2 March to 9 March 2009

Leopard Diaries

A word from our rangers.

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2 March to 9 March 2009

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02 March to 9 March 2009



Once again Simbambili received a lot of rain this week, we were fortunate enough to see the Manyeleti River flowing again in front of the lodge. We watched it start from a trickle and within 15 minutes it had become a very fast flowing river. All this rain has made getting around the reserve much more of a challenge for all of us.


Even though it has been a challenge getting around, the animals have not had any problems with the weather as we have had some magnificent sightings over the past week. The general game viewing has picked up tremendously with sightings of more than 12 giraffe and 40 zebra recorded all together in one location.


The elephants have made it a little more difficult for us. With all the water around they are able to move greater distances as there is water everywhere. We have had a few sighting of the herds but this week the old mature bulls have formed the bulk of our sightings. We have had two very big bulls that have taken up residence around the camp and were even brazen enough to give the staff a heart attack up at the staff village when they decided to enjoy the marulas around everybody's rooms.


Rhinos and buffalo's have been plentiful with some great sightings, the herd of buffalo of about 350 has been moving in and out of our area again, this herd has a large number of calves and hopefully they will all survive and the herd will swell in numbers. This herd was also seen with 5 rhinos among them who also thought they were buffalos as they hung around with the herd for quite some time providing us with some great sightings. The old bull buffalos around the lodge prove to be a common sighting for all our guests as they lie around in the pan in front of the lodge all day.


On the leopard front we have had some interesting changes, these changes started to develop in the last leopard diaries when we found Nyeleti mating with Tyson. Everybody thought this was Salayexe at first but on a closer inspection we identified the female as Nyeleti. This was odd due to the fact that Nyeleti still has her cub which is not yet independent and is seen on a regular basis with her cub. Although on a drive this week we picked up the call of a female leopard in one of the riverbeds, on following up we found Nyeleti and her cub together, the calling was the cub calling for its mother. While we were following these two cats down the road we started to see some extraordinary changes between mother and daughter. Nyeleti was growling and snarling at the cub constantly. This is one of the sure signs of a mother trying to tell her cub it is time to go. This was proved later on when we found Nyeleti on a kill a day later with the cub but she was not allowing the cub to feed with her at all. So the time is nearing for the little cub to move away and start her own solitary life. Hopefully in a few months time Nyeleti might have new offspring. This week the White Cloth female and her cub were seen in the east of our traverse area and they both gave the rangers and guests a great sighting. The cub is estimated to be between 3 and 5 months old and we look forward to more sightings with these two.


Mafunyane and Tyson the two territorial males were both seen as well as the female Thandi, so leopards again stole the show at Simbambili. Other notable sightings included the two hyena pups, which come out of the den everyday playing around the puddles and vehicles and giving our guests opportunities to get some great photos and some life long memories.

With all that news from this week we look forward to what might be install for us in the week ahead.



Regards Simbambili Team


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