The first quarter of 2015 has gone by in a flash and we can’t believe autumn is already looming around the corner. Leaves on trees have already begun to change to a beautiful orange, red and yellow colour. In the Western Sector we are waiting in anticipation to see if we will get some very much needed rains before winter takes over. Sightings of the first three months have truly been first-rate in all aspects.
Starting with the Lions, we have a look at the mighty Majingilane coalition. These four brothers have surely shown us they are a force to be reckoned with by occupying such a big territory in the Sabi Sands. Over the three months at least one or two of them spent most of their time in our Sector. They were seen mating with both the Othawa and Ximhungwe females, and also spending time with the Othawas on a couple of kills as well as over taking a kill from the Ximhungwes.
The Othawa pride has been moving quite a bit with them being split up from each other for a while. One of the females spent a lot of time mating with some of the Majingilane males while one of the other females disappeared to give birth to three beautiful cubs. She has since introduced the cubs to the rest of the pride, their fathers and to us. They have already provided us with some special times, and we look forward to seeing them grow into magnificent Lions. The two surviving sub-adults have been wandering around by themselves, with the female joining up with the rest of pride over the last couple of days. The future of the young male is still unknown.
The Ximhungwe pride has been their usual selves and has been traveling a lot, and even moving distances during the midday heat. The two females have been alternating between mating with the males. The youngsters have still not been seen together with the coalition.
We have also been lucky enough to spend some time with the Manghene pride, fourteen Lions in total, from the east. We had the privilege to watch them hunting and even being chased around by a big herd of Buffalo. They did manage to kill a Buffalo, which provided us with some more incredible viewing.
On the Leopard front Dayone has come back in full force, regaining all of his territory, and in the process pushing Nyeleti back East. He provided us with outstanding sightings of him stalking prey, patrolling his territory and mating with the Dam 3 female.
Kashane also came into the West a couple of times, but not staying for a long time before he returned to the majority of his territory in the East.
With Dayone pushing Nyeleti out of his territory, we have had very few sightings of him over this period.
Both Torchwood and Ravenscourt are still nomadic as they roam over parts of the Western Sector, trying to avoid the big boys. In a year or two they are going to become forces to be reckoned with.
We also had a visit from the old Camp Pan male from further East. It seems that he had been in a big fight and possibly been pushed out of his territory by another male.
Hlaba Nkunzi still spends most of her time in the East. We were however fortunate enough to see her newest cub a couple of times. We estimate it at about three to four months old. Hopefully she will spend some more time on our side.
Thlangisa up in the North have started to move a lot more with her two beautiful daughters, who are now almost a year old. She is still providing for them as any good mother should. It is coming close to the point where they will start to make their own kills and then start moving away from mom to establish their own kingdom.
Xikavi wasn’t seen a lot this time around, and when she was seen it was in very thick vegetation.
The young Scotia always provides us with impressive sightings, be it where she is up a tree or stalking some Buffalo, to hiding from Buffalo until they almost step on her, it is always a treat to spend time with her.
Sightings of the elegant male Cheetah have been spectacular with some good interaction between him and some Hyena on occasion, and him always giving us a show by either going up a termite mound or a fallen over tree to pose for the guests.
The Wild Dogs have been very scarce in this first quarter. We hope to see more of them in the upcoming months.
Hyena sightings have really been first class. Over the last couple of months we discovered two den sites, with a couple of youngsters. At one of the dens we have seen two Hyena pups that cannot be older than two weeks as they are completely black.
The Elephants are always a winner when it comes to the guests, especially the little babies. The rest of the bush has also been alive with activity from all the species providing us with superior game viewing opportunities.
Birding in the Western Sector is a treat as they are always around and busy doing something. Even when we can’t see them, we can at least hear there beautiful calls.
Video compilation for the first quarter. [KGVID width=”320″ height=”240″]https://www.leopardhills.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Firstquartercomp1.flv[/KGVID]