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Wildlife Weblog – October 2021


There’s a change within the air at Savanna. We’re at present within the transition interval between summer time and winter, the place we nonetheless have the yellow and brown winter palette throughout the concession, which is usually interrupted with a small flash of recent and shiny inexperienced or the distant calls signalling the arrival of the migratory birds. Whereas sightings have been fast-paced, thrilling and continuously shifting, it has been superb to witness the gradual transition from winter to summer time. 

Whereas on the subject of birds, the guiding workforce right here at Savanna has enrolled in a nationwide competitors known as the Kruger Chicken Problem, which has challenged chook watchers throughout the nation to try to {photograph} 400 totally different Kruger chook species over 400 days. Seeing 400 chook species in 400 days is tough sufficient, however making an attempt to {photograph} the sometimes-brief sightings is the place the true problem lies. Here’s a assortment of a few of the ones the workforce loved capturing.

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

Lions

There was a substantial amount of motion and a few attention-grabbing developments within the dynamics of the lion prides on the concessions. 

The majority of the Mhangene delight was not seen through the first three to 4 weeks of the month, however a lone lioness from the delight partnered up with the final remaining male of the Nwalungu coalition, beforehand generally known as the Nkuhuma male. We had been fortunate sufficient to see the courting pair on a couple of totally different buffalo kills through the previous month. At this level, we are able to solely speculate and hope that the younger Nwalungu male will full the delight takeover, and all of the grownup females rejoin and settle for him as their delight male. He’s nonetheless younger and has a little bit of rising to do, but when he carries on along with his present trajectory, he’ll take full management of the delight and we hope to see him sire many cubs.

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

The Ottawa delight has been slightly sedentary through the previous month, particularly in comparison with the extremely nomadic lifetime of the Mhangene delight, and they’re spending most of their time near the Sand River. We’re very comfortable to report that each one six cubs are nonetheless doing very properly below the steering of their skilled moms and protecting fathers.

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

We had been handled to unbelievable viewing of the entire delight and coalition after they had discovered a useless buffalo, which offered many visitors with nice sightings and priceless perception into the degradation of the carcass, because the 11 lions ate up it over three to 4 days.

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

The three lionesses normally goal small to medium-sized prey, however on the finish of the month the small delight introduced down a younger giraffe which offered a banquet for the hungry and ever-growing cubs as soon as once more.

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

The 2 Tumbela males are trying very assured for the time being, with the fixed enchancment within the smaller male’s situation and energy. It appears as if the coalition is in snug management of the Western Sector. We’ve been rewarded with many nice sightings of the duo throughout the concession, roaring later within the night on most nights. The bigger Tumbela has been seen with the Ximungwe feminine a couple of instances, however is in any other case primarily with the Ottawa delight.

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

Leopards

Tlangisa and her two seven-month-old cubs are nonetheless doing very properly. Tlangisa is an exceptional huntress, and he or she has saved up her good kill charge this month. Most kills are stashed away within the deep inaccessible drainage traces far north on the concession. Though this isn’t conducive to good and even frequent viewing, it is rather good for the long-term survival of the cubs. When the kills are properly hidden, it makes it more durable for different predators to seek out, and the cubs can eat and play comparatively undisturbed. 

Tlangisa

Tlangisa

Tlangisa

Tisela has been by means of a tough few months, with a latest severe altercation along with her brother, Hlambela. She limped away from the interplay with a really unhealthy damage to her entrance proper leg and he or she was seen resting and recuperating on a termite mound for the next 5 days! With some concern for her probabilities of survival, we had been elated to listen to her identify on the radio this month. We had a couple of lovely sightings of her, together with one the place Aidan was fortunate sufficient to see her resting in a drainage line, at eye stage, through the lovely afternoon gentle. Dan had an equally photographic sighting of her atop a termite mound and it appears that evidently her leg is properly on the best way to therapeutic.

Tlangisa

Tlangisa

Tlangisa

Thamba continues to be proving to be an thrilling leopard to view and observe, not solely as a good looking male, but additionally as a chunk within the chess sport that’s the leopard dynamics within the concession. He’s trying larger and stronger at virtually each sighting. 

