Leopard diaries 17 March – 23 March 2012
LEOPARDWe really had to work for our leopard sightings this week. Early in the week we picked up some female leopard tracks around Boundary Pan and tracked her for five kilometres until her tracks crossed out of our traversing area.
Disappointed, we carried on the following morning. Checking around the western boundary, we came across fresh tracks for a male, they were on top of vehicle tracks of that morning. We followed them into our property but we soon realised with the thick bush and all the elephant around we weren't going to have much luck.
That evening we stopped for drinks on the western boundary and heard the cough of a male leopard to our north. After an hour of searching fruitlessly with a spotlight, we headed back to camp, again disappointed. The next morning, with guests leaving, it was now or never. We'd give the male on the western boundary one last chance. We left camp and slowly made our way towards the Uthla Corner to start checking the boundary when he was spotted by another vehicle further down the boundary.
We immediately responded and heard on the radio there was another leopard calling north of the male. Heading south towards the sighting, we came over a rise to find Salayexe walking up the road.
Lion sightings this week were somewhat infrequent, but for two mornings we did have the Styx pride and the dark maned Maxingilane male around. The first morning they just lay around, the cubs played whilst the females kept a close eye on them.
The Maxingilane male was head down, sleeping. Occasionally the distant roars of the Matimba males calling from the Manyeleti woke him. That night they didn't move far.
They had only moved a few hundred metres but they had made a substantial kill. We never found a carcass but all of them had full stomachs the next morning.
OTHERThe pack of two wild dogs dogs were running around in the area chasing impala and after a few failed attempts they found themselves having a rest and a water break right in front of Simbambili Lodge.
The last week we have been inundated with elephant.
It sure makes for interesting walks though. This was a female with a unique deformity to her left tusk.
And one of the biggest bulls I have seen in a while, his tusks are not very long but are thick and his general size was impressive.
Richard S and The Simbambili Team