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Over the last couple of weeks there have been some significant changes in the bush. Spring is upon us!
We've had a little sprinkle of rain, which with the warm weather, has allowed the bush to really start blossoming. All the Boer-bean trees have really started to stand out with all their nectar-rich red flowers, that the monkeys and birds are loving, and the other trees which have also started bearing leaves, adding a little more colour to the bush. The male weaver birds have also started weaving their nests, many of which I'm sure are still learning the art of weaving, but the female birds will certainly let them know if they're not on the right track (they'll just plain ignore the male's flirtatious efforts).
On the way down to Safari lodge one morning, I found 2 female leopards (Hlaba Nkunzi and Metsi) in a full-on brawl with one another. They were literally at each other's throats. These young females are still trying to establish their own territories and fill the gap that Makwela has left around Ulusaba. Fortunately neither of them was seriously injured! This was just days after we'd seen both of them mating with the Tegwane male in the same sighting. The Tegwane male seems to be a real stud, attracting not only these two leopards to mate with, but also other females as he passes through their territories, namely Xikavi and the Dam 3 leopards, also seen together in one sighting after some excellent tracking done by my tracker James, who tracked them from Safari lodge early one morning. There's also some great activity around the waterholes at the moment as the bush is still very dry. A highlight is always viewing the elephant bulls swimming at Skwenga dam. This month has also certainly felt like spring as we've had many guests visiting us on their honeymoon and many this last month also getting married in the bush here at Ulusaba. Congratulations to all of you that were here, and I hope that married life is treating you all well, and it was a real privilege to have been able to share such a special place as Ulusaba on such a special occasion with you!
We've also had the ever-elusive wild dogs visiting us again, but this time a pack of 4 males! Yesterday we followed them as they began to get active and I believe that a little later they managed to kill an impala, as they always seem to do! They came quite close on their hunt to a male cheetah, which was completely unaware that they were even there. The Ximungwe lionesses were again around Ulusaba's koppies (small hills) today, and I'm sure it's just a matter of days before some of these pregnant females have their young, and hopefully right on our doorstep! One morning, between Steve and I, we were able to find the Mbhiri leopard and her beautiful cub, which even with a full belly entertained us when she climbed up into and posed in a Marula tree. Not afraid of the cameras and the lime-light, this little cutie is a supermodel in the making.
If you're visiting us soon, we look forward to sharing some really amazing sunrises with you, as we're heading out on the morning drives just as the sun is peaking up over the Lebombos (mountain range in the east - forms the border between SA and Mozambique). It's also nice and fresh but not too cold, just a great way to kick thing off before the day really starts heating up. I'm sure we're also on track for some early big thundershowers to really get spring on the go!
I hope you'll all stay well,
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