Rangers Report May 2018

Rangers Report May 2018

News from our Rangers

 

Nyl crocodile basking in the sun by Morné Fouché

Nyl crocodile basking in the sun by Morné Fouché

This month was one for the record books. We had a great time with awesome weather and spectacular sightings. The day temperature was very pleasant, with only a few days where the temperature went as high as 33-34°C. The average maximum temperature for the month was 25°C, with 24mm rain. The game viewing was absolutely incredible. We saw a sable antelope, as well as a mother cheetah with her two cubs. The wild dog pack also spoiled us with their presence. The alpha female of the pack is heavily pregnant and it will not be long before we see a few pups with the pack. The rutting season is in full swing now. Horns are clashing while the males are fighting for dominance and mating rights. Predators are definitely taking full advantage of the distraction and impala is the most popular item on the lion and leopard menu at this stage. In a way, this is also nature’s way to keep the strongest genes in the pool.

 

Leopard

May was definitely a very spotty month. We saw ten different individuals on a regular basis. We almost did not have one day without more than one leopard sighting.  

 

Tiyani, the female, finally mated for the first time with Hukumuri. A young female will usually mate with a male for a number of times over a few month, before she conceives. Tiyani is now three years old, meaning that she is now sexually matured and will hopefully have her own cubs within the next six months to a year. We are hoping that she will be more successful in raising cubs than her late mother, Salayexe.

 

I am proud to announce that we have a pregnant female amongst us. Xidulu is showing definite signs of pregnancy, with her growing belly and swollen milk glands. She also mated with Hukumuri, who will be a first-time father. Xidulu is now almost four years old and having her first cubs. If she carries her mother’s instincts, she will definitely raise plenty of cubs during the next few years to come. Due to the pregnancy, Xidulu is scent marking all over her territory. Once the cubs are here, she will not have as much time to get around, while caring for them.

 

We saw Moya, the female, only a few times this month. We usually see her quite often, while patrolling her northern boundaries. This month, she was a bit shy and we only saw her about two or three times while scent marking. She is now expanding her territory more to the north and east. After she mated with Anderson a month ago we can not confirm if she did conceive, as it would still be early days. Hopefully the next couple of weeks will bring good news.

 

After months of debating, Moya’s daughter has been named. This young female spends most of her time outside of our traversing area to the south. It was the privilege of the guides in the south to decide on a name. We found it easy to adopt to their decision to name her Makhomsava, meaning “mother earth”. She was seen scent marking around an area within her mother’s territory. I hope this does not lead to more bad vibes amongst them, while they decide who will stay and who will go. Moya’s current territory is just not big enough for both of them.

 

Tiyani’s older sister, Nsele, was also seen once or twice this month. She is still expanding her territory more to the east and north. The older she gets, the more she gets challenged by her younger sister. It will not be long before Tiyani starts to take over parts of her territory. Nsele is in very good condition for a nine-year-old and definitely has a lot of fight left in her.

 

Ingrid’s Dam female was also seen a fair bit this month. She and her cub are in really good condition and very healthy. She was also seen mating with an unknown male close to our lodge the one day. While she was mating with the good looking unknown male, she crossed over Nsele’s territory into Tiyani’s territory. This is a sign that it is almost time for the young daughter to move on. We also noticed that mum is a lot more annoyed with her daughter lately.

 

Sibuye, the female was also seen a few times this month. She is such an awesome mother and her two little cubs are growing up very fast. They are so relaxed with the vehicles around them. It is such a bonus if mum is relaxed with vehicles. One will find that the mother leopard plays a very important roll in the habituation of cubs. The cubs will always look at mother’s behaviour and then do the same.

 

Hosana, the young male is all over the show. We saw him the one afternoon on our southern boundary. The area where he was in was very far to the south/west from his normal area. We eventually left him as he crossed south over our boundary. It was not long before we saw him again close too Elephant Plains’ western boundary. This is good that he moves around and explores a little bit.

 

Hukumuri, the new dominant male leopard was seen a lot this month. Hukumuri is still expanding his territory more south into Anderson’s territory. He got one huge shock the one day while going south, scent marking in Anderson’s area. While Hukumuri was moving south, Anderson was moving north on the same road. The minute Hukumuri saw Anderson coming towards him, he turned around in his tracks and went back north. This showed me that he is still not confident enough to take on Anderson.

 

Anderson, the male, was also seen a few times this month. At the age of almost ten years, he is still looking good. One thing we noticed is that he’s age is starting to show. If he is lucky, he will be able to hold on to his territory for another 2 years maximum.

Zebra drinking water by Morné Fouché

Zebra drinking water by Morné Fouché

 

Lion

The lion dynamics are slowly but surely changing again. Change is not always a bad thing, but not while there are small cubs around…

 

The Nkuhuma pride was seen on a regular basis this month. They spent almost 90% of their time around our lodge and Elephant Plains property. We are so exited with the pregnant female who gave birth this month. It is unclear how many cubs she has, as she chose a very dense area for a den site.

