When you don’t know what to talk about, weather always comes up first. Then everyone relaxes and real conversation starts.
So, the temperature has improved massively over the last month and we even had days in the high 30*C. With the hot days it became noticeably dryer. The bush was eager to grow and produce food, some greenery became visible very quickly after the first drops of rain. It wasn’t much, but after 5 months of no rain any thing will help.
The retuning moisture produces amazing sunrises and sunsets.
Thankfully we saw a big variety of animals as well this month, so the weather won’t be the only topic, everything from birds to the elusive leopard.
The southern pride of lions are doing very well and keep us on our toes trying find them.
The two males from the north came into the southern territory and all the lions is the south scattered. The lionesses with the sub adults moved into unfamiliar areas to get away from the intruders. The two Chimbro males also made them selves scares.
We did see the northern pride with the youngsters a few times. All four young ones are still around and are safe with the Kwandwe and Monamogolo males keeping the territory clear from invaders.
The males are still very patient with the youngsters when they wake up looking for someone to play with.
The Wild dogs made their way into our area again, but only 6 of them with 1 pup. We are not sure why they have split up, but the two groups consist of 5 and 6 adults.
Unfortunately nature is cruel, none of the youngsters made it. We saw them the one morning with only one pup and a couple of hours later they had a run in with a lioness and the last pup was killed. We can only hope that they could be more successful next year.
We saw the two male cheetahs in the south of the park a few times. Some times resting the shade on hot days and other time very active. We were fortunate enough to see them hunt late one afternoon and successfully kill a male impala. The stalking takes up all the time, because when they start running nothing can keep up with them or get away from them.
There was a giraffe that died from natural causes, most probably old age. We did not have major lion, hyena or even vulture activity, but every few days we got to see a brown hyena grinding on the bone or dragging a piece away.
Big herds of buffalo spent their time in the south this past month and we saw them on a regular basis, whether at a waterhole or in the open plains they have so much attitude. They would split up into smaller herds to make feeding easier but when you see 200 in one herd together you do not know where to look.
Our local male leopard made his appearance in the south of the park again a few time, mostly on a kill. He had two impala kills that he stashed in trees. He is not the most comfortable cat up a tree but he kept his food safe in some very awkward positions.
The variety this month was incredible. Let’s hope for more rain and that great sightings will continue.
Cornelius and the T-Team