Tanda Tula - Timbavati - South Africa - Chad Cocking
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A Week of Returning Home

Chad Cocking | A Week In Pictures

Hello again, and welcome back to your weekly update about the happenings of the wildlife of the central Timabvati!  I returned to Tanda Tula after a wonderful month spent on the wide-open plains of East Africa, and it is always great to return home, especially when the “winter” days were a most pleasant 25 degrees and filled with blue, cloudless skies!  Although we measured another 10mm of rain during the month of June, the surrounds of the Greater Kruger have eventually started to take on a more wintery appearance, but there are still more trees hanging onto their green leaves than one would normally expect to find at this time of the year…but the browning and drying out process is well underway.

Tanda Tula - Timbavati - South Africa - Chad Cocking

As expected, my month of absence did lead to some wonderful game viewing, although despite my predictions, it wasn’t the cheetah-fest I thought it might be.  What I was not expecting though were several pangolin sightings close to Tanda Tula Plains Camp, but that is what my absence always seems to bring, allowing the other guides to enjoy!

The Giraffe Pride seemed to be more active in the area than the past months and have been seen with a few kills, including a giraffe and waterbuck.  The Mayambula Pride and their nineteen members began expanding the areas over which they were moving and started pushing further north of our traversing. They will however always return to their territorial core as the cubs grow up and require more food we can expect this trend to become more evident.

Tanda Tula - Timbavati - South Africa - Chad Cocking

The leopards also seemed to play along quite well, with Sunset female also being found more regularly than the last couple of months.  After a few weeks’ absence, Nyeleti and both of her cubs did reappear and I am happy to report that the little leopard family is doing very well.  The other growing family is that of our local hyena clan, and the den site on the edge of Plains camp. It now has an additional two tiny cubs which are sure to entertain our guests over the coming months.

As for this week that was, I headed out with one of our new guides, Tristan, to show him around the property and our first drive was a welcome return for me, and a great start for him!  In addition to several rhinos, plains game and some elephant bulls, we also got to see a portion of the Giraffe Pride resting off a good meal, as well as Sunset female leopard ascending a marula tree to go and rest near her impala kill.  The next morning, we managed to relocate Sunset some distance from her kill, and whilst watching her some nearby impalas burst into a chorus of alarm calls, and whilst following up, we found another leopard in the area.  It was a young leopard, but it seemed a little shy; from my experience with Sunset’s daughter, she appeared very relaxed, so I am not sure if it was her or not, but we didn’t follow the leopard after it walked off the road and into the bush.

Tanda Tula - Timbavati - South Africa - Chad Cocking

There were a good number of elephant bulls hanging around camp, and our guests loved getting to spend time in their company, and down by the river there were some regular sightings of a small group of buffalo bulls, as well as the usual host of plains game on the plains.

All in all, it is a lovely to be back in the Timbavati, and out on drive with our guests again – I will be out for a longer stint over the coming week, so be sure to check back next week for some more updates on what our guests have been enjoying out there.

Until then, cheers!

Chad

 

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