Elephant Plains Game Lodge

Rangers Report December 2013

I can’t believe that this is the last month of the year and it is time to say goodbye to a wonderful 2013. It feels like the year started just yesterday, but we are welcoming 2014 with open arms! By leaving 2013 behind, we are left with wonderful memories of all the awesome adventures we had in the bush… This past month, we had a lot of very hot days where temperatures pushed up into the high thirties so the immense amount of 227mm rain we had during December, was a huge welcome. The average maximum temperature this month was 30°C, which was accompanied by some very humid days. The game viewing was really good and we couldn’t ask for a better way to end the year. We were very fortunate to see the illusive pangolin foraging the one evening and we had some of the best wild dog and cheetah sightings ever. It just shows you, when you think you have seen it all, think again. The bush always has something new and exciting to offer!

Giraffe and elephants by Morné Fouché

Giraffe and elephants by Morné Fouché

Leopard

We had unbelievable leopard sightings this last month and we can once again call it a “spotted” month. Salayexe is still looking great and she surprised us all when we saw her mating with the young Robson’s male this month. If she was pregnant at the time she mated with this particular male, it would help a bit with the survival of the cubs as he would be under the impression that the cubs are his own. We will have to wait and see. Talking about cubs, one of the rangers followed Shadow one afternoon when she took him straight to her den site. Upon approach, she started calling softly to the cubs and out of the thickets came two little bundles of fluff. It is therefore now confirmed that she gave birth to two cubs and we estimate them to have been between 5-6 weeks old around 22 December. If all goes well, we will start viewing them in January, thereby giving them some more alone time as a new family. Thandi and her son, Bawuti, are also looking good and they were seen quite a lot this past month. It is also not going to be too long before he needs to start looking after himself when his mother pushes him out of her territory. Kwatile was also seen a few times, although not as often as normally. Nsele was also seen and every time we see her she is prettier; looking more and more like her father, Tyson. We also saw Moya mating with Lamula. After seeing her mating, a few red lights went off in our heads, as she is supposed to still have cubs, unless she lost them. Only time will tell what happened here. Lamula was seen on a regular basis. He is in the best shape of his life thus far and still expanding his territory more north. Tingana is getting much more relaxed with the vehicles around him, but sometimes he really lives up to his name, which means “the shy one”. With Mvula we could see a definite change in his behaviour, as he does not go into Tingana’s territory to expand any further.

Female cheetah by Dawie Jacobs

Female cheetah by Dawie Jacobs

Lion

The lion sightings this month were once again out of this world. The Styx pride is still healthy and looking good. The two boys are getting bigger and looking gorgeous with their manes, which is getting fuller by the day. The lioness with the new little cubs is also looking very healthy, although she needs to eat twice as much to provide her cubs with much needed milk. She spends a lot of her time with the pride and then once a day she leaves the pride to go to the cubs, which are safely hidden in the den site, only to return to the pride again. We also had a great sighting of the Fourway pride. We saw two sub adult males and what looked like two adult lionesses. This pride is coming in more west than normally, straight into the Styx pride’s territory, but so far they are avoiding each other as far as they can. Saying this, the time will come when these two prides will have to face each other as they are starting to use parts of the same area. We did not see the Nkuhuma male a lot this last month, but the sightings that we had of him were just awesome. Some days I wonder how different things would have been if his brother was still alive. They would have been two impressive males. Being a solitary male between two territories that are guarded by big coalitions of males makes it very difficult. You will never have a pride of your own. The four Majingi male lions came into the area the one evening and stayed for a while before moving on. This was the first sighting of all four males walking together and scent marking their boundaries in a very long time. The first thing I noticed, whilst spending time with them, was that there has been a shift in dominance between the males. Black Mane was always the more dominant male of the Majingilane coalition as he also mated with the majority of the females. Well, the new dominant male seems to be Pretty Boy. We could see this in his behavior and also his posture. When they drank water, Black Mane waited for Pretty Boy to quench his thirst, before he came to drink. We also saw Black Mane approaching Pretty Boy, lying down next to him. Pretty Boy stood up and mounted Black Mane as a sign of dominance. The other two males, Smudge and Hip Scar, are also looking very good.

