Out in the Bush time can stand completely still for that moment as the Leopard or Lion is stalking its prey. And before you know it time has flown by and another month has come to an end. November was filled with exciting and amazing sightings as well as some beautiful thunder storms.
With the Othawa Pride covering most of the Western Sector this month we had the opportunity to see them moving quite a lot. They also killed a big Waterbuck Bull and spent a few days on the carcass. All 8 cubs are as playful as ever if not more, and supply us with endless entertainment as they tackle each other and flop over one another. The 3 Lionesses have been taking very good care of the cubs.
Fortunately for us the Ximhungwe Pride spent most of their time this month in the Western Sector. They were also found on a Zebra that they had killed. At the end of the month they followed the scent of a Rhino, which had died of natural causes, and the whole pride got to feed on it.
The Southern Pride, a pride that as a territory more to the South East of the Western Sector , is a pride which we do not see often. During this month a big Hippo Bull had a fight with a younger Hippo Bull and killed it. This carcass attracted a couple of Hyenas as well as 8 members of the Southern Pride which spent a couple of days feeding on the carcass in the mud.
The 3 Selati boys have been patrolling a lot and spending some time to the East. They also spent some time with the Othawa pride.
Hlaba Nkunzi has been leaving her cub on her own for longer periods now. With all the new Impala lambs around it has been easy for both Hlaba Nkunzi and her cub to make kills. We were lucky enough to see her cub take down an Impala lamb as if she has been doing it her whole life. Hlaba Nkunzi was also found mating with Nyeleti.
Metsi was found mating with Dayone for a couple of days, and it seems that she is also ready to separate from her cub. We were lucky enough to find her cub on her own and spend some time with her.
Xikavi has been providing us with some glimpses of her cub throughout the month. Unfortunately one of her cubs did not survive. There are speculations that it might have been killed by a snake. Xikavi was also found on the move and hunting quite a lot, to ensure that she has enough milk for her young one.
Thlangisa is still up in the North and moves all over. When she is found she gives us amazing sightings with her most of the time ending up in a tree.
Dayone has been very busy patrolling his area and also mating with Metsi. We found him up in a tree hiding away from the 3 Selati male Lions, which picked up on the scent of a kill that he had made in the area.
Unfortunately we don’t have many sightings of Kashane, as most of his territory is to the East. When he is found it is always a great sighting and amazing to see this big male move around.
With all of the rain we had, it seems that the Hyena den is not as active as usual, and as a result we have not been having as many sightings and especially no sightings of cubs. They however had a feast on the Hippo that died in the South.
After the Wild Dogs left their den site in the West we have not seen them a lot. Near the end of the month the pack with all 6 puppies did however come back West and spent a couple of days, giving us once again amazing sightings and opportunity to see them behave as only Wild Dogs can behave.
This month the Male Cheetah made an appearance, causing a lot of excitement. This time he appeared in the North and not the South as we are used to.
The General game viewing has also been astonishing with all the little ones around, ranging from baby Elephant, Impala lambs, Warthog piglets and even a couple of Side Striped Jackal Puppies.
Birding, as always this time of year, has been very good. With almost all the migrants back and some still returning we are seeing some beautiful birds.
The end of year draws near as we enter into December. With summer in full swing we anticipate some hot days followed by some powerful thunderstorms. On behalf of the Leopard Hills Team we would like to wish everyone a Happy Festive Season to be spent with family and friends.
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Written and Compiled by Hugo Breed and Johan de la Rey