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What an exciting time of the year to be at Ulusaba, hot summer days and eye catching electric storms brings new life to the bush. The past few months have been exciting with incredible sightings of the big game and some of the more shy nocturnal creatures like servals and pangolins. The migratory birds are all back which has been exciting for all the twitches!
Three of our Rangers Trevor, Sam and Steve were very fortunate to witness the three male lions killing a buffalo near Safari Lodge. They were sitting with a herd of buffalo one morning moving down towards Safari Lodge pan for a drink. The male lions were lying up not too far from the waterhole; Sam was viewing the lions as the buffalo were walking straight towards them. The wind was perfect for the lions to stay undetected. As the herd got closer the lions started to stalk, Trevor and Steve had to position themselves very carefully because when the lions chase you don
't want to be caught in a herd of buffalo running for their lives, they will run over anything to survive. Two of the males had set up a perfect ambush, as the herd got closer a young buffalo strayed away from the herd. The male's lions took off after the buffalo; they chased and caught a sub adult right in front of the vehicles in a small drainage line. The third male continued to chase the herd to keep them far enough away, because the herd will often regroup and go back at the lions to try defend the herd member that was caught. This was a first for some of our rangers to witness and what an experience for our guests that I am sure they will never forget.
The leopard viewing has been phenomenal in the past two weeks we have had regular sightings of the territorial leopards in the area. It is always privilege to see these beautiful cats; in most reserves in Africa you rarely see them as they are so elusive. Exciting times await as one of our female leopards Hlabankunzi is pregnant, she has been seen mating with our resident dominant male in the past months, there gestation period is 110 days so hope fully in the next few weeks she will give birth. The day one male was found on a new born hippo kill which is an extremely rare sight as leopards would usually not hunt animals of that size.
The Rangers have enjoyed doing scorpion hunting with our guests; this is a good time of the year to find them as there are many insects around. We use a UV light to find them, as they reflect as luminous green colour.
From all the Rangers and Trackers we'd like to wish everybody a blessed festive season and a Happy New Year.
Sean and the Ranger and Tracker team.
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