Ranger’s Blog

A Safari With Soul
17 Feb

3-5 January 2017

Lion

 

Mbiri pride

The Mbiri pride have been quite sedentary lately, spending the majority of their time around the Catwalk west drainage line area, close to the cubs. We had a beautiful sighting of the cubs and 2 of the mothers, just to the north of Windi Windi. The cubs are getting quite used to the vehicles, and we are noticing some characters starting to emerge. This is always the most fun to be had with Lion cubs, is the emergence of their own unique personalities. The next day, we found the Mbiri pride with a Buffalo kill at Sable bridge. Unfortunately by the time we’d found them, one of the females was leading the cubs back to the den site.

 

Talamati pride

We had one sighting of the largest pride in the manyeleti. They were found with a Buffalo kill, on Dixie loop in the south western part of the reserve. This pride has done exceptionally well under the protection of the Selati males, and has now grown to a pride of over 20 Lions. We didn’t manage to get a full count of how many of the Talamati pride were present at the kill, but we estimate it to be around 15 individuals. While we were there something disturbed them, and they moved further to the west. The Vultures descended on the carcass, and one Hyena made an appearance. While the Vultures were feeding, one of the adult Lionesses reappeared and killed a White-backed vulture right in front of us. This was the first time I’ve actually seen this happen. At first it looked like she didn’t know what to do with it, but she quickly killed the Vulture and left it without feeding on it at all. Just an elimination of nuisance competition!

The Talamati Lioness killing off an irritating Vulture she managed to kill. ISO 2000, f7.1, 1/250sec

 

Thanda Impi male Lions

We had the Thanda Impi’s camped on our doorstep from the morning of the 4th through to the 5th. They killed a Buffalo at Ingwe manzi, and didn’t have to move at all. The Sizanani male was still struggling with a hurt leg, but that didn’t stop him from moving the kill away from the pesky Vultures.

 

Leopard

 

Rhulani male Leopard

 

We had 2 sightings of Rhulani over the 3 days of this blog. On the afternoon of the 3rd, we found him very close to the lodge at Xigamba pan. He was up a Marula tree, trying to escape the nasty horse flies. He spent the entire afternoon up the tree. 2 Days later, we found him on Nyathi drive with an Impala kill. He didn’t waste anytime with the carcass, and finished most of it in just over a day.

 

Sasseka female

 

We managed to find the Sasseka female leopard, she is one of the 2 female cubs of the Sable bridge female leopard and Rhulani. She was found close to Wild dog Dam, lying in the fork of a large Jackalberry. She seems to be settling in the area around the lodge, and favors the Wild Dog Dam area. her adventures in the future are going to be interesting to witness.

 

Tekwane male Leopard

 

One of the northern pretenders! We found the tekwane male with 2 kills in one tree. he was found on GPS loop, with a Wildebeest calf and a rather large South African Python. My theory is that he probably happened on the Python killing the Wildebeest and took advantage of the situation, scoring a 2 for 1 special. Thats how Leopards operate though, they take the most advantage  out of any situation. This particular male seems to be setting up shop to the north of Lomfane pan, all the way north to north of Khoka Moya dam.

 

Other views of the bush

A surprise visitor. A juvenile Lanner falcon at ingwe manzi, investigating a Red-billed Buffalo Weaver nest. ISO 1000, f7.1, 1/2000sec

After Skybeds Dam filling up for the first time in 2 years, alone Hippo bulls quickly took advantage of it. he was quick to show us that he was the boss here. ISO 640, f8, 1/640sec

 

Until the next blog

 

Darren and the Tintswalo Safari Team

 

 

 

 

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