Highlights of the week
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3 lion sightings: the Fourways pride and their 4 cubs were found in eastern Flockfield with a buffalo kill. 1 of the Styx lionesses also had a buffalo kill west of Tslebe Rocks. The Eyrefield pride were south of White Cloth Road. 6 leopards: the Treehouse male has 2 adult male impala kills in a tree north of Maxim’s Lookout. Not too far north of him was the Tamboti female also with an imapala ram kill. The Nontshameni female was in the same area as the Styx lioness. The Kikilezi female and her 2 cubs were viewed at their den. Many elephant and buffalo sightings were recorded..
May 21st. A fantastic day for leopard lovers with 11 different individuals seen today including a mother and cub being chased around by a herd of 15 sable antelope! 3 lion sightings: the Eyrefield pride spent most of the day in the Sand River south of West Street Bridge. The 2 Matshapiri males joined up late this evening close to Rattray’s Camp. 3 members of the Marthly pride were south of the Causeway. 11 leopards: the Lookout female and her cub were chased around twice by a herd of sable in eastern Flockfield. The Kikilezi female and her 2 cubs were at their den of Gowrie Trust Road. The DOKF 3:3 is at Lower Mlowathi crossing with an impala kill in a tree- she initially had hyenas for company before the Kikilezi female (her mother) came and chased her away. The West Street male, Flockfield female and an unidentified female were viewed together in the south. The Island female and Treehouse male were also viewed. Many elephants and buffalo were seen as well as a honey badger.
May 20th. Clear early morning skies quickly turned grey after sunrise but the gloomy weather did bring a much needed splash of rain. 2 lion sightings: 3 members of the Marthly pride chased the Island female leopard off her impala kill just south of Main Camp- the subadult lioness then ascended the tall tree with leopard-like ease and fed on the carcass, in contrast, the subadult male failed dismally in his attempts at climbing only getting halfway up the trunk in an awkward ‘spread-eagle’ fashion. The Eyrefield pride were in the Sand River north of West Street Bridge. 2 leopards: The Accipter male was found on Graded Road this afternoon. The Island female was south of Main Camp. A large herd of buffalo drank in front of Main Camp. A herd of 15 sable antelope were seen again today as well as an African wild cat.
May 19. Lions – the three members of the Marthly pride seen yesterday, claiming the kudu carcass, were all seen resting in Piccadilly triangle this morning. One of the Matshapiri males was also seen taking it easy, in the central parts of the reserve. Two of the Gowire males were seen east of Clarendon dam, both of which showed some interest in a herd of buffalo in the area but eventually gave up and headed north off of the property. 3 leopards: a young female was seen briefly heading south from Campbell koppies, as well as the lookout female and her cub being spotted close to Styx rocks. A great relief to see the two of them. Close to 10 hyena were seen finishing up the remains of the kudu carcass. Besides the large herd of buffalo seen today, there were a few large herds of elephants seen and scatter buffalo bill sightings along the banks of the Sand river.
May 18. 5 lion sightings – the Fourways pride and one Matshapiri male (fuller maned male) were found close to the windmill, the second male south of confluence crossing. The Eyrefield pride adjacent the southern parts of the Matshapiri river, the younger male seen recently was found south of Senegal bush with the remains of a kudu carcass, and the Marthly pride, having a lazy day sleeping upstream from main camp ended up running in and chasing all of the animals (hyenas, lion and leopard) away from the carcass and claiming it for themselves. 3 leopard sightings – the Bicycle crossing male was seen around Charleston north crossing, an unidentified female was seen opportunistically feeding off of the kudu carcass (before high tailing it upon the Marthly pride’s grand entrance), and the Tamboti female. The herd of sable were seen again, standing out proudly against the dulling vegetation. There were also numerous herds of elephants, and one large herd of buffalo seen too.
May 17. Lions: the full compliment of the Matshapiri pride were seen on the central parts of the property – the fuller maned male was found with the sister. The second male was alone, but in the area. He is limping, with an apparent injury to one of his from legs. A third male was seen too, the young male seen yesterday in the area of the Kikilezi female leopards kill. Leopards: the West street male was seen mating with a a female in the south. An unidentified male was located in the south too, who later revealed a kill – a male Impala. Shortly thereafter the Calabash female arrived on the scene, receiving a fairly hostile welcome from the no ID male. His growling continued, which heralded the arrival of yet another leopard – the Bicycle crossing male. He too led us to a kill, cached not more than 50 meters from the first. This encounter ended with the Calabash female slinking off, the unknown male staying out and the Bicycle crossing male moving his kill, stashing it in a tree, and curling up for a nap. Numerous elephant herds, buffalo bulls were encountered over the course of the two days. With two large buffalo herds being located too.
May 16. Lions: the Eyrefield pride were seen in western Flockfield with one Matshapiri male (mohawk), the two Clarendon males were patrolling in Marthly and a single young male was seen around Picadily triangle, with the little remains of an impala kill which the Kikilezi female had made the night before. She was in the same area, but made her way west upon the arrival of some hyena, three other leopards viewed too, they were the: Airstrip male in Marthly; the Island female, with the remains of an adult male Impala; Tamboti female, who confiscated the aforementioned kill from her daughter. Additionally, three cheetah were seen – the two brothers around the north eastern parts of the property, and the third individual (male) east of Styx rocks. An area visited by a herd of 15 sable during the same drive.