9 August to 17 August 2009
9 August to 17 August
Once again for the third week in a row the Leopard diaries should really be called the lion diaries, as we have seen lions on everyday this past week, and it has not only been one pride. We have had the 3 Tsalala females and their 8 cubs on the property and all are looking great. The other pride that was seen was seen this week was the Styx Pride with the 4 females and 5 cubs. They had quite a week as on one occasion they had killed a zebra mare and had just started to feed when two unknown males probably from the Manyeleti ran in and chased them off. The 3 females turned and fought one of the males while the fourth female took the 5 cubs and moved them to safety. This is the first sighting of these two male lions and they certainly made their presence felt, by not allowing any vehicle closer than 40 meters. They would growl and snarl at the vehicles from that distance. This commotion then prompted the return of the 2 Mapogo males and they made a welcome return to the area. They gave the message to these two other males and the intruders moved off.
That was not the end; a report was received from the west of our traverse area that the Sandypatch lioness had lost both her cubs. We were eager to find out more and as soon as we got tracks for this female we followed up, and to our relief we found one cub and the lioness. The other one was found dead but we can be grateful that she still has one. She seemed to be nursing an injury which came when she met up with the Robson's Pride. Things can only get better for this female and we will keep you posted as to what happens in this regard.
On the leopard front, the female Salayexe's two cubs are doing well and we even saw the one grab a francolin and make his first kill. Then the two were treated to a fine meal when we found Salayexe dragging an impala right past the lodge to the cubs.
The territorial male Tyson has also been hanging around which is great as he then deters any other competition that may pose a danger to the cubs. The old male, Mafufenyane was also seen a number of times this week. He was seen once this week actually swimming inside a dam trying to catch cane rats that were in the water. The females, Mbilo and Safari were seen this week at big dam and they were fighting with each other for quite some time. All the noise then alerted Nyelti and she also made her way into the sighting.
A previously unknown male leopard was sighted this week and seems to be very relaxed with the vehicles. .Shadow and Tandi were also seen, which makes one fine week for leopard viewing to.
The wild dogs also made a few appearances this week. The 3 males that move in and out our area were seen. They are covering enormous distances all over the reserve.
A male Cheetah was also seen this week, he was only seen on one drive, but we had spectacular sightings of him.A great week.
Until next week
The Simbambili ranger team