Ravenscourt

Ravenscourt

Ravenscourt

On one event, we had been fortunate sufficient to see him in motion! Initially patrolling and marking his territory within the coronary heart of Savanna, he modified tack inside a second and confirmed us the unbelievable pace of those huge cats as he pounced on a warthog firing out of its gap. Surprisingly, he dragged the kill far into the gap, previous many appropriate bushes, till he lastly put the kill up a small skinny silver cluster leaf. One other bush thriller that we’re comfortable so as to add to the various collected in day-to-day bush life.

Ravenscourt

Ravenscourt

Not all leopards are acclimatised to autos and will be fairly skittish. This will both be the results of coming into the Sabi Sands from an space the place they weren’t uncovered to autos, or as a result of their mom was a nervous leopard and they didn’t get the habituation from a younger age. That is the case with Ntoma, who at practically eight years previous, has at all times been fairly skittish round autos. Her mom, Mobeni, can also be a nervous particular person who managed to cover her as a cub from sightings, and he or she was due to this fact seldom uncovered to autos. We see her very sometimes, however a couple of months in the past we considered her and two six-month-old cubs working away into the night time. This month we had been extra lucky and, after discovering a drag mark, we discovered a gray duiker hoisted in a tree. There was no signal of both grownup or cub however once we returned that afternoon, we had been handled to each grownup and cub feeding on the kill. This gave us the chance to habituate Ntoma and her cub just a little extra and we hope to have many extra sightings of the mom and daughter duo. It appears as if the cub has some harm to its proper eye and though it appears to be doing fantastic, solely time will inform if the damage is everlasting.

Ravenscourt

Ravenscourt

African Wild Cats

Extremely, we’re getting extra superb sightings of the resident wild cat and her now fast-growing kitten. What is really attention-grabbing is how relaxed they’re with the autos, particularly the kitten which, if all goes properly, will make it to maturity and take over a few of its mom’s territory, thus sticking round Savanna and offering continued viewing of this shy species. However for now, this pair has been such an unbelievable addition to a sport drive, and we’re having fun with each second watching them! For a video of the 2 click on right here.

ostrich

genet

genet

Cheetah

Our resident cheetah continues to be making his common visits by means of the gorgeous open areas of Savanna. He normally has fairly a strict routine, and there are areas, sure termite mounds and even the Savanna signal we regularly discover him on.

Cheetah

Cheetah

Hyena

Generally, a distraction resembling a herd of impala will draw him away from that routine. One set of visitors was lucky sufficient to be current on such an event. As he handed the lodge on his traditional route, a herd of impala in entrance of the lodge caught his consideration. After fairly an extended stalk and a fast chase, he managed to catch an grownup feminine simply earlier than darkish. As he knew hyena would quickly be energetic, he needed to keep vigilant as he ate as a lot as he might earlier than darkish. 

Cheetah

Hyena

Hippo

The hippo pod within the dam in entrance of the lodge is doing properly and giving us sensible sightings as we exit the lodge, with a new child hippo in addition. The considerably resident pod at all times units a superb tone as we begin our drives, particularly within the mornings when the fast-rising golden gentle of an African dawn gives the backdrop to the hippo pod and dam.

Hippo

Hippo

Hippo

Elephants

Elephant numbers appear to be on the rise on the concession, doubtlessly in anticipation of the approaching marula season. With the mixed warmth of the season, we expect an increasing number of incredible sightings resembling massive herds on the clearings, and bulls swimming and sparring to chill off within the warmth of the day!

Hippo

Hippo

Hippo

Common Sport

The overall sport appears to be on the verge of a beginning explosion as properly, with most animals making ready to coincide the beginning of their offspring with the approaching summer time rains and ensuing season of loads. We expect to see loads of infants within the coming weeks and months, and hope that you’ll be right here to take pleasure in them with us.

Hippo

Hippo

Hippo

With heat needs
Neil, Natasha and The Savanna Crew

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