Last week the African wild dogs owned the bushveld runway by showing off their latest addition to their collection – their brand new mottled colour pups. This week, a similar thread weaves its way through the bushveld, creating a tapestry of unique sightings for guests. The Dundee Pride of lions emerged from the thickets and revealed a litter of fine looking young cubs.
Warren says, “We had an exciting weekend at Ivory Wilderness from sightings with the young Dundee lion cubs to the rare and beautiful Black Stork. The inquisitive Dundee cubs are doing well under their mother’s ever-watchful protection, while the very dominant nature of one young cub was made clear to us from this very early age!!
A bonanza of waterbirds have been taking advantage of the decreasing waterline and the “good-fishing” pools which have been exposed nearby camp. Our usual wholesome meals have broken up our safari activities, often centering around an ambient braai!”
The southern white-faced scops owl is another one of our unusual sightings. Set against the black backdrop of night, the stark contrast of its plumage and piercing amber eyes, this species of bird makes a series of excessive bubbling hoots that can be heard echoing through our valley. The incredibly rare black stork graced us with its presence. Sightings of this wader are rare, so we guests were lucky to enjoy 100% visual during the daylight hours. The stork is relatively quiet, but does make a noise when it’s nesting – nest are generally at the edge of a cliff face.
The highlight of the week at Ivory Wilderness Riversong Camp was obviously the sighting of the Dundee Pride of lions, that are also known within the Balule region and seem to traverse other regions of the Klaserie. Guests spent some time with the Dundee Pride and enjoyed quite a scene.
The mega-pride is actually 18 – 23 lions strong, but there are various fragments and split-offs from the pride. Warren says that two mothers recently split from the pride, both having given birth to cubs in a similar time frame. When Warren approached the sighting, there appeared to be a brazen display of dominance from the cubs.
He says, “Another display of early dominance from a formidable little lion cub occurred on our arrival at the sighting. Having tracked the pride for a while, we approached a sunny hill crest where we found the cubs soaking up the warmth of the day amongst tall grass. On our arrival at the scene, this robust little feline then stood up, took a purposeful stretch and then confidently strode twenty metres from the rest of the lion pride before laying down again in a open clearing. This bold and self-assured behaviour exudes dominance and tenacity.”
Here are the latest images, fresh from Warren Howson’s camera.