Mvula the male leopard by Devon Becker

Mvula the male leopard by Devon Becker

Buffalo

We did not have the big herds in our area this month as they already moved on to greener pastures somewhere else. The big herds move to areas with enough food and also water supplies that can sustain the whole herd. When food and water is plentiful in the rainy season, it also becomes baby season for the buffaloes, with lots of little calves running around. With all the hot summers days that we had this month, you did not really have to go far to look for the dagga boys, as they would be resting in a waterhole or mud wallow to seek refuge against the harsh African sun. We have noticed a lot of older bulls this month, compared to last month. I think what might have happened was that the dominant males that have returned to the breeding herds, pushed out the older competition.

Elephant

We were so fortunate with all the wonderful elephant sightings that we had over this past month. Some days it was so good that you were spoiled for choice as to which elephant herd to respond to, as they were around every corner. We also had a lot of entertaining sightings with the babies playing around in the mud puddles and water pools. Now that there is an abundance of food and water supplies everywhere, the elephant herds do not stay in the same area to feed and drink from one source over a long period of time. They move around quite a bit between all the different water pools which have formed with the rain and the obvious lush, green grass that comes with that. We also saw about eight different adult bulls moving through our area, following the breeding herds. The young bulls kept us entertained with their play-fighting. When two young bulls play-fight, they actually test each other’s strength and therefore, if they meet again as adults, they will not have any urge to fight as they will already know which one is the stronger and more superior male.

Special Sighting

The special sighting this month was to see a pangolin foraging out in the open. This shy animal did not have a care in the world and it was a treat to see this very illusive animal being so relaxed with us around him.

Pangolin by Dawie Jacobs

Pangolin by Dawie Jacobs

Did you know?

Although it has the appearance of a reptile, a pangolin is actually a mammal.

I hope you enjoyed the last report for 2013 and hope to see you out on game drive during the New Year!

Morné Fouché


Big 5 Sightings 06 to 12 January 2014

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see the Styx lion pride resting at Mnisi Pan.

 

The Styx lion pride resting at Mnisi Pan - Louis Liversage

The Styx lion pride resting at Mnisi Pan – Louis Liversage

Monday, 6 January 2014

(32ºC)

  • Three Majingi male lions moving west on our Southern Boundary
  • Salayexe, the female leopard, resting at Eagle Owl Crossing
  • Tingana, the male leopard, moving west on Wetpatch Road
  • Three buffalo bulls resting on our Southern Boundary

 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

(32ºC)

  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Gowrie Main
  • Another breeding herd of about fifteen elephants feeding on Mamba Road
  • Four buffalo bulls resting in Serengeti Manyeleti Crossing
  • One elephant bull moving west on Airport Link Road
  • Another breeding herd of about twenty elephants drinking water at Big Dam
  • Eight buffalo bulls feeding on Old Borehole Road
  • Two elephant bulls feeding on MMM-North

 

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

(29ºC) 10mm

  • One buffalo bull resting in the Manyeleti river close to Puff adder Road
  • Three buffalo bulls feeding on Marula Bult South
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Majingi open area
  • The young Robsons male leopard moving west from Rhino Ring East

 

A young male leopard - Devon Becker

Young male leopard – Devon Becker

Thursday, 9 January 2014

(29ºC)

  • One buffalo bull resting at One Eye Pan
  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on Methlowani Road
  • Salayexe, the female leopard, resting up in a tree on A-main
  • Another breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding at Kuala Bear View Point
  • One buffalo bull resting north of Kudu Drift

 

Friday, 10 January 2014

(38ºC) 13mm

  • Styx lion pride resting at Mnisi Pan
  • One buffalo bull feeding at Mnisi Pan
  • Salayexe, the female leopard, resting on at EP driveway
  • Three buffalo bulls drinking water at Rhino Pan
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding at Boundary Pan
  • Another breeding herd of about fifteen elephants feeding at out Southern Boundary

