of the Tsalala
pride, which has been seen every day this week. The pride managed to bring down an adult bull buffalo at the beginning of the week and spent the following three days feeding on the carcass. The pride then moved east and joined the two Mapogo
male lions on another buffalo that the two male lions had killed earlier in the day.
The males were found after we had heard the distress calls of a buffalo; the sound of a buffalo being killed by lions is one that is unmistakable. We spent the better part of the morning tracking the lions and eventually found the kill site, where the male lions were busy feeding on the carcass.
Good elephant numbers have been seen this week, with two large herds moving through the property. Buffalo & Rhinoceros
A large herd of approximately one hundred and fifty buffalo, moved through the area this week. The herd finally moved east out of our traversing area on Friday morning. This may have been due to lion pressure as the previous morning the two Mapogo male lions had killed a large bull from the back of the same herd.
Rhinoceros sightings have been good and the young rhino calf is still being seen regularly. Cheetah & Wild Dog
The female cheetah and her daughter were spotted late on this week and have been seen moving and hunting in the open areas surrounding Safari airstrip. They have managed to bring down what appears to have been a female impala.
The Wild Dog pack have returned to hunt the large herds of impala around another one of our airstrips and it was with lots of excitement that we followed them as they chased impala late on an afternoon drive. It appears that the pups are still healthy and it has been reported that the Beta
female of the pack has also had a litter of pups. This is a very rare occurrence and we will have to wait to confirm this news.
The Simbambili Guiding and Tracking Team