Rangers report for January 2015

By Dean Robinson on February 1, 2015


Happy new year to all our blog readers from the Kings Camp guiding team, hopefully 2015 is an amazing year for everyone with some amazing sightings. We were blessed just before the new year with quite a bit of rain which caused the river to flow but that also meant that the animals would be spoilt for choice, due to the increased foliage and grass for them to eat.Machaton males with buff calfMating white lionessJacaranda female


The lions of the Timbavati have been really accommodating to our guests so far and we have had many a superb sighting. The 4 Machaton males have been making a few appearances and my guests and I were lucky to witness them kill a buffalo calf in front of us. We have also been seeing more and more of a pride know as the Ross pride which is 9 lions (3 adult females, 2 young males & 4 sub-adults). They have been testing the waters in our traversing area and found the area to their liking. They were seen a few times on a variety of kills and going deeper and deeper into the properties. The Machaton female with the 2 Mabande male have still been occupying the southern areas. Some of the guests were really spoilt as they were treated to sightings of the rare Timbavati white lion. There was some really good news as one white female was seen mating, so hopefully some new cubs soon?White lionessMachaton malesMachaton males with buff calfMachaton males

Marula with cubMarula scanning her territory


As usual our leopards sightings have been spectacular, many of which have been multiple leopards at a time. Nthombi is still nursing two cubs, but they have started to eat meat. Selby, one of the trackers tracked a drag mark of something she killed almost all the way to her newest den site. The two cubs were seen very briefly but the good news is both are still alive. The Rockfig jr female is still sticking quite far to the south but this is due to the awesome places to hide her cub who is now around 10 months old. But regular sightings of both were had throughout the month. An unusual sighting was of the Ntsongwaan male who seemed to start a pantry as he at one stage had three different kills around Sunset plains, all within 100m of each other. But the star for the month was undoubtedly the Marula female who is doing an amazing jobs as a mother to her two nine month old cubs. She has been seen on numerous kills. the interesting part is the two cubs are starting to show the solitary tendencies of the leopard, not even wanting to share these kills with each other or even mom.Rockfig jrMarula cub 2Marula cub

Elephants & BuffaloHuge tusks

With the bush being at its most lush these large herbivores are having an extremely good time. There is so much vegetation the elephants can even afford to be picky at this time of the year and eat some of their favorite plants. The Marula trees have started to drop some fruit which the elephants are loving. We have been treated to some special sightings of elephants swimming in the larger dams. The taller grass is still making for some interesting walks, I myself bumped into a few “Dagga boys” a few times. They were well behaved and just looked at us then ran away. They are definitely enjoying all the pools  of water around the bush as its like a spa treatment for them. The parasites that the ox peckers can’t reach are then eaten by the terrapins in the pools. The herds of buffalo have been smaller, not the usual 300-500, but many smaller herds of between 30-120 animals.Ele reflectionSwimming elephantsElephant herdBuff bulls

PuppyCheetahSpecial sightings

The year started off with a bang as the “Orpen Pack” of wild dogs made a few appearances and the size of the pack was unbelievable. There were more than 30 individuals, even i was started to feel sorry for the impala who formed most of their diet. The two smaller packs were also seen during the month and a pack of 5 was seen regularly moving between the Timbavati and Klaserie reserves._DSC7008Cheetah

The highlight of the month for me was a female cheetah who was tracked down on a few occasions. I was fortunate enough to see her three times. Since the vegetation was very thick this was an unexpected surprise, but very welcomed.Huge pack_DSC6729


Thats all from the guides this month. See you soon with more updates from the unbelievable Timbavati game reserve.

Report written by Head Ranger Dean Robinson

Photos by Head Ranger Dean Robinson


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