Leopard diaries 2nd - 10th October 2010
We enjoyed wonderful weather for the duration of the week and later on we had unexpected drops of rain. On one morning we heard thunder on the far distant western parts of the greater park.
Elephants sightings were tremendous over the week and we had exceptional sightings of these large pachyderms. On one occasion we saw a herd drinking at Big Dam Arathusa and stayed with them for about half an hour, watching them drinking and playing in the water.
Rhino viewing was quiet this week and we only saw one bull rhino resting on the ground. It was a beautiful morning with the combination of few drops of rain from the sky, moisturizing the palatable grass and the rhino without wasting time began grazing after the rain. While we were enjoying this sighting, big herds of impala came running towards the rhino and they chased him in to the thick vegetation.
It was a really busy week of lion sightings; we had two different prides of lions present on the property. The Majingilane males, which means security force, the new males in the area were sighted on a young buffalo kill with two Tsalala pride females. We hoped that they might mate, but nothing happened while they remained on the kill for about three days. It was cool and cloudy for about two days, and as a result the lions fed on the carcass late at night and during the day they were resting. They finished the buffalo and went to the Big Dam to digest their huge feed for two days close to the hippo pool. The combination of the lion and the hippo in the pool in close proximity was magnificent, especially for sundowners. Unfortunately the southern boundary of our traversing area was not too far from the dam and we watched as they went for a last drink and then headed south across the cut-line.
The young 16 month old Leopard, Rhulani, was sighted on an impala kill in the proximity of the Manyeleti River close to Elephant Plains lodge. This was a really fantastic sighting as he was feeding up in the tree with one hyena on the ground. He is such a beautiful looking young male leopard like his father. He is now at the stage where he will shortly need to find his way out of his parents respective territories. Nsele, his sister has also been seen fighting with her own brother for a space. The young female ran into a tree for safety, when he chased her.
She stayed up there for a while, until he left, and then when she came down she disappeared very quickly into thick bush.
Laz, Simbambili Ranger.