This is the first rangers report to be posted on the blog. Every month the Leopard Hills Guides will post the report directly onto the blog for your convenience .So you may enjoy reading about all the phenomenal sightings that we have every month. I have also posted this report on the website so have a look at www.leopardhills.com ENJOY!!!
Good Day Everyone
I have added something about all of the incredible sightings that we had over the last 6 months to get everyone up to date.
The last 6 months of leopard viewing has been full of surprises and the action was nonstop almost on a daily basis. The Tekwaan male leopard has now completely taken over as the territorial male of most part of the reserve and was seen mating with the Metsi, Hlaba Nkunzi and Shikavi female leopards in the last 2 months. Hopefully we will have new leopard cubs by early next year. My guests and I was fortunate to watch the Hlaba Nkunzi female leopard playing with a day old steenbok lamb before finally killing it. Even though it was harsh to watch we realized that the above behavior is very important as it hones her skills to become the perfect killing machine.
We have also had numerous new individuals moving into our area. But in nature as in life animals come and go, I am very sad to report the Wallingford male leopard hasn’t been seen for almost 3 months and we are sure that he is finally dead after so many years of being the prince of the Western Sector.
Lion sightings have been phenomenal as usual with 4 of the 6 males in the Mapogo Coalition spending most of the time in our traversing area. All 4 males have been mating with the 5 females from the Ximungwe Pride and like the leopards we expect cubs in the near future. The Ottawa Pride of lions has now taken over the majority of the former Sand River Pride’s territory. This is great news for us as our lion sightings have improved vastly in the last 6 months. We have also had an unexpected visit from a pride of 11 lions in our reserve. After many phone calls to our neighboring properties we discovered that the pride comes from the North and is resident on the Mala Mala and Manyeleti Game Reserves.
For the first time in more than 6 years have we enjoyed wilddogs sightings on an almost permanent basis. 3 different packs moved in and out of our traversing area on a permanent basis. A pack of 3, a pack of 6 and finally a pack of 11 dogs were viewed. In October for the first time in 20 years we viewed 2 different packs in our reserve and many of our regular guests that have been coming to Leopard Hills for the last 10 years finally had the chance to see and photograph the African Wilddog.
We has had some truly awesome cheetah sightings in the last few months. A new male cheetah from the North has moved into our area. Due to old age his lower lip has dropped remarkably, giving him a distinct feature.
The most remarkable sighting was of a troop of Chacma Baboons charging and chasing the cheetah over a big open plain.
Buffalo, Elephants and Rhino’s
The Leopard Hills property has become a stronghold for elephant, rhino and buffalo sightings. Especially buffalo with a herd numbering more than 300 individuals was seen on an almost daily basis.
The amount of rhino on our property is unbelievable. For almost a week now 7 individual rhino’s have stayed less than a kilometer from camp, and in the summer heat were seen frequently all lying together in the cool water of Tawny Eagle Pan.
The return of the summer migrant bird species added some great colors to the African bush. The odd rare birds have had everyone in great excitement and sightings of White-Fronted Plover (only recorded as south as the Olifants River) and a Grey Headed Gull were a first for many of us in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.
Until Next Month
Marius Coetzee and the Leopard Hills Guides