With a new month upon us already, the winter chill has faded like a cool morning mist. After an hour into game drive you tend to forget that it was even here. Well that’s exactly how it feels at the moment, the summer temperatures have surprised us in spring! However, with the heat index increasing, so have the game sightings for this month. Any waterway is considered the best place to be after a hot day. It is not unusual to find several species along the waterways, in particular the Sand River and as this river flows in view of both Singita Ebony and Boulders, the vista never disappoints with something moving along the river. Some of the sightings recorded this month in view from the lodges open deck are wild dogs hunting and successfully killing an impala, mating leopards on several occasions – to such an extent that it was recorded in our northern territory as our only leopard sightings being sighted for some of the game drives, as two females were
separately interacting with one male. No matter where you looked, it seemed wildlife engulfed our senses. Sit back and take a read on what has been happening in the wild.
Here’s a Sightings Snapshot for September:
The Mhangene Pride continues to amaze us with the amount that this pride moves through the Sabi Sand area. The movements are not consistent with a pride that is stable in a territorial area.
The Othawa Pride has also made an appearance this month. The single Matimba male lion continues to move with the pride and has shown a vast improvement to his condition as an older lion. This would be due to no longer having the competition with the other coalition member that accompanied the pride.
The Othawa male lion has continued to separate himself from the Mhangene Pride and move on his own. This could be due to brief interactions that have occurred with other male lions that are resident to the north and east of his current range.
The elephants have been consistently moving along the river. The Sand River is slowly drying up which is expected for this time of the year as we wait patiently wait for the first rains to arrive.
With nine adults and thirteen puppies the pack continues to thrive north of the Sand River.
Puppies have been moving far more and it is only a matter of time before the pack no longer requires a safe sanctuary for the puppies.
The Schotia female has been mating with the Nyelethi male and we have witnessed this on two different occasions this month.
A rather unusual sighting was finding the Thamba male leopard mating with the Mobeni female. The mating continued for two days until an unknown male leopard arrived on the scene and he was quickly courted by Mobeni who was eager to interact with the new male.
Schotia’s young male leopard, now known as the Tavangumi male, is completely independent to his mother. Brief interactions that have been had were tense with aggression shown between the two leopards.
One of the afternoon game drives this month recorded the following sightings of leopards: Khokovela and cub feeding on an impala carcass; Schotia and her young male cub (Tavangumi) were also feeding on an impala carcass; Flat Rock male, Nglanguleni and the Nglanguleni young female were found feeding on two impala carcasses along with the Dawone male feeding on an impala carcass, whilst Nyelethi was lying in the Sand River in front of Ebony Lodge – eight different leopards all in just one game drive. Not a great afternoon to be an impala that’s for sure, but leopards were everywhere!
With two sub-adult cheetahs moving through the area, along with a few resident males, it certainly has been a great month for cheetah sightings.
Our yearly bird count remains at 267 with no new bird species added this month.