Bush Greetings from the whole T-Team !!
2014 was an epic ride, and we would like to send a HUGE THANK YOU to all our fans who visited us this year, and we sincerely hope that you will join us again in 2015 !!
So for the last newsletter of 2014, we thought that would make this issue a highlights package, and share with you some of the biggest sightings we had and shared with all of you.
Lets hope 2015 will bring us even more amazing times and incredible scenes from the place we call home….. MADIKWE !!!
HERE WE GO…….
The Wild Dogs are as usual creating large amounts of carnage in the south of the park, as they go about their highly efficient means of hunting, and are killing regularly. Their favorite prey item at the moment seems to be the poor old wildebeest, and we witnessed no less than 8 kills this month. This is what Madikwe is very famous for, and it is great to have them bring out the emotions as we chase them on the hunt everyday. Hopefully the alpha pair will be bonding shortly, as the mating time is around the corner, and then it is going to be a painful wait, as we will have to once again try to locate their lair when it is time to give birth to the next generation.
That is of course what happened with this one particular sighting we had. It was a rather quiet afternoon, well with saying that I have to admit that we did see 3 of the Big 5 together (Elephant, Rhino and Buffalo), but the sightings were a bit few and far between. So we were happily bumbling along when I noticed some zebra in the road ahead and one zebra looked a bit strange. It was only when we got a bit closer that we could see what was the matter. She had just given birth, and the placenta was still attached to the mare and draped over the new born laying next to mom.
Well mom wasn’t too fazed by the miracle of live that had just happened and was happily back to feeding after she cleaned the youngster up a bit. An inquisitive young zebra then came over to inspect what exactly has happened and almost introduced himself to the new youngster, with mom keeping a watchful eye and not letting the curious youngster to close to her new baby.
And lastly, Tuningi’s guests were once again at the forefront of rhino conservation, by sponsoring another rhino notching/ micro-chipping event.
A total of 3 rhinos were darted and sedated, before a good examination of their health was done. A microchip inserted into the horn, DNA samples and blood taken for analysis, as well as various measurements were taken for the data base.
Without this initiative from our guests, the park authorities simply couldn’t afford to do this, which is crucial in the conservation of the species.
One of the most exciting sightings I had this month was a Boomslang killing a chameleon. Mostly these killings go unseen but this happened on the road in front of me.
Firstly I only noticed the snake since I do not like them very much. Then only we saw the target. They both moved on and off the road a few times but the last time the chameleon appeared it was in a bad way. The snake bit it some time in the chase and waited for its Hemotoxic poison to take effect.
I can’t remember much of the next few seconds, but according to my guests, they have never seen someone multi task as ferousiesly as I did in that few moments. Apparently I managed to indicate to the guests that the dogs were chasing the wildebeest towards the dam, shout at the top of my voice into the radio microphone at Cornelius, apparently in a voice ending in a shriek, that he should turn back to the dam and managing to turn the vehicle around on a fairly narrow path at high speed, all this in a flat spin of excitement. Well what developed was one of my best wild dog sightings ever, with the dogs eventually managing to bring down their breakfast.
Lets kick off this months rangers report with a worthy 18 hyenas on a wildebeest kill in the south of the park !! Yes…. 18 at least. This is the largest amount of hyenas I have seen in one place in more than 8 years of guiding here at Tuningi, and it was quite a sight to witness.
Hyenas get a lot of bad press from many, and everyone seems to think that they only scavenge from other predators, however this is not the whole truth. As much as I have seen hyenas harassing other predators for their hard earned meals, hyenas are in fact very efficient hunters themselves, and they are capable of pulling down big prey if they join forces and cooperate together.
In Madikwe, I have very seldom seen hyena/lion interaction, and this proves that they should be given some more respect. On this occasion they adults must have killed the wildebeest, and fetched the cubs to come and join in on the feast. What a sighting !!!
WELL…. THERE YOU HAVE OUR BEST FOR 2014…..
STAY TUNED FOR TONS MORE AMAZING REPORTS IN 2015 !!!