Our rain dances have received thunderous applause, and still it continues to pour! The dams have burst their banks, the roads have turned to rivers, and even the crocodiles are finding it a little too wet at the moment! (More on that in the overview.) It’s the time of dung beetle battles, fungi extravaganzas, Gloriosa superbas and avian check-ins. We are so looking forward to guest check-ins in the near future, but in the meantime here’s a glimpse of what’s been going on…
Here is a snapshot of January’s sightings:
- The Nduna Pride has been very active around the Logaan area. One of the males is occasionally making appearances at Nduna Dam, possibly with the rest of the pride nearby.
- The River Pride has been hunting between Ray’s Drift and Banyini. We are thrilled to report that they were seen with one very young cub, on the Binya Road, in the last week of January.
- White rhino sightings are prevalent on the verges of the Orphan Road when traveling from 02. They are also seen regularly on eastern and western sides of Banyini Pan.
- Black rhinos have been seen around the airstrip and on the Orphan Road to Nduna. The bush is really thick at the moment and it forms a very effective invisibility cloak around the more reclusive animals.
- There is a healthy population of bull elephants frequenting the middle part of the property from south of Banyini all the way to Mahande Drainage and from the Chiredzi River to Malevula Hill.
- Breeding herds of elephants are frequenting the Sosigi Hill side of the Chiredzi River and moving with their little ones in tow through Manyuchi to the north around Nyamasikana Pan.
- Two large herds of buffalo are grazing on the lush grasses on the verges of the Binya Road around Chikokovela and Chiloveka areas. The cows are rotund with nourishment and pregnancy.
- The cantankerous old dagga boys are holding court at our HQ centre.
- The pack of wild dogs was seen mid-month on the central open areas. There is a healthy population of baby wildebeest there which make for easy hunting. The plains game on Banyini is always an attraction for the wild dogs and they never miss an opportunity to scout around there before travelling north.
- The cheetah brothers were seen in the south, on the Gonarezhou side of our boundary.
- Leopards are lying low but there was a small female seen on Old Access Road recently. We see leopard tracks everywhere, so they are very active but not so keen on being seen amid the sea of grass.
- The plains game is absolutely fantastic now – because the bush is so waterlogged most plains game species are frequenting the roads as the ground is dryer and more compacted.
The most unusual sighting from the area, but not on the property, was of a huge crocodile that showed up at the men’s ward of the hospital in our closest town of Chiredzi. It arrived with no mask, no use of the hand sanitisers and was not respectful of social distancing protocols. It was denied admission and relocated to a more suitable wildlife environment. But it doesn’t stop there; a lion was tracked by game scouts to the hill at the back of Triangle town, which is the second closest town to us. It seems the predators are not enjoying the rainy deluge as much as the plains game, and are seeking out drier land and safety!
Read the full wildlife report here: