26-28 October 2016 - A new young male Leopard arrives in the north

Lion - Mbiri pride

We had 3 sightings of the Mbiri's over the 3 days. They were initially found at the lodge on the morning of the 26th, and moved to Panicum. The next morning the moved north to Konkoni quarry, where one of the younger females had a drink and then joined the rest of the pride. The older Lionesses were starting to show signs of being pregnant, and they stayed in the core section of their territory by moving along the drainage line to Catwalk west, where they were joined by the Sizanani thanda Impi male Lion. He was quite aggressive towards some of the females, when they approached the older Lioness.[caption id="attachment_7107" align="alignleft" width="1730"]

The younger Mbiri Lionesses are really maturing now, and are becoming beautiful Lions ISO1000, f7.1, 1/125sec[/caption]

Nhahru pride

There was one sighting of the Nharhu pride. They were found with a Buffalo kill on Helens road, to the south west of Main Dam. Both Thanda Impi male Lions were with them, cashing in on being pride males. The cubs were all looking fat and in good health, and some of their antics are always good to watch.[caption id="attachment_7125" align="alignleft" width="1155"]

Just watching the world go by! ISO 640, f7.1, 1/400sec[/caption]

Thanda Impi male Lions

The 2 dominant males in the central part of the reserve, managed to spend some time with both of their prides over the 3 days. They were first found with the Nharhu pride on Helens road. Enjoying a Buffalo that the females had managed to kill. A couple of days later, we found the Sizanani male with the Mbiri pride, close to Catwalk west. He was clearly interested in one of the young females, and wouldn't allow any of the other females close to her. And when she moved close to the other females, he would send them scattering!


Kwatile male

So enter the second pretender for the northern throne! We managed to find this new male, and he quickly got the name of the Kwatile male. Kwatile means angry in the local Tsonga language. Within minutes of being found on Ngala loop, he was growling and hissing at the vehicles. He clearly knew vehicles, because he didn't run away, but he definitely doesn't like vehicles. So we now have 2 young males moving around the same north western area of the Manyeleti, this male and the Ntsuntsu male. The reason these males are probably entering this area, is probably because Rhulani is increasingly preoccupied with the resurgence of the Beacon male in the south western parts of his territory, and hasn't spent much time patrolling this area, which has left the door wide open for these youngsters.

Other views from the bush

The general game was once again on a very high standard. Some elephant bulls have been camped out at Tintswalo pump house, enjoying the water in the area. We also had several Giraffe sightings in the central Manyeleti, which is always a crowd favourite. The Hyena den in the north has been very productive, and the 3 pups are doing very well. The southern part of the reserve, has also produce some fantastic Elephant sightings, particularly around the Buffelshoek plains area.[caption id="attachment_7163" align="alignleft" width="1730"]

The north has been very good for Ostrich sightings. ISO 800, f7.1, 1/800sec[/caption][caption id="attachment_7159" align="alignleft" width="1730"]

Female Giraffe having a drink at Wild dog Dam. ISO 1000, f7.1, 1/400sec[/caption][caption id="attachment_7179" align="alignleft" width="1730"]

A Woods Sandpiper coming in to land ISO 400, f7.1, 1/640sec[/caption]

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