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Wildlife Weblog – November 2021


Our rains often start throughout October and November, however this yr we didn’t have a lot in October in any respect, and we thought that we is likely to be in for a dry season. The primary few weeks of November additionally didn’t look very promising, however a chilly entrance got here by way of within the third week and it rained nearly continually for eight days, offering some much-needed water to leap begin the rising season! Sadly, for individuals who have been right here on the time, it meant that the scarcest sighting for the week was the solar!

However what rain brings is life, and the outcomes are displaying rapidly! As that is the time of lots, a lot of the breeding occurs in early summer time, when meals and water is available. Impala ‘flood the market’ with their lambs, coinciding their births so that almost all of lambs are born inside a month.

Ottawa Male Lion

And they don’t seem to be the one ones. Wildebeest and zebra have additionally began dropping their younger, and the clearings are filling up with calves and foals working with the herds.

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

Elephants

The breeding herds of elephant have been transferring about fairly a bit throughout November, probably on account of the rain, and having a number of choices accessible. In the course of the second half of November, elephant sightings have been few and much between, however once they have been seen, they nearly at all times had one or two very younger calves with them. These are at all times a agency favorite with guides and company alike and we’re blessed to have such relaxed elephant herds that permit us to get incredible viewing of them.

Hippo

Hippo

Hippo

Simply A Little Completely different

One other explosion on account of the rain is the insect world typically, and when situations are proper, we expertise big termite emergences! Usually termite colonies synchronise their emergences, leading to hundreds of thousands of winged aletes withdrawing. These are the kings and queens of the following technology which, after the nuptial flight, lose their wings, pair up with the other intercourse, and burrow down into the earth to begin a brand new colony. These are, nonetheless, considered one of nature’s finest types of protein, and every thing from mammals and birds to frogs and different bugs have a feeding frenzy when these emergences are found.

Hippo

Hippo

Lions

And whereas nature is bursting with abundance, the common performers proceed to contribute to the unimaginable sport viewing we’ve turn out to be accustomed to. The Mhangene pleasure have been common guests to the south and are a pleasure to watch. Being near the lodge very often, it permits us loads of alternative to view them on the transfer, earlier than they discover shade as the warmth of the day approaches.

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

On considered one of these events, having discovered the pleasure resting on a termite mound, they out of the blue observed a lone wildebeest bull approaching and rapidly went into stalk mode. They really managed to remain centered, even with two giant elephant bulls in the best way, laid the ambush and efficiently hunted the bull! To see a video of this motion, click on right here.

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

The 2 younger cubs are each doing very properly and are a continuing supply of leisure. The youthful one just lately discovered a big leopard tortoise which, whereas the adults have been being fairly lazy, supplied some nice amusement. I’m certain that the tortoise didn’t discover this as amusing, however happily it was giant sufficient to keep away from being crushed by their jaws, and after a protracted sport, they lastly left it in peace.

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

The Ottawa pleasure have additionally executed very properly. All six cubs are thriving and are rising by the day. They’re now seven and 9 months previous and we’re very hopeful that they may pull by way of. They’re now on the ages that make for lots of enjoyment out on drives, and with the moms offering them with common kills, they’ve some further vitality to burn! Play has turn out to be a vital a part of their growth they usually continually chase each other in mock looking and preventing.

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

The one lioness from the break-away group as soon as once more made a go to within the West, and we have been hopeful that she would be part of up with the adults, as at one level she was very near them, however sadly she didn’t. She is in good well being, although, and it is going to be fascinating to see the place she results in the longer term.

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

We now have additionally seen the 2 Tsalala females fairly a bit this month. They’ve been primarily sticking to the river, not transferring an excessive amount of and making an attempt to maintain a low profile. Sadly, they didn’t hold a low sufficient profile, and the older feminine was killed within the Sand River on the twentieth of November. From the tracks within the space, we assume it was the Plains Camp males, who’ve been pushing additional west and getting near our concession on a couple of events. The younger remaining feminine has moved a great distance east and we’ve not seen her since.

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

The Thumbela males are going to must defend their territory properly to make sure that these two males don’t encroach on their house and threaten their prides. We want them to guard the six younger Ottawa cubs and be sure that the pleasure has some new younger females to maintain the pleasure going. Thus far, nonetheless, they’re doing very properly! The bigger of the 2 males is trying in incredible situation and is rising in confidence day by day. His brother shouldn’t be recovering as rapidly however is nonetheless beginning to look good. The limp that he has had since they arrived continues to be there and is probably hindering his progress. We’re assured, nonetheless, that they may proceed to guard their territory and cubs.

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

Ottawa Male Lion

Leopards

On the leopard entrance, Tlangisa has been doing exceptionally properly together with her two cubs. She has been having some phenomenal success with making kills of late, however not a lot at protecting them! We just lately had a fantastic view of her dragging a contemporary impala kill to a secluded spot, however earlier than she may return with the cubs, a hyena had stolen it.

Tlangisa

Tlangisa

She has, nonetheless, managed to offer properly and her two cubs are rising properly. She has one male and one feminine, that are actually 7 months previous. They’re extraordinarily relaxed and are discovered repeatedly across the Sand River. Though Tlangisa has misplaced many kills of late, she nonetheless manages to search out sufficient to feed the cubs and hold them rising!

Tlangisa

Tlangisa

Tlangisa

Boulders additionally appears to be pregnant once more, and we wait in anticipation for information of her cubs. She is notoriously good at hiding her den websites, so hopefully we can discover it quickly after the beginning, so we will observe the progress of the cubs from early on.

Tlangisa

Tlangisa

Ntoma, whom we talked about final month for showing to be extra relaxed, has been seen on a lot of events once more this month. She allowed us to observe her just lately and she or he truly managed to catch a scrub hare whereas we have been following her. She turned instantly, and walked rapidly in the wrong way, initially making us suppose that she was not proud of our presence. We managed to maintain up together with her, nonetheless, and to our shock, she led us again to the 2 cubs who have been hidden in a drainage line close by. The cubs have been a bit of nervous, however relaxed considerably at night time, and we had some nice viewing of the three of them collectively. Sadly, we’ve learnt that one cub was later killed by hyena.

Ravenscourt

Ravenscourt

Ravenscourt

We talked about final month that Tisela had been in a scrap together with her brother, Hlambela, and that her leg was badly injured, however on the mend. This therapeutic course of has continued, and we’re glad to say that her limp is a lot better, and she or he is in good situation!

Tlangisa

Tlangisa

Her brother has grown up in a short time and, like his father Ravenscourt, is beginning to act in a dominant style at a really early age! At three years and 5 months, he was seen mating with the Kelly Dam feminine for a interval of 5 days! It isn’t unusual for a feminine to mate briefly with a younger nomadic male in her territory, with a purpose to persuade him that her cubs (if she had any) may probably be his. It’s, nonetheless, very uncommon for it to final so lengthy! To make it much more stunning, Ravenscourt met up with the pair, and as an alternative of chasing his son away, he simply joined in and we had them making turns mating with Kelly Dam, with nearly no aggression between the 2 males. Ravenscourt then moved on, with Hlambela staying with Kelly Dam! For a incredible video of this, take a look right here.

Ravenscourt

Ravenscourt

Ravenscourt

Ravenscourt nonetheless dominates the West, as he did final month. We now have talked about that he has contenders on all sides, ready for a possibility to problem, however they must wait.

Ravenscourt

Ravenscourt

Thamba appears to be content material with what he has in the mean time and isn’t placing any apparent stress on Ravenscourt in the intervening time. He appears to have settled along with his territory for now and has made the south his personal.

Ravenscourt

Ravenscourt

Ravenscourt

Euphorbia can also be settling down within the north. Each he and Thamba appear extra intent on placing stress on Nyelethi additional east, as Ravenscourt continues to be in his prime.

Ravenscourt

Wild Canine

The opposite predators have had some incredible displaying this month. At one level, we had two packs of untamed canine on the concession, giving us unbelievable viewing of this endangered species. These animals have a number of the tightest bonds between the people, and these bonds are strengthened by enjoying. Wild canine play greater than another species and we have been spoilt with an exceptional sighting of one of many packs chasing one another round and thru a small pond for over 20 minutes! We now have a brief clip of that sighting right here.

ostrich

genet

genet

Hyena

Our wonderful hyena viewing has continued, with the den nonetheless being energetic and offering some incredible sightings of the younger cubs. We additionally repeatedly see adults scattered across the concession, as they appear, pay attention and odor for any likelihood of a meal that could be discovered.

ostrich

genet

genet

African Wild Cats

We had some extra good viewing of the African Wild cat and her kitten in the beginning of the month, however they appeared to vanish towards the top of November. Because the cub will get older, she is going to transfer extra readily with the mom and be much less constrained to the den.

ostrich

Cheetah

Our male cheetah has been a bit of scarce this month, with not too many sightings being recorded. This may very well be a results of all of the impala lambs which can be about, that are very straightforward pickings for him, and so he doesn’t have to maneuver too far earlier than discovering and efficiently catching prey.

Cheetah

Cheetah

Birds

For these of you who’re eager birders, it is a nice time of the yr, as many migrants return to feed on the large abundance of meals that’s accessible throughout summer time. It’s the time for breeding and displaying, by making use of brilliant colors, fantastic shows and many singing from distinguished perches.

Hippo

Hippo

Hippo

Rhino

We don’t usually point out rhino, as there may be such big stress on their populations which can be crashing quickly on account of the huge poaching drawback dealing with all reserves in Africa in the mean time. However as we strategy Christmas and the Festive Season, we wish to pause to consider, and thank, these unsung heroes who shall be spending their time defending and preventing for the survival of our rhino.

Hippo

 

With heat needs
Neil, Natasha and The Savanna Staff

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