Here’s a Sightings Snapshot for the month of June:
We had a total of 82 different lion sightings for the month of June.
The Shishangaan females were seen on a regular basis around the area of the lodge and one of the females was seen mating with a Khumana male over a period of about four days.
The Khumana males were quite active around the lodge area and could often be heard vocalising in the evenings and early mornings. As mentioned above, one of the males was seen mating with a female from the Shishangaan Pride.
The Mananga Pride, consisting of seven adult females, was seen regularly around the Gudzane area, in the company of Xihamham, who is part of the Shishangaan Male Coalition.
The young Shishangaan males (outcasts), together with the white lion were seen back on the concession, following large herds of buffalo that moved in and out of our area. The guides were fortunate enough to watch them successfully hunting a buffalo.
The Mountain Pride were keeping a lower profile than usual, possibly due to the Mananga Pride spending a lot of time in the Gudzane area. The three sub-adult cubs are still healthy and doing well.
The Dumbana male was seen at the beginning of June, and had an impala that he had killed, stolen from him by a group of spotted hyenas. He was seen again on another two occasions during the month.
The Nhlangulene female was seen on the 12th of June stalking some impala. She is still in great condition, and it was good to see her again.
The Ndlovu male was spotted near camp, and the guides managed to follow the big male leopard for a while, as he moved off into the Granophyre Ridge.
An unknown female with the cubs was glimpsed on a few occasions, on the rocks along the N’wanetsi River. We were unable to identify the mother, as she kept at a distance, trying to hide her cubs.
A female cheetah was seen on a few occasions in the beginning of June in the Sticky-thorn area, presenting great photographic opportunities, as she climbed onto fallen trees to scan the open plains. Later on, all the scanning and searching she did paid off, as she managed to spot a steenbok, and successfully managed to stalk and hunt her quarry.
A female and her three, fourteen-month-old youngsters were seen in the Dumbana area hunting impala coming down to drink, towards the end of June. We believe that they are the same cubs that were born on the concession in early 2018.
There has also been a coalition of two male cheetahs roaming around the central plains.
• The Granophyre den-site is still inactive, however we are delighted that the Nyokene den-site is active again, providing incredible views of these animals. An additional bonus is that this den-site is situated close to the lodge, and therefore provides for a great afternoon excursion, for those guests that want to see a spotted hyena.
This time of the year, as the water dissipates from the smaller dams and rivers around the Kruger, we are finding huge numbers of elephants moving into the area of the N’wanetsi Concession.
There have been many sightings of these great grey beasts on a daily basis, with large herds of up to 50+ animals moving through on a continuous basis. There was one incredible sighting of a herd of around 120 elephants seen towards the end of June, moving through the Sticky Thorn thickets.
Due to the abundance of good grazing and availability of water, the buffalo herds have concentrated in the Western-central area of our concession. We have viewed multiple large herds of between 300 to 500 individuals moving to and from the larger water sources in the early mornings and late afternoons.
There has been a massive influx of general game moving into the area. The permanent water supply at various points on the concession are allowing for large herds of zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, kudu and impala, to quench their thirst in the late mornings.
There have been some great nocturnal sightings this month, with sightings of honey badger, white-tailed mongoose, porcupine and African wild cat.
There have also been a few great sightings in the Lebombo mountains of the shy Sharpe’s grysbok.
With it being mid-winter, it is not unexpected to have our lowest count for the year of 157 species recorded.
We did have a few wonderful sightings of a greater painted snipe seen with its two chicks.
There was an abundance of different species of storks gathering at some of the diminishing pools, hunting fish that had nowhere to go.