Buffalo: A herd of approximately fifty buffalo were seen feeding in the eastern region in mid-February. As seen in the photo, the herd left a trail of dust behind due to the dry conditions. There was also a sighting of thirteen buffalo bulls in the far northern parts of the concession, and regular views of lone bulls on our western boundary.
Leopards: The Xinkelengane female was seen on three occasions this month. She was feeding on the remains of a young waterbuck in close proximity to the Shishangaan pride (who were feeding on a buffalo carcass). Fortunately she managed to remain unnoticed. Five days later, she was seen again and was feeding on a young impala on our western boundary. We had a sighting of the Ndlovu male close to camp stalking a waterbuck, but he was unsuccessful in his attempt at catching the animal. An unknown male leopard was seen on our western boundary a number of times, and the Xikhova female also made a brief appearance near the lodge entrance road.
Cheetahs: We had amazing sightings of cheetahs this month! The mother and her four cubs were seen on four different occasions in the open areas toward the north of our concession. A coalition of two male cheetahs was regularly seen in the same vicinity. The central depression area was patrolled by a different female cheetah who has three cubs, and was seen hunting impala in the early morning.
Elephants: The sightings ranged from lone bulls, small groups of females with young and herds exceeding forty individuals. We had numerous sightings of elephants coming across lions at the waterholes. On one occasion, a female elephant and her young calf walked right into the middle of the Shishangaan pride of 18 lions, who were resting in the shade next to a small pan. The female elephant managed to chase all the predators away. She was followed closely by her small calf, who was trying to keep up. After the elephants had their fill of water, the pride returned to the shade as if nothing had happened.
Lions: We had over fifty different sightings of lions in February, with the Shishangaan pride still being dominant over most of the central and southern areas. An unknown pride of ten individuals ventured over our northern boundary, and the Mountain pride females were seen together with the Shishangaan pride males feeding on the remains of a hippo carcass.
Hyenas: The Cassia clan were active around the north-western area, and were seen feeding on a hippo carcass for a few days. We watched them interacting with the vultures who were also feeding on the carcass. The H6 clan alternated den-sites along the H6. We have regular views of the clan with cubs in the early evening as they come out of their den to socialize.