 

Saturday, 11 January 2014

(29ºC) 9mm

  •  One elephant bull feeding at Rampan Dam
  • One buffalo bull resting at Poachers Corner
  • One elephant bull feeding at Treehouse Pan
  • Salayexe, the female leopard, resting on Simbambili Firebreak
  • Wabayiza, the young male leopard, moving east from Grasscut Road

 

Hippo bull - Louis Liversage

Hippo bull – Louis Liversage

Sunday, 12 January 2014

(25ºC)

  •  Four breakaway female lions resting east of Milkberry Road
  • Three buffalo bulls feeding at Big Dam
  • Salayexe, the female leopard, resting in a tree west of EP driveway
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding at Shirleys Crossing

A new start in 2014!

It’s the beginning of 2014 so here’s a few tips to end those bad habits and start the New Year looking good and feeling GREAT!!!!

Do It Yourself Detox:

Start your year with a good detox regime

Start your year with a good detox regime

Kiwi and Grape Fruit Juice Recipe

Mix 225 grams kiwi fruits with 70 grams grapefruit and 60 ml of water, until the drink is smooth. Both kiwis and grapefruits are high in antioxidants and vitamin C, as well as high in fibre, which theoretically helps clear the body of toxins. Fibre has long been known to help promote good digestion and a healthy body and with the added benefit of vitamin C and antioxidants, the drink is meant to provide your body with many of the necessary nutrients, while clearing out bad toxins. Many detoxifying drinks are high in antioxidants as they promote liver health. As we all know, the liver functions as one of the body’s natural detox organs.

When to detox

Most people decide to go on a detox after the December holidays when lots of food and drinks have taken their toll. It might be a good idea to use your own body as an alarm clock. Our bodies go through natural cycles, like the changing seasons. If there are specific times of the year when your body feels sluggish and bloated, it would be worth doing a detox.

What to eat

Changing your diet may be the most important aspect of your detox. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and dairy products. Drink purified cold water or hot water with lemon and honey, which helps flush your system of toxins. Try eating organic food during your detox. Avoid sugar and starches, as this makes you feel more sluggish and can also retain fat. Remember that fat holds on to toxins for longer than muscles do.

6 New Year’s resolutions that everyone should have:

Look after your skin

Look after your skin

1. Ladies, please leave that spot!

We all know that it isn’t pleasant to have a pimple and so many people believe that picking at it wouldn’t affect the skin. Sadly they are wrong.

What causes a pimple? An inflamed blemish happens when the pore becomes engorged with excess sebum, dead skin cells and bacteria.

What happens when you squeeze a pimple? When you squeeze a pimple, you may force the debris from the pore deeper into the follicle. This can cause the follicle wall to rupture and spill infected material into the dermis (the innermost section of the skin).

If you are prone to break outs, try a new skin product, more suitable for your skin type and make an effort to keep your hands away from your face.

2. Wash you face before jumping into bed at night

After a long day at work everyone is guilty of falling into bed without removing your make up.

Fact is: Old make up clogs up pores, causing acne and leaving bacteria on your face. If eye makeup is not removed daily, there is an increased possibility of an allergic reaction or contact irritation. This could also cause an eye infection, which can be painful.

• Your skin “fixes” itself while you sleep and if you leave make up on, your skin absorbs all the chemicals from the make up.

3. Look after your nails:

Nails are seen by so many poeple on a daily basis, so MAKE A GREAT IMPRESSION!! Common causes of fingernail or toenail changes include trauma, aging, infection, and skin diseases. Diet is generally not responsible for abnormal nail changes, unless the person is suffering from severe malnutrition.

A good manicure makes a great impression

A good manicure makes a great impression

Trauma: Can induce horizontal fingernail ridges (beau lines), bleeding (hemorrhage) under the nail plate, and white streaks or spots (leukonychia).

