The temperature begins to dip and the pitter patter sound of rainfall begins to beat. Our first rains are here and an indescribable excitement begins to build. Small pops of green burst from the tips of the tree branches where dried leaves once grasped. Herds of elephants take advantage of the flowing water and succulent vegetation in the river and the migrant birds have started to make their appearance. After months of very few vehicles being out on the reserve due to the Covid pandemic, our full guiding team is back in action and there has been no shortage of incredible wildlife sightings and interactions. We look forward to observing as the season changes and our magical wilderness bursts with new life.
Here’s a Sightings Snapshot for September:
The Mhangene Pride have been full of surprises this month with seemingly two, maybe three, females having cubs. The pride introduced us to two little cubs last month however, with constant disappearance and visual suckle marks on a few other females we are sure to be seeing more cubs in the months ahead.
The three Tumbela males seem to be making themselves at home, pushing the Matimba male away slowly from the Othawa Pride, and mating with one of the females.
Huge herds of elephants have been gracing us with stunning sightings along the river lately. With the last few weeks before our first rainfalls the heat has been rising, bringing herds and herds of elephants toward nearby water courses.
We have been extremely lucky when it comes to wild dogs, as a new pack arrived on the property with 10 pups. We aren’t sure where they have come from however it has been amazing to observe the differences between the Othawa pack and this new pack on the block. This is definitely a great sign for the species!
We have had a large number of leopard sightings this month, sixty-nine to be exact!
The leopards are proving to be more social than ever with a sighting of five leopards at a single position. Schotia female, her cub, Nyeleti male, Shangwa male and Tavangumi male were all seen together sharing a kill, this is incredibly rare to see!
Schotia female’s cub is becoming more and more confident by the day. We still haven’t been able to confirm whether it is a male or female but we are hoping it continues through until adulthood.
Nyeleti male interestingly scavenged from every single meal made by the Schotia female this month. As he begins to get older, we may potentially see more of this behaviour.
One of the male cheetahs has been seen on a few occasions this past month. There has been more lion activity in the southern part of the property lately and hence the cheetahs have been keeping more of a low profile.
The bird list for September includes two new bird species, bringing our yearly total to 276 so far.
Special bird species include: Common fiscal and white-breasted cormorant.