Chilly mornings (by our standards), have made way for glorious hot afternoons this month, and the sightings have been terrific:
We’ve seen some interesting movement and behaviour this month between our various prides and coalitions of males. It seems that the drying conditions have been putting pressure on the prey species and thus drawing the lions towards the permanent water. We have witnessed interesting interaction whereby different prides have congregated on kills and shared the spoils. A coalition of four males has certainly and opportunistically made the most of this and spent more and more time with the lionesses – over 70% of our sightings of this coalition have been associated with the prides. It looks like their days of bachelorhood are coming to an end!
With the Hlab N’kunzi female still traversing the core of her home range, she’s remained the most-viewed leopard, with a third of our leopard sightings attributed to her and her young male cub. They are currently providing such great viewing as the young cub tests the waters of personal boundaries. Male leopard sightings were high in June; this is possibly as a result of a number of newly-independent younger males moving within the area and drawing the attention of larger, older territorial males who hold territory.
We enjoyed a great increase in cheetah sightings as their main competitor, lions, concentrated close to the water sources, and cheetah could safely increase their presence in the marginal areas. Elephants:
There’s been a surge of elephant sightings, and what is notable is their change in feeding habits, with a large focus on roots and bark and less on grass.
With less palatable grazing available, the larger herds have divided, with sightings of breeding herds of between 50-100 individuals.