Ranger’s Blog

A Safari With Soul
8 Feb

30-31 December 2016 – What are the Nharhu pride playing at?

Lion

 

Nharhu pride

 

The Nharhu pride were again found deep in Mbiri territory, early on the morning of the 30th. We found them with the Thanda Impi males, feeding on a Buffalo kill, just behind Ingwe manzi. This area is a good 5 kilometers outside their normal territory, but the Lionesses used to move in the area, when they first arrived with their brothers, the Birmingham males. The Mbiri pride however have been concentrating on their cubs, and have left a massive gap for the Nharhu pride to take advantage of, and it seems that they sniffed out a perceived weakness in the Mbiri pride defenses. I don’t for a moment think that the Mbiri pride Lionesses will take it lying down though, and this particular area is a favored part of their territory. Extremely high in prey species numbers, its definitely worth fighting over.

One of the Nharhu pride Lionesses, watching Skorro male feeding on their Buffalo kill. And in the rain to add insult to injury! ISO 3200, f6.3, 1/200sec

 

Thanda impi male Lions

 

 

The 2 big males were assisting the Nharhu pride in dismantling their Buffalo kill at Ingwe manzi. Interestingly, it was the Sizanani male that was investigating the females, and Skorro defending the kill. Usually the roles are reversed! The Sizanani male was till struggling with the hip injury, but was moving a bit better at this sighting.

First sighting of the morning! Sizanani lying on Ingwe manzi dam wall. ISO 1600, f7.1, 1/80sec

Skorro was very aggressive at the kill. ISO 3200, f7.1, 1/200sec

 

Talamati pride

 

 

We had 2 separate sightings of the largest pride in the Manyeleti. The pride is still quite split, but with well over 20 Lions in the pride now, thats to be expected. The first sighting was of one of the older Lionesses with 5 of the sub-adults on Pungwe access. They had killed a Buffalo, and were happily feeding just to the west of the road. A clan of Hyena were putting a bit of pressure on them, but the clever old girl held them at bay. We heard reports of more of the Talamati pride on another Buffalo kill, close to Buffelshoek camp. We investigated, to find the other 2 older females close to the Sabi Sands boundary. They had finished their kill off, and were just relaxing, digesting their success.

One of the old Talamati Lionesses, all by herself with the sub-adults. ISO 1250, f7.1, 1/320sec

Getting up to show the Hyena’s who’s boss! this young male has much to learn. ISO 1250, f5.6, 1/400sec

One of the other old Lionesses watching some Vultures descend on their abandoned buffalo kill. ISO 640, f7.1, 1/400sec

 

Cheetah

 

 

We had one sighting of Cheetah, and it was inn the eastern part of the reserve. The north and eastern parts of the reserve tend to be the area’s that we have the most success when it comes to looking for Cheetah. This is probably because the soil in these area’s promote a more open habitat, a habitat that Cheetah thrive in. This particular lone male was marking his presence in the area, slowly moving and marking his way to the south.

 

African Wild dog

 

 

We had one sighting of the pack of African Wild dogs that we’d being seeing in the south of the reserve. They were found on S7, moving very quickly to the east. We relocated them, whilst they were finishing a Bushbuck kill, and as soon as we arrived, they quickly moved to the west again. The most challenging animals to follow are definitely African Wild dogs, and within minutes they quickly disappeared  to the south. And that was that!

 

I was very lucky to get just one shot! ISO 800, f7.1, 1/320sec

 

Other views of the bush

 

 

Until the next blog

 

Darren and the Tintswalo Safari team

 

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