It seems as though someone has taken a box of colour pencils and coloured-in the reserve. Within a couple of days, we watched as the miraculous transformation of the landscape happened in front of our eyes. Shades of dark greys, burnt browns and dirty creams turned to crisp bright shades of green, with the occasional flash of purple and orange as the morning glory and lion’s eye flowers emerged. With the welcomed arrival of the November rains and the almost dried up river now flowing strongly, the wildlife seems to have a new spring in its step – quite literally. Impala lambs bound through the bushes, watched closely by their moms. It’s a tense time for these mothers, as they are either heavily pregnant and slower than the herd, or preoccupied with a newborn, and we’ve seen a few mothers fall prey to leopards and wild dogs.
Here’s a Sightings Snapshot for November:
We tracked the Matimba male and two other lions (a male and female that are often in the north) in the northern part of the reserve to find them attacking a buffalo bull. A traumatic sight that lasted all day and night with the result in the lions’ favour and a nourishing meal for them.
The Mhangeni Pride ventured onto the property, trailing a large herd of buffalo.
The Ottawa Pride have taken advantage of the Mhangeni Pride not being around and we’ve seen them exploiting the game at the river.
Huge herds roam the land over the property. We’ve seen quite a few very young calves within these herds, the light pink behind their ears and under their delicate feet prominent as they keep up with the adults.
Some large tuskers have wondered through from time to time, enjoying the Sand River.
We’ve been very lucky to view these animals quite regularly this month. The puppies are almost adult size and keeping up with the adults’ movements. They have stayed in the southern part of the reserve, exploring areas of new growth that impala can usually be found in. Impala rams and ewe’s falling prey to these incredible hunters has made for exciting game viewing.
Kokavela and her cub have been extremely active in our western area. Their playful personalities make for great viewing.
The Tavangumi male is now on his own, rarely seen with his mother, the Scotia female. We believe the Scotia female is pregnant and has been seen around the river potentially looking for a den-site.
Not as many sightings with cheetah, however this may be due to the wild dogs being so active within the area they usually reside in.
We added a pallid harrier to the list this month bringing our total number for the year to 270.