Claps of thunder, bolts of lightning and torrential downpours are the hallmark characteristics of summer in Kruger. We roller coast through the arid season, straight towards the carpets lush vegetation of summer, and occasionally we bypass spring. The change of season in Kruger is often an unpredictable time of year, and we’re certainly feeling the effects of the change in climate. We notice a change in wildlife behaviour and the types of animals spotted. We might spot prolific game, or we might only spot the commonly seen plains game. That’s the beauty of going on safari – it’s the excitement of the wild!
Chacma Bush Camp has, yet again, enjoyed a wealth of elephant sightings in front of camp. The herds of pachyderms and bovids continue to flock to their favourite watering hole. Over recent weeks there has been an increase in both lion and leopard sightings, and photographer Em Gatland managed to capture a few picture-perfect moments on camera.
The Klaserie is also experiencing a change in wildlife sightings, and with each week that passes the sightings become more unpredictable. Strange things emerge when the weather begins to rapidly shift its patterns. Elephant, buffalo and plains game have made up the bulk of the sightings for this week in the Klaserie, but guides have experienced a few noteworthy occasions while out in the field.
Guide Chade says, “The wild dogs had a kill in the morning, so I managed to get a photos of them relaxing after their kill. We also saw a young male leopard hanging around the camp, but we haven’t identified him just yet. Ross Dam eating her kill was yet another leopard sighting to throw into the mix, along with the sunset female also enjoying a recent kill”
Angele is always hot on the pulse of what’s happening in the Balule bushveld, and she’s always on the ball with letting the team know about the ever shifting wildlife dynamics of the Balule. She mentioned that the recent short-lived storms to descend upon the area actually heightened the wildlife activity. With a flurry of water cascading from the skies, our game emerged from hidden pockets of the reserve. The most notable sighting was that of 4 new male lions traversing the River Lodge main road. Let’s hope they don’t come face-to-face with the Machaton kings, although it’s unlikely given that the kings dwell more on the turf surrounding Billy’s lodge.
In other lion news, the Kudyela females were seen with fresh blood on their That could be catastrophic! The Nkanyi leopard has – once again – been spotted. Angele says, “Nkanyi was prowling the drainage line for impala before she came to rest on a termite mound”. Overall, there’s plenty of general game meandering through the reserve, coupled with ample sightings of large herds of elephant and buffalo sightings. The Balule is booming with cats!
Despite the changes in the weather patterns and the slow emergence of a new season, the leopard sightings remain consistent at Umkumbe Safari Lodge. Guides Tanya and Geoffrey sent through their leopard images, and a few other sightings that provided perfect photographic opportunities. Tatowa and her cub seem to be in the spotlight this week. Tatowa’s cub was spotted devouring a kill while his mother spent time posing for the camera!