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December 2017 Newsletter

By Tuningi Safari Lodge on January 3, 2018

For the last time this year I will update you on the movements and adventures of the animals in Madikwe.

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We got some rain over the past month that made a massive difference in the bush and with the greenery came plenty baby animals.

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The Redhartebeest and Gemsbok were some of the first to have their young.  We then started to see a few impala babies too.  But with more rain, within a week or so most impalas gave birth and the herds almost doubled in size.  The Wildebeest are in smaller herds but most of them had little one as well.

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This photo was taken seconds after the little wildebeest was born, still wet and struggling on its feet.

Other very good news, is the 3 female Cheetahs that were released into the park.  They have been in the Wild now for about 2 weeks and are doing very well.  None of the females are unrelated, so that will help with the genetics once they start to mate.

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The one female has split away from the other two and is living a solitary life as female cheetahs do but she is doing very well and making kills.  The other two are still together but will eventually split.  They too are healthy and are hunting very well.  As far as we know there has not been any interaction with any of the males.  Updates will follow!! Fingers crossed!!

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The male cheetahs, both coalitions, are still all over the park.  With the recent full moon, they surprised us again with their incredible movements.  All we can hope for is for them to find the females and treat them well.

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Tsala our favourite Leopardess have shown us her cub a few times.  It takes effort, time and a little luck to find a leopard in Madikwe.  We saw their tracks a few times, but sometimes in areas we cannot follow through.  The times we could, we did.  One thing better than seeing a leopard, is seeing a mother and a cub.  The cub is about 8-10 months old, it is the first time she raised a cub to this age.  We really hope this young male can keep himself out of trouble when she leaves him to hunt, which she does very well. All our encounters with the two, she and the young one looked full bellied and in great condition.

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The lion pride in the south of the park had been quite entertaining but also annoyed us.  They would for some reason we do not know, split up and walk all over the place, which makes finding them more difficult.  But then the times we do get to see them, they are quite active.  The Bafefo male is taking good care of the females and the cubs, while the Chimbro brothers protect their territory.

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These were just some of the sightings we have had.  This month was packed with excitement and great sightings.

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The young male leopard was seen a few times. Here we saw him at night on the move. He still moves on the south boundary of the park and hope nothing too exciting attracts his attention on the other side as he can easily jump over the fence.

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Just before the rain waterholes had been the place to be.  Later in the morning and early on the afternoon game drives when the temperatures were hot, the animals were seeking comfort at the water.

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Thank you to everyone that joined us this year and we hope to see you back at Tuningi again.

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Regards

Cornelius and the T-Team

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