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Wildlife report for July 2011

By Morné Hamlyn on August 19, 2011

Sorry it’s a tad late. The internet and I had some issues with each other…LOL

Enjoy!

GENERAL:
Armed with blankets and hot water bottles we brave the cold to search for Africa‘s great wildlife here at Kings Camp in the Timbavati.
Winter sunset
July was great and once again we shared some amazing sightings with our guests.
Kudu bull
Sightings of general game exceeded our expectations as we still have a lot of water and palatable vegetation around to support their needs.
Flowering aloeYellowbilled oxpecker

LEOPARD:
We had lovely sightings of these spotted beauties right from our Northern to the Southern parts of our traversing.

Up North the “Argyle” male entertained us with his presence, especially when he stole a kill from his son (“Vyeboom” male). Both of them stayed in the same area for two days showing some amazing interactions between themselves as well as between them and the ever present Spotted Hyenas.

Leopards are masters of the undergrowth and expert hunters. They use their disruptive camouflage to great effect whilst hunting as they get as close as possible to prey and into a suitable position before they burst with an attack. The bite is usually at the throat or to the back of the neck, and they try to muffle the distress sounds as quick as possible to avoid attracting unwanted visitors. Being solitary and medium sized, leopards are very opportunistic and will take prey as small as insects to prey double their size in weight. They also readily scavenge, and like the “Argyle” male stealing from his son; it is a meal reward without spending the energy.
Argyle male with killArgyle male
Vyeboom male
“Ntombi” and her boy (now about 18months old) now spend very little time together. This surprisingly relaxed boy is about to venture into the known leopard world of being solitary. Their paths are splitting and “Ntombi” is already exploring further parts of her territory, possibly to mate again.
Umfana relaxed with vehiclesNtombi
Ntombi's boy
“Rockfig Jr.” was seen a few times, but it looks like she may have lost a litter of cubs. She was seen mating again and hopefully this time around we‘ll have more luck.

Other leopards recorded:

  • “Tumbelea” female (South)
  • “Xinope-nope” male (South)
  • Unknown male (South)
  • “Kuhanya” female (North)
  • “M‘bali” female (North)

LION:
We saw very little of the two dominant male coalitions. We received news that the “Mahlatini” up north mated with a lioness from the “Xakubasa” pride! Will we see cubs in three months… Maybe white… Only time will tell…

The “Timbavati boys” down South were apparently spending time with one of the Southern prides to mate with lionesses there.

The “Machaton” pride is going strong and in July we recorded them on Giraffe and Buffalo kills.
Machaton cubs waiting during huntsLooking at the buffalo's
Stalking bufflooking at buffalo
The highlighted sighting was the Giraffe kill right at camp in the riverbed. For three days the guests had guaranteed lion sightings with amazing interactions between them, vultures and Spotted Hyenas. Great photo opportunities!
Albie Morkel and lions on killMachaton pride on kill
Vulture chaseVultures at kill
The “Xakubasa” (White) pride was on our traversing for a quick visit and we managed to see them twice. They are very healthy and the two 2year old white lionesses are growing to become strong and beautiful lionesses.
White lioness_1White lioness_2

ELEPHANT AND CAPE BUFFALO:
Both species frequented our traversing in masses. With all the water still around we had amazing sightings mainly around the waterholes and dams where the vegetation are more palatable.
Mom and babyI'll show you!
Elephant anticsDust bathing
Cape BuffaloDrinking water

WHITE RHINO:
Quality and quantity galore! We have never been so spoilt and saw rhino‘s almost every other day. Various groups of them were seen over the whole traversing!
White rhino bullFemale and calf

SPECIAL SIGHTINGS:
We had two Cheetah sightings, Wild dogs twice, and I got to follow a female Caracal for more than half an hour!

Caracals are rare to see, mainly nocturnal and shy, so by my books this was a top class sighting!
CheetahWild dogs
Female Caracal

SPECIAL VISITS:
South African, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) & Nashua Titans cricket all-rounder, Albie Morkel and the owner of the CSK team, Gurunath Meiyappan with friends, visited Kings Camp. They had amazing luck on safari and promised to return for more.
Albie and IJai, Gurunath (Owner CSK), me, Albie, Alex and Chan
Skye and Ken Kemp had their wedding at the camp and shared their special moments with us at Kings Camp.
Skye and Ken KempWedding cake
Group photo

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS:
[FMP width=”640″ height=”360″]http://www.seasonsinafrica.com/lodges-in-south-africa/timbavati-private-nature-reserve/kings-camp-private-game-reserve/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/20110816-argyle_0.flv[/FMP]
[FMP width=”640″ height=”360″]http://www.seasonsinafrica.com/lodges-in-south-africa/timbavati-private-nature-reserve/kings-camp-private-game-reserve/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/20110816-leopard.flv[/FMP]

Argyle male on kill and The you leopard with hyenas.

[FMP width=”640″ height=”360″]http://www.seasonsinafrica.com/lodges-in-south-africa/timbavati-private-nature-reserve/kings-camp-private-game-reserve/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/20110816-giraffe.flv[/FMP]
[FMP width=”640″ height=”360″]http://www.seasonsinafrica.com/lodges-in-south-africa/timbavati-private-nature-reserve/kings-camp-private-game-reserve/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/20110816-wed_0.flv[/FMP]

Machatons with giraffe kill and the Wedding.

Hope you all have a pleasant August; we‘ll catch up soon again!

Kind regards,

Morné Hamlyn and the Kings Camp guiding team.

Report by, Morné Hamlyn

Photography and video clips by, Morné Hamlyn

7 thoughts on “Wildlife report for July 2011

  1. Morné, great images and videos. Very interesting report. Fantastic Caracal sighting! Well done! Tristan – beautiful cake!

  2. Once again….we want to be there…..fab photos.

    See you in August 2012!

    camp run a muck

  3. OMG! What a month at KC. Can’t decide which is my favorite pic!. And, what a beautiful place to have a wedding. Tristan, your cake was beautiful. All the videos and pics are great. Hard to believe that a year ago yesterday, we returned from another over the moon trip to SA.

    May the white lions of Timbivati live, thrive and increase!!!! 🙂

    Cheers to you all.

    Joy, Camarillo CA

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