We only had the one Lion sighting over the 2 days. And low and behold, it was the Mbiri pride! The were found moving from Buffalo plains, towards the Zebra pan area, and the indications were that they had probably made a kill, somewhere on the expanse of Buffalo plains. The pride seems to be doing incredibly well, but we are still concerned with the southern Matimba’s in the area.
Ntsuntsu female Leopard
We also had one sighting of what is becoming our “safari queen of the north”, the young Ntsuntsu female leopard. She was found close to Sable bridge, and true to form was incredibly relaxed with all the attention. This particular area seems to be the southern boundary of her growing territory. Currently her territory extends north to Koppies cutline, on the western side of the reserve ( see the map above).
Unknown female Leopard
We also had another female Leopard, but this time in the deep south of the reserve. She was an older female, and wasn’t 100% relaxed with the vehicles, but she did afford us a look at about 20 meters. It’s always nice to see new animals. Being as close to the Sabi Sands boundary as she was, we believe that she must be one of the Sabi Sands Leopards, but as yet we can’t identify her.
African Wild dog
We had one sighting of a pack of African Wild dogs, in the north western part of the reserve, close to Civet road. We picked up some Impala alarm snorting, and almost immediately saw a single African Wild dog running to the north. We tried as hard as we could to follow, but the dog ran us through some very difficult bush. We stopped to listen for any clues, and heard a Wild dog contact call. After about 20 minutes of using this technique, we eventually found 2 African Wild dogs with a very fresh Impala kill. 5 minutes later, and the rest of the pack were enjoying the spoils of the kill. This sort of sighting is the heavenly manna for safari guides, and I can tell you that it was enjoyed by all the guests, that were lucky enough to see it!
Other views from the bush
There have also been some Buffalo herds moving around the north as well. At least 2 separate herds of about 200 members each. One has been moving in the Nyathi drive/catwalk area and the other around the Koppies area.
Until the next blog
Darren and the Tintswalo Safari Team.