 

We did not see the Styx pride a lot this month. They spent a lot of their time in the southern part of their territory. The youngsters are getting bigger and growing up fast. This pride had a lot of ups and downs in the last few years. I must say that it is really looking good for the Styx pride at the moment. All the members are looking very healthy.

 

The young Mhangeni sub-adults also made an appearance this month. They had a massive standoff with the Nkuhuma pride the one evening. The Nkuhuma pride killed an impala male and all the noise attracted the young Mhangeni sub-adult lions, who were not very far from the area. The very hungry Mhangeni’s came charging in and did not hesitate for one second. There was not a lot of food left for the nine hungry lions. They did not stay in our area for very long as they returned to the southwestern part of the reserve the following day.

 

We were very surprised to see the three young Tsalala males again this month. Like I mentioned earlier, the lion dynamics are changing. The Birmingham males are currently establishing a new territory down in the southern part of the reserve. This is forcing the other males of that area in different directions. The three Tsalala males were scent marking and calling the one evening, with no response from the Birmingham males. It really looks like these three boys are testing the waters. At this stage, only time will tell if they have what it takes to take over this area.

Tingana the male leopard Morné Fouché

Tingana the male leopard Morné Fouché

 

Buffalo

There were no big breeding herds this month, which is a bit strange, as we normally have big herds moving around this time of the year. These bulk grazers need a lot of food, as there are a lot of mouths to feed. Fortunately, we had a lot of late rains during May. This rain gave the grass much needed help to take us through the winter. We still had some wonderful sightings of the old dagga boys and the dominant males that recently left the herds.

Woodland Kingfisher by Morné Fouché

Woodland Kingfisher by Morné Fouché

 

Elephant

The elephant sightings were really spectacular. We saw at least two different herds per drive. There were also a few smaller herds in the area, of about ten to twenty animals. Overall, we were very fortunate with the big herds of about forty to sixty animals and sometimes even more. We were also joined by herds coming to drink water on our open area in front of the lodge almost every morning during breakfast, or in the afternoon during lunch. After they quenched their thirst they, moved down towards the dry riverbed to feed on the wild date palms. We also saw a few herds with tiny little babies of only a few weeks to a few months old. This is a very good sign, as it shows that the elephant herds are very healthy and that conditions are in their favor. These little babies made it so memorable for us as they were trying to be so big and fearless like mom or dad. We did not see a lot of really big bull elephants this month. One bull in particular followed a herd around the one afternoon. With his approach into the herd, the females were really stressed out and very vocal. When a big male gets the scent of a female in estrus, he will pursue the female to mate with her and that makes the rest of the females and the babies very unhappy.

 

Special sighting

Our resident pangolin, Benji, surprised us with his presence again this month. These illusive mammals have such secretive lives and when you see them out foraging, you realize how special and unique they are.

 

Did you know?

The scales of a pangolin are modified hair, which is keratin.

 

See you out on the game drive soon.
Morné Fouché

Manager’s Report September 2018

  Wild photo of the month - by Paul, Sue, and Mark Johnstone Spring is in the air and the landscape is slowly changing. Some of the trees around camp are showing off new small, green leaves and before we know, we will be surrounded with a fresh burst of green. Now...

Manager’s Report May 2018

  We are at that time of the year again, winter has arrived! The bush is wearing its winter coat once again! We have the blankets and hot water bottles back on the game drive vehicles and game viewing has been spectacular! The trees and grass are not as lush anymore,...

Manager’s Report February 2018

The shortest month of the year came and went in the blink of an eye. We had loads of wonderful game drive sightings, had some maintenance projects and also celebrated many staff birthdays. We experienced some strange weather patterns as well. We had very hot, humid...

Manager’s Report January 2018

Like I always say: “Time flies, when you’re having fun!”   It feels like just a few days ago that we had our new year's dinner and we are already going into the second month of 2018. By now, I am sure that most people are back home after the festive season. Some might...

Manager’s Report December 2017

December was a great month to end the year. We had lovely animal sightings, shared happiness and laughter over the festivities of Christmas and New Year and just before we said our last goodbyes to 2017, we received a heavy downpour of rain and hail.  Our New Year's...

Manager’s Report November 2017

The final countdown has arrived… just one more month until we welcome the new year. With the bush now once again wearing its bright summer colours, we are looking forward to an eventful summer! Game viewing has been amazing and with all the new babies that were born...

Rangers Report September 2018

  It’s spring time! What an awesome time to be out on safari. Migratory birds are returning and the trees are all in bloom with fresh, green leaves. Our temperatures jumped from the one extreme to the next. One day we were sweating in 43°C and the next day we had our...

Rangers Report May 2018

This month was one for the record books. We had a great time with awesome weather and spectacular sightings. The day temperature was very pleasant, with only a few days where the temperature went as high as 33-34°C. The average maximum temperature for the month was...

Rangers Report February 2018

This month was very exciting, with incredible game viewing opportunities. The average maximum temperature for the month was 32°C, with a wonderful 86mm of rain. We had several wild dog sightings again this month. With our resident hyena clan, we are always guaranteed...

