The midday temperatures have been mild and the morning game drive times have been moved to an earlier departure time. The first signs of spring are on our doorstep and receive a warm welcome.
Lions: The Mhangene pride continues to follow large herds of buffalo. Recently we have noted that one of the male lions from the Xmungwe pride has joined up with the Mhangene pride. The pride members were reluctant with his presence at first, however it has now been recorded that he has been moving with the pride. The Othawa prides three lions are doing well and we have been encountering them periodically.
Leopards: We experienced some very interesting behaviour between three leopards over several days – Leon elaborates later in the journal. The story involves a father, a son and a female leopard…
Buffalos: Two very large buffalo herds exceeding more than 300 each were active during this past month.
Hyena: A large clan of hyenas exceeding 20 was viewed feeding on the remains of a hippo carcass. The hippo died of natural causes.
Wild dogs: Sightings over the last few weeks have been scarce due to the prospects of them increasing their packs. Generally this time of the year the packs will use den-sites that they may have used during the previous year. A pack moved into an area north of the river briefly, along with their puppies. Unfortunately they moved again shortly after establishing a den-site due to the lion activity in the area. We look forward to encountering more sightings of wild dogs as the puppies get older and start moving with the pack.
Birds: 188 species recorded. The highlight for the month of August was a melanistic form of Gabar goshawk. Yellow-billed oxpeckers were seen amongst the buffalo herds. There were early appearances of yellow-billed kite and a black cuckoo.