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Wildlife report for July 2010

By Morné Hamlyn on August 8, 2010

Sorry for the delay in posting on the blog, but personally I delt with a crashed PC and only recently managed to sort out my files and photo’s. Please enjoy the July 2010 report…

GENERAL:
The winter days are nice and warm, this is very welcome after the early morning chills we have been having. Sightings in general were good in the month, with some of the larger herbivores being very active in the North in the Mopane (Colophospermum Mopane) thickets.
Leaves of the Mopane tree
This tree has a high protein content (+- 22%) with the fruit and leaves retaining a high percentage of nutritional value even after they have dropped to the ground in the winter. The dry fruit and leaves are eagerly eaten off the ground because of the high protein and phosphorous content that makes it an important food source toward the end of winter.

LEOPARD:
The M‘bali female was seen for the first time in a long while. We had her and an unknown male one evening on our Northeastern section and it was evident that they were mating. Let‘s hope this works for the best and that we may have good news in the not to distant future.

Ntombi brought out her cub for the very first time this month. The youngster is still very unsure of vehicles and shies away from time to time. Progress was made and after a few sightings it seems to be fine with vehicles, as long as they don‘t move too much. The best sighting we had of them was when Ntombi killed a bushbuck just outside of camp. The vehicle activity was limited and the sighting was amazing!
Ntombi and her boy
Rockfig Jr. ‘s two cubs turned 8 months and entertain us with the most amazing sightings. She now leaves them for longer times whilst she hunts and sometimes only returns after 4 or 5 days to collect them. They are now very successful bird, squirrel, dwarf mongoose and lizard hunters.
Rockfig Jr. on a termite moundCalling the cubs
At play in a Marula treeLittle female cub resting
Brother and sisterDo you see mom yet?
LIONS:
Sightings of the Xakubasa pride were frequent during the month and we had them on a Zebra kill close to the camp. On that same evening we witnessed some amazing interaction between them and about 16 Hyenas, which eventually chased them away from the last remains of the carcass. They spent a lot of time around the camp and we had the most amazing sightings of them playing in the early mornings.
On the Zebra kill
PlayfulWhite gold
Brothers-17 months oldSisters- 15 months old
The Machaton Pride spent a lot of their time in the Southeastern part of our traversing and it was very evident after they were not seen for some time that the two younger lionesses were very pregnant. Right towards the end of the month around the 30th or 31st it became known that the one has given birth as sounds of calling cubs were heard close to Tabby‘s Crossing. The other lioness should be giving birth about 5 – 7 weeks after her. We‘ll keep you updated on any progress.
Machaton lioness
The Timbavati Boys kept themselves very busy further down South but showed themselves quite often especially the more dominant one that spent more time with the Machaton girls. Around the 27th they killed an adult buffalo cow, which kept them busy towards August.
One of the three Timbavati boysPulling the carcass into shade
The neighboring pride from the Klaserie, known as the Ross pride, visited us three times during the month. The first time we had them on a buffalo kill not far from the camp. The other two sightings were about two or three weeks after that and they only spent one night on each visit. The composition of the pride is two big adult males, 9 lionesses and 2 or 3 younger ones. Maybe in the future the sightings may be more frequent as they often follow buffalo in from the West.
Some of the Ross prideRoss pride on Buffalo kill
One of the two Ross malesSpotted Hyena and Black backed Jackal at the remains
CAPE BUFFALO AND ELEPHANT:
Big herds of buffalo frequented our traversing over the month. Again the super herd was the man attraction and it is not difficult to understand why. The number of individuals exceeds 1000 in number!

Elephant sightings were on the scarce side of things but fortunately towards the end of the month the larger herds moved back into the mopane woodlands.
Elephants
WHITE RHINO:
The larger group of 6 – 8 was seen frequently in our Southern Traversing, close to a new big male called “Vuvuzela”. The base of his horn is as wide as the trumpet tip of the world famous instrument that was made famous by the Fifa 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Mtenge-tenge was ever present and spent some abnormal amounts of time in the Northeastern bits of our traversing.
Mtenge-tengeKicking his midden appart for territorial purposes
The Nhlangula male is also back in the Northwest and was seen frequently to the west and north of the camp. A few times he was seen with about 4 other rhino‘s in the Klaserie.