Rangers Report January 2018

We could not ask for a better way to kick off 2018. It was an absolute pleasure to be out in the bush this month. The sightings were phenomenal and there was never a dull moment. The weather was up and down, but the rain was a huge, welcome relieve. The average...

Rangers Report December 2017

And so all good things have to come to an end. It is hard to imagine that we’ve reached the end of 2017. Looking back on this year, one realizes once again just how fantastic the sightings were. December is normally a really hot and wet month. It was a little...

Rangers Report November 2017

  Finally, the long wait is over and the first babies of the season started arriving during November. The first impalas arrived between 10 and 13 November. November is the start of the rainy season and that directly translates into baby season. The majority of the...

Big 5 Sightings 26 November to 2 December

 The highlight of the week was one male lion of the Avoka coalition visiting, and three cheetah’s moving through the area. Monday,26 November 2018 (40ºC) Hukumuri, the male leopard resting on Airport Link Four members of the Nkuhuma pride of lions resting on Sawmill...

Big 5 Sightings 19 to 25 November

Monday,19 November 2018 (31ºC) Four members of the Nkuhuma pride of lions resting at Serengeti Dam Young Ingrid Dam female leopard resting on Star chestnut Road Ingrid Dam female leopard walking on Rocky Road A breeding herd of about 30 elephants feeding on Chestnut...

Big 5 Sightings 12 to 18 November

The highlight of the week was to see Young Ingrid Dam female leopard Monday,12 November 2018 (34ºC) A breeding herd of about 20 elephants feeding at Five Way Junction Tiyani the female leopard resting in a tree at Simbambili Firebreak Two Ximungwe lionesses and one...

Big 5 sightings 05 to 11 November

The highlight of the week, was to see a young pangolin foraging for ants just before sunset   Monday, 05 November 2018 (36ºC) Xidulu, the female leopard, resting on Xihumbane Road. Two elephant bulls feeding on Simbambili Fire break. A pack of four wild dogs and four...

Big 5 Sightings 29 October to 04 November

Monday 29 October, 2018 (37ºC) Xidulu the female leopard, feeding on a duiker kill on MMM North The Nkuhuma pride, three young Mhangene pride and one of the young Talamati males resting on Gowrie Main Road A breeding herd of elephants feeding on EP open area   Tuesday...

Big 5 Sightings 22 to 27 October

The highlight of the week was the female cheetah and her two subadult cubs hunting and killing an impala female on Bushcamp East Monday, 22 October 2018 (24ºC) Moya, the female leopard eating her duiker kill at Londoz Drift Six members of the Nkuhuma pride of lions,...

Manager’s Report February 2018

Manager’s Report

February 2018
Wild photo of the month - Salayexe and cub by Paul, Sue and Mark Johnstone

Wild photo of the month - leopard silhouette by Morné Fouché

The shortest month of the year came and went in the blink of an eye. We had loads of wonderful game drive sightings, had some maintenance projects and also celebrated many staff birthdays. We experienced some strange weather patterns as well. We had very hot, humid days, some warm, windy days and ended the month with some cloudy days. It is noticeable during the evenings that the season is now slowly changing. The warm, humid nights are slowly being replaced by cooler, breezier temperatures. We can also notice the sunrise and sunset times changing a little more every day, as we slowly move towards autumn.
Male giraffe by Morné Fouché

Young elephant bull playing in the mud by Morné Fouché

We received a very welcome downpour of rain around the 18th. On the morning of 19th of February we were welcomed by the all too familiar sound of flowing water. Yes, the magical Manyeleti river was flowing! Luckily, the majority of water from the catchment area came down through the night and we were not stuck on an island. After the lovely rain, the bush took on a lush green canvas. It is amazing what a huge influence rain has on the bush. We all know the expression ” the grass is always greener on the other side” Now, in our case, the grass is not only greener, but also much, much longer and the bush was bursting out of its seams! The herbivores are all in top shape with the abundance of food available and the animal sightings have been amazing. With the grass and trees growing so fast, our maintenance team, rangers and trackers spent some time keeping our roads clean from overhanging branches and grass. The rangers and trackers are out and about on the roads on game drive, so they know which roads need the most attention and where it is turning into a forest. It is essential to keep roads clear from overgrowth, in order to ensure a comfortable game drive for our guests. The last thing you would want to do when admiring the beauty of the African bush, is to duck and dive for branches along the road. Our maintenance team is also doing a great job maintaining our airstrip, clearing away any unwanted vegetation, which could prevent a smooth landing.
Trapcam photo

Trapcam photo

Out trapcam picture this month is kind of a family portrait. This picture shows a mother elephant with her two youngsters. Elephants are some of most social mammals. Older siblings will assist mom to raise younger brothers and sisters. The age gap between siblings are between four and six years and the females will stay together for life. During February the marula trees were dropping thousands of fruits, which was an absolute delight for these gentle giants.
Male giraffe by Morné Fouché

Wild dog by Morné Fouché

February is a very busy birthday month at the lodge. Five of our staff members celebrated their birthdays this month. We started the month with our head ranger, Morné, who celebrated his birthday on the 1st.  I am sure all of you are already familiar with him, reading his monthly Ranger’s Reports. On the 2nd, our trusty tracker, Derrick, celebrated his birthday. Derrick has been part of our team for a few years now and he enjoys sharing stories of his childhood with us. Another gentleman who celebrated his birthday was Dion, on the 4th.  Dion is also one or our trusty trackers, who always has a smile on his face! The fourth gentleman for the month was another of our trusted trackers, Chriswell, whose birthday was on the 14th. Marlet celebrated her birthday on the 24th. Although we do not see her every day as we used to, now that she is based in Nelspruit with the children, she still visits the lodge as often as she can and is still very involved with the day to day running of the lodge. Happy birthday to all of you! To all our readers who celebrated their birthdays during February, we hope you had a fantastic day, filled with happiness and laughter!

