The Mbiri were relatively scarce over the two days, only being seen once. They were found at Sable bridge on the morning of the 25th, and moved with the cubs into the drainage line to the east. This remains a favorite for the Mbiri’s, as far as hiding the cubs goes, their fortress! Further than that it seems as if they are just waiting for the memories of the Southern matimba foray into their territory to fade.
The Nharhu pride were again found in the area to the south of the lodge, around Foot road. This is normally Mbiri pride territory, but with the Mbiri’s retreating to the north away from the Matimba males, its prime property thats opened up, and they have taken the opportunity. We found all thirteen of them on a Termite mound on the afternoon of the 25th. This particular area, which is close to Wild dog Dam, usually has a lot of Buffalo bulls along the Nwasisontso drainage line, as well as plenty of general game, so the hunting opportunities are very good. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when the Mbiri cubs are older, and the Mbiri’s make a comeback. This particular story is far from settled!
The Matimba males were seen again, but in the far eastern part of the reserve at Rhino pan. They had killed a Buffalo bull, and were sleeping next to the carcass. Later on, they moved off and the Hyenas were allowed to finish the scraps. After all the chaos they caused for the Mbiri pride, these males seem to be leaving Thanda Impi territory. As far as we know, there wasn’t any major interaction between them and the Thanda impi’s, but it seems the Matimba’s aren’t too keen for the chase anymore!
Junior Nkuhuma and partner
Regarding size and age, these two males are probably the biggest threat to the Thanda impi males at the moment. They have been hanging around the north of the reserve for a little while now, and were again found in the north on Hippo rocks. They had an interaction with the Mohlawareng pride, and almost got the young Mohlawareng males, but they managed to escape to the west. It’s going to be interesting to see how these males move, and if they’ll venture south. The condition of the Sizanani males hasn’t been great of late, so there might be an opportunity in the next few months.
New young males
Three young male Lions were found on Giraffe road, close to Vulture pan as well. Who these males are, we don’t know. This could however also be the start of some more pressure on the Thanda Impi males, as this sighting is right in Thanda Impi territory , and quite close to where the Mbiri pride his their cubs.
Nompethu ( Ntsuntsu female) female.
As this female has become more and more of a fixture of our safari’s, we’ve decided to give her a new name. We have been calling her by her mothers name, the Ntsuntsu female. Her mother is still seen in the neighboring property to our north, and so a new name is only fitting. We decided on the name Nompethu, in honor of the lineage of the local Shangaan tribes royal family. Nompethu was the name of the King Zwide, who was Shoshangans (the founder of the Shangaan tribe) father. So Nompethu was either Shoshangans mother or was a wife of higher standing in the original tribe, called the Ndwandwe tribe. So in honor of this lineage and because Leopards are considered Royal animals in the local culture, we plan to name Leopards after this lineage. Nompethu was found with an Impala kill on Ngala loop.
Other views from the bush
Until the next blog
Darren and the Tintswalo Safari Team