Rangers Report from Leopard Mountain
It’s been an exciting month here at Leopard Mountain. Despite having had the most rain we have seen in October in around ten years, our sightings have been nothing short of invigorating. The river has been flowing constantly and our birdlife has gone through the roof.
All our animals big and small, have been keeping us on our toes. The predators have been moving around a lot much to everyone’s excitement. The Elephants have been making the odd surprise appearance and our Rhino have been quite entertaining putting our tracking skills to the test.
With all the water that’s around in conjunction with rising temperatures, the birding has been exceptional. A breeding pair of Broadbilled Rollers has been spotted on numerous occasions near the riverbed, some distance away from their usual distribution.
Cuckoos have become more common, with Black, Diederik and Redchested Cuckoo all being seen on drives. European and Little Bee-eaters have been refreshingly colourful in the early summer sunshine. With fresh kills around, we have been watching Cape, Whitebacked and Lappetfaced Vultures at their best. Wahlberg’s, Martial and African Crowned Eagles have been gracing us with their presence but the most surprising sighting was a Fish Eagle in the river – this is the first sighting in around ten years of a Fish Eagle in the area. Could the drought finally be over?
Our Lions have been the topic of many a conversation at the lodge with their movements changing quite drastically in comparison to recent months. Three males have ventured up north to within kilometers of the females. Everyone is anticipating a meeting between the two groups.
With the females in the same area as the males, we could be seeing a pride forming in the months to come.
The sightings have been amazing with highlights being the females hunting in plain sight and the males relaxing as they do best on an island in the riverbed.
On a final note, the Wild Dogs have returned to the area! Both rangers and guests alike have been blown away by their antics. Almost constantly on the hunt with three cubs trailing behind, learning as they go, the excitement never seems to stop.
The pack dynamics are incredible and it’s lovely to watch them as they hunt, play, bond or simply relax in the bush. With a wealth of food around and the Impala all starting to drop their youngsters we have seen some lovely sights of very well fed Wild Dogs.
It’s just fantastic to see another endangered species so at home in our protected reserve. It gives us hope and keeps us motivated to keep Africa’s wildlife a priority in our lives… and how rewarding it can be!
Rangers Report courtesy of Leopard Mountain Lodge and rangers Chase, Andrew, Adam & Ruan as well as trackers Donald & Sean.