• Splitting or layering of the nail plate (onychoschizia): Is caused by having hands that are constantly wet, frequent use and removal of nail polish or artificial nails and continuous mild trauma (e.g. from habitual finger tapping).

Spoil yourself by going for reagular manicures and pedicures. Invest in a good manicure kit and always remember to use a base and top coat!

4. Protect yor skin:

Our skin needs protection to keep it looking great!

• Long-term exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage your skin. To protect it, stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the rays are at their harshest. And remember that clouds don’t block UV rays.

• Beware that ultraviolet rays generally reflect off water, sand, snow and any light-colored surface such as concrete, so be diligent in applying sunscreen when you’re around these surfaces.

• And in winter make sure to use enough moisturizer!

5. Throw out old cosmetics:

Anything over a year should be thrown OUT!! Cosmetics have a limited lifespan. Using cosmetics that are old can cause several problems. Older cosmetics may harbor bacteria that may lead to breakouts or even infections. The color in some cosmetics may change over time, and a foundation that used to work perfectly may become too dark. Some “all natural products” will also not last as long as other types of cosmetics.

Don't use old cosmetics

Don’t use old cosmetics

The recommendations listed below are guidelines

• Items that last for up to two years include face powder, powder blush, powder bronzer, powder eye shadow, lipstick, lip liner, and pencil eyeliner. While pencil eyeliners should remain safe for up to two years, you can sharpen the pencil regularly so that a clean surface is exposed.

• Cosmetics that should be replaced after one year include oil free foundation, cream foundation, compact powder, concealer, cream blush, lip gloss and nail polish.

• Replace liquid eyeliner and mascara every three months.

AND REMEMBER LADIES……

6. Exercise

Make sure that you get regular exercise. This promotes healthy blood flow and cuts down on body fat.

Have you got any beauty-related new years resolutions? Please share them with me!

 


Big 5 Sightings 30 December to 05 January 2014

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see two Matimba male lions moving east from Chitwa Chitwa Dam.

 

Matimba male lions - Devon Becker

Matimba male lions – Devon Becker

Monday, 30 December 2013

(22ºC, 30mm rain)

  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on MMM South
  • Another breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on EP airstrip
  • One buffalo bull feeding on EP/Shirley’s cutline
  • One buffalo bull feeding on Rhino Ring North
  • Tingana, the male leopard, resting on MMM South

 

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

(30ºC)

  • Tingana, the male leopard, scent marking on Madash Road
  • Lamula, the male leopard, scent marking on A-main
  • Two male lions of the Matimba coalition resting on Chitwa Chitwa Dam wall
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Shirley’s open area
  • Two buffalo bulls resting on A-main in a mud wallow
  • Three elephant bulls feeding on EP driveway

 

Wednesday, 01 January 2014

(30ºC)

  • Two buffalo bulls feeding around Shirley’s Crossing
  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding at Boundary Pan
  • Styx pride of lions resting on Ellie Alley
  • Fifteen wild dogs hunting impalas on Wetpatch open area

 

Styx lion pride- Dawie Jacobs

Styx lion pride- Dawie Jacobs

Thursday, 02 January 2014

(32ºC)

  • Tingana, the male leopard, moving east from Wetpatch open area
  • Fifteen Wild dogs hunting and killing impalas on Pungwe open area
  • One buffalo bull feeding on Eastern Bank Manyeleti
  • Styx lion pride resting on Safari airstrip

 

Friday, 03 January 2014

(32ºC)

  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on Elephant Carcass
  • Lamula, the male leopard, resting at Big Dam
  • Fifteen wild dogs hunting impalas on EP driveway
  • One elephant bull feeding on our Western Boundary
  • Three buffalo bulls resting at Grissly Bear Crossing

 

Saturday, 04 January 2014

(30ºC)

