There’s been a gentle patter of rain falling onto the thirsty grounds of the Kruger. Although not enough to make a major dent in the arid bushveld, some rain is better than nothing. And it appears that a wealth of wildlife have emerged from the thickets to display a set of unique behaviours. This week we’ve seen interesting events unfolding, some tragic and some heartwarming.
Of course, our Botswana camps are also in dire need of rains – apart from our Okavango Delta camps which thrive on the banks of the Delta’s channel.
Our photos this week are a collection of different perspectives on the wild – we do hope you have a fantastic weekend, wherever you are!
With the sudden passing of the Ross Pride Breakaway’s cub, there was a rather gloomy atmosphere at the Klaserie camps. But, the wild being the wild, is a tough and unforgivable place. To compensate for the rather heartbreaking news, nature has rewarded rangers with a handful of unique and exceptional sightings!
Ross Dam the leopardess and her cubs were seen, the lionesses feasting on a kill were spotted, a clan of 15 wild dogs were observed engaging in a noisy ceremonious greeting and the Hercules Pride returned to their new kingdom. The Mapoza males were spotted enjoying a buffalo kill, close to the camps. One of the Ross females has a personality clash with one of the Mapoza’s, so it’s always interesting to watch.
Rhulani, one of the dominant female leopards of the area has been lying low since November last year. Lo and behold, she graced us with her presence two nights ago.
Oh, and last night a pack of very noisy hyenas decided to steal parts of a carcass from the notorious Hercules Pride. Their high-pitched cackles and endless vocalisations had guests in fits of laughter!
A second unidentified leopard was found on the Umkumbe traverse and this time it was a male. While it’s always great to see territories expanding and the influx of newcomers, we wonder about the history of these felines.
The unidentified male was seen with a recent reedbuck kill, dragging it into an area for safekeeping. When the hyenas arrived, we’re sure that he would have dragged it up a tree somewhere, out of reach. Another leopard in the limelight this week is White Dam – her presence is always welcome. What a pretty looking leopardess!
The Charleston males were seen, yet again. They seemed to be enjoying their own company under the shade of tree indulging in a bit of daytime lethargy. They eventually got up to join the southern lioness for a quick drink at a neighbouring waterhole.
The birds are about in full force and the plains game are enjoying feeding on the Umkumbe lawns. With the dry vegetation, the lawns are providing the much needed succulent grasses.
The most exciting event of the week was the thunder, lightning and hint of rain to descend upon the Balule Nature Reserve. Rangers and animals rejoiced, but the rains weren’t around for long! The lion activity in the Balule Nature Reserve is heating up. There are new cubs stashed somewhere close to River Lodge. This week saw sightings of the River Pride lionesses, Duma’s Pride and of course, the Mohlabetsi males who no doubt sired the cubs. Ezulwini certainly haven’t been shy with their lion sightings.
Chavaluthu, the male leopard, was spotted aggressively patrolling and scent marking his turf after the rains washed away his territorial markings.
The birds of prey most are circulating the skies above and rangers managed to spot a proud and powerful martial eagle just the other day.
Elephants have been frequenting the grounds at the lodge and are enjoying drinking from the lodge’s swimming pools.
En route to Xobega Island Camp you’ll enjoy a day trip through the Moremi Game Reserve, which boasts a high concentration of game. Warwick, one of our bloggers, managed to see leopard, lion and a hyena cub.