Weekly Report - July 15th by Ranger Brad
We started this week with a bang! We had a fantastic sighting of Kokhuvela patrolling her territory on a rather brisk morning. She seemed to ignore us completely as she grazed past the side of the Land Rover, and eventually disappeared into a thicket.
The Kokhuvela female leopard
We had seen lion tracks passing through Safari Lodge car park recently so we tracked them down and eventually found them atop some granite boulders. They were very tired but provided us with a great photographic opportunity with Rock Lodge in the background!
Napping lions with Rock Lodge in the background!
The entire Othawa pride with all six cubs were right next to the Safari Lodge access road! They had a wildebeest kill that did not last them very long but provided us with some great viewing opportunities right on our doorstep! We were very excited to see all the cubs alive as they seemed to have had a clash with the Mangeni Pride from the South/East the night before.
The elephant carcass that was reported a few weeks back still had some remains left over for a few hyenas and a couple vultures. The scene was rather eerie. Amazing to witness the process of scavenging and decomposition with such a massive carcass.
Some of the Othawa cubs
The elephant carcass with the hyenas and vultures
Along the Mabrak river bank, the Inyalethi male leopard glanced at us. We managed to have a fantastic sighting of him as he was taking a break from his late night and early morning patrols. After a while he got up and continued to patrol while scent marking along the way.
The moody stare of the Inyalethi male leopard
Before one afternoon safari, a neighboring property informed us of the Ottawa pride making its way to Xikwenga dam. After some time, we discovered some antagonistic behavior from the resident hippo pod. Eventually we managed to find one of the Thumbela males walking out from behind the thickets.
One of the Thumbela males
We tried to see Tlangisa at her den site the one morning, only to discover she had moved the cubs away to the East. Our tracking efforts paid off and we discovered she was fetching the cubs to take them to an impala kill she had hoisted up a tree.
The cubs were lingering a little further away. A little intimidated by the hyenas lurking around the base of the tree. Both cubs were present but the other decided to climb a massive green thorn tree and was very difficult to photograph.
One of Thlangisa's cubs in the thorny tree
The saddle-billed storks have had a great season with all the rain we had, as we were able to see three chicks on the nesting site!
The saddle-billed storks' nest
A Nile crocodile basking on the banks of the Sand River.
A beautiful sunset over the Sand River at Kirri crossing.