Rangers Report December 2013
Good day Kings Camp followers, another month and now year as flown past, even here in the African bush where the pace of life is notably slower. The bush has transformed unbelievably from the winters golden brown landscape, into a tropical green with wild flowers, flowering trees and grasses, and bodies of water, some even filled to the brim. The temperature has also been on the steady rise, some days have already reached the 40 degrees Celsius mark. We have also received a very healthy portion of rain, which has left the Timbavati so green and the bush so thick and filled a lot of our near depleted watering holes. The rains have attracted a lot of plains game, especially the Zebras, back to the Timbavati which are enjoying the now again nutrient rich grasses.
Animal sightings have been up to Timbavati`s usual standards of being an area well known for its top game viewing quality. Sightings of big game are plenty, elephant herds and buffalo with young calves, leopards have been also making their regular appearances. But most interestingly with the big game, is the sighting of a lion pride coming into our area, supposedly from our neighboring private reserve to our west The Klaserie. Very exciting because we have had no females come through our area for quite a while now, and this pride consists of 2 adult females, a mature male lion and 3 sub adults. This made for a couple of days of great sightings. Also special is guests witnessed lions mating both in the north with the Jacaranda pride, and in the south with the Giraffe pride, which was a real privilege for these lucky people.
This month’s highlight for me and my very lucky guests was definitely Ntombi, one of our most well know leopardesses, when she decided to walk past us on our evening sundowner break. We started that afternoon drive out looking for leopard, we knew we saw a cub of hers two days previously, so we chose that area to begin our search for leopard. My tracker Sam and I left the guests in the shade, and for a while we searched the area for signs but found nothing. Sam walked to look a little further while I got the guests and the vehicle. When I returned to Sam he said he heard a leopard contact calling not too far away. Again we go in on foot and lucky enough to get a visual of the cub walking. Unfortunately there is no driving off road with our vehicles, because the land had experienced a control burn. So we were hoping to get our guests an amazing experience and approach the leopard cub on foot but when returning to the vehicle we saw a few male buffalo (dagga boys). Because close proximity the buffalo to the leopard it was impossible to follow. Sam and I, feeling a little discouraged, thought we would have drinks break close by and try again later. So while our guests were enjoying their sundowners we heard again a leopard contact calling. A few moments later we saw Ntombi calling and walking in our direction. She came at first directly towards us about 100m away then she deviated and came again in our direction, eventually stopping and starring in our direction for about 2 minutes before she carried on in the direction on the calling cub, a few hundred meters away. Leaving my guests absolutely flabbergasted after an amazing encounter!
Well folks I hope you enjoyed following our experiences here at Kings Camp with us this year. It has been an amazing year and I’m sure we here with our guests are going to experience the same incredible times this year as well. So from our team here Kings I wish everyone all the best for 2014.