During this month 64 sightings of lions were recorded on the Nwanetsi Concession.
A single Kumana male was seen on six occasions around the lodges. It is presumed that he is the sole survivor of the Kumana Coalition.
The Shishangaan Pride and five cubs were seen on nine occasions close to the lodge. All the cubs seem healthy, but with the Kumana Coalition deteriorating it is uncertain if all of the cubs will reach adulthood, as young cubs are often killed during a pride take-over, and with the fathers not being around to protect their offspring, the future of the Shishangaan Pride is uncertain.
The Shishangaan Males were seen on 17 occasions, and as usual the male with the injured hip was spending most of his time by himself or in the presence of the Mountain Pride. The younger brothers were found feeding on a buffalo that had died of natural causes, and with extremely full bellies they seemed very content for several days.
The Mountain Pride and their two younger cubs are still doing well.
Despite the dense vegetation and long grass still obscuring visibility, a total of eleven leopard sightings were recorded during the month.
A mating pair of leopards were also found around Ostrich Link Fly Camp towards the beginning of the month.
Two sightings of cheetah were recorded for the month. One sighting was a coalition of four brothers, and the other sighting was that of a female and her two cubs.
During this past month 64 sightings of elephants were recorded.
The majority of these sightings were of breeding herds that have now made their return to the open basalt plains after being in the southern sections of the Kruger National Park where they have been feeding on marula fruit. Majority of the herds are now feeding on grass and creepers, and the water of the Nwanetsi River and Gudzane Dam is sustaining them.
35 Sightings of buffalo have been recorded.
The big herds are slowly making their return into the area around Gudzane Dam, with more than 600 animals sighted there.
The majority of the hyena sightings were seen around the southern sections of the concession, with one animal feeding on grasshoppers that had drowned in Nuthla Pan.
A buffalo had died of natural causes and the hyenas were quick to respond, but unfortunately for them, two of the Shishangaan male lions managed to steal the carcass from them.
After a controlled burn of the northern sections of the concession took place, large aggregations of zebra and blue wildebeest have started to congregate around the newly sprouted grass shoots. We believe this area will become a hotspot during the approaching winter months.
As the summer migrants prepare their journey’s back home, the silence of their fading calls can slowly be felt in the bush. The carmine bee-eaters and European rollers are still indulging in the numerous grasshoppers and other insects, and this will help to fuel their journeys. As the grasses are starting to dry out, the red-billed queleas are also starting to congregate more. We are hoping to see big colonies moving into the area.