The sightings on the drives were fantastic, leopard and lion were seen daily as were rhino and elephant, there were regular buffalo sightings, some great interactions with hippos (both in and out of the water), zebra giraffe, hyena, wildebeest, waterbuck, kudu, duiker, impala, bushbuck, nyala, warthog and steenbok were all seen regularly too. There were sightings of a male cheetah and the wild dog pack also came through the area to compliment all the wonderful bird life that was also seen.
Amongst those sightings were highlights such as:
- The Hlabnkunzi female leopard and her two six month old cubs with an impala kill hoisted high in a tree with two hyenas below them hoping that some of the meat would fall for them.
- A great sighting of the oldest member of the Mapogo coalition (known as Makulu meaning Big) roaring and three other coalition members replying far in the distance.
- The wild dog pack running through the north and catching a baby grey duiker and polishing it of in under 10 minutes.
- The Ottawa lion pride trying their luck hunting a hippo, this ended up with one of the young males riding on the hippo's back until it dived into the river wit the rest of the pride following close behind. unfortunately nobody saw much as it was dark and it all happened too fast to react!
- Two of the Mapogo male lions (Makulu and MrT) following the scent of Mabirri female leopard, stalking to within a couple of metres of where she was lying, unaware of their intentions, before missing her completely and giving her a chance to escape up a tree! The other point of interest in this sighting was how worried MrT became when he got separated from the older male, zig-zagging up and down and giving contact calls after only a minute of the two losing sight of one another, eventually he started roaring (an unusual occurrence in the heat of the day) and Makulu replied enabling them to locate each other again. It seems MrT is still having some safety fears after the fight with the new coalition up in the northern Sabi Sand where he was badly mauled and his brother killed.
- The five Ximunghwe lionesses were seen frequently and there were concerns about their cubs which had not been seen for a while. the pride went across our eastern boundary and on their return on female left the group and fetched three cubs, it does seem that the older cubs have perished, a sad ending for the little one nicknamed Supercub...
- The week's sightings finished up with four of the Mapogo together with the Ottawa lion pride on a buffalo kill to the north of the causeway across the Sand river at Inyati It was pleasing to see the two Ottawa cubs happy and full in the presence of the returning coalition member MrT after concerns that he does not have a bond with the younger lions in the area after being away so long.
Look out for another update this time next week!
The Idube Team