08 September to 14 September 2008

Leopard Diaries

A word from our rangers.

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08 September to 14 September 2008

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This past week we have experienced extreme temperatures for September. These have often been well above 40 degrees Celsius and this was then followed by two days of slight drizzle that was so slight it could not even be measured in the rain gauge. It did however bring relief from the extreme heat of the previous hot days. Hopefully this is a sign of more rain to come during our summer months as we experienced a relatively dry summer last season.

We were very fortunate with lion sightings at the start of this week. On one game drive we spent the whole morning following the tracks of two male lions who kept eluding us. As we got closer to the hyena den site we decided to take a look at the two pups and were lucky enough to see them put on a marvelous show for us. Having given up on the lions we headed back to the lodge after the Hyena sighting. On our way back we bumped into 3 male lions just near the lodge. These three males are part of the notorious 6 male lions that form the Mapogo coalition. On our afternoon safari we saw the biggest male of the 6 mating with a female from the Styx pride, which meant that we had all 6 in the area although we didn't get to see them all at once.

We suspect that the young male leopard, Matimba took down an Impala only to have it stolen by Mvula, an older male who has recently been regularly seen in our area. He ate what he could and then moved off leaving Matimba enough for a day and a half of feeding. A young female leopard was also seen in a tree with a freshly killed Duiker. The following morning Safari pushed her off the kill and then spent a few days in the tree feeding off it. Two days before that, Safari had another small antelope kill up a tree. We suspect that she had a confrontation with a hyena and won as the kill was badly pulled apart which is not typical of a leopard kill.

On an afternoon drive we found the entire pod of Hippos out of the water at Big Dam taking the opportunity of absorbing the afternoon sun. That morning it had been too cold for them to venture out of the water. We've also been fortunate to have the resident hippo walking up and down the dry riverbed between waterholes in front of the lodge. Two elephant bulls have spent a few days at the entrance of the lodge taking full advantage of any greenery nearby. The Dagga boy buffalo have also been at the waterhole in front of the lodge every day along with big herds of Zebra, Impala, Kudu and Elephants.


With regards the Simbambili Team




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