This was another memorable month on the 10 000 hectare concession in the world renowned Kruger National Park. The bush has started to turn into lovely autumn colours and thinning out just a bit. The mornings are getting cooler and letting us know that winter is on the way. We had some fantastic sightings this month and guests have been treated to a wonderful safari experience in this vast wilderness. Many super African safari memories will be taken home and shared with friends and families.
The big cats kept us very busy this month with lots of different sightings all over concession and being the sneaky cats they are sometimes remaining hidden. Our Imbali females and their seven cubs where seen regularly and the four male cubs are getting quite large even though they are only one year old. The good genes passed on by their fathers mean that they are lot bigger than their female siblings. The two Dominant male lions were seen patrolling to the south of the concession and they have been very vocal, letting everybody know that they are the protectors of this territory.
This elusive spotted cat is on everyone’s bucket list of must see animals when doing a safari in Africa. They can be really difficult to find but on some days they allow the guides and guests to get a glimpse into their secretive lives. These cats like all animals have no concept of time, so sometimes we fail to understand how it can take them 45 mins to cover one meter while stalking some potential prey but this is how focused they are when hunting. It is this patience and focus which insures the chance of a successful hunt. One of the dominant male leopards that live on the concession was found enjoying a meal consisting of a large Baboon. Leopard like hunting baboons and even monkeys but they are hard to catch as they always have sentinels keeping a look out for predators. Baboons also have canines that are larger than that of a Leopard so it can happen that an inexperienced Leopard comes off second best. This large male leopard is obviously very skilled at hunting baboons and much to the amazement of the guest as he had dragged his kill high up into a Jackalberry tree. A young rival male has starting moving closer to this dominant male’s territory and we anticipate some interesting interaction between these two beautiful beasts in the near future.
Being one of the most endangered carnivores on the continent these masters of speed proved hard to find this month but we had a couple of super sightings of these elusive cat. Cheetahs have massive home ranges sometimes up to 80 square kilometres which adds to the reason why they are not often seen. We had a new male on the concession who is not totally relaxed with the presence of the vehicles as yet and is possibly still establishing his own territory but seems to coming into his own.