Another fine game viewing month has been had here in the Timbavati, the heart of Africa. September the “first” month of spring has already started to make its presence felt. As mentioned in last month’s Blog the Knobthorn trees starting exceptionally early to bloom and now already have leaves and the beautiful Sjambok Pod trees are also staring to shoot leaves and blossom bright yellow, a real treat to view! Otherwise the temperatures are clearly milder compared to the beginning of the month. Making the early morning start for most guests more comfortable. This time of the year we also have a haze from distant controlled fires mostly from Kruger National Park as this is used as an important management tool and would also occur naturally. We have even received a nice down poor in the middle of the month, which really settled the dust for a few days and even filling up a few small pans. It would be nice to think we might receive some follow up rain now that it is spring time but we must remind ourselves that we are in a semi-arid area and it can still be a while until we get some more wet weather, but we can always wish! As nature lovers it’s nice to experience the seasons coming and going.
As already mentioned game viewing has been exceptional, lots of the big water dependent animals like buffalo and elephants spending some time and even a couple of days around the lodge. Firstly because of the water either from the lodges convenient “watering hole” or digging in the “Nhlaralumi” river bed for clean water or even bathing in one of the few left over ponds of surface water left in the river bed. Another attraction for the elephants is the ever green trees along the river line, which they enjoy feeding on. Often breaking huge branches off so they can feed on them for longer because the trees cannot mobilize there toxins if the branch has been cut off, clever elephants! As always Kings Camp is a great place to spot leopards with great sightings of our resident leopardess “Ntombi” and her two cubs (both cubs are alive and kicking, one shyer then the other as usual and to be expected), often a stone throw away from our lodge and even her young son “Umfana” often seen in front of the lodge or very near our private villa Waterbuck. Another resident leopardess the “green eyed beauty” Rock Fig Jr. has also been seen with cubs. Rhinos too are still such a great pleasure to view caring on a peaceful as they are. A rare treat in the Timbavati is a sighting of a cheetah and a lone female was seen a couple of weeks back for a few days.
This month’s hot topic is our lion pride the “Machaton” pride. They have split up and new males are marching and calling into new still to be fought for territory. Making lion sightings exciting to see who is interested in contesting for the territory. Even our northern neighboring prides males the three Jacaranda males came down far south moving with pace and calling. It’s great to show guests how fragile a pride of lions the so called “king of the jungle” actually can be; something that doesn’t get featured often in wildlife documentaries.
As can be seen an incredible months game viewing has been had and I’m sure we will experience the same kind of luck next month when going out on drives. We look forward to the steady rise of the temperatures and the days getting longer. As always we invite you to make your way down to the Timbavati and enjoy what nature here has to offer, it’s amazing what one finds out there.
Jade, Kings Camp Guide