Each month our chefs spoil us with delicious new recipes from the EP kitchen. This month is no exception, with a delicious Camembert Phyllo pocket by head chef, Yolandi. The camembert can also be replaced with mozzarella cheese, if you prefer. These cheesy parcels are wonderful as a starter, or even an afternoon lunch snack.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Camembert Phyllo Parcels

Ingredients

3 Camembert Rounds
2 Phyllo Pastry Sheets
Melted Butter

Sauce

100ml Orange Juice
1/4 cup Dried Cranberries
1/4 cup Sugar

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Cut the camembert round into halves.
Divide the phyllo pastry sheets into strips, a little wider than the cheese portions.
Place the camembert on the sheet and roll it, brushing it with butter at the end.
Place on a baking tray and brush with butter.
Bake for about 10min, or until golden brown.

For the sauce:

Add all ingredients together in a pot and boil until it thickens to a syrup type of sauce.
Serve your camembert parcels hot, smothered in sticky cranberry sauce.

Serve and enjoy!

All the best till next month,
Tersia Fouché

Manager’s Report September 2018

  Wild photo of the month - by Paul, Sue, and Mark Johnstone Spring is in the air and the landscape is slowly changing. Some of the trees around camp are showing off new small, green leaves and before we know, we will be surrounded with a fresh burst of green. Now...

Manager’s Report May 2018

  We are at that time of the year again, winter has arrived! The bush is wearing its winter coat once again! We have the blankets and hot water bottles back on the game drive vehicles and game viewing has been spectacular! The trees and grass are not as lush anymore,...

Manager’s Report February 2018

The shortest month of the year came and went in the blink of an eye. We had loads of wonderful game drive sightings, had some maintenance projects and also celebrated many staff birthdays. We experienced some strange weather patterns as well. We had very hot, humid...

Manager’s Report January 2018

Like I always say: “Time flies, when you’re having fun!”   It feels like just a few days ago that we had our new year's dinner and we are already going into the second month of 2018. By now, I am sure that most people are back home after the festive season. Some might...

Manager’s Report December 2017

December was a great month to end the year. We had lovely animal sightings, shared happiness and laughter over the festivities of Christmas and New Year and just before we said our last goodbyes to 2017, we received a heavy downpour of rain and hail.  Our New Year's...

Manager’s Report November 2017

The final countdown has arrived… just one more month until we welcome the new year. With the bush now once again wearing its bright summer colours, we are looking forward to an eventful summer! Game viewing has been amazing and with all the new babies that were born...

Rangers Report September 2018

  It’s spring time! What an awesome time to be out on safari. Migratory birds are returning and the trees are all in bloom with fresh, green leaves. Our temperatures jumped from the one extreme to the next. One day we were sweating in 43°C and the next day we had our...

Rangers Report May 2018

This month was one for the record books. We had a great time with awesome weather and spectacular sightings. The day temperature was very pleasant, with only a few days where the temperature went as high as 33-34°C. The average maximum temperature for the month was...

Rangers Report February 2018

This month was very exciting, with incredible game viewing opportunities. The average maximum temperature for the month was 32°C, with a wonderful 86mm of rain. We had several wild dog sightings again this month. With our resident hyena clan, we are always guaranteed...

Rangers Report January 2018

We could not ask for a better way to kick off 2018. It was an absolute pleasure to be out in the bush this month. The sightings were phenomenal and there was never a dull moment. The weather was up and down, but the rain was a huge, welcome relieve. The average...

Rangers Report December 2017

And so all good things have to come to an end. It is hard to imagine that we’ve reached the end of 2017. Looking back on this year, one realizes once again just how fantastic the sightings were. December is normally a really hot and wet month. It was a little...

Rangers Report November 2017

  Finally, the long wait is over and the first babies of the season started arriving during November. The first impalas arrived between 10 and 13 November. November is the start of the rainy season and that directly translates into baby season. The majority of the...

Big 5 Sightings 26 November to 2 December

 The highlight of the week was one male lion of the Avoka coalition visiting, and three cheetah’s moving through the area. Monday,26 November 2018 (40ºC) Hukumuri, the male leopard resting on Airport Link Four members of the Nkuhuma pride of lions resting on Sawmill...

Big 5 Sightings 19 to 25 November

Monday,19 November 2018 (31ºC) Four members of the Nkuhuma pride of lions resting at Serengeti Dam Young Ingrid Dam female leopard resting on Star chestnut Road Ingrid Dam female leopard walking on Rocky Road A breeding herd of about 30 elephants feeding on Chestnut...

