Welcome back to an extremely warm time of the year. We have had a little rain, which has cause the bush to change from the dab browns of winter to the lovely greens of summer. The mornings start out a little chilly, but as the safari goes on it warms up quickly. The bird life has started to improve with many migrants having already returned, which often brings a whole new set of colours with it. More and more reptiles and amphibians are also being seen, adding to a guests experience.
The lions have treated our guests to some spectacular sightings this month with a few new faces being seen. There were two new big males that killed a young giraffe on a northern property and the local hyena clan tried to steal it from them, unsuccessfully. The Breakaway Ross pride gave us many a marvelous view if the two new cubs that they occasionally brought across the tar road onto our traversing area. Unfortunately towards the end of the month the were killed in the Klaserie reserve. The Ross pride is still doing well and seem to be joining up with the Trilogy males more regularly. And a pride of 9 lions has been seen regularly in the north.
Again this was a fantastic month for leopard viewing at Kings Camp. The Nthombi female and her cub were seen on numerous kill, once again proving how good a hunter and mother she is. The Marula female was seen a few times this month and interestingly she ventured into Nthombi’s territory, she may be looking for a mate again since her young boy is now on his own. Rockfig Jr has also successfully raised the Nyelethi female and has been seen frequently around the core of her territory. The Nyelethi female is still moving around looking for an unoccupied territory. The Ntsongwaan male is still frequently seen around our lodge and regularly tries to hunt the impala that use the lodge garden at night. The Ntima and Tchucanyana males seem to have moved into the north but are still struggling to find territories of their own.
African Buffalo & Elephant
If these are your favourite animals, then October was the month for you. The old Dagga Boys regularly spend the day at the lodge waterhole, as the days have been extremely warm. Many breeding herds of buffalo have frequented our traversing area, this could be the reason we had such a good month for lion activity.
The elephant herds also made regular appearances at the camp waterhole and entertained many guests at the meal times. The calves were always entertaining on drives as they think they are much bigger than they really are and playfully come closer to the vehicles, giving great photographic opportunities.
The wild dogs are still doing well with three packs being seen this month, ranging form a pack of 4 individuals to a large pack of 18. They spend most of their time in the north. The pups are doing well and seem to be running well with the pack.
A hyena den has also been discovered and 3 dark brown cubs have been seen, this is very special as we might be able to watch them grow up and accept the vehicles as part of their lives.
Well that’s all for this month.
Report and photography by Head Ranger Dean Robinson