Ranger’s Report combined December 2013 & January 2014

Posted on January 31, 2014

As 2013 drew to an end we welcomed the New Year with a bang. We hope that everyone had a wonderful and blessed festive season and that 2014 will be your year.

Due to the busy festive season our December blog did not go out. This however gave us time to acquire some information on the territories our resident Leopards occupy. The blog will also be a combined December and January blog.














We had a very generous rain season so far with over 200 millimeters of rain for December and January alone, so needless to say that the bush is very green and the vegetation is lush. With the festive season behind us and all the babies growing strong, all is good in the bush.

We had good sightings of Dayone as usual; he is still covering a huge territory and covering big distances between sightings. We did see him mating with Xikavi and the Dam 3 female over the two months.

Kashane was seen only a few times and by looking at the maps we can see why. He occupies a huge 77.4 square kilometer territory. He always amazes the guests with his huge size and power and still being able to be agile in trees.






The Torch Wood male was seen on occasions down in the south. He had a bit of interaction with Dayone but nothing serious.

Hlaba Nkunzi is as usual a good sighting and it seems that she is starting to distance herself from her daughter. She is also moving quite a lot throughout her territory.














Metsi was seen a few times in the central western parts of the reserve and also seems to do the same as Hlaba Nkunzi by distancing herself from her daughter.

Thlangisa is becoming a regular sighting North of the river for us and it seems that we worked out her movement patterns now.


















The Dam 3 female was seen mating with Dayone for two days. When on her own she likes to hide from our view, but it seems that Dayone’s presence relaxes her a bit.






Although Xikavi was seen mating with Dayone we still saw suckle marks on her which gives us a bit of hope that her cub is still alive, the last time we saw the cub she was taking it into the East.























We were also very fortunate to see the beautiful Tasselberry resting in a Jackalberry tree. She is usualy very elusive but on that particular morning she couldn’t care less and gave as a wonderful sighting.

Metsi’s cub, who we now have named the Boulders female, seems to have relaxed with the vehicles and is giving us good sightings and it looks like she is settling in on the far West of her mom’s territory.




















Hlaba Nkunzi’s cub, who we named the Schotia female, is doing well on her own and is even killing adult Impala now. It looks like she has taken a bit of mom’s territory around the Eastern parts of the Western Sector.

The pack of Wild Dogs visited us a few times in the festive season and as always with their busy lifestyle giving us endless sightings of action packed hunting and chasing.
























We had a visit from two different male Cheetahs over the last two months one adult male and one young male that has just been kicked out by its mother. We were also lucky to see the female Cheetah with her two cubs again.






















The Hyena den is no longer active with permanent pups in the den, although we still get to see the clan there every now and then as they still use it as resting spot during the heat of the day.






The Selati males are still holding a strong presence over the whole Western sector. They had a bit of a run in with the Sparta and Tsalala males. It seems that the Selati males were able to push them out of their territory for now. The three male are in good condition and still making their own kills.

























The Ximhungwe pride is still going strong with all six the cubs still in good nick. They spent a good bit of time North of the river, but lately they are back in the central part of the reserve.







The Othawa pride is also doing well with all eight cubs growing quickly to young lions. They did spend good part of the festive season in the East outside our traversing but they are back home now.
















We had some interesting sightings of our summer birds and the beautiful colors they display.

Pied Kingfisher









Purple crested Turaco
Woodland Kingfisher








Red Billed Oxpeckers
African Hawk Eagle





White Backed Vulture
Bronze Winged Courser
White Faced Ducks









Black Bellied Bustard
Village Weaver in action
Southern Carmine Bee eater
Lilac breasted Roller





















With the general game we had very good sightings with big herds of both elephant and buffalo moving through the area. We had a fair amount of sightings of zebra and giraffe always giving amazing photos in the open grass areas.



































The year has already started with spectacular game viewing and hopefully it is only a prelude to what is to come. 2014 is going to be yet another interesting year which we look forward to sharing with you!

Our new Leopard Hills Website has also been launched! Go and have a look at

Written and compiled by Johan de la Rey and Hugo Breed.

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