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A Week of Elephants

Chad Cocking | A Week In Pictures

This week in the Timbavati has been brilliant for sightings, we can feel summer edging closer with lovely warm afternoons and still fairly crisp early mornings. Birds are starting to sing their morning chorus before the sun breaks our horizon and we are finding muddy rhinos and warthogs before we close down for our coffee stops. 

There have been some stand out sighting for me this week, the first being an amazing view of a female leopard we call Savannah. My guests had flown all the way from England and one animal they really wanted to see was a leopard, after a few days of continuously looking and some hard tracking, Jack told me to trust him in the beginning of a rather brisk morning drive and head East from Plains Camp towards Pepper Pan as he had a feeling that was the place to be. Sure enough Jack’s gut was right once again! Just before we got to the pan Jack had spotted Savannah beautifully posed on a termite mound resting after what might have been an unsuccessful night of hunting. After following her for a bit she hopped up on a fallen marula and allowed us to get a great view of her. It is safe to say we had some big smiles on the back of our game viewer for the rest of our drive.  

The six young male breakaways from the Birmingham pride are still around all the time at the moment and are no doubt keeping the dominant males of the Mayanbula pride on their toes. A few days ago, these young males managed to take down and kill a fully grown buffalo bull in the night. This is a very impressive meal to obtain as buffalo bulls are one of the most dangerous animals to take on with their massive size, immense strength and short temper. Luckily,  because this is such a large kill, we still managed to see one of the young males feeding on the carcass later on that afternoon. 

We also got to see a first for both Jack and me this week which was incredibly exciting! Making our way back to the lodge one morning we stumbled upon a small breeding herd of elephants, after enjoyable some wonderful interactions between a baby and the mother another elephant started to emerge from behind a Magic Gwarri bush. On first glance I could see there was something different about this female elephant and after talking with Jack we figured out what made this cow stand out from the rest of her herd. She had white hair! A very rare condition known as leucism. Now I am sure many of you reading this may have heard of the famous white lions of the Timbavati that carry this same rare condition, but I had never seen or let alone even heard of an elephant with this condition. One of the many privileges of being able to work in the African bushveld is that we get to spend time trying to find and observe these unusual occurrences.  

Tanda Tula - Timbavati

That is it from me this time, Chad will be back next week with his update! 

Until then,  







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