Greetings to everyone from one of the best destinations in the world, some call it Kruger, I call it HOME.
As you all know I am a new edition to the Kings Camp Team (well if you read Grant’s BLOG a few weeks ago, then it is no new news).
It has been an incredible start for me – great sightings of mammals, birds, The Big5 and great bush walks, but for me it is all just about the idea of being out in the middle of the bush, instead of being back in the busy city life. I couldn’t have asked for a better life, but enough about me…
May 2016 started on a great-and-sad note.
The first few days we were spoiled by the Hercules Pride from Klaserie as they were seen feeding on an adult Buffalo and only to be chased away two days later by approximately thirty Spotted Hyenas. What an incredible sight to have seen all those Hyenas competing over the buffalo carcass with plenty vocalizations. Several days later we found the two coming of age males and I am saddened to say that they were found after killing the four cubs belonging to the large female of the Macahton Pride. It was heart breaking as we just saw them a few weeks ago doing well and then to find them all of the sudden “gone”.
The older Ross female with her two youngsters (young male and female) were seen close to the end of the month – Two males came into their area and created havoc. They chased the two youngsters around into all different directions away from their mother. In the process the young male’s leg got injured as he tried to escape, but wasn’t too bad. Luckily for them at the time they managed to escape from the two males and after a short while when it was safe, they relocated each other and started to look for their mother. The two took turns calling mother, but unfortunately no luck. We then drove around to the two males where they were seen standing over the body of the older female just after they have killed her. We are all shocked and saddened by her death.
The two younger Ross females have also been seen on a baby giraffe kill and one of the white lionesses was seen together with another male and female lion at an adult kudu bull carcass which they pulled down the night before we got there. It was amazing to see how the male managed to pull the carcass a few meters into the shade all by himself.
We also had great leopard sightings, especially myself, as I walked into Ntombi one early morning on my way to do wake-up calls (what a way to start the day). Ntombi and her son, Mondsweni are doing great. We came across them just after they made an Impala kill; they didn’t hoist the kill up into the Marula Tree but instead left it on the ground – an open invitation to the Hyenas. Unfortunately four Hyenas did arrive at the scene a day later and stole the Impala from them. One would have thought that Ntombi will play it safe and take the kill up into the tree, especially with her experience. Rockfig Jnr. & Nyaleti were seen a few times together. Lately Nyaleti made an impala kill and was chased away from her reward – she had to be satisfied with a very small chunk of meat which she managed to take as the hyenas chased her away.
What stood out for me this month was all the nice sightings we had of the plains game, elephants, buffalo, incredible sunsets and the time when we saw Ntombi together with Mondsweni sleeping in a marula tree after feeding on the impala and only for the four hyenas to come and steal it from right under their noses whilst sleeping. Ntombi did jump down to defend the kill, but no luck as she was out-numbered. That same afternoon we went back and found one hyena resting its head on the impala carcass whilst both Ntombi and Mondsweni were growling and displaying teeth at the individual who couldn’t be bothered more as the other three hyenas were close by.
We are looking forward to June as it is the beginning of Winter and that means; blankets, hot water bottles, hot chocolate midway through the drive and great sightings of everything Mother Nature throws at us.
Stay well and be on the lookout for Vicky’s BLOG next month.
Almero and the Kings Camp Team.