Big 5 Sightings 12 to 18 November

The highlight of the week was to see Young Ingrid Dam female leopard Monday,12 November 2018 (34ºC) A breeding herd of about 20 elephants feeding at Five Way Junction Tiyani the female leopard resting in a tree at Simbambili Firebreak Two Ximungwe lionesses and one...

Big 5 sightings 05 to 11 November

The highlight of the week, was to see a young pangolin foraging for ants just before sunset   Monday, 05 November 2018 (36ºC) Xidulu, the female leopard, resting on Xihumbane Road. Two elephant bulls feeding on Simbambili Fire break. A pack of four wild dogs and four...

Big 5 Sightings 29 October to 04 November

Monday 29 October, 2018 (37ºC) Xidulu the female leopard, feeding on a duiker kill on MMM North The Nkuhuma pride, three young Mhangene pride and one of the young Talamati males resting on Gowrie Main Road A breeding herd of elephants feeding on EP open area   Tuesday...

Big 5 Sightings 22 to 27 October

The highlight of the week was the female cheetah and her two subadult cubs hunting and killing an impala female on Bushcamp East Monday, 22 October 2018 (24ºC) Moya, the female leopard eating her duiker kill at Londoz Drift Six members of the Nkuhuma pride of lions,...

Rangers Report February 2018

Rangers Report

February 2018
Nkuhuma cubs - Morné Fouché

Elephant herd by Morné Fouché

This month was very exciting, with incredible game viewing opportunities. The average maximum temperature for the month was 32°C, with a wonderful 86mm of rain. We had several wild dog sightings again this month. With our resident hyena clan, we are always guaranteed that there will be a standoff between the hyenas and wild dogs. Our resident hyenas also doing very well and they are still very strong. The den is always very active and we saw another heavily pregnant female hanging around the den. Hopefully with my next newsletter, we might have a new hyena baby or two.

Leopard

The leopard sightings this month were just unbelievable and we could not ask for more. There are big changes happening at the moment and some of these changes affect several leopard individuals.

There is a young female named Sibuye, who stole the lime light this month. She is moving more and more north from our southern boundary. This young female has two very small cubs and decided to make their den in our traversing area. She is a wonderful little cat and very relaxed with the vehicles. At this stage we only allow one vehicle at a time, when mum is at the den. If mum is not there the den is closed. The little cubs are still very weary of the vehicles, but that is understandable, because it is the first time they see vehicles. If all goes well they will be totally comfortable with the vehicles in a few months. All the more reason why we follow such strict habituation protocols!

Thandi was also in our area this month. She finally brought the little one into our area and we saw her cub for the first time. Thandi is moving the little one all over the area now, which is good for us. The core of Thandi’s territory is to the north and out of our traversing, so sometimes it happens that we do not see them for a few days.

Tiyani, the young female, was all over the show, as always. Tiyani is growing in confidence every day and her territorial calls are getting louder. She is scent marking all over the central and western parts of her late mother’s territory. Tiyani must be careful to not get too confident. She had two big stand offs with Xidulu and her big sister, Nsele. It will be interesting to see what the future will hold for this young, adventurous cat.

Xidulu was also seen a few times this month. This young female is a beautiful cat and very healthy. She has turned into a fascinating female, confidently expanding her territory. She is still going further east and also more north, deeper into Shadow’s territory. If she continues to expand more east, she will move into Thandi’s territory. Both Thandi and Shadow will have a hard time getting this young, determent female out of their territories.

The Ingrid’s Dam female was also seen this month. It is good to see that she is still doing her rounds in the area. The core of her territory is in the western part of the reserve. It is possible that she is expanding more northeast, due to her fast-growing daughter. Whatever the reason might be, it is still great to have another female in the area.

Nsele was also seen a lot this month while moving around and scent marking her territory. Nsele had a big standoff with her sister, Tiyani, on the eastern boundary of her territory. At this stage Nsele is not ready to give up any of her territory to her sister. Nsele went easy on Tiyani, maybe because Nsele has new cubs and cannot risk any injuries.

Thamba was seen a few times this month. He is still doing really well and has become an awesome hunter. The only problem for him now is that he still moves around in the very strong Hukumuri’s territory. He had a very close encounter with Hukumuri the one evening. I will not be surprised if he moves more north, out of the Sabi Sand Wildtuin.

Hosana was also seen a few times this month. This little guy is doing really well for himself and he looks really good. He might have to leave sooner than he thinks, as the Hukumuri male is expanding more east. Time will tell when this beautiful male would have to move on.

Tingana was also seen a few times this month. He was not looking so great and his age is starting to show. I must say that things are not looking good for him, as Hukumuri has already started to scent mark over his scent. At this stage it is not just Tingana’s future hanging in the balance, but also both Thandi, Shadow and their cubs. There are definitely some interesting times waiting for us in the next few months.

