We’ve had a tremendous amount of rain and our dams are full to the brim. A couple of game drives have been cancelled or delayed by guests preferring to indulge in body pampering treats from the spa while waiting for the weather to clear, which it does most days. The reserve looks so beautiful and lush now – like a fairy-tale forest with little impala lambs and other youngsters frolicking about.
Wildlife overview for January:
Elephants: Great grazing has brought quite a few of the bulls into their breeding state of musth, so it’s best to keep a cautious eye on their behaviour. Wonderful cow and calf herds, often 30 at a time, are enjoying the bounty.
Lions: Excellent lion sightings. In one drive there were three different sightings of lions, totalling 15 individuals. The River pride with their four cubs are doing very well and are all in excellent condition. This adult male walked towards us as we had sundowners near the water, roared mightily, then flopped down for a quick power nap.
Leopards: Leopards have been spotted with zebra foal and wildebeest calf kills this month.
Hyenas: The best sighting of the many hyena sightings for the month was watching two cubs chasing each other as they played tag using a smelly zebra hoof as the sought after prize!
Buffalos: There are some colossal herds about at the moment, up to 600 buffalos at a time. That’s a lot of chewing, snorting, bellowing and bovine bluster when you are in the middle of it.
Plains game: We’ve had the occasional sight of sable and Lichtenstein hartebeest, but they are the most difficult to see at this time. Other plains game has been plentiful – impala, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe and so on.
Wild dogs: All 27 wild dogs of the pack are still being seen, which is exceptional. They’ve been targeting some larger game in their hunts, but when those are unsuccessful they resort to their staple diet of impala, and the bounty of lambs about make for easy pickings.
Cheetah: We haven’t seen the more far-ranging females and cubs for a while, but we’ve had good sightings of the two territorial males, and one other adult male.