The Emsagweni female leopard is one of MalaMala’s most iconic cats. Sporting one eye and frayed ears, this battle-axe of the bush holds a large territory in some of the more rocky and wooded parts of the reserve. Although sightings of her are not as frequent as some of our other beloved leopards, she remains a guest favourite because of her scrappy appearance and hardcore demeanour.
In recent days, the soundtrack to life at MalaMala hasn’t been the “krit-trrrrr” of the returning Woodland Kingfisher, nor is it the “dee-dee-deederik” of the Diedrick Cuckoo, rather, it’s been the deep, bellowing “ohhhhffff” of lions roaring.
If you read the last blog on lions you may recall the statement, “for the most part, we like to think we have our finger on the pulse”. The events that have unfolded in the last few weeks may serve to prove this wrong.
On the morning of the 17th of October, several lions were found feeding on a buffalo carcass. While it is common to view lions feeding on an eviscerated bovid, the composition of the group and the events that unfolded in the days that followed left us scratching our heads....
The 22 September is World Rhino Day and in 2020 we celebrate the “Five Rhino Species Forever” including both the African and Asian rhino species.
As rangers we are all passionate about animals and most of us have pets at our homes away from the reserve. However, there is an understanding that one must undertake when becoming a ranger; while we spend hours every day admiring and watching the animals around us, we will never get to touch them or form any sort of affectionate physical bond.
West Street has a new guardian. It is no secret that MalaMala has some of the best river frontage of any reserve in the country, with around 24km of prime game viewing habitat on the banks of the Sand River. The vast majority of our reserve sits east of the river while all three of our camps are on the western bank. It is therefore inevitable that we need several crossings to gain access into the east.
Over the many years since our inception, Mala Mala Game Reserve has been the focal point of several documentaries and research studies. Indeed there are currently two studies being carried out on the reserve, one of which is being done by Panthera, a charitable organization devoted to preserving big cats and their ecosystems around the globe. In this article, we'll touch on their motivation for this study which focuses on leopards.
The world was recently captivated by the death of Sudan, the last male northern white rhino. At 45 years old, Sudan was elderly for his species and passed of age-related complications in Kenya.
The textbooks tell us that to truly appreciate nature, it must be looked at void of any human emotion, especially when doing so through the eyes of conservation. However, six years with the Airstrip male taught me more about leopard behaviour than any textbook possibly could.