Hukumuri was also seen a few times this month, but nothing like previous months. As mentioned before, he is spending a lot of his time looking for Tingana, Thandi and her cub, or Shadow and her cub. It looks like he realized that Anderson in the south is too strong for him and he moved more east.

Anderson was seen a few times and he is expanding more north. This puts pressure on Hukumuri and the only way to go is east. Anderson is still looking great and he is still a force to be reckoned with. This is good, as the majority of his ladies have new cubs who needs protection.

Male giraffe by Morné Fouché

Hosana the young male leopard by Morné Fouché

 

Lion

We had some awesome lion sightings this month. I would go as far as to say we were spoiled by the lions.

We were very fortunate to see three members of the Tsalala pride. The 16-year-old tailless female is looking great and she is still very healthy. Her son is also in very good condition and growing up very fast. The other young female is also in tip top shape. I am very happy to see that they are all looking good. The only thing they need now is a male in the pride that can protect them, but that option does not look too good at this stage…

The Nkuhuma pride is looking great and it looks like they are expanding, or maybe just exploring, more into the western part of the reserve. It is not that unusual for a pride to move over their boundary, if they realize that there are no other prides close to them. It is really good to see that the pride moves around a lot, looking for food and soon they will see that there is a lot of old buffalo bulls in the area. Overall things are really looking good for this pride and if all goes well, there will be a few more females in the pride as the sub adults are getting bigger. Luckily for us, they still have another few years before they will come into estrus and by then, there might be new males in the area for them to mate with.

The Styx pride was also out and about this month. With all the misfortune this pride had to endure the last few years, it finally looks like there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel. The cubs are looking very healthy and are always well fed. The three ladies are also looking awesome and in good condition. The Styx pride is also moving more and more west, but this might be due to the males with them. The Birmingham males are moving more west and southwest and the Styx pride is just following. This forced them to go more into the Tsalala prides territory. At this stage the Tsalala pride is no match for the younger and stronger Styx pride. More interesting times are awaiting us in the next few months…

Young Ingrid's dam female by Morné Fouché

Elephant's eye by Morné Fouché

 

Buffalo

The buffalo sightings were really good this month. We were spoiled rotten when two big herds and a very small herd moved into our area. The smaller herd of the two big herds stayed in our area for a few days feeding away on the lush green grass in the area. This herd, with about 300 individuals, did not move very far in a day, as there was enough food and water in the area. The big breeding herd with about 700 individuals did not stay very long before moving on again. It was an awesome experience to see this big breeding herd moving along a small open area towards the water. To see a group like this is such a treat, as we do not often see a breeding herd this big. One noticeable thing was that both the big breeding herds had several newborn babies with the herd. This is very positive as the previous drought affected them very badly. There was also a wonderful bachelor group of males that moved into the area. These bachelors were staying around some of the bigger waterholes, as there was enough food around the waterholes for them.

Tiyani the female leopard by Morné Fouché

Red-crested korhaan by Morné Fouché

 

Elephant

Marula season is now in full swing and the elephants are making the most of this opportunity. We were so lucky with all the elephants moving through the area. It is awesome to see the herd move from marula tree to marula tree, in search of these wonderful fruit. Competition can get real between these heavyweights and at times the younger elephants will run ahead to get to the next tree before the adults. Once the adults get to the marula tree and there is no fruit left, they will shake the tree and more of the fruit will fall down. With their trunks, they will then sniff the fruits out in the tall grass. They will also use the trunk to pick these tiny fruits up from the ground and put it into their mouths. This tiny marula fruit is very high in vitamin C. It is really funny to see how the baby elephants are trying to use their trunks to get the fruits. This month was also like a baby boom, as we had several newborn babies in the herds. It is such a treat to see all the babies and how protective their older siblings are over them. These little ones will not go for 10 minutes, without one of the herd members touching them. The little babies need this insurance- that everything is all right. We also had a few big males in the area, following the scent of the female units.

Special sighting

It was such a treat to see the tiny cubs of Sibuye, the female leopard. It is always very special to see new cubs and it is a big bonus if they are already relatively relaxed with us around them.

Did you know?

A mother leopard may move her cubs to a new den as often as every two days, to avoid detection by other predators.

See you out on the game drive soon.
Morné Fouché

Manager’s Report September 2018

  Wild photo of the month - by Paul, Sue, and Mark Johnstone Spring is in the air and the landscape is slowly changing. Some of the trees around camp are showing off new small, green leaves and before we know, we will be surrounded with a fresh burst of green. Now...

Manager’s Report May 2018

  We are at that time of the year again, winter has arrived! The bush is wearing its winter coat once again! We have the blankets and hot water bottles back on the game drive vehicles and game viewing has been spectacular! The trees and grass are not as lush anymore,...

Manager’s Report February 2018

The shortest month of the year came and went in the blink of an eye. We had loads of wonderful game drive sightings, had some maintenance projects and also celebrated many staff birthdays. We experienced some strange weather patterns as well. We had very hot, humid...

Manager’s Report January 2018

Like I always say: “Time flies, when you’re having fun!”   It feels like just a few days ago that we had our new year's dinner and we are already going into the second month of 2018. By now, I am sure that most people are back home after the festive season. Some might...

