Hello, so it's been little over a week since our last post, so thought it high time to bring you up to speed or at least let you know we still alive and kicking! Truth be told things have been a little quite, well let me rephrase that, it has been little quite from what we have become accustomed to, but I guess our quite and yours may differ slightly. Think we have been spoilt and have begun to take things a little for granted so I guess it's nature's way of balancing things and getting us back to appreciating both big and small.
Having said that, the quantity of sightings may be down a little but the quality is as high as ever and with fewer vehicles out we are able to spend more time in sightings. Lions have again kept us on our toes, with us never quit knowing whether they will grace us with their presence. Our longest stretch without seeing Lion is still at four days, but only just. It all started well with a sighting of the Mahlatini's on a Buffalo kill, a surprise lay in store as they where not alone, but were joined by four females and an adolescent male, otherwise known as The Voeldam Pride, visitors from the North West territories. They must have made the kill and the Mahlatini's joined them at a later stage, cause if the Mahlatini's made the kill, we all know they would never of shared it. It's amazing how quickly a Buffalo disappears when eight Lions feed on it and once finished they all disappeared.
It was over the next couple of days that it looked like our Lion drought would extend beyond the said four days but we were saved in extra time by a splinter group of The Voeldam Pride.
We were also fortunate enough to visit some old friends in the Jacaranda Pride, well at least a couple of members. They too had killed a buffalo, this one being an adolescent which was quickly finished by a male and three females. It was an interesting sighting as the male dominated and would not allow the females access to the carcass, so things were pretty tense. We didn't approach heeding the males warnings, but it didn't stop one of the larger females trying her luck but she was quickly put in her place though and returned to the others forced to eat scraps.
Our trusty Leopards did not let us down during our time of need, with sightings of all our regulars. It was nice to see Vyeboom Male and how relaxed he has become around the car, not taking much notice of us.
Argyle Male also made an appearance, although relaxed round the vehicle he is looking like he has been in the wars and has some nasty cuts behind the right ear. He is also looking the thinnest I've ever seen him and could do with a good meal.
Zakumi is back to using the Hide at Hide Dam as her “kaya”( home)! It also looks like she may have made her first Impala kill, as she was found feeding on a smallish Impala without mom, which is somewhat unusual. Of all the Leopard sightings, I think watching Mbali hunting was the highlight. It also illustrated to my guests exactly the energy, time and patience invested in a hunt and how difficult it is to be the predator. We watched for around an hour as she crept up on a Sharpe's Grysbok that was lying in amongst some thick bush. You could see every muscle in her body flex as she stalked ever closer, placing every footstep with precision, eventually getting into pouncing range. When the time came she lunged forward but the Sharpe's Grysbok had chosen its resting place well and it required Mbali to hop between branches before being able to pounce, thus allowing the Grysbok those vital seconds to make its escape. Totally captivating!
After a couple days off drive we started back on the weekend and best you keep an eye out on the next post as we already have plenty of interesting developments that will be coming to a screen near you mid week! Till then, take care, Grant.