As you can see from the above photo, the buffalo were as delighted as we were for the 33 mm of rain that fell this month! But enough about the weather – let’s get on with the great game-viewing summary for the month.
Buffalo: Before the rain we were seeing a large herd of approximately 700 buffalo kicking up dust in the north of the concession.
Leopards: The Tingala female was spotted a few times walking in and around the camp. We also had great views of the Mahlangulene female and her male cub toward the centre of the concession. The N’wanetsi male killed a bushbuck and a kudu a few hundred metres apart, and we saw him walking in between the two kills to feed. In general, we had great leopard viewing including sightings of the Chava male, and a few unknown individuals.
Cheetahs: A female cheetah and her cub have been seen on a few occasions this month in the central area of our concession. We were privileged to see them hunting and killing an impala during the first rains.
Hyenas: There were two new hyena cubs peeping out of a cave at the Nyokene den-site. Their older siblings are spending more time outside the den, venturing further away to investigate new sounds, sights and smells.
Elephants: We have had great views of elephants drinking and feeding at the river in front of Lebombo and Sweni lodges. The elephants have enjoyed feeding on the different thorny species coming into new leaf.
On a few occasions we have watched them digging in the dry riverbeds to find fresh water underground. Elephants prefer drinking fresh water and the coarse river sand acts as an excellent filter. Once the elephants have quenched their thirst and moved off, other species like baboon and impala can be seen drinking from the same holes the elephants dug.
Lions: Three males of the Shishangaan coalition spent the majority of the month towards the north of the concession mating with the females from the Mountain pride. We were paid a visit by the Xhirombe pride and watched them sleeping in the shade of a tree along the N’wanetsi river.