Highlights of the week

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November 22nd. 

3 lion sightings: The 6 lionesses from the Marthly pride and both Clarendon males were found early this morning west of Campbell Koppies. They had their eyes set on a weak looking hippo in a pan nearby. 1 of the Matshapiri males is mating with the youngest Eyrefield lioness on Terminalia Road. The other Matshapiri male was found further to their east. The rest of the Eyrefield pride were seen in Matshapiri Open Area. Many buffalo and elephants were viewed on both days. 5 leopards: the Bicycle Crossing male was seen again after a lengthy absence- he was viewed in the Rock Drift Donga. The Piccadilly female has a duiker kill south of Campbell Koppies. The Kikilezi female and both her cubs were seen west of Main Camp.

November 21st. 3 lion sightings: the youngest Eyrefield lioness was viewed at West Street Bridge. The rest of the pride were feeding off of a buffalo kill near the Hogvaal Donga. The Marthly pride spent the day at Manyelethi Crossing. 5 leopards: the Tamboti female was seen near Princess Alice’s Pans and we suspect that she might be pregnant. The Island female was found south of Maxim’s Lookout. The Kikilezi female and her cubs were viewed desperately in Marthly. Cheetah: 2 males were seen in eastern Flockfield.

November 16-19. Our lion sightings continue to dominate discussions and there’s plenty to talk about! We recorded 24 lion sightings in the last 4 days with a total of 40 different individuals! The 4 Manyelethi males once controlled a huge swathe of MalaMala and for years were seen regularly. Then, in early 2014, they moved west and didn’t come back until yesterday… 3 of the males were seen close to our Main Camp after over 2 and a half years. Why were they here? Well, we can’t say for sure but over the last week there have been a multitude of lion sightings close to camp and a bit further east: the Marthly pride, the 6 lionesses from the Marthly Breakaway pride, the Styx pride, the Clarendon males, the Matshapiri males and a Gowrie male have all been within a few kilometers of camp. From dusk to dawn roaring can be heard frequently and emanating from several different positions. The other bit of breaking news is that the tailless lioness has rejoined the other 2 Marthly lionesses and shortly after their reunion, almost in celebration, they brought down a waterbuck together and feasted on it with the 5 cubs. The 6 lionesses who broke away from the Marthly Breakaway pride (confusing, yes) continue to spend time in the vicinity of Campbell Koppies. They were also viewed everyday along with the Clarendon males. The Styx pride and their 2 cubs have been viewed everyday and on 2 different buffalo kills. 1 of the Gowrie males was mating with the younger Styx lioness. Another Gowrie male was seen mating with 2 of the Marthly Breakaway lionesses… bizarre. The Matshapiri males were seen on all but 1 of the days and were seen on 2 days with the Eyrefield pride. 5 young males were viewed in the south and we believe they are the subadult males from the Marthly Breakaway pride.

Travelling to MalaMala