We owe you a storm of images and plenty of updates from our camps. The ‘veld is brimming with activity and the bushveld abounds with mystery. The thickets have plenty of stories to tell, and our favourite is the stories that bring promise of new life into the unforgiving landscape. When we browse through the collection of images and videos sent through from our guides on a weekly basis, we try to get a feel for a similar thread that weaves its way through the reserves. Today, the theme is the youth of today. Our guides and guests have enjoyed a bounty of sightings of cubs, calves and fledglings. Spring is approaching, which means new life is emerging!
The Lamai lioness has cubs! She’s been stashing her cubs deep within the thickets, keeping them out of harm’s way and far away from carnivorous intruders. Lion cubs are vulnerable when they are born and have a high mortality rate in the wild. The Lamai female has been spotted mating with the Maseke boys on numerous occasions, which leads us to believe that one of them sired her cubs. Lion sightings are on the increase, and this only adds to the bulk of species that Chacma have spotted while out on drive.
The cheetah that were relocated to Roam Private Game Reserve continue to thrive in their environment. One of our photographer’s, Em Gatland, managed to capture a few magnificent photos of the cheetah. The cheetah experience is just one of the many activities on offer in the Great Karoo.
Umkumbe have enjoyed a wealth of big cat sightings, with an appearance of a slender and refined cheetah. Coupled with this unique sighting, the team stumbled across an endangered pangolin, otherwise known as the scaly anteater. Notoriously shy and leading a life of solitude, the pangolin is certainly a rare find. When the Umkumbe guides aren’t tracking rare species they’re stumbling across our aloof leopards.
The Africa on Foot Wilderness Trails is in full swing, with avid walkers enjoying their 3 day trails through the Maseke Game Reserve. These set trails offer up a variety of game viewing opportunities, and each night is spent in a different location. Sun Destinations recently hosted well-known rugby players and local celebs, who seemed to enjoy quite a riveting outdoor experience. Our photographer joined the trails to document their journey, a story which is currently in the making. Highlights from recent walking trails in the Kruger have included sightings of lions, a resident hippo, and the sneaky crocodiles that guard the mighty river that eagerly cuts through the reserve.
The Klaserie continues to enthral and entertain us with their big cat sightings. The leopard dynamics on the Africa on Foot and nThambo Tree Camp traverse continue to fascinate us, and there seems to be plenty of shared genetics among the leaps of leopards emerging from the thickets. Just the other day Mauritz reported that 5 leopards were spotted on one kill. The leopards were a female with 2 cubs, and the Ross Dam female. Later that evening the local legend, Rhulani and another male leopard were spotted feasting on the same kill.
About a month ago the wild dogs were commanding the Klaserie sightings, but the sightings seem to have dwindled. This has made way for exceptional lion sightings, and the guides are being rewarded with consistent sightings of 3 prides of lions (pride of 10, pride of 6 – possibly Bateleur Pride, and the Ross Pride females) operating within the region. We’ll showcase the big cat Klaserie images during the course of the week. In the meantime, the general sightings of big game and plains game continue.
The bushveld is heaving with sightings, and fairly notable wildlife moments continue to emerge from the Balule Nature Reserve. When wildlife reveals their new additions to the reserve, it always makes for heartwarming sightings. Guides from Ezulwini, together with their guests, witnessed a spate of sightings dominated by the “youth of today”! Sightings included that of a 1 day old giraffe calf being nurtured by its mother, 4 lionesses on the move closely followed by 10 cubs, and a fragile young leopard cub seeking refuge in the foliage from an Apple leaf tree. In other sightings, the Kudyela lionesses and the Machaton male lions were spotted mating, the elephant bulls are enjoying the grounds of the lodge, and the general game continues to provide prolific sightings.