After last week’s wet, windy and cloudy conditions, there is a definite flush of green about the bush this week. It’s simply wonderful to see things coming back to life. However, we also have to remember not to get too excited about the change of season too early as it generally takes a few major downpours in order for the grass and the trees to really start turning green. It has been really great to witness some of the trees starting to come back to life as flowers start to pop out from otherwise dead looking branches. The Sjambok (Shambok) pod trees and things like the Knob Thorns have taken full advantage of the small amount rain!
Spring is always marvellous and it’s not hard to understand why this time of year is so attractive to safari goers. The smell on the air emanating from the bush as a whole is intoxicating. The perfectly cool evenings and the pops of colour here and there are also spell bounding! I could ramble on all day about how gorgeous it all is, but I know you came here primarily to read about what’s been happening with the wildlife, so without further ado, let’s talk animals!
Interestingly, I have not seen the River Pride once during the entire week. Our local pride seems to have, for some reason, decided to move south and out of our concession for the last few days. I find this rather peculiar as they have moved in the exact direction in which we usually find the Mayambula Pride. Generally, lion prides try and avoid each other. Couple this with that fact that the River Pride has never really gone anywhere near that far south and you end up with a pretty strange situation. All I can hope for, is that these two prides don’t come across each other as this will result in conflict, and I really can’t stomach the thought of losing the last remaining cub to pride rivalry! The Mayambula Pride is at this point a much larger and far more formidable force. We will keep you updated on our social media platforms and let you know as soon as the River pride is spotted again.
Sadly, we have still not seen or found signs of the famous leopardess, Ntombi. Many of you will know this gorgeous cat, some of you even refer to her as the queen of the Timbavati.For those that watch our Sofa Safari series you will remember her tiny cubs that we managed to film earlier on in the year. It has now been a number of weeks since she was seen. She is an older cat, aged around 13 years, and out here ageing really doesn’t work in one’s favour. Just as I had previously hoped that Marula would one day re-appear, from the bottom of my heart, I hope the same for Ntombi. She has always been a force to be reckoned with and she has seen many, many cubs to adulthood. It really would be a huge loss for all of us out here.
If there was one thing that characterised this week, it was hyena! I love these animals; in fact I love them more than I love lions! Not a night goes by at Tanda Tula Safari Campthat we don’t hear their ghostly whooping or their mischievous laugh. One of the best things you can witness on safari is a clan of hyena on a kill – it gets even better when it’s a large kill, like a buffalo! We are not sure how this particular buffalo went down; it could have been a natural death or possibly lions, or maybe even the hyena got the poor old Dugga Boy (old buffalo bull) themselves. It doesn’t really matter because once you see a clan feeding like this, all you really worry about is the soap opera unfolding before your very eyes! From massively fat hyenas lying in the foreground to the juveniles running around with a buffalo leg for a play toy in the background, it is all just one giant spectacle!
The plains game has also been gorgeous this week, even a photo of a humble impala made my selection! There has been loads of impressive kudu bulls around, the giraffe have been everywhere and the zebra never fail to entertain. Throw in a couple of stunning sunsets and you have yourself a week in Africa!
Until next time, happy snapping!