Ranger’s Blog

A Safari With Soul
10 Dec

23-24 August 2016 – The first migrant bird returns, so summer must be around the corner

Lions

 

Miri pride (2)

 

The Mbiri pride have been maintaining their presence in the central and western parts of their territory. The Thanda Impi males have also been seen with the pride, and on both occasions they were seen, each of the males was trying to mate with one of the young Lionesses. The first sighting was on Vulture pan road, and the Skorro male was torn between mating and chasing the rest of the pride away from the oestrous female. The next morning, we found the Mbiri pride at Ingwe manzi, this time with the Sizanani male. He managed to mate with the young female, before the pride moved north east into the drainage line.

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Nharhu pride (2)

 

The Nharhu pride have continued to move a bit west of the Main Dam area, now that the cubs are a little older. They were found on Helens road on the 23rd, and only moved about 100 meters from the morning to the afternoon. The next morning, they were found on Leadwood link, to the north of Main Dam. This time in the company of the Skorro male, and with a Zebra kill. Skorro was happily feeding on the fresh carcass, but the cubs and females did look well-fed.

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Thanda Impi male Lions

 

The males have been swopping, between the two central prides. On the 23rd, the Skorro male was with the Mbiri pride and on the 24th, he was feeding on a Zebra kill made by the Nharhu pride. The Sizanani male was with the Mbiri pride on the 24th, at Ingwe manzi. There haven’t been in intrusions made by the Avoca males in a while, and it seems that the Thanda Impi males have found the confidence to move on their own. Is that a wise tactic? Only time will tell!

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Leopard

 

Rhulani male Leopard

 

Having finished his Warthog kill, from a day prior, the Rhulani male Leopard was found with an Impala kill on Khoka moya cutline. There wasn’t much to report, besides he was looking much better after feeding well on the Warthog. His condition was quite bad, and there are a few theories as to why. One theory is that the collar maybe affecting him. Another is that he may be sick. My theory is that he spends too much time patrolling his massive territory. He dominates the majority of the central and northern Manyeleti, which for a male Leopard in a huge territory. Within his territory, is the territory for the Nharhu pride, the Mbiri pride and the Thanda Impi male lions. Its very unusual for a Leopard to have territories larger than that of lions. The constant pressure on the Beacon male in the south, and the Ntsuntsu male in the north, means that Rhulani has to constantly move to reinforce that massive territory. So I think it could be a simple calorie deficit.

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Other views from the bush.

 

We had some magnificent general game sightings, including some big Elephant herds in the south of the reserve. Another sighting that was very fun to watch, was the interaction between the Skorro Thanda Impi male Lions and a very cheeky Black-backed jackal. The Jackal successfully darted in to steal tit bits at the Zebra kill on Leadwood link.

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Red-Breasted Swallow, the first of the summer migrants to return.

Red-Breasted Swallow, the first of the summer migrants to return.

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Until the next blog,

 

Darren and the Tintswalo Safari team

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