Here’s a highlights package of the month’s sightings:
Lions: There are two main lion highlights that stand out this month. The first was the most unusual sighting of two different prides feeding on a naturally deceased white rhino. Lion prides are extremely territorial and are known to fight aggressively if they come across one another, more so if it is over a carcass… or so we thought! Our only explanation is that perhaps due to the nature of the separate prides, one of which only had sub adults in attendance, that perhaps they were more accepting than they would have been otherwise. The second highlight is a very exciting one – we saw a Manghene female’s 2 new cubs for the first time! As of this month, we predict them to be 8 weeks old. We have also seen two other adult females of the Manghene pride who look to be heavily pregnant. Watch this space for future updates!
Leopards: Sightings of the Hukumuri female and her 2 cubs continued into February, much to the delight of both guests and guides. At least 3 unknown leopards were seen on the reserve in February, suggesting the possibility of a few new young individuals moving into the area trying to establish territories.
Buffalo: Very large herds of buffalo’s were seen in the area this month, some displaying over 500 individuals. The timing was good for some of the younger members of the herd, who have been born in a period with plenty of grazing opportunities.
Elephants: The sheer number of Elephants seen in February is a highlight! A massive 130% increase in elephant sightings over this time last year and almost a 50% increase compared to July. And it is noticeable too – they are on almost every road! Larger and larger herds of elephants are moving into the area, attracted by the freshness of the vegetation, especially relative to the Kruger, which is very dry in comparison.