Manager’s Report December 2017

December was a great month to end the year. We had lovely animal sightings, shared happiness and laughter over the festivities of Christmas and New Year and just before we said our last goodbyes to 2017, we received a heavy downpour of rain and hail.  Our New Year's...

Manager’s Report November 2017

The final countdown has arrived… just one more month until we welcome the new year. With the bush now once again wearing its bright summer colours, we are looking forward to an eventful summer! Game viewing has been amazing and with all the new babies that were born...

Rangers Report September 2018

  It’s spring time! What an awesome time to be out on safari. Migratory birds are returning and the trees are all in bloom with fresh, green leaves. Our temperatures jumped from the one extreme to the next. One day we were sweating in 43°C and the next day we had our...

Rangers Report May 2018

This month was one for the record books. We had a great time with awesome weather and spectacular sightings. The day temperature was very pleasant, with only a few days where the temperature went as high as 33-34°C. The average maximum temperature for the month was...

Rangers Report February 2018

This month was very exciting, with incredible game viewing opportunities. The average maximum temperature for the month was 32°C, with a wonderful 86mm of rain. We had several wild dog sightings again this month. With our resident hyena clan, we are always guaranteed...

Rangers Report January 2018

We could not ask for a better way to kick off 2018. It was an absolute pleasure to be out in the bush this month. The sightings were phenomenal and there was never a dull moment. The weather was up and down, but the rain was a huge, welcome relieve. The average...

Rangers Report December 2017

And so all good things have to come to an end. It is hard to imagine that we’ve reached the end of 2017. Looking back on this year, one realizes once again just how fantastic the sightings were. December is normally a really hot and wet month. It was a little...

Rangers Report November 2017

  Finally, the long wait is over and the first babies of the season started arriving during November. The first impalas arrived between 10 and 13 November. November is the start of the rainy season and that directly translates into baby season. The majority of the...

Big 5 Sightings 26 November to 2 December

 The highlight of the week was one male lion of the Avoka coalition visiting, and three cheetah’s moving through the area. Monday,26 November 2018 (40ºC) Hukumuri, the male leopard resting on Airport Link Four members of the Nkuhuma pride of lions resting on Sawmill...

Big 5 Sightings 19 to 25 November

Monday,19 November 2018 (31ºC) Four members of the Nkuhuma pride of lions resting at Serengeti Dam Young Ingrid Dam female leopard resting on Star chestnut Road Ingrid Dam female leopard walking on Rocky Road A breeding herd of about 30 elephants feeding on Chestnut...

Big 5 Sightings 12 to 18 November

The highlight of the week was to see Young Ingrid Dam female leopard Monday,12 November 2018 (34ºC) A breeding herd of about 20 elephants feeding at Five Way Junction Tiyani the female leopard resting in a tree at Simbambili Firebreak Two Ximungwe lionesses and one...

Big 5 sightings 05 to 11 November

The highlight of the week, was to see a young pangolin foraging for ants just before sunset   Monday, 05 November 2018 (36ºC) Xidulu, the female leopard, resting on Xihumbane Road. Two elephant bulls feeding on Simbambili Fire break. A pack of four wild dogs and four...

Big 5 Sightings 29 October to 04 November

Monday 29 October, 2018 (37ºC) Xidulu the female leopard, feeding on a duiker kill on MMM North The Nkuhuma pride, three young Mhangene pride and one of the young Talamati males resting on Gowrie Main Road A breeding herd of elephants feeding on EP open area   Tuesday...

Big 5 Sightings 22 to 27 October

The highlight of the week was the female cheetah and her two subadult cubs hunting and killing an impala female on Bushcamp East Monday, 22 October 2018 (24ºC) Moya, the female leopard eating her duiker kill at Londoz Drift Six members of the Nkuhuma pride of lions,...

Rangers Report January 2018

Rangers Report

January 2018
Nkuhuma cubs - Morné Fouché

Young Ingrid's Dam female leopard by Morné Fouché

We could not ask for a better way to kick off 2018. It was an absolute pleasure to be out in the bush this month. The sightings were phenomenal and there was never a dull moment. The weather was up and down, but the rain was a huge, welcome relieve. The average maximum temperature was 31°C with 90mm of rain. Bird life was fantastic and we saw an abundance of our feathery friends. We were very lucky regarding the wild dogs. We had several different packs moving in and out of our area this month. Our resident hyena clan is also doing great. All is going well at the den and the pups are growing up very fast. The young warthog male is still sharing the hyena den from time to time and it looks like they came to some kind of an understanding! The wild dogs and the hyenas provided us with excellent sightings. We have witnessed plenty of epic standoffs between them and I know that there will be many more in the near future.

Leopard

This month was excellent for leopard viewing. The number and quality of sightings that we had, was just crazy. This area is renowned for its leopard sightings and this month we were not disappointed. Tiyani, the young female was seen almost every day of the month. She is looking great and growing a lot in confidence. I watched her stalking a hyena one day. She almost pounced on the hyena! The poor hyena got such a fright when Tiyani came flying through the air. Xidulu, the young female, was seen a few times this month, moving all over her new territory. At this point it looks like she wants to expand more east. She pushed Shadow more east and took over the western part of Shadows territory. She was also seen mating with the Hukumuri male again. Hopefully the mating was successful and she conceived this time round. Moya, was also seen a few times this month.

