Highlights of the week
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3 lion sightings: the Eyrefield pride were viewed today near Princess Alice’s Pans- they’re in close proximity to a herd of buffalo. Both Matshapiri males were seen in the Sand River in front of Rattray’s Camp. 1 of the lionesses from the Marthly pride was found at the old Wildebeest Crossing. Leopards: the Piccadilly female was seen along the lower reaches of the Mlowathi River. Cheetah: the 2 brothers were viewed in the northeast.
Over the past 7 days we recorded 24 lion sightings totaling 34 individuals comprising of 2 different coalitions (Matshapiri males and Clarendon males) and 5 different prides (Eyrefield pride, Fourways pride, Styx pride, Marthly pride as well as the Marthly Breakaway pride. We viewed 12 different leopard and encountered many elephant and buffalo herds.
December 16th. Breaking News! We discovered not 1 but 2 new den sites today! One on Ostrich Koppies and the other on Campbell Koppies. We kept our distance and viewed from afar but we saw at least 3 and 2 cubs respectively. So there are at least 5 new members to the pride of 6 lionesses that broke away from the Marthly Breakaway pride (mangheni).
December 12th. A MalaMala 7 day! 3 lion sightings: the Eyrefield pride were found with a buffalo kill in eastern Flockfield. The 2 Matshapiri males were seen in northeastern Charleston. The Marthly pride (without the tailless lioness) were hunting near Elephant Rock. 2 leopards: an odd sighting was had today of the Treehouse male killing a large python that was killing an impala! The large male leopard killed and consumed both. The Piccadilly female was also viewed with an impala kill. Cheetah: the brothers whom we normally view in the north were seen in central Flockfield… a long way south of their usual haunts. Cape hunting dogs: we watched the pack of three catch a young impala at sunset near our airstrip. Many elephant and buffalo herds were also viewed today.
December 9th. 5 lion sightings: Some breaking news! 1 of the 6 lionesses who broke away from the Marthly Breakaway pride has given birth on Campbell Koppies- we’re not sure yet how many cubs she has. Both Clarendon males were seen separately but both in the general vicinity Campbell Koppies. The Eyrefield pride were hunting buffalo this evening near Cheetah Pans. The Matshapiri males spent the day close to Rattray’s Camp. 4 leopards: the Island female has a bushbuck kill just south of Sable Camp. The Treehouse male was seen hunting impala near the Ngoboswaan Donga. An unidentified female was viewed in the south. A clan of hyenas killed an already dying adult female giraffe east of the Tamboti Thickets.
December 8th. 6 lion sightings: the Styx pride and their 2 cubs were found in the north and they were on a buffalo kill. 1 of the Gowrie males was south of Matshapiri Dam. Both Clarendon males were seen separately- 1 at Piccadilly Pans and the other near Lower Mlowathi Crossing. The Eyrefield pride and 1 of the Matshapiri males were viewed in northern Flockfield- the other Matshapiri male was found about 1km to their west. 4 leopards: the Kikilezi female and both her cubs were found west of Main Camp. The Piccadilly female was seen just to the north of the aforementioned leopards. Cheetah: the 2 brothers were viewed at Clarendon Open Area.
December 7th. 6 lion sightings: the Eyrefield pride and one of the Matshapiri males finished off the buffalo kill they made 2 days ago in eastern Flockfield. The other Matshapiri male was found about 1km west of their position. 1 of the Gowrie males was seen with a buffalo kill of his own in the northeast. Both Clarendon males were viewed separately- 1 near Campbell Koppies and the other closer to Main Camp. An unidentified young male lion was viewed in the south. 6 leopards: we watched the Kikilezi female kill an impala close to Main Camp- both her cubs then joined her at the kill. The Piccadilly female was seen near Mlowathi Pans. The Island female has a bushbuck kill south of the causeway. Many elephants and buffalo were also viewed today.