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January 2016 Rangers Report

By Dean Robinson on January 29, 2016

Happy New Year to all our followers, we hope 2016 is a great year for all of you and that you get the opportunity to visit us here at Kings Camp.

The year started out the same as it ended, with hot days and very little rain. Many a night we thought we were in luck with amazing lightning shows and lots of thunder, all to be later blown away by the wind. All the pans are drying up which makes the camp water hole extremely productive, with regular sightings of buffalo, elephant, giraffe and many other general game species. A warthog sow and her three piglets being a favourite amongst guests.

Machaton youngster with a belly full of buffalo
Machaton youngster with a belly full of buffalo
The Giraffe pride after successfully digging a warthog out of its burrow
The Giraffe pride after successfully digging a warthog out of its burrow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quenching her thirst, a lioness laps the water at sundown
Quenching her thirst, a lioness laps the water at sundown
Male lion looking pleased with himself after chasing away the Ross pride
Male lion looking pleased with himself after chasing away the Ross pride
A young lioness giving a male a hard time
A young lioness giving a male a hard time
Machaton pride feeding on a buffalo calf
Machaton pride feeding on a buffalo calf
One of the Trilogy males resting after a long nights work
One of the Trilogy males resting after a long nights work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A lioness takes offence to a cub trying to steal her mouthful
A lioness takes offence to a cub trying to steal her mouthful

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The eyes of a white lioness seem to stare straight through you.
The eyes of a white lioness seem to stare straight through you.

The lion prides have really been giving us some amazing sightings this month. The Giraffe pride with the “Famous white lions” managed to dig a warthog out of its burrow one morning and then moved off with the cubs. Later that day one of the white lioness’s moved away from the rest of the pride and was seen contact calling for the new addition to the pride. Unfortunately nobody saw the little one appear. The Machaton pride and Mabande male are still doing very well. They have now added to the pride and are now numbering nine. W e managed to track them down whilst they were feeding on a young buffalo and later that afternoon the younger cubs were brought to the carcass. The Ross pride has been all over our traversing this month working their way up to JayDee camp where they were chased off by a rival pride and quickly returned to the south. The Ross breakaway female are still spending an incredible amount of time in the south with almost daily sightings of them. We even managed an incredible sighting of the three Trilogy males, when you see them moving around you can just feel the power they possess.

Nyelethi with a duiker kill hoisted high in a tree away from those pesky hyenas
Nyelethi with a duiker kill hoisted high in a tree away from those pesky hyenas
A relaxed Marula female resting as the sun sets behind her
A relaxed Marula female resting as the sun sets behind her
Nthombi high in a Marula tree escaping the heat of the day
Nthombi high in a Marula tree escaping the heat of the day

Spots, spot and more spots. The wonderful leopard sightings continue as Nyelethi is making herself a seasoned hunter, she killed a duiker and hoisted it high in a Weeping Wattle tree away from the hyena lurking below. Just then a pack of wild dogs joined the sighting and chased the hyena away. Nyelethi didn’t look amused. She was later seen along with her mother Rockfig Jr along the banks of the Machaton river as they shared an impala carcass.The Marula female was seen a few times, we think she was possibly looking for a mate since it has been a while since the young male left her, here’s hoping. Nthombi and her male cub have been at their usual photographic selves, posing in almost every species of tree. The youngster is now around 14 months and spending more and more time on his own. He will hopefully soon be getting a name. Tchucunyana and Ntima have been seen a few times this month, but Ntima is still his grumpy self. Unfortunately we have not seen the Ntsongwaan male for a while now, we are not sure what has happened to him. He was last seen mating with a female in the south of our traversing.

 

The eternal struggle between hyenas and wild dogs
The eternal struggle between hyenas and wild dogs
Ambushing a hyena whilst resting in a waterhole
Ambushing a hyena whilst resting in a waterhole
Wild dog puppies loving their reflection
Wild dog puppies loving their reflection
Adults overseeing the puppies playing
Adults overseeing the puppies playing
Morning light is the best for photos
Morning light is the best for photos
Up close and personal with predators is always a highlight
Up close and personal with predators is always a highlight
On the hunt
On the hunt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice the focus
Notice the focus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The wild dog pack have kept everyone entertained, whether it was attacking the solitary hyenas, or just playing in the water. The pack of twenty four has really been a delight to view. We have been privileged to see three different packs in the area. Witnessing twenty four wild dogs chasing a dazzle of zebra is pretty amazing and the above picture shows the skill and team work to achieve this.

Elephants quenching their thirst
Elephants quenching their thirst
The dry river beds make an awesome highway for the elephant herds
The dry river beds make an awesome highway for the elephant herds
Look how far we had to walk for this water mom
Look how far we had to walk for this water mom
And now for some sunscreen
And now for some sunscreen
When a buffalo stares at you, its like he is the tax man and you owe him money
When a buffalo stares at you, its like he is the tax man and you owe him money

The large thick skinned animals have been suffering in the heat, this has made life easier on the guides as they have been drawn to the few remaining water sources. As previously mentioned the camp water hole has provided with many spectacular views of these incredible creatures. The elephant herd have been moving greater distances to get to water and the buffalo herds seem to have broken into smaller groups number on average fifty individuals.

Synchronized drinking
Synchronized drinking
Dazzle of zebra
Dazzle of zebra
The hyena den still proving to be very fruitful
The hyena den still proving to be very fruitful
The holy grail according to many guides
The holy grail according to many guides
Water is life
Water is life

The hyena den in the south is still proving to be very fruitful as a litter of cubs has been seen. The clan has once again moved their den as the old one was infested with parasites. A few of our return guests were treated with an amazing sighting of the rarely seen pangolin, for some it the the fifteenth time to Kings Camp and they finally saw this secretive creature. They were over the moon.

 

Until next time.

 

Report written by Head Guide – Dean Robinson

All Photography by Head Guide – Dean Robinson

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