14th - 20th June 2010
The mornings were extremely cold these last few days. After our early morning coffee we departed on game drive at about 6 o'clock every morning. The first hour was very cold but as the drive progressed and the sun rises, it all changed and then became much more bearable. During the early part of the drive a lot of the animals stay hidden and only start their day when the sun presents itself. Even the hippos do not want to move until the sun is up.
We have had incredibly interesting experiences with the territorial male leopards in the area over the years. Some time ago, Mafufunyane , got into a fight with an older leopard about 800m away from the lodge and killed him, and recently Tyson the current dominant male in our area found a unknown male that comes from the Manyeleti that often wonders in and out of his territory and unfortunately Tyson and the Manyeleti male fought so hard that the Manyeleti male was killed. After killing the unknown leopard, Tyson left the body behind which was found later on that day by the hyenas. All that we came across later on was the head and some bones. This goes to show that Leopards sometimes fight even to the death if they are found in another leopard’s territory.
The resident female leopard Salayexe and her two cubs were sighted at Simbambili Open Area heading in a westerly direction. Most of the time when they are all together it is because she has made a kill and wants to share it with her two cubs or she is moving them from one hiding place to another as if they stay in one spot too long the scent will draw unnecessary attention to the cubs. Rhulani the young male leopard is magnificent, he is really Rhulani which means relaxed leopard. His sister Nsele’s name means the aggressive one, and she is very skittish. Rhulani is a fantastic hunter.
Kinky Tail one of the Mapogo male lions has been killed by four other lions from the Kruger Park. Mr T, his brother has been calling, trying to find another nomadic male lion to join him and protect his area but unfortunately no lion has called back. The prescence of these 4 new males could once again shake up the lion pride dynamics in our area and we anticipate some trials and tribulations for the future of the Tsalala pride made up of three lionesses and eight cubs.
The Simbambili Guiding and Tracking Team