  • Mvula, the male leopard, hunting impalas on Wessels Old driveway
  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on Kuala Bear Road
  • One buffalo bull resting in Serengeti/Manyeleti Crossing
  • One bull elephant feeding at EP open area

 

Moya the female leopard - Dawie Jacobs

Moya the female leopard – Dawie Jacobs

Sunday, 05 January 2014

(31ºC)

  • Moya, the female leopard, hunting a killing a juvenile kudu on our Southern Boundary
  • Six buffalo bulls resting at EP/Manyeleti Crossing
  • Lamula, the male leopard, moving west on Rhino Ring South
  • Three buffalo bulls resting on EP open area
  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on our Southern Boundary

 

 

 

 

 

 


Big 5 Sightings 23 to 29 December 2013

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see all four the Majingi male lions together patrolling the boundaries of their territory

 

4 Majingi male lions - Morné Fouché

4 Majingi male lions – Morné Fouché

Monday, 23 December 2013

(33ºC)

  • Four buffalo bulls feeding on Nyala Crossing
  • Eight buffalo bulls resting at Serengeti Pan
  • Four buffalo bulls resting in the mud on Kuala Bear Road
  • Styx lion pride resting in Kubu Berry Crossing
  • A breeding herd of about 20 elephants feeding close to Little Gowrie driveway
  • Another breeding herd of about 30 elephants feeding at Mhisi Mati
  • Mvula, the male leopard, moving west from Wessels/ Hoffman’s cutline
  • One pangolin moving east on Safari airstrip

 

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

(32ºC)

  • A breeding herd of about fifty elephants feeding on Grasscut Road
  • Another breeding herd of about thirty elephants feeding on Central Road
  • One elephant bull feeding close to The Rocks
  • Four buffalo bulls drinking water at Serengeti Pan
  • Tingana, the male leopard, stalking impalas on Track South
  • A pack of fifteen wild dogs hunting impalas around EP airstrip

 

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

(34ºC)

  • One elephant bull drinking water at Leeukuil Pan
  • Another elephant bull moving south on Little Gowrie driveway
  • Four Majingi male lions drinking water south of Treehouse Pan
  • A pack of fifteen wild dogs playing around Rhino Pan
  • One elephant bull feeding on Kudu Drift
  • Two buffalo bulls feeding on Bushcamp West

 

Hyena cub resting - Devon Becker

Hyena cub resting – Devon Becker

Thursday, 26 December 2013

(31ºC)

  • A breeding herd of about fifty elephants feeding on Ngala open area
  • Five buffalo bulls feeding on Pungwe Island
  • Another breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on Rhino Ring South
  • Salayexe, the female leopard, hunting impala on Wetpatch Road
  • Tingana, the male leopard, moving east on Drongo North
  • Another breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding close to EP/Manyeleti Crossing
  • Three buffalo bulls resting in the water at Leeukuil Pan

 

Friday, 27 December 2013

(30ºC, 22mm rain)

  • Two buffalo bulls feeding on Saseka Road
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on MMM South
  • One elephant bull feeding on Madash Road
  • The Styx lion pride resting on Gowrie Main
  • Bawuti, the young male leopard, moving north from Gowrie Main
  • Two buffalo bulls feeding on Marula Bult South

 

Saturday, 28 December 2013

(33ºC)

  • Tingana, the male leopard, scent marking on Shortcut Wetpatch
  • Two buffalo bulls resting in the water at Rhino Pan
  • Lamula, the male leopard, moving east from Kudu Drift
  • Four buffalo bulls and a breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on our Southern boundary
  • One buffalo bull feeding on Horseshoe West
  • A pack of fifteen wild dogs hunting and killing impalas on Safari airstrip
  • Another breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on Saseka Road
  • One elephant bull moving south on Central Road

 

White-faced whistling ducks - Devon Becker

White-faced whistling ducks – Devon Becker

Sunday, 29 December 2013

(24ºC, 72mm rain)

