It is with relief that we welcome the rains, especially after days when the temperature lurks in the forties! October has brought us the season’s first sighting of a new born baby impala with its mum, and drinking from her while only just balancing on its wobbly thin legs.
Here’s our wildlife overview for October:
Lions: There has been very good lion viewing overall – of all ages and activities including hunting, feeding and mating.
Leopards: The leopard viewing is good – thanks mostly to the short grass. On one occasion we found a leopard fast asleep on the riverbank, and we watched him for a while before he realized we were there and disappeared. A delightful sighting was a mother leopard and her juvenile cub leaving a pan after a drink. The most surprising sighting for all was when one of the guides found a drag mark on the road. He and his tracker followed it for a while before it turned off the road. They followed it on foot until they unknowingly got very close to the leopard’s hiding spot. As they approached a thick bush the leopard erupted and ran out the other way, leaving the kill which was a baby waterbuck. It returned to it later once all had settled down.
Rhinos: Again, thanks to the low grass, the rhino viewing is excellent – especially of the black rhinos. At one sighting a big male came within 10 metres of the vehicle giving the guests a great chance to take good pictures. The highlight among the white rhinos we’ve seen is a mother with her little newborn calf.
Elephants: Breeding herds are always a highlight and one such herd started feeding all around the vehicle, coming within five metres of the guests. Everyone in the vehicle was silent with amazement and fear at the same time! The giants later moved off and while the guests gathered their nerves they marvelled at how the elephants had just ignored them.
Buffalo: Buffalo are beautiful! If you take the time to study them closely you see they are each unique and rather lovely. We’ve seen bulls and large herds daily this month.
Wild dogs: We are lucky enough to have two packs on the reserve at the moment. Although they are not denning, which makes finding them a lot harder, we have had sightings of them. The hyenas are a big help in finding them as they often trail the wild dogs and try to scavenge their kills from them.
Cheetahs: Sightings of cheetahs are rare, just like these most endangered of all cats are. However, it has been a good month with two cheetahs seen. Here a female naps among the bronze leaves at the base of a rocky outcrop, but always listening out for any danger.
Hyenas: The clans have been seen patrolling all corners of the reserve. One notable sighting was when we found a leopard feeding on a buffalo carcass and two hyenas arrived on site and chased the leopard away.
Plains game: As always there are excellent sightings of plains game, and they can be counted on to provide guaranteed viewing on any game drive.