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15 to 21 February 2010

Leopard Diaries

A word from our rangers.

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15 to 21 February 2010

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Leopard Diaries 15th - 21st February

leopard1This week we have had some wonderful rainfall which has revived the bush after the hot temperatures which were experienced over the previous two weeks.  The temperatures this week have also been far milder and had made game drives a lot more comfortable. 

Game viewing has been good with a number of fantastic leopard sightings. Lion sightings however have been fewer as both the Tsalala and Styx prides moved off our traversing.  Elephant Numbers have been good with a number of herds being seen, many of which are still feeding on the fruiting marula trees.  The highlight of the week has been the increased number of rhino sightings with a crash of four animals being found daily moving around the property, utilising the mud wallows made available by the rainfall.

Leopard

Salayexe and her two cubs all still healthy and have provided some very memorable sightings to our guests.  The two cubs were found early one morning and we watched as they moved around chasing not only each other but very nervous trees squirrels.  The squirrels were chased up and down a Leadwood tree for twenty minutes with the young female cub trying everything in her power to catch one.

The old female Safari was found late one afternoon on a kudu kill. She had managed to bring down a young calf and was seen for the following three days as she fed on the carcass.  Although now 17 years of age, she is still proving to be a very able hunter.

The young leopard female Mbilo, was seen around Big Dam trying to hunt a herd of impala.  She was unsuccessful and moved on to a termite mound posing for some fantastic photographic opportunities.

leopard1 leopard1 leopard1


Lion
lion1
The Styx pride was seen early one morning on a juvenile zebra kill which was already finished.  The pride then moved to a nearby waterhole and spent the rest of the day relaxing in the shade of some trees close to the water.

The Sandy Patch female made a surprise appearance late on Sunday afternoon when she was seen drinking from the waterhole in front of the lodge just before the evening game drive.  The lioness and her cub appear to be surviving on smaller kills and had not gained any condition since the last time we had seen them.  They spent the evening resting close to the waterhole and we expect to be seeing more of them in the coming week.

Elephant

As previously mentioned, elephant sightings have been good this week.  A large number of herds have been seen moving through the property feeding on the Marula fruit that is still abundant. 

Buffalo and Rhinoceros

The resident Buffalo bulls have provided the majority of our Buffalo sightings this week. A large herd then moved through the eastern half of the traversing area but was then seen moving north into a neighbouring property during the latter half of the week.

Rhinoceros have been easier to find and we have had regular sightings of a crash consisting of four animals that have been utilising the area around Simbambili Dam. The Shorthorn rhino bull has also been seen making regular territorial patrols in the northern half of the traversing area.  The Londolozi rhino bull was also seen marking his territoy in the company of three other rhinoceros during the week.

cheetah1Cheetah

Every sighting of cheetah is a special one here at Simbambili,  and the sighting of a young ingle male cheetah on Saturday was no different.  However after we had viewed him the young male moved north out of our property and was reported later to be stalking a herd of waterbuck in a neighbouring property.

Kind regards

The Simbambili Guiding Team

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