Maurice Sendak famously wrote and illustrated a children’s book called “Where the Wild Things Are”, which shot to fame in the early 1960’s. We’ve decided that his inspiration surely must have been Botswana and Kruger during the winter time. This week in pictures, we’ve received endless wildlife reports – it appears Botswana and Kruger are pumping with predator activity. This is most certainly where the wild things are…
The vegetation has become drier, the air is colder and our camps are enjoying phenomenal sightings. This is a clear indication that peak game viewing season (winter) is upon us. The Kruger bushveld is thinning out which means it’s easier to spot wildlife and the herds are now starting to congregate around the waterholes. The lush vegetation is wilting away, so we’re witnessing plenty of movement towards dams. May also sees the arrival of the African wild dog’s denning period. Botswana is also pumping with similar sightings and offering visitors the usual unparalleled game viewing opportunities.
If you’ve kept up-to-date with our recent sightings on Facebook, you’ll understand the incredible things happening in the Klaserie at the moment. As it stands, rangers have seen leopard 6 days in a row! There was a huge leopard fight between two unknown leopards over a kill, with the hyena eventually walking away with the prize.
nThambo have recorded daily sightings of elephant herds drinking from the pool at lunch time. They’re constantly having to refill the splash pool !
Coupled with the normal plains game sightings, there have also been wild dog sightings. It’s the end of the impala rutting season which means the endangered wild dogs have returned to den in the area. Rams are tired, which means it’s an easy meal for the wild dogs and their pups.
The biggest drama of all is the presence of a relatively new male lion called Mabande. He has been patrolling and covering huge ground around both camps and is clearly on a quest to take over the Klaserie kingdom. Of course, this is Trilogy turf, so you can only imagine the chaos that has ensued.
There was a huge fight between Mabande and two of the Trilogy males – luckily both lions came away unscathed from the event. Mabande disappeared for a couple of days but then reappeared with a vengeance. We’re watching the lion dynamics of the Klaserie closely.
Both Ezulwini Game Lodges are enjoying a record number of leopard sightings in the Balule Nature Reserve. Just the other night, blue-eyed boy Chavaluthu and the Van Wijk’s leopardess were seen together with a clan of hyenas. An incredible sighting! The Balule has also treated its guests to breathtaking lion sightings. Duma’s pride (10 lions strong) was spotted during our LiveBushFeed session. Then one of the many active lion prides in the prestigious Kruger territory, the Balule Nature Reserve, is the Mohlabetsi Pride and they were spotted snacking on a buffalo carcass.
The vultures and hyenas are out in full force – so much free food around! Plenty of predator activity for the Balule, but that’s not say our elephant and buffalo herds haven’t been spotted. At the moment, all wildlife seems to be out and about.
Elephants, Dagga boys and big game are occupying the sightings while out on game drive with the Umkumbe rangers. The Sand River, which runs in front of the lodge always draws predators and other big game to its shores. With winter looming, the sunsets and sunrises seem to be more colourful and all-encompassing. The nocturnal birds of prey, the scavengers and the small things are all coming out to play.
The beauty of a tailor-made safari is that the journey follows a map you’ve designed. Picking the places you want to visit and maximising your time spent in the country make for some of the most memorable expeditions of your life. Being a luxury mobile safari unit affords plenty of opportunity to traverse areas rich in game. If one area is only producing plains game sightings, the next area may produce an array of big cat sightings. Boat cruises on the Chobe will certainly bring about prolific bird, hippo and crocodile sightings.