It’s always absolutely amazing to see the miraculous transformation of the African bush as the wet season arrives and the grounds burst with an explosion of green and color. Dams fill up, and the almost incessant din of frogs calling all day and night becomes part of the soundtrack to the bush in summer. We have also welcomed all those unique migrant birds that fly down from the north to enjoy the summer rains here in South Africa. And, of course, there are the numerous impala lambs now littering the savannah as they wobble their way to adulthood and navigate their first frightening days in the bush.
It can be a little tougher to find animals in the rainy season as they tend to migrate away from the water sources with all the extra puddles, dams and rivers that form through the Manyeleti. But as is always the case here at Tintswalo Safari Lodge, it’s never a dull moment and we are blessed with incredible game viewing all year round.
The formidable Mbiri Pride has been hanging around the lodge area and they are constantly taking down great big buffalo – which is their specialty. The males are growing by the day and becoming very impressive figures – a dominant force in the Manyeleti to come. Some of the females are once again showing signs of oestrus, meaning they are ready to mate again. There’s also love inside the Koppies Pride, as some of these females have been mating with the Orpen Males.
Leopard sightings have been dominated by the beautiful Nompethu and her cub. She is outstandingly skilled at hunting duiker, and she seems to always have a fresh one at the ready for her growing cub. No doubt the young impalas will also start succumbing to her hunting prowess soon.
One particularly amazing sighting happened this month when a lioness tried to steal steal a warthog from a leopard – at the very top of a tree! The warthog had been hauled up into the tree and the lioness eventually gave up trying to pull it down, leaving the leopard to her meal.
© Lizi Andersen
The cheetah are regular visitors to the reserve, with six males making up the bulk of the sightings. The coalition of three brothers continue to roam the central and southern sections of the reserve. They are extremely relaxed with the vehicles and it’s been wonderful to see how they have grown used to our presence. The lone male seems to wander between the other two groups’ territories and is happy to go under their radar it seems. His range has shrunk quite a bit with the arrival of the other three males in the area. It’s a constant competition among the cats.
The lush greenery has drawn in big buffalo herds from the Kruger as they feast on the season’s bounty. It’s remarkable to see the effect that these herds have on all the animals of the area – from the birds who follow in search of insects, to the predators and all the seasonal dramas they bring along.
We look forward to updating you more in 2020! Until next time!