Good news is that my feeling was correct in December. Moya has suckle marks, which is a definite sign off small cubs! This beautiful female is still in good shape and excellent condition. I can’t wait to see the new cubs as soon as she starts moving them. Thandi was also seen once or twice this month. Still no sign of her cub, but we have faith that she will move her sooner or later. Thandi is still looking great, but unfortunately, she is getting older. She is almost 11 years old and at this age she might start to lose some of her territory to younger females like her daughter, Kuchava. Shadow was also seen a few times this month, moving all over the show. Shadow lost a small section of her territory on the western border to the younger and bigger Xidulu female. Shadow’s daughter is looking great and spending a lot of her time alone. The future of this little cub is looking great and she is almost independent. Nsele was also seen a few times this month. Excellent news for us is that she had suckle marks when she was last seen. We know the den is just out of our traversing area, as we have followed her tracks crossing the boundary. Luckily, we know it will not be too long before she brings the babies over to our side.

Nsele’s daughter from her previous litter is also moving around our lodge. She and Tiyani already ran into each other twice this month. The Ingrid Dam female was also seen this month. She is still scent marking in the area, but Tiyani is like a nasty thorn in her flesh, as she is scent marking over her scent the whole time. So far, she is not really worried at all, as she does not go and look for Tiyani. It will be a matter of time before their paths will cross, though. Thamba, the young male, is moving all over his father’s territory. This young male is moving around a lot more than the other young males normally do. He is an excellent hunter and he eats well. This youngster is looking really healthy. Unfortunately for us, he will have to leave his birth place at some time in search of his own territory. Hosana is still moving around in his father’s territory and has no intension of leaving. This young male is growing up really fast and he is looking very healthy. Hosana is a really beautiful male and it will be sad to see him leave. Mvula was also seen a few times this month. At this stage, his age is really counting against him. This once very impressive territorial male, is now totally nomadic. It is sad to see yet another legend fading away, but I guess that is the way of life.

Tingana was also seen a few times, but not as much as we are used to. He is looking good, but his age is also taking a number on him. So far it looks like he still has some fight left in him to defend his territory against rival males. Anderson was also seen a lot this month. I think he finally realized that Hukumuri is moving into his territory. It is great to see him patrolling and doing his deep territorial call again. Anderson is almost 10 years old, which means that he will now also start losing some of his territory. One thing that counts in his favour is his size. It is crucial for him to hold on to his territory for another two years at least, as two of his ladies has new babies at the moment. Hukumuri was just all over the show. He has grown a lot in confidence while scent marking and doing his territorial call. One thing he is still afraid off is Anderson, and for good reason. He was pushed more north east by the old brut, Anderson. The positive aspect of this move, though, is that he appears to like this area and he is going to make it his new home.

Male giraffe by Morné Fouché

Birmingham male lion by Morné Fouché

 

Lion

The lion sightings were just awesome and we had such great sightings again this month. The Styx pride was seen a lot this month and they had full bellies almost every time we saw them. The three big females are doing a really good job with the youngsters. One thing we noticed is that when they go hunting, they will leave the four small cubs behind and take the six older cubs along on the journey. The six older cubs are not ready to help with the hunts, but at least they are starting to learn. I can not wait for the day that the young females will join the hunts in order to feed their own cubs. If all goes well, the Styx pride will be one formidable force to take on.

The Nkuhuma pride was also moving through our area the last month. Things are looking better and they are also eating very well. Like the Styx pride, all the members are fit and healthy. The sub adults in the pride are now undergoing hunting lessons. Hunting is an art, a skill passed on from generation to generation. Every lion pride in Africa is specializing in a certain animal when it comes to hunting. For the Nkuhuma pride, buffalo is their preferred meal. The two Ximungwe females came in for a quick visit this month. These two young females are really looking good and I do hope that we can see more of them in the near future. With the future of the Tsalala pride looking very shaky, it might open a door of opportunity for the two Ximungwe females. As we know all too well, nature works in mysterious ways. The Birmingham males spent a lot of their time out of our traversing with the Kambula females. Overall, the Birmingham males are looking great and very healthy. Still the one concerning factor is that they tend to split up for days at a time before they reunite. Maybe they feel confident enough and know that there are no other males in the area to challenge them.

Young Ingrid's dam female by Morné Fouché

Grey heron by Morné Fouché

 

Buffalo

There is still no sign of the big breeding herds in the area. There was a small splinter group, who moved around in our area. This group consisted of several females accompanied by a few dominant males. This group was only about fourteen individuals with no babies. They unfortunately did not hang around for very long before moving off again. The bachelor groups are still moving all over the area and they were spending a lot of their time close to the water. These males have bulked up a lot comparing to the bulls in the small breeding herd. These bachelors will soon leave the safety of the brotherhood and return to the herds to fight for the females again. We have not seen a lot of the old dagga