Leopard Diaries 31st January - 6th February 2011
The weather has improved over the last week, we have had very little rain, giving the western part of our traversing area time to dry up.
The game has been good in most of the areas and sightings are getting better, as the bush is drying , off-roading has become possible again and following game is easier.
The female leopard, Salayexe has been moving between Simbambili and Elephant Plains, hopefully looking for a suitable place to give birth as she is heavily pregnant. She had a run-in with Moya but it did not last long, Moya being considerably younger was chased up a tree and showed submission to the more dominant female.
Nyeleti has moved back into the area, we found her in her favourite Jackalberry tree where she lay in for an hour or so until she was disturbed by a herd of elephant searching the near by Marula trees for their prized fruit.
The Majingilane male lions have moved back out of the area leaving only the two Styx females within our traversing area. A male leopard had made a kill close to where the lionesses were lying one evening and they picked up on the activity. Upon seeing the lions, the leopard dropped his kill to the ground and this was stolen by the two females, he remained in the tree until the lions had finished the kill and then moved away.
There has been no sign of the Tsalala pride of lions this week, they moved to the west and have been away for about a week or so.
There have been many elephants in the area this week, mostly out to the east with some herds reaching a hundred animals or so. They seem to be on the move still after the marula fruits while still in season. We had a big tusker in the area, he was seen moving around on Simbambili property for a few days. His ivory was of decent thickness and length, protruding about 120 cm or so from the lip.
Buffalo & Rhinoceros
There is still no sign of any large buffalo herds, though four buffalo cows with one calf were seen this morning, possibly separated from a herd nearby.
Sightings of our territorial bull rhinos have been frequent as well as a small group of females and sub adults in the east.
African Wild Dog
After a week since the pack of seven dogs left the area, they re surfaced last night around Big Dam, they moved all over the western part of our traversing last night and were finally found this morning on Safari airstrip. All of them had full bellies indicating a kill at some stage in the night.
Other interesting sightings include an African Harrier Hawk raiding a yellow billed hornbill's nest, pulling out 3 of its young chicks and the defenceless female from its nesting hole in a Marula tree.
Simbambili Guiding Team