Another month has past and many changes have occurred here at Kings Camp. The rains have begun, the temperatures are reaching around forty degrees Celsius, causing the winter colours to give way to the fresh greens of summer. That is not the only sign that summer has arrived but waking up to the song of the Woodland Kingfisher who has returned to breed. The impale ewes have also started dropping their lambs, which has caused the predators to think Christmas has come early.
This month the lion politics continued in the northern Timbavati, with the return of the Mabande male. Strangely enough he returned with another male thought to be his father through photographic evidence. They seemed to chase all other lions into the south not wanting to share any of the northern territory. The Rockfig males seemed to be afraid of the Mabande and his new partner and didn’t hang around to see what would happen if they actually came into contact. We also managed to see the Simbavati pride who were joined by a very large male while they were feeding on a kudu kill.
The Jacaranda pride seems to be doing well and was even seem mating with a female around the Argyle dam area. It was quite something to witness as four males were all competing for the affections of a single female which led to many an argument. Some of our guests were really treated to some special sightings this month with the white lion pride being seen an a few occasions. We were invited one morning to come and view them as they had killed a buffalo and were still feeding on it. The Machaton pride was nowhere to be seen and we heard reports of them again in the south of the Timbavati.
Once again the leopards have been good to the guests producing some amazing sightings. One morning we managed to find four, yes four leopards in the same sighting. It was Nthombi, her current two cubs and the now named Ntsongwaan male ( from her previous litter ). Fortunately mom didn’t take any nonsense from the older male who she had kicked out approximately a year ago and they finally went their seperate ways. Nthombi and the two youngsters are doing well and seen numerous times this month on kills.
The Marula female has been providing us with some incredible sightings and with Moses finding her one morning with a freshly killed impala which she dragged into the Zebenine River and later hoisted into a tree. She also sees to be extending her territory slightly and soon she and Nthombi may meet.
The Thumbela female was seen again in the south and some good news from her was that she seemed to be lactating so, hopefully sometime soon she will bring the cubs for a visit so we can share so photos with you. The Rockfig Jr female still seems to be doing well, although sightings of her have been a little scarce. The Xiviti male has made a few appearances up in the north and seems to be settled into his territory. Some sad news for those who are not aware, the Agryle male was killed by the Jacaranda pride.
African Buffalo & Elephants
With the burning of Masungulo property at the end of last month and the rain we have had all the dagga boys ( old buffalo bulls ) seem to have taken up residence there. With the green grass appearing and good amounts of water it seems like buffalo heaven. We have seen a few small breeding herds of buffalo but nowhere near the numbers we were seeing during the winter months.
The elephants have remained a constant with some very large bulls being seen, one specific bull giving our maintenance team a headache, due to him pulling up water pipes fairly regularly. He seems to enjoy the clean water. The herds have been coming and going on a regular basis and often stopping in on the guests whilst they are having lunch for a well earned drink at the camp water hole.
I have been asked if the attached photo was trick photography, but I am pleased to say it wasn’t. Yes we managed to see a coalition of six cheetah moving through the area. The wild dogs are successfully raising four pups so we are seeing a pack of ten individuals made up of six adults and four puppies. They have been giving us some really entertaining sighting as the puppies are full of life and always up for a game.
That’s all for this month join us again for next month’s updates!
Dean and the Kings Camp Guiding team
One thought on “Rangers report for November 2013”
What a lovely report, Dean. Oh my, little Thumbela has grown up! And what a beauty she is!
Our best to the Kings Camp team and a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year to you all.
Joy and Lon