We only had one sighting of one of the young Lionesses over the 2 days. She was found with the Skorro Thanda Impi male Lion close to Zebra pan. She then moved to the north, and towards where the 3 very young cubs were seen, at Konkoni quarry. She eventually settled at the quarry, and didn’t go into the drainage line to the east. I believe that she still wasn’t feeling comfortable with the males being that close to the cubs, when they were still so young. The appearance of the southern Matimba’s is a serious concern to this particular female, with the cubs being so young. Lets hope she takes a leaf out of the other females book, and moves the cubs further north.
Thanda Impi male Lions
The Thanda Impi male Lions, and Skorro in particular are spending a lot of time with the Mbiri pride and the cubs at the moment. Score was seen once with one of the young females at Konkoni quarry. They are going to have to be vigilant at the moment, because the southern Matimba’s are a few kilometers to the south east, and already the speculation amongst the guides, about a possible clash has been rife.
Southern Matimba male Lions
Its been a huge surprise to see these 2 brutes returning to their old stomping grounds. One of the males was found on Xiskankanka road, with a Buffalo cow kill, and looked to be in very good condition. Their re-emergence in the area could have dire consequences for our establishing Lion population. Their most obvious target would be the Nharhu pride, who have largely been without the thanda Impi males for a while now. The major implication here would be that the 6 young males aren’t old enough to venture out on their own yet, but at 15 months old, the females should be alright. However, if the Matimba males are attracted to the roaring of the Thanda Impi’s, that would put the Mbiri cubs in the line of fire. All said though, its been great to see these males, after a very long absence.
We found the Rhulani male Leopard on Metsikitsoro plains, and left him moving further to the south. He seems to be consolidating his core territory at the moment, which stretches from Main Dam in the south, west to the lodge area and then north to Mantobeni camp area. He’s still in his prime, but his territory was definitely bloated and over extended, so its good to see him spending more time in the core. Hopefully the collar that he has been wearing for almost a year now, will be removed.
Ntsuntsu female Leopard
We have been seeing this female more and more, and it seems that she is setting up a territory in the mid northern parts of the reserve. She is originally from the reserve to the north of us, but seems to have taken up the northern parts of the Sable bridge female Leopards territory. We found her with a young impala kill on Khoka Moya Cutline, and she posed beautifully for the afternoon.
Nandi female and Sasseka female ( Sable bridge sub-adults)
We discovered both of the sub-adult females with an Impala kill on Konkoni, close to the quarry. Unfortunately it was early in the morning, and the light wasn’t great for photography. Both seem to be doing very well and becoming nice and relaxed. There definitely is a personality difference between the 2! The Nandi female is very relaxed with the vehicles, whilst the Sasseka female is a little less so. They also both seem to be setting up a small territory. The Nandi female has been seen recently moving around the lodge area, and south to foot road and Wild dog dam. The Sasseka female, seems to be moving more to the north and east around Madache and to the north of the airstrip. Its going to be interesting to watch how the matter of territory unfolds between the 2 sisters.
Other views of the bush
Probably the 2 talking points at the moment, regarding general game was the abundance of Giraffe over the 2 days and the Elephant bulls that have been enjoying the last of Marula season. This added to the great predator viewing over the 2 days made for some memorable game viewing.
Until the next blog
Darren and the Tintswalo Safari Team.