12 July to 19 July 2009

Leopard Diaries

A word from our rangers.

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12 July to 19 July 2009

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12 July to 19 July

Wild dogs once again have been the flavour of the week as sightings go. These rare and elusive animals have been frequenting our traversing area again. This is a pack of six dogs and it was originally thought that this pack of six was part of the larger pack of 12 that move in and out of our traversing, but as a result of the sightings we have been having we can see that these six are a different pack to the others. This pack moves in and out of the Manyeleti Game Reserve and seems to have decided to move more and more often into our area of the Sabi Sands.

This means that we have three distinct different packs that come and go over our area, the large pack of 12 and then the smaller pack of 3 and now this new pack of 6 animals. This is quite incredible to have so many wild dogs in an area as they are very endangered and the estimated total number of individuals in the entire greater Kruger National Park is approximately 300 animals. This also means that every impala in the vicinity has to be on its toes day in and day out otherwise it could end up being taken by these highly efficient hunters.

Lion sightings have also been great this week, with the first sighting for some time of the Sandy Patch lioness and her 3 cubs, she frequents the area around Djuma but we often see her tracks in and out of our traversing area, so we were very lucky when see was seen on drive with her cubs. They are 2 females and a male, we can just only hope that she can raise them to adulthood and then we may see the beginnings of a new pride in the north of our area.

The Styx Pride with the 4 females and 5 cubs has also been seen and the cubs are still looking in great condition. While rest of the pride, the two females and the two cubs seem to be in a bad way as there is still no sign of the two cubs after the interaction with the Tsalala Pride, so we can only hope that they are still alive.

The two Mapogo male lions have also been seen a few times, and every time they arrive back in the area, they feel that they have to roar and roar all night, which is incredible as you sit around the fire and listen.

The three young male lions that moved in not so long ago are back harassing the buffalo in the area, they are still little bit skittish with the vehicles but they are becoming a lot better and in time will settle down completely.

Leopard sightings were again great this week with at least one individual leopard seen on every drive. Salayexe still has her two cubs which are doing fantastically well, Tyson was back making sure there is no competition on his territory, funyane is still often viewed and the old female Safari is also providing us with fantastic sightings.Thandi, Shadow and Ntima and also Mbilo were also seen making
it a greatweek for leopards all round.

Elephant, rhinos and buffalos have been seen everyday with a large herd of 300 buffalo drinking at the Simbambili waterhole during the week.

Until next time
The Simbambili ranger team


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