Late summer safari

Posted on February 21, 2011

We welcomed our regular guests Trevor and Theresa Wells back to Leopard Hills this week and were spoilt with a real diversity of late summer sightings.

We began our 4 day safari with a real treat and a few sightings of the coalition of 3 male cheetah that moved into the Sands from the Kruger. These males seemed quite at home over here, they have subsequently returned east towards Kruger but we hope they return and establish a territory here.

The lion sightings started off a bit slow with very flat sleeping cats the first 2 days…patience and perseverence is always rewarded though and we had some very memorable sightings afterwards. Notably 2 of the Mapogo coalition roaring and scent marking one evening, 1 Ximungwe lioness and her cubs playing and interacting and to top it all another Ximungwe lioness attempting to catch some warthogs in the afternoon light!

We only viewed Hlabankunzi female leopard once while she was with the Xinzele male. She seems to be distracting him while she has her remaining cub hidden in the east. Trevor and Theresa had the priveledge of viewing her mother Makwella for many years, she has only the best genes and it seems she is too smart for Xinzele! Our money is on the cub surviving…just a few more months and she will be independant!

Thlangisa (playful) female leapard has been phenomenal in the south and she is so relaxed, we had a memorable sighting of her in the golden afternoon light!

Over the few days we managed to really get into the smaller things out there in the bush! From the Orb spiders, wild flowers, tracks to the birding! Our top birding tick was a quick glimpse of a Grass Owl one evening. Then of course there are the insects which can be lots of fun, check out the below picture of a new species for all of us. Trevor kindly lent me his macro lense (I’m now sold on this lense) to photograph this Giant Twig Wilter. These chaps have nasty legs and squirt a foul smelling liquid when disturbed which I found out quickly.
Giant Twig Wilter

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