Tanda Tula in the Timbavati Game Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa - Photo credit: Chad Cocking
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A week of Summer Babies

Chad Cocking | A Week In Pictures

So, 2021 is almost done and dusted and this is the last weekly update for the year.

That said, be sure to check out next week’s blog with a roundup of the year’s activities here at Tanda Tula Safari Camp, as well as my favourite photos of 2021.  For now, let’s look at the week that was, and it was a week of another good sprinkling of rain. We recorded 23mm over the course of two days followed by some good cloudy weather to ensure that the moisture wasn’t simply sucked straight back up.  That said, it was a week of high humidity levels that I haven’t felt for a long time.

On the sightings front, our wild dogs eventually arrived back in the area, the pack of 21 spent a couple of days in the northern half of our concession.  We had seen their tracks in the eastern parts of the Timbavati for a couple of days before they eventually showed themselves (naturally when I wasn’t on drive). I was however fortunate enough to see them briefly during one of my driving stints as they made their way towards the Klaserie.  The other guides had enjoyed some great viewing in the days leading up to my sighting as the wild dogs hunted their usual summer preference for the impala lambs that abound in the area.

Wild dogs at Tanda Tula in the Timbavati Game Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa - Photo credit: Chad Cocking

The lions were represented by a few days of the Mayambula hanging around in the eastern and south-eastern sections of the reserve this week.  The pride are in great shape, and the males spent time mating with a few of the lionesses in the pride.  There were a couple of occasions when the lionesses split into smaller groups, but after our rain the pride were found together on one of the open areas in the east.  There were no signs of the Sark or Vuyela lions this week, and even further west the Giraffe Pride were once again absent.  The guides are not sure where they are hiding their cubs, but still talk about just how tiny the little ones were when they introduced them to us a few weeks back – that is one sighting I am most disappointed that I missed out on!

Lioness at Tanda Tula in the Timbavati Game Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa - Photo credit: Chad Cocking

On the leopard front, Thumbela was seen a couple of times in the east and they found her with an impala kill close to our starbeds one morning.  We also got a surprise and saw Xigodo on the prowl in his old haunts this week.  He was looking a little lean which is surprising considering the time of year and the availability of baby impalas around.  Ntsongwaan was seen in the west, and Jack also found a pair of leopards with a kill in the same area, but sadly the young male was nervous.  Steven also got to spend some time with the young male leopard around Nkhari, and he seemed more relaxed this week than last.  With more regular viewing, I am sure he will become very obliging and provide us with some good sightings if he stays in the central Timbavati.  I also saw another large, semi-relaxed male leopard on our eastern boundary this week, but I was unable to get an ID on him as it was at night.

Leopard at Tanda Tula in the Timbavati Game Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa - Photo credit: Chad Cocking

There were loads of elephants around this week, and most herds were sporting tiny babies.  The area around Tanda Tula Safari Camp was particularly active with elephants being seen feeding in front of the camp and drinking at the waterhole.  There were two buffalo herds that moved through the area, and one even decided to spend the day resting opposite our camp. During check-ins that day, we could see elephant, buffalo, impala, zebra and giraffe from the deck.  The general game was excellent in the central areas with many herds of zebra and giraffe gracing us with their presence, but the eastern sections were a little quieter.  There were many young animals with the herds – the wildebeest calves are getting more numerous by the day – making for pleasant viewing throughout the week.

So, enjoy the last weekly selection of photos for 2021, and be sure to check back next week to see if your favourite images have ended up in my top choices for the year!  Until then, keep safe out there!

Cheers

Chad

Wildebeest calves at Tanda Tula in the Timbavati Game Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa - Photo credit: Chad Cocking

Jackal Pup at Tanda Tula in the Timbavati Game Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa - Photo credit: Chad Cocking

Kudu at Tanda Tula in the Timbavati Game Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa - Photo credit: Chad Cocking

Sunset at Tanda Tula in the Timbavati Game Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa - Photo credit: Chad Cocking

European Roller at Tanda Tula in the Timbavati Game Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa - Photo credit: Chad Cocking

Buffalo Bull at Tanda Tula in the Timbavati Game Reserve, part of the Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa - Photo credit: Chad Cocking

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