As the month of July comes to a close we have a chance to reflect on all that has happened out in the bush.
With the Ximhungwe pride spending most of their time north of the Sand River, they have not been seen that often. They did however come down south for a couple of days onto Leopard Hills property before heading back North. All members of the pride, including the remaining six cubs are all doing very well, with the adults taking good care of them. The Selati males were also seen spending time with the whole pride.
The Othawa pride has been providing us and our guests with some amazing sightings with both adults and cubs being very playful. The Selati males have also been spending time and bonding with their cubs. All eight of the cubs are very healthy.
For most of the month the Selati coalition was a bit separated from each other, with very few sightings of all four brothers being together. They seem to be patrolling a lot and making sure their territory and their cubs are safe from intruders. They did also spend time with both the Ximhungwe and Othawa pride, which is a good sign for the future of the cubs.
The Southern pride did not spend as much time in the Western Sector this month, with only three of them making a Buffalo kill at the beginning of the month and leaving soon thereafter.
The Sparta and Tsalala males have also been sneaking into the Selati territory unseen as true nomads, only spending a day or two before leaving again.
With it being winter and the bush being more open Dayone tends to be walking straight through the blocks and not using the roads that often making it a bit more difficult for us to track him. Once he is found the sighting is great as always with him continuing on his way as if we weren’t even there.
If we take a look into the past, we will see the storm that was brewing between Dayone and Kashane every time they met on their boundary lines. This month it went a bit further than just the growling as they went for each other causing some injuries to both, but luckily nothing serious. Kashane also gave our guests quite a show when he made a Warthog kill right in front of them.
The Nyeleti male was not seen too much this month, still spending most of his time more to the East.
We were delighted to find the young Ravenscourt male in the Western Sector this month. As some of you will remember he is the male cub of the Ravenscourt female that she so bravely protected from the Nyeleti male. It seems that he is doing well being on his own and independent.
The young Tai Dam male was also seen a couple of times up in the North this month.
It seems that Hlaba Nkunzi and her cub are spending more time closer to her original territory close to Leopard Hills. Both of them have been giving the Leopard Hills guests some spectacular sightings with her cub playing around and having fun in trees.
Metsi is still hiding her cub away and sightings are few and far between. Close to the end of the month we were lucky enough to spend some time with both of them and even got to see her make a Scrub hare kill and the cub having fun with it.
The playful Thlangisa has been making more appearances this month, patrolling and scent marking her territory.
The young male Cheetah only spent a day or two in the Western Sector this month.
Once again this month the Hyena den provided us with a lot of entertainment. All the pups are very playful and the older ones tend to bully the younger ones a bit, as it is in most families.
We have been seeing a lot of the Wild Dogs this month, with the pack of nine sometimes moving very quickly through the whole Western Sector making kills as they go. It seems with the pack spending so much time in the West that they might even den here.
With the updates above we definitely do not forget about the other animals that also provide us all with so much pleasure in viewing them.
And for all our birders out there, we have surely not forgotten about you either.
By looking back at the sightings for the month, we come to realise just how privileged we are to be out in the bush and be able to view all these wonderful animals in their natural environment. As the Sun sets on another African day we look forward to what the next might hold. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for daily updates.