The month of June has always been one of the best for game viewing, and this month lived up to its reputation. We leave the lodge in the early hours like snug bugs in rugs, beanies, jackets and gloves, and shed these as the morning warms up. We’ve long ago perfected the art of the morning game-drive cup of coffee which all our guests agree is just as important and enjoyable as a great sighting!
Here’s our wildlife overview for June:
Lions: There seemed to be a buy-in-bulk buffalo special going on this month, as two prides of lions fed on buffalo kills not too far apart from one another. You could go and check on the four lions (two males and two females) on their buffalo carcass south of Chimize Pan, and then drive 20 minutes or so away to where the Southern Pride were still enjoying their buffalo kill below the Malevula Hills.
Another highlight was the mating pair of lions on the open Banyini area. Guests got to see all the action out in the open a couple of times!
Here a bloated male lion lugs himself along a shady stretch of the airstrip, while a herd of aghast wildebeest skitter about nearby.
Leopards: There’ve been a few sightings this month such as a skittish female who made a quick exit, unlike another beautiful female beautiful who made her appearance just as guests were ending their safari, and waited on the side of the road giving them the time to see her clearly and end their holiday on a high.
Cheetah: We’ve been lucky enough to view cheetahs too this month. This male came down to the water’s edge, after carefully looking around for danger, before taking a long drink. See how he goes to the effort of not getting his claws or tail tip muddy!
Rhinos: Some of the highlights included seeing eight white rhinos with a tiny newborn calf, and finding a bull white rhino having a long mud bath before proceeding to have a good scratch on anything he could find.
Some black rhinos made their presence known too – story to follow.
Here a herd of impala calmly sun themselves as a huge bull white rhino grazes a metre away.
Wild dogs and hyenas: A very distressing occurrence took place one night at the beginning of the month. The Executive Director of the Malilangwe Trust saw a clan of hyenas and a pack of wild dogs in a huge fight, right at the Head Quarter offices. The hyenas caught, killed and ripped apart a wild dog. It was very gruesome and the noise of it all was just as spine-chilling.
Elephants: We’ve had fantastic elephant sightings of bulls and breeding herds. A way to safely get within two arm-lengths to an elephant, on foot, is to go and wait in the custom-built photographic hide. Guests did just that and were rewarded with two warthogs, some zebra and a large bull elephant. Top viewing was had of a family of about 25 elephants including some little calves feeding on the side of the road. Guests also thoroughly enjoyed some up close and personal time with a huge bull elephant and his four mates when they finished having a mud bath… they came right up to the front of the vehicle seemingly wanting to say a friendly yet muddy hello to all.
Buffalos: There’ve been excellent buffalo sightings too, such as when a herd of about six hundred buffalo crossed the Chiredzi River; as well as watching a large herd when three white rhinos came and joined as two elephant bulls scrummed with one another in the distance.