Greetings from paradise. Let’s cut to the chase as the weather has been hot and the game-viewing is cooking!
Wildlife overview for September
Wild dogs: With the pups still quite small, we are delighted to find that the pack has spent the month on our reserve, rather than heading south to Gonarezhou National Park. We’ve had awesome sightings of them – such as all 27 fighting with nine hyenas; and another watching them feast on an impala while three hyenas hung around hoping to steal the kill from them. It was very special to observe how the adult dogs let the pups feed first and kept the opportunistic hyenas at bay with some well-placed nips on the scavengers’ rear ends!
Lions: We’ve really been enjoying seeing the antics of a couple of the prides’ cubs. The majority of the sightings came from the coalition of three adult males – and on a few occasions they were relaxed enough, and guests brave enough, to observe on foot. There were some kills too – one of these was when a pride of six lions (two males and four females) were feeding on a buffalo carcass, with about a hundred vultures waiting patiently for a share.
Cheetah: Cheetah sightings have been good – especially of the old short-tailed female whose life-story we’ve followed for so many years. She’s still a hunting machine and made a couple of impala kills this month. She was also seen in the same area as two male cheetahs.
Leopard: With the bush low and dry we’ve had some good leopard sightings. Two special ones were watching a female leopard hunting a grysbok; and another of a sleepy big tom cat curled up like a croissant!
Rhinos: It seems the rhinos have been keeping each other company this month, as we’ve seen big crashes of them: ten white rhinos with three calves; and three black rhinos browsing at a junction of tracks. A very interesting, yet frightening sighting was of two black rhinos fighting at a pan for over an hour.
Elephants: Let’s put it this way – it’s been hard to miss seeing at least one elephant on every drive.
Buffalo: Our best buffalo moment was of a herd of 400 feeding, bellowing and interacting with each other.