  • A breeding herd of about 10 elephants feeding on Shirley’s open area
  • The Styx lion pride resting on Safari airstrip
  • One unknown young male leopard moving south from Simbambili firebreak
  • Another breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding in EP / Manyeleti Crossing
  • Two buffalo bulls feeding close to One Eye Pan
  • Two buffalo bulls feeding on A-main

 


Big 5 Sightings 16 to 22 December 2013

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see a young female cheetah moving north from Kaal Kol open area

Female cheetah - Dawie Jacobs

Female cheetah – Dawie Jacobs

Monday, 16 December 2013

(28ºC)

  • Fifteen wild dogs hunting and killing 6 juvenile impalas on EP driveway
  • One buffalo bull resting on Mabuza Road
  • Eight buffalo bulls moving south from our Southern boundary
  • One elephant bull moving south from Milkberry Road

 

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

(26ºC)

  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on EP open area
  • Thandi, the female leopard, and her cub Bawuti sitting in a marula tree after they were chased up the tree by a Styx pride lioness who stole their kill
  • Four buffalo bulls resting on EP/Shirley’s cutline
  • Nsele, the female leopard, feeding on an impala kill on Robson’s boundary
  • Tingana, the male leopard, moving south from Shirley’s Crossing
  • Another breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on A-main
  • Another breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding around EP/Shirley’s cutline
  • Three female lions of the Styx pride resting at Boer Bean Pan
  • One elephant bull feeding at Kraaines Pan

 

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

(25ºC)

  • One elephant bull feeding at Tamboti open area
  • A breeding herd of about twenty five elephants moving north from Shirley’s Crossing
  • Salayexe, the female leopard, mating with the young Robson’s male leopard close to Gaby’s Crossing
  • Another breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding around 5-Way Junction
  • Four buffalo bulls feeding on EP open area
  • Three female lions of the Styx pride stalking wildebeest on Safari airstrip

 

African wild dogs - Dawie Jacobs

African wild dogs – Dawie Jacobs

Thursday, 19 December 2013

(26ºC)

  • Two buffalo bulls resting on our Southern boundary
  • A breeding herd of about forty elephants feeding on Mamba Road
  • Two elephant bulls feeding on Serengeti open area
  • Lamula, the male leopard, and Moya, the female leopard, mating south of A-main
  • One buffalo bull resting in Grissly Bear Crossing

 

Friday, 20 December 2013

(25ºC)

  • The Styx lion pride resting on Old Borehole Road
  • Three buffalo bulls resting in a mud wallow on Kudu Drift
  • Four buffalo bulls feeding on A-main
  • Anderson, the male leopard, mating with Nsele, the female leopard, close to EP airstrip
  • One elephant bull feeding around Nyala Crossing
  • A breeding herd of about twenty elephants drinking water at Serengeti Pan
  • Another breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding close to Tamboti open area

 

Saturday, 21 December 2013

(32ºC)

  • A breeding herd of about ten elephants feeding on Ngala open area
  • Another breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding on MMM North
  • The Styx lion pride resting close to Chitwa Chitwa driveway
  • The Fourway lion pride resting on Gowrie Main
  • One cheetah female moving north on Kaal Kol open area
  • Another breeding herd of about forty elephants feeding on Little Gowrie driveway
  • One buffalo bull feeding around 2nd Windmill

 

Morné with an elephant bull on game drive - Dawie Jacobs

Morné with an elephant bull on game drive – Dawie Jacobs

Sunday, 22 December 2013

(33ºC)

  • Mvula, the male leopard, resting on MMM North
  • A pack of fifteen wild dogs killing an impala on Safari airstrip
  • A breeding herd of about fifty elephants feeding on Rhulani Road
  • Salayexe, the female leopard, scent marking around EP main gate
  • Another breeding herd of about twenty elephants feeding close to Tamboti open area
  • Eight buffalo bulls drinking water at Simbambili Dam

 

 

 


« Previous Entries Next Entries »

Copyright 2011 © Elephant Plains | Powered by Dumel