SPECIAL SIGHTINGS:
A pack of 11 wild dogs were seen on several occasions over the traversing. This is always very special as this is the second most endangered predator in Africa.
Two of the dogs after a killOn the move

The second special sighting of the month was FOUR Cheetahs on an impala kill (Female and three, 14-15 month old, youngsters). This was also a very welcome sighting. Like the dogs this is also a very endangered predator and always special to see.
Ribs?
Fast food?Mom and three youngsters

Take care!

Regards,

Morné Hamlyn and the Kings Camp guiding team!
Photography: Morné Hamlyn (www.wix.com/mbhandzu/mbhandzu)
Written by: Morné Hamlyn

28 thoughts on “Wildlife report for July 2010

  1. Your Report ROCKS my Angel… LOVE LOVE LOVE your photos… Im so Blessed to have such a talented Husband and that I can have your Photos up on the walls of our Home.

  2. Fantastic pics and great report!

    Thanks Morné.

    Stay well, stay safe.

    Kindest regards.

    Moira.

    ps..photo captions are also quite entertaining.

  3. Howzit Morné!

    Your photo of Rockfig’s two cubs is amazing . . . lekker! Thanks for the excellent recap and toast a bottle of champagne for me with Marinella & Federico.

    Cheers,

    Todd

  4. The cheetahs are amazing! So good to see so many – and looking so healthy too! I hope they stick around for us to see in a couple of weeks!

    Joy (Camarillo)

  5. Awesome images Morné! some of the best i have seen of yours, keep it up mate! Im up in just over a week, better keep these animals there…i REALLY need to see Rockfig Jnr’s young ones!!!

  6. Morné dis pragtige fotos van al die diere hou asb aan met fotos neem jy kwyt jouself goed van jou taak. Mis kings camp vandat ons in Durban bly 🙂

    Groete vir Melissa

    Mariaan + Manie

  7. Thanks for July report. Glad to know that Rockfig Jr’s steady growth. Great to see four cheetahs!!! Shu

  8. Thanks for the report and the fantastic photos – there certainly has been much activity. Wish I were there!

    Kathy

  9. August was a great month for special sightings in Timbavati. Thank you for the fantastic photos, and even more fantastic narrative. Your writings were informative and inspiring.

  10. Morné as always just amazing pics of the most beautiful african animals. The leopard shots truly incredible. Thanks for bringing your most amazing part of the world back to our home in aussie. Kind Regards Heather and STeve Beswick

  11. I always enjoy these reports and wonderful photos! They serve as a constant reminder that my husband and I need to plan our next visit, SOON.

  12. Wonderful pictures. Morné, would you mind if we posted your wild dog "on the move" on the Exclusive Getaways website and/or social media, along with some info on Kings Camp?

  13. Lekker Morrie!!! My hart trek n punt!!

    mail my jou Sel nommer ek het hom verloor my foon het uitgeshort toe slan hy aan die brand, weird ne??

  14. I love receiving your reports and wonderful photos, even tho chances of me going on another safari are very slim

    I can relive my great adventure by looking at your photos and sending them on to family. Thanks for the memories!

  15. Tasha withers from Seattle USA here…thanks for the update. very exciting and interesting reading. thanks and enjoy the bush

  16. We thoroughly enjoy receiving the pictures and stories from Kings Camp. We are so looking forward to returning someday with our family.

  17. Fantastic photos, Morné! We were thrilled to see that some of the animals we saw in May are alive and well. Thank you for the wonderful descriptions of the goings-on in the Timbavati.

  18. We are looking forward to seeing you soon. Your photos always remind us what a special place you have. Thanks for the updates.

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