February 2016 Newsletter

By gavintonkinson on March 1, 2016


Sunrise at airstrip

A very hot welcome to all our fans once again from a greener Madikwe after some much needed rainfall in the last month.

So, we have had some rain, but nothing to write home about, but it has provided some relief to the scorched landscape this month with temperatures reaching 40+ degrees on many days.

Anyway…. Lets get you straight into the action….

The Jamala lioness was in a seek and destroy mode this week, and we were lucky enough to witness one of those special occasions as we sat watching her stalking a herd of zebra for over 2 hours before she made her move, resulting in some tough luck for this young zebra who could not overcome the speed at which she attacked the herd. Sightings like this don’t come around very often, and we as rangers who spend 8 hours a day out in the bush only get to see lions killing maybe once or twice a year !!

Jamala kills zebra 1 Jamala kills zebra 4 Jamala kills zebra 5 Jamala kills zebra 6


This Lionesses sister has also had some luck, but of a very different kind.

She has shown us 2 brand new cubs, and the Chimbro males who dominate the eastern pride were extremely chuffed to see their offspring after she introduced the cubs to the protectors of their territory. So we now have a total of these two from the east pride, and 4 from the west pride….. lets hope they are going to all pull through …..

Jamala and cubs 3 Jamala and cubs 4 Jamala and cubs 2 Jamala and cubs 5


On one occasion, while the Kwandwe males were visiting the north pride, the Chimbro males did decide to come in on an incursion one mrning, and created some chaos for the west prides females, as they chased them for more than 3 hours up and down the center of their territory, possibly looking for their cubs, and on a mission to try and destroy them. Luckily the females pulled a fast one on them, and they managed to lose the males, and stemmed their interest in the whole chase.

coenie and chimbro


We did have a spectacular morning at Inkwe Pan as the 2 Matlapa females brought their cubs for a drink after enjoying a full belly of wildebeest earlier that morning. It is an awesome sight to see the lioness carrying that young cub, and the pure instinct that goes into action forcing that tiny body to go limp once those massive canines wrap around that tiny throat.

Matlapa and cubs at inkwe pan 1 Matlapa and cubs at inkwe pan 4 Matlapa and cubs at inkwe pan 6 Ridge pride on motsumi 2 Ridge pride on motsumi 1


We did not have too many sightings of the wild dogs or the 2 cheetah brothers this month, as they spent most of the time in the far east of the reserve, but Tsala did not disappoint, as she made various appearances this month, keeping the jaws dropping on the back of the land cruisers with her beauty and guile. She was spotted by us mating at the beginning of the month with a monster of a male, which we unfortunately don’t get to see that often because of his shyness to vehicles. S if all went well she should be having cubs around the beginning of May, so stay tuned for that one !!!

Tsala in peltophorum desaturated 1 Tsala south of kampa 1 edged Tsala on the hunt 3 Tsala on the hunt 2 Tsala on the hunt 1 Tsala on kampa 2


So…. That was that for the big ones, but we also had a great month as far as the rest goes with awesome sightings of elephants and their calves, rhinos having a massive fight, and a musth bull elephant, which got too close for comfort on more than one occasion.


Not to mention some amazing experiences with the more elusive black rhinos, which have a knack of running towards the vehicle with head held high and snot flying everywhere as they stop the hearts of the guests on the vehicle before turning in a puff of dust, making a quick retreat after realizing that we are a threat to him….

Black rhino on Mooifontein 1

The buffalo herds are also doing extremely well, and are peaking with new births as the calves are welcomed into a green world for the mean time.

buff on phokojwe


Then there was another sighting of zebra having a fight and elephants mud bathing at the same waterhole one afternoon, which was special in its own right. There was mud flying from every elephant in the mud hole, and dust rising in the background, as the zebras were testing each others fighting skills.

Eles mudbath at the springs 3 Eles mudbath at the springs 2 Eles mudbath at the springs 1 Eles mudbath at the springs 4 Zebras dance at dolomite spring 7 Zebras dance at dolomite spring 5 Zebras dance at dolomite spring 4 Zebras dance at dolomite spring 2


Well, that’s it in a nutshell for this month, so if you keen on coming to join us out here in this place we call home……

Make that booking soon…..

Wishing you all a very positive and fruitful march….

Until next time….


Gavin and the T-Team !!

gamedrive sunset 1