The Mbiri pride continued to stay very close to the denning area that they had chosen, close to Zebra pan. On the morning of the 11th, we had a beautiful sighting of the 7 cubs playing in the open, before the females moved into the thickets close to the drainage line. We did also discover another 3 smaller cubs, deeper in the drainage area. We are however a little concerned about the return of the southern Matimba male Lions to the area, and they are alarmingly close to the denning area. Lets hope they don’t stay in Mbiri territory for too long!
The Nharhu pride have proven to be fairly elusive over the last few months. We did manage to find them on S6 open area on the morning of the 12th. They were looking a bit hungry, and some of the youngsters were a bit on the skinny side. They did try to hunt a Buffalo bull on Metsikitsoro plains in the afternoon, but were unfortunately unsuccessful. Their pride males, the Thanda Impi males, have been spending the majority of their time with the Mbiri pride and their new cubs lately, and that could possibly explain why they have been moving in hard to reach area’s of their territory.
Ntsuntsu male Leopard
We still had the Ntsuntsu male Leopard, feeding on his Waterbuck kill on Rians folly on the 11th. He was joined by 2 Spotted Hyenas, but seemed very confident in his hoisting skills, and spent the majority of the afternoon sleeping about 50 meters from the hoisted kill. Needless to say, the Hyenas got nothing and this young male is showing the skills needed to be a successful adult Leopard.
African Wild dog
We had one sighting of a single female African Wild dog. We have seen the lone female on several occasions now, and on the afternoon of the 11th, she stumbled through the Leopard sighting on Rians folly, but continued north towards the Khoka Moya Dam area. We sadly don’t know much about this female, and have plenty of questions. Why is she alone? Being one of them. Lets hope she manages to find some males, and starts a successful pack and bolsters the African Wild dog numbers in the Greater Kruger National Park.
Other views of the bush
The Elephant viewing has been incredible over the last week or so, and we had an incredible sighting at Ingwe manzi. 3 Elephant bulls were feeding in the open area, including a large Elephant bull that was in musth. 1 Bull went to the water to drink, and was joined to by a descent sized breeding herd, the musth bull saw the younger bull close to the females, and approached the water. This sent the younger bull away to the south, and the musth bull moved in on the herd, with all the confidence and swagger, only a musth Elephant bull can show. He didn’t find any females of interest, and went for a drink instead.
Some small herd of Buffalo have started moving in the central parts of the Manyeleti again, after months of absence. The aggregations have been small though, only numbering around 100 in each group.
The only Hyena sighting we had, was of 2 at the Ntsuntsu male Leopards Waterbuck kill on Rians folly.
Until the next blog
Darren and the Tintswalo Safari Team