6 Feb

28-29 December 2016- The first time I’ve managed to photograph the Sable bridge female leopard in over a year!



 Nharhu pride


We had 2 sightings of the Nharhu pride over the 2 days. The were initially found on Metsikitsoro plains, lazing away on a hot and humid Lowveld afternoon. This is one of the favored area’s for the nharhu pride, deep in their territory. The next day however, they surprised us by showing up deep in Mbiri territory, close to Wild dog dam. This is probably because the Mbiri’s have been preoccupied with the cubs and have spent the majority of their time in the central and northern parts of their territory, and the Nharhu’s took an opportunity to move into an area they used to move in, before they set up their own territory. Some interesting times coming up with the Lion dynamics.




Beacon male leopard


We had one sighting of the older of the 2 combative male leopards, currently competing for the piece of territory south of the lodge. He was found feeding on a Wildebeest calf, close to Wild dog Dam. His condition is looking really good, and despite his age, he looks an absolute force to be reckoned with. I personally don’t believe his resurgence is good for our Leopard population, because he probably wouldn’t be fit and strong for long enough to successfully raise cubs. Any who am I to judge that, nature has survived for a long time without my opinions. Let the best male win!


Sable bridge female leopard.


With some luck, we found the skittish mother Leopard on the 28th. She treated us with the customary aggression, she displays when she’s been found. She moved to the north, towards the drainage area close to mantwaan Mpisi pan.


African Wild dog


We had one sighting of a pack of African Wild dogs over the 2 days. They were found on Powerlines, moving west. We had had some overnight riain, and more than 20mm, so off-roading was off the cards. If the dogs decided to go north or south, then that was that. Luckily we got there just in time, and managed to get about a 3 minute sighting of this highly endangered predator, before the moved south after some impala. I always count myself lucky to see these magnificent creatures.


Some other views of the bush

Final approach! A juvenile White-backed Vulture, landing close to a carcass. ISO 500, f8, 1/800sec

Buffalo herds are returning to the Manyeleti. A herd of a few hundred was seen on Reedbuck plains. ISO 2000, f5.6, 1/200sec


Until the next blog


Darren and the Tintswalo Safari Team