Leopard Diaries 14th - 20th February 2011
Well, summer is almost drawing to a close and the bush is as lush and dense as we have ever seen it here in the Sabi Sands, this is fantastic for the wildlife and all species are in fine condition due to the abundance of the nutritious vegetation, however this does make for difficult game viewing!
We have had a little more rain with just over 8mm falling through the week. Simbambili Dam is a sight to behold and it is the fullest that it has been in years.
Game viewing and in particular lion and leopard viewing this week has been rather difficult, elephant, buffalo and rhinoceros sightings have been good and we have seen both cheetah and wild dog again this week. Leopard
The leopard certainly proved to be elusive this week and we only had four sightings of the spotted cats this week.
We found one of Nyeleti's
now independent cubs late one afternoon as he moved through a dense patch of Combretum
woodland. The young male leopard was clearly intent on finding a meal and he pursued any noise or movement, without any success, before finally climbing into the branches of a nearby Marula
tree. We left him as he dozed away the rest of the afternoon. Karula
and her two new cubs were once again seen on our eastern boundary and the cubs and mother allowed us some fantastic viewing as they lazed around the base of a large Bushwillow.
The sighting was unfortunately disturbed by two hyenas who decided to "gate crash" the party. The presence of these scavengers sent the cubs scurrying away to the safety of the tree tops and their mother immediately took an aggressive stance against the two intruders. The trio of leopards finally moved off once the threat from any of the hyenas had disappeared.Â Lion
The five Tsalala
lionesses made an appearance on Saturday afternoon and spent the following two days in our traversing area.Â They all appear to be very healthy and this must be down to the experience of the older lioness who is known to be a good mother and teacher. The pride appears to be targeting the zebra herds of the area, all of which have young foals at present. Elephant
The large number of elephant have, delighted both guests and guides alike over the last week, with sightings of both herds and single bulls being enjoyed on every drive this week. The herds have all numbered between ten and twenty animals and many small calves are also present. The sight of these large animals being gentle and tender with these little ones is a truly mesmerising sight. Rhinoceros & Buffalo
Buffalo sightings have been good, with a herd of approximately a hundred animals moving into the property early one morning. They did not stay long and it would appear that the herd was being followed by two lionesses from the east.
The four old buffalo bulls have been utilising the waterhole in front of the lodge on a daily basis and provide hours of viewing pleasure for the guests as they enjoy their lunches on the lodge deck.
Rhinoceros sightings have been a highlight this week with a number of animals being seen. Cheetah
The pair of female cheetahs was seen early on in the week as they stalked an impala herd through an open clearing early one morning. The exuberance of the young female cub still gets the better of her and the impalas spotted her as she moved into the clearing in plain view. Wild Dog
The pack of seven wild dogs returned on Saturday evening and were spotted as they fed on an impala kill that they had made on a nearby airstrip. The pack had actually killed three different impala and took almost no time in wolfing down all three kills before moving to a nearby waterhole to slake their thirst.
The Simbambili Guiding Team