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Ulusaba

#SofaSafari - Episode 5

800-feet above the wilderness, this week’s safari kicked off in a spectacular spot, Rock Lodge. Perched high on a koppie with beautiful views, it’s perfect for endless wildlife viewing opportunities in between game drives – and even better with an Amarula in hand, what’s not to love!

Of course it wasn’t time for sundowners just yet, so the Rangers at Ulusaba headed into the bush. Brad & Trevor (with Stu behind camera) pointed out an elephant bull as well as the sound of red-billed oxpeckers, meaning impalas weren’t far. As if by magic there in the distance were the red-billed oxpeckers, keeping the bugs at bay and grooming the impalas.

We moved over to Brad & Trevor (filmed by Tom) who hopped out of the vehicle to have a closer look at some interesting tracks. The tracks suggested a leopard had a successful hunt from the leopard paw prints and marks of an animal being dragged. After following the tracks – and bumping into a lone male buffalo on route – Tlangisa, the infamous female leopard, and her two cubs came into view.

Leaving the leopards to tuck into their lunch we headed back to Brandon & Ryan who were by the local watering hole where some hippos were yawning away. Apparently it wasn’t your typical afternoon yawn but actually how hippos mark their territory; in other words, it was a warning sign.

With this in mind Brandon & Ryan swiftly moved on and showed us one of Africa’s favourite animals, and safari fans who’ve been joining regularly from their sofas would’ve recognised the renowned Ottowa pride of lions, who were surprisingly breaking the ‘sleeping lion’ stereotype this time. The rangers explained that the change in month may have caused this more awake behaviour; as it is impala rutting season, male impalas tend to be very noisy as they want to make their presence known to female impalas. This allows other bush residents, like the Ottowa pride, to locate impalas more easily and puts the impalas in danger.

As the lions continued to observe the surrounding noises and make plans for the evening ahead, the Rangers said goodbye to us all for another week.

Watch episode 5 on YouTube here.

Spotted on Sofa Safari #5
• An elephant bull
• Group of impalas
• Red-billed oxpeckers
• African hoopoe
• A male buffalo
• Female leopard Tlangisa & her two cubs
• Hippos
• Ottowa pride of lions

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