27 September - 3 October
This week the game viewing has been rather tricky with some very windy conditions making game quite difficult to find. The absence of large numbers of lions from our traversing area has got us all guessing but this has more than been compensated for by wonderful leopard viewing. We have also enjoyed some good sightings of the larger herbivores with buffalo, elephant and rhinoceros being seen daily.
The highlight of the week however was definitely the presence of a large pack of twenty one wild dogs. The pack stayed in our area for an entire day before moving back north.
The leopard viewing this week has been exceptional, with sightings on every drive and we have not struggled to find this spotted cat at all.
We have had some fabulous viewing of the young male leopard Rhulani; he was seen on a morning drive chasing a helpless banded mongoose. The mongoose was caught and released in a cruel game of "cat & mouse" before finally darting into a termite mound. The young male leopard tiring of the game; left the mongoose to recover but was found later in the morning at his favourite fishing hole trying to catch a large catfish that had been stranded in a rapidly drying pool.
The female leopard Nyeleti was found in the company of Tyson this week and it would appear that she has once again started to come into oestrus as she was seen to be flirting, albeit unsuccessfully with the large tom. The male leopard paid her little attention and ignored her flirtatious gestures. The pair had stolen a nyala kill from Nsele earlier in the day and Tyson was more interested in sleeping off the large meal than he was in the prospect of mating.
No lion were seen during the week until finally late on Sunday morning a lone lioness was spotted in the eastern half of our traversing.
There have been a large number of elephants seen this week. The herds have been utilising the waterhole in front of the lodge almost daily and guests have enjoyed watching these large animals quenching their thirst while enjoying their breakfasts or lunches on the viewing deck of the lodge.
Buffalo & Rhinoceros
Two large herds of buffalo have been spotted through the course of the week as they have moved through the property. The first herd was considerably larger than the second with an estimated three hundred animals moving in the herd. The second herd that came in from the east of the reserve numbered approximately two hundred animals.
White rhinoceros have been seen daily, with the territorial bulls providing the bulk of our rhinoceros sightings.
As mentioned earlier the sighting of the week must be that of a large pack of wild dogs that came into our property from the north. The pack consisted of eleven adult dogs and ten pups of about four months of age.
The dogs were found as they approached a large waterhole where they all drank and then started to play. As we watched a large herd of buffalo bulls approached the water for a morning drink and it did not take the dogs long to start to chase and taunt the big bovids.
The buffalo were never in any danger from the smaller canids and it was with some great laughs that we watched as the buffalo chased the dogs this way and that before finally conceding that it was a waste of energy and moved away from the water. The dogs settled a bit further north of the waterhole and were seen again later in the day.
The Simbambili Guiding Team