Greetings from the Timbavati
The month of May has been a great start to the winter. The temperatures drop as soon as the sun disappears into the night making the mornings exhilaratingly fresh. The days though are still pleasantly warm, with perfect clear blue skies almost daily. The bush itself is staring to dry up now with the animals kicking up more dust than in summer. Dried up leaves falls to ground everywhere, when we have a slight gentle breeze. We start to find more and more, clever little Hornbills digging further into their little food resource bag by scratching through the huge piles of elephant dung. Also as mentioned in the last blog due to the temperature drop we are getting a few more glimpses of the more secretive nocturnal animals like the genets, honey badger, white tailed mongoose, African civet and we also had a great close up sighting of a lesser tailed galago recently. Galago`s are more commonly known as bush babies.
Sightings have been of truly amazing quality with all the big game, as usual lots of elephant s and buffalos in the Timbavati. Both animal species are been found more frequently around water sources, which becomes a real treat for guest lounging around outdoors at the lodge when herds of animals take their mid-day break at and around the lodges’ watering hole. A highlight provided by the lions was seeing the Jacaranda pride on a night old buffalo kill. It’s a pride that has its territory way to the north and the pride spends a lot of time in the Kruger National Park, so we don’t see them as often as we would like. A pride of 4 beautifully maned males and then another 4 females all on and around the carcass with some of them already had their “lions share”. Wild dogs have been seen although it’s only been the pack of 6, sightings have been frequent towards the end of the month and the promising news is we think they have established a den close by! Another definite highlight was the extremely rare sighting of a Pangolin, which was a first for most guests and even a couple of guides. As always it’s such a pleasure seeing our rhinos safe.
This month the leopardess Ntombi has given our guests some incredible moments. Her remaining 2 cubs are healthy and full of life. We think they are around 4- 5 months. Already we have seen them keeping their composure under pressure with a lurking hyena under a kill stashed in a Weeping boer bean tree by their mother; the mother in the fork of the tree growling down at the hyena protecting the dead impala and the cubs just a short distance away keeping their cool. We have a good feeling about theses cubs and their future. They still have a long way to go and a lot to learn before becoming adult leopards but Ntombi (the leopardess) is a great mother.
So, I think there are still lots of exciting times ahead, full of great sightings. It’s definitely going to be most interesting to follow the growth of the two young cubs of Ntombi and to see the development of the pack of Wild dogs and their den fairly close by. What’s also to look forward to; are the clear blue skies and amazing sunsets and sunrises (enhanced thanks to the dry dust). All these pleasures and many more await you and all of us, here in the Timbavati.
Jade, Kings Camp Guide