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Wildlife Weblog – October 2021


There’s a change within the air at Savanna. We’re presently within the transition interval between summer season 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 latest and vivid inexperienced or the distant calls signalling the arrival of the migratory birds. Whereas sightings have been fast-paced, thrilling and always transferring, it has been wonderful to witness the sluggish transition from winter to summer season. 

Whereas on the subject of birds, the guiding workforce right here at Savanna has enrolled in a nationwide competitors referred to as the Kruger Hen Problem, which has challenged hen watchers throughout the nation to attempt to {photograph} 400 completely different Kruger hen species over 400 days. Seeing 400 hen species in 400 days is tough sufficient, however making an attempt to {photograph} the sometimes-brief sightings is the place the actual 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 fascinating 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 often known as the Nkuhuma male. We had been fortunate sufficient to see the courting pair on just a few completely different buffalo kills through the previous month. At this level, we will 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 beneath the steerage 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 supplied many visitors with nice sightings and useful perception into the degradation of the carcass, because the 11 lions consumed 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 supplied 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 in the meanwhile, 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 just a few 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 outstanding huntress, and she or he has stored 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 extremely good for the long-term survival of the cubs. When the kills are properly hidden, it makes it more durable for different predators to search out, and the cubs can eat and play comparatively undisturbed. 

Tlangisa

Tlangisa

Tlangisa

Tisela has been via a tough few months, with a current severe altercation along with her brother, Hlambela. She limped away from the interplay with a really dangerous harm to her entrance proper leg and she or he 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 just a few stunning 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 stunning afternoon mild. Dan had an equally photographic sighting of her atop a termite mound and plainly her leg is properly on the best way to therapeutic.

Tlangisa

Tlangisa

Tlangisa

Thamba remains to be proving to be an thrilling leopard to view and observe, not solely as an exquisite male, but in addition as a bit within the chess sport that’s the leopard dynamics within the concession. He’s trying larger and stronger at nearly 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 velocity of those massive cats as he pounced on a warthog firing out of its gap. Unusually, he dragged the kill far into the gap, previous many appropriate timber, 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 automobiles and could 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 automobiles, 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 outdated, has at all times been fairly skittish round automobiles. Her mom, Mobeni, can also be a nervous particular person who managed to cover her as a cub from sightings, and she or he was due to this fact seldom uncovered to automobiles. We see her very sometimes, however just a few months in the past we seen her and two six-month-old cubs working away into the evening. 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 after 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 a little bit extra and we hope to have many extra sightings of the mom and daughter duo. It appears as if the cub has some injury to its proper eye and though it appears to be doing superb, solely time will inform if the harm is everlasting.

Ravenscourt

Ravenscourt

African Wild Cats

Extremely, we’re getting extra wonderful sightings of the resident wild cat and her now fast-growing kitten. What is really fascinating is how relaxed they’re with the automobiles, 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 remains to be making his common visits via 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 frequently discover him on.

Cheetah

Cheetah

Hyena

Typically, a distraction corresponding to 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 ordinary 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 lively, he needed to keep vigilant as he ate as a lot as he may earlier than darkish. 

Cheetah

Hyena

Hippo

The hippo pod within the dam in entrance of the lodge is doing properly and giving us good 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 mild of an African dawn supplies 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 increasingly improbable sightings corresponding to massive herds on the clearings, and bulls swimming and sparring to chill off within the warmth of the day!

Hippo

Hippo

Hippo

Normal 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 season rains and ensuing season of a lot. We expect to see loads of infants within the coming weeks and months, and hope that you can be right here to get pleasure from them with us.

Hippo

Hippo

Hippo

With heat needs
Neil, Natasha and The Savanna Crew

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