Sightings of a different kind at Kings Camp

By Patrick O’Brien on August 6, 2009

During the last few days sightings at Kings have been fantastic. We saw all the big five plus a mother cheetah and a 4-month-old cub. This was such an unusual sighting and we were indeed lucky to view this endangered specie.

You our guest will notice that the images posted this time are a tad different to our normal post. Some of the animals we saw in and around our camp that includes the greater cane rat and lions that occasionally get in the camp.

Image 1: Among South African rodents, the Greater Cane Rat is second in size and mass only to the porcupine. Its body is bulky and covered in bristly hair; its head is large, while its tail and legs are short.
When they are alarmed, the rat gives a whistling call and thumps the ground with its hindfeet. They then scurry away, to freeze a few moments later when they feel they are out of danger. This is one seriously large rat. Bigger than certain dogs I know.

Image 2: The White-bellied Sunbird
The White-bellied Sunbird feeds in typical sunbird fashion clasping the edge of the flower or taking up a perch close to the flower into which it pokes its long curved bill. It moves around quickly from flower to flower.
The White-bellied Sunbird is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying it will seek out a new mate.

Image 3: One of the 3 young Shobele sub-adult males. Theses 3 young males have a hard time ahead of them, as they are about to leave their natal range. I am hoping that they will have better luck soon.

Image 4: A rare sighting of a mother cheetah and her 4-month-old cub. I have no doubt that she had more that just this one. A 70% mortality rate among the cubs is quite normal. The last time I saw a cub this small was 6 years ago.

Image 5: My favourite animal. Cunning, beautiful, powerful says it all. Leopard sightings at Kings Camp are just outstanding.

I hope you enjoyed the images as much as I captured them.

Patrick O‘Brien – Head guide.

Image 1 Greater Cane Rat
Image 2 The White-bellied Sunbird
Image 3 One of the 3 young Shobele sub-adult males
Image 4 A rare sighting 4-month-old cheetah cub
Image 5 Leopard silhouette

11 thoughts on “Sightings of a different kind at Kings Camp

  1. Excellent photos Patrick . . . it is nice to see more diversity in terms of the wildlife beyond the "Big 5". So cool to capture the cheetah, was John with you?

    Thanks for sharing,


  2. Hi Todd. Jes hewas. It was the first timefor himto see a cheetah in the wild. We had a fantastic time. I was very happy to see him. Wish you were here.


  3. Hi Patrick,

    What beautiful pictures! The male Lion is Gorgeous…We are due to visit at the end of August & cannot wait. The sightings look fantastic. We have never been to Timbavati & you guys came highly recommended by Duncan from Leopard Hills. See you all soon….




  4. Great shots Patrick, love the diversity! Matt turns a funny shade of green everytime you have a cheetah sighting at Kings! Miss you all Deb

  5. nice shots mate – really like that white bellied sun bird….although the young sohebele male in golden light is just great!

    glad you got that cub in the open too, i didnt manage any good shots of the little guy….



  6. Hi Patrick, great pics! I compared my pics (from February 2009) of the Shobele male….oh how majestic he has grown! sad though that we’ve lost one of those "kitties", as well as one of the mothers…but that’s nature.

    Thanks again for sharing these beautiful photos with us…especially of animals I did not see when I was there.

    Stay safe, keep well.

    Kindest regards,


  7. Hi Patrick

    Love the pic of the White-bellied Sun Bird! Sure hope the cheetah as a species survives…so noble.

    Our best to you from California


  8. The Sunbird photo is fabulous, you have excelled yourself …….again. Lovely to see the cheetah cub, make sure you book an appearance for us next year!

    All the best, Phil & Lynda James

  9. Hi Pat

    Great to see some excellent shots of the ‘little known’ residents of the Timbavati! Great images as usual..! Cheers, Martin

  10. It was honor and priviledge to share in these amazing sightings with you, in person. These are images that I will treasure especially the Cheetah and her cub. The drive up the hill to this perimeter of Kruger was long and arduous, but added to the excitement and exhiliration of the moment we witnessed the Cheetah emerge from the bush.And then her cub appeared and took our breath away. This will linger in my memory for a long time.

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