August brought the start of our annual burning season. This process is extremely important as it gets rid of all the old grass that has dried out losing its nutritional value over the winter months.
With the arrival of the first rains the burnt patches transform into bright green plains as the new grass begins to grow. Compared with previous years, our rain arrived early this year with our first rainfall measuring almost 200ml. This resulted in the Msunduze River flowing for the first time this year.
August was also the month of the Leopard with our guests and guides enjoying numerous fantastic sightings of these normally elusive creatures. Sightings that are usually no more than a fleeting glimpse turned into lengthy viewing opportunities.
One such memorable sighting was when both vehicles out on drives sat and watched a young Leopard cub exploring an Acacia tree. This youngster was unperturbed by the vehicles’ presence and the clicking of cameras and happily carried on with his morning adventure.
Leopard Mountain guests on Dylan’s drive were the first to see the baby elephant and during the sighting watched the rest of the herd investigating the newest arrival while he struggled to stay on his feet.
Both Leopard Mountain game drives and Zululand Walking Safaris have had some awesome bird sightings this month. With the Aloes coming into flower, an array of sunbirds has been seen on drives and around the lodge.
Some of the memorable species have been the Scarlet-chested Sunbird, White bellied Sunbird and the Marico Sunbird. Our game drives have also discovered three different African Crowned Eagle nests which we are watching closely for the first sign of chicks.
While on walk Ivor had extraordinary luck finding a Gorgeous Bush Shrike, Redheaded Weavers & a pair of African Wood Owls. It has been an exciting and interesting month and we all look forward to seeing and experiencing what the next month has install for us.
Until next time…
Sightings and encounters on last month’s walks and game drives with courtesy from rangers Chase, Dylan and Andrew of Leopard Mountain Reserve.