As we head into April, the early mornings and late evenings out on safari are beginning to cool down, but this on its own is a lovely sight to see with the early morning mist allowing for some beautiful photographic opportunities.
A seldom seen African Hawk Eagle rustles up its feathers to warm up on a cold morning.
This giraffe calf was seen in the early morning light within the nearby sight of her mother while they browse in a Knobthorn thicket.
Daytime temperatures remain very warm with the animals enjoying some nice refreshing afternoon drinks.
We have had endless sightings of lions and leopards again this week and we hope you enjoy our selection of highlights…
The Mhangeni Breakaway Pride was on the reserve on Thursday, with the Southern Pride moving far south in search of a potential hunt. We had amazing sightings of the Southern Pride as the moved through their territory, with regular stops for the cubs to suckle.
We followed up on the Southern Pride on Friday morning and found them on a waterbuck kill. Here we were witness to a titanic battle as the Southern Pride, led by Floppy Ear/Mandleve, attacked a hyena who was disturbing them feeding on their waterbuck kill. Floppy Ear had the upper hand for approximately 10 minutes but the hyena kept calling its clan who came to its rescue which resulted in the hyena running off!
WARNING – NOT FOR SENSITIVE VIEWERS!!
The Southern Pride have since been seen relaxing around a water source close to Earth Lodge. They later proceeded to hunt again as they have not been successful since their waterbuck kill.
The Sparta Pride, minus the one lioness who was sadly killed by the Mhangeni Breakaway Pride, were also seen this weekend on our reserve.
Another lion sighting was of two young males, who we believe to be the Avoca males. They spent the daylight hours lounging around and once the sun set, they engaged in some amazing acts of affection, reinforcing their bonds.
Leopard sightings have also been pretty amazing this past week with sightings of White Dam, Little Bush, Maxabeni and Kashane.
White Dam female has been seen not too far from Bush Lodge, resting in the heat of the day.
The Kigelia female once again put on a wonderful show for our guests before deciding to rest in a large Marula tree to watch the sun go down.
Maxabeni chased off a Spotted Hyena, stole an impala carcass and dragged it up a nearby Tamboti tree. There he finished every last morsel while the Spotted Hyena waited below for a few scraps.
With a very full stomach, the Little Bush female relaxed in a large Marula tree, before a kudu alarm called, but went back to sleep when she realised that they had spotted a Hyena instead of her. A while thereafter she was seen with a juvenile kudu kill which was later stolen by a few Spotted Hyena lurking within the area.
The Kashane male has been seen moving deeper and deeper into Maxabeni’s territory. Surely, it’s only a matter of time before these two meet!
We ended the week with a number of individuals from the Toulon Pack of wild dogs who were seen settling down to rest as the heat started to increase during the mid-morning.
A male African Wild Dog from the Toulon pack seeming persistent in possibly mating with a female. However, we are unsure if this is the Alpha pairing of the pack. Usually only the Alpha pairing will reproduce while the rest of the members will assist in raising the pups.
Until next time…
Blog by Wendy Claase
Images by Kyle Strautmann, Jacques Smit, Terry Ennever, Kevan Dobbie, Sheldon Hooper and Mike Palmer
Tailormade African Safaris by the Safari Legends