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Summer is here!!! Good for some... and a nightmare for others. Summer brings life, as it is our rainy season. With the rain the newborn impala, warthog, wildebeest, elephant, buffalo are born; with the cute there is always a down side as a lot of bugs are also with us.
Most bugs are seen as these evil creatures that were only put on earth to make mans life a misery, but when you get to know what these creatures are all about they are truly fascinating and they are out to cause no harm, as in all life in the bush they are too busy struggling to survive and to find a partner to continue the circle of life than to worry about us humans, most creepy crawlies benefit us as with the Dung beetle and Honey bee (Most from the northern hemisphere should know all about how important the honey bee is).
As in all scorpions it looks mean but this specific scorpion very rarely stings as it relies on its big pinchers to catch food and its mean looks to keep unwanted visitors away. It has very weak venom so you can hold it and 99.999% of the time it will not sting, if stung it is less painful than a bee sting.
Lets move on to the more sought after creatures. The impala are still dropping; Duard and I saw a few brand new, late 2009 model impala that had literally just found their feet minutes before we saw them. The newborn warthogs also always make for a really great sighting's, as they are really comical in the games they play.
Trevor and Greg were lucky to see the Ximungwe female lion with her newborn cubs on Bruce's koppie (a koppie is a rocky outcrop), next to rock lodge. We have been suspecting that she had cubs stashed away up there for a while and this was the first confirmed sighting, this is very exciting news hopefully she will move her den sight soon as where she is, is inaccessible to even our Land Rovers.
Anybody that has ever visited the Sabi Sand Reserve knows that the leopard sightings are unmatched anywhere else on earth. As always they have not disappointed. Mambirri and her cub have made for amazing sightings as the cub has an endless supply of energy and is always annoying her mother in a good way by fiercely stalking and attacking her mother and especially the tip of her tail. Greg had an amazing sighting of the Hippo dam female with her cub, what makes the sighting so incredible is this particular female is one of the few leopards that is uncomfortable with the Land Rovers so she usually runs away at first sight of a Land Rover. On this sighting she was relatively relaxed when viewed at a distance of around 30 m, it was as if she is an extremely proud mother and was showing off her cub. Duard witnessed two mapogo (name given to the coalition of 6 male lions in the area); chase off an unidentified female leopard from an impala kill and devour the entire impala to the disgust of the leopard. My guests and I were lucky to watch the Hlabinkonzi female kill a scrub hare meters away from our Land Rover, this is just a few leopard sightings that you are missing out on, I can go on all day with the sightings we have been fortunate to be part of.
Some say that it is more difficult to find animals in the summer months as the bush is so green and lush, this may be true to a certain extent, but it is so beautiful at this time of year, there are so many wild flowers, birds and the wildlife are usually always around and every living thing is so full of life and part of the fun is tracking them down, plus you get to see our experienced trackers in action. If you think you will not see as much you are mistaken as some of our lions are still mating. There are huge elephant herds around; I saw over a hundred elephants the other day with all their little ones. The wild dogs have been wreaking havoc on the newborn impala. Marceleno saw our new male cheetah kill a grown warthog the other day... The list goes on of our exciting experiences in the bush so don't hesitate to come visit us soon...
Sam Ramsden & the Ranger team
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