A warm hello from the guides on the Mluwati concession in the world renowned Kruger National park, a place we have the privilege to live in and show our guests all the amazing sightings we get to find. It has being another awesome month here on the concession, after some good tracking skills we discovered one of our Hamiltons Lionesses has had four new cubs which remain very elusive as she moves the den site for their protection, but once they get a little older iam sure she will bring them out for all to see. We have had a little soft soaking rains and are hoping for more.
So as I said above the one Hamiltons female has new cubs and we wait in anticipation to see them some more. Our resident males have been seen regularly all over the concession and we found them on a fresh Buffalo kill one afternoon which was an amazing sight for all the guests as well as the hilarious interaction between one of the males and the Vultures as he kept them at bay constantly getting up and charging at them. The last couple of weeks we have not seen our Lionesses with the seven cubs and the last sighting they seemed to be afraid of the vehicles. So we decided to make any sighting of them a one vehicle sighting as this puts less pressure on them and it will lead to them becoming relaxed around the vehicles again. They however had other plans and remained elusive. We did manage to find them twice and it seems our efforts are working as once again they are becoming relaxed and the guest are reaping the rewards with some fantastic sightings.
Leopard sightings have being very good once again we think due to the drought and limited water and the concentration of game we have had wonderful Leopard sightings all over the concession. As we said last month the young male around the Hamiltons area is being spotted on a regular basis and was seen three time on kills with his Mother. Even though he is getting older he still needs to fine tune those hunting instinct to be able to look after himself properly. It remains to be seen for how long our dominant male in the area will tolerate him hanging around even if it his own offspring. We also had sightings of another huge male which we call Ghost as he is seldom seen on drive but makes regular appearances at the Imbali waterhole.
This month was again a super month for all things furry as we had regular sightings of these masters of speed, I say regular as far as Cheetah go sometimes we will go for weeks without seeing any. The young male around the Hoyo area was spotted twice and still has a bit of a nervous disposition towards the vehicles but some days he is more relaxed. The two males gave some of our guests their most remarkable sundowner stop as they came strolling across the open plains in the middle of the Gin and Tonics looking for some potential prey and our female was spotted around the front of Imbali early one morning.
As everyone knows these nomads are one of the hardest carnivores to see in the African bush especially now that the pups are getting to a size when they can almost keep up with the rest of the pack and travel far and wide. We were very lucky to have had two sightings of these highly endangered animals in the last couple of weeks and it was as most wild dog sightings are a bit chaotic as they ran back and forth in search of prey zig zagging thru the dense bush making it impossible to keep up but none the less it is always a privilege to be able to see them.
Elephant and Buffalo
Elephants have become harder to find after the recent rains which were very sporadic in terms of the amount of rain in different areas, but these giants with an extensive memory of which areas provide the best water or grazing after rains never forget and this would explain why as usual around this time of the year after the first rains and especially after the drought they all move off in different directions. But we still have had various sightings of some nice bulls and smaller breeding herds. They will return as always and it has given the area some much needed time to regenerate after they remained here because of the lack of water. While last month took its toll on the Buffalo as mentioned above after the rain except for the odd Buffalo bull they have all but disappeared due to the promise of much needed green grass which will be sprouting in the coming weeks and as always as it returns to hopefully normal summer rain the big herds will start to come back from the north to our open plains.
As the seasons change and we receive our first Woodlands Kingfishers return for the breeding season as their song is heard far and wide throughout the bushveld. As well as lots of the Cuckoo family have also returned. It would seem most of our White backed vulture chicks have grown up fast and are starting to test their flight feathers around their nest going from tree to tree but not ranging to far yet and still waiting for the adults to bring them some tasty morsels for food.
So the drought is not broken but the rains we have had have given a much needed lifeline to all animals large and small and we have spotted our first new born Impalas this week as well and after almost 18 months of desolate looking bushveld it brings joy to our souls to see some greenery again.
Hope to see you all soon here with us on the Mluwati Concession – till then