We have an update with courtesy of Leopard Mountain just outside Hluhluwe, as reported by their rangers Chase, Dylan and Andrew.
This gives us a unique insight into their daily lives and happenings on the reserve.
The month of July has been fairly cold and most of the bush has thinned out making it easier to spot wildlife while out on safari. This time of year the bushveld is alive with colour. The golden grasses and dark browns of tree trunks are set off against the orange and red hues of our spectacular sunrises and sunsets. There have been many amazing sightings this month, so we have pulled out a few of the highlights.
From the main deck of the lodge we watched a leopard killing a warthog in the river bed. This was an amazing and rare sighting.
On one of the morning game drives, we had stopped to admire the sunrise. After warming up a bit, we continued a short way down the road and came across a Buffalo cow which was separated from the herd. She didn’t seem to be bothered by us and our guide noticed her head was held low and she had a swollen vulva.
After viewing her for a short while we then saw a little newborn Buffalo calf stand up and take its first steps into this new world. She was a little unstable at first but with mother’s reassurance and constant cleaning she gained her balance. It was an incredible moment to witness!
A female Cheetah has been seen with two cubs on a number of occasions within close proximity of the lodge and in the river bed. They are around 10 months of age and full of beans. While viewing them one afternoon, they started to play right in front of the vehicle while their mother was more focused on finding food. The youngsters soon caught onto this and were climbing on pushed-over trees to aid their mother in the search.
On another morning drive, while looking for fresh signs of big game we spotted some Vervet Monkeys who were alarm calling down in the river bed. As we drew closer we came across a troop of Baboons and a herd of Impala who were also calling in alarm. That’s when we noticed, to our surprise, a pack of Wild Dogs lying in the grass. They had just made a kill and were full at the belly and quite content. The alpha male Baboon came down from the trees and approached the dogs, trying to intimidate them into leaving, but this didn’t seem to work too well since the dogs paid little attention to the loud Baboon and started to play and feed on the remains.
Some other specialties have been Black Rhino, Porcupine viewed during the day feeding on the fruit of a Sausage Tree, Leopards and cubs, Genets, the rare Aardvark on a number of occasions enjoying the cooler weather, Elephant breeding herds and their young, a troop of Banded Mongoose, a breeding pair of nesting African Crowned Eagles, Narina Trogons, Black Shouldered Kites hovering over the grass plains in search of food, Suni and Bushbabies.
It has been an exciting and interesting month and we all look forward to what’s yet to come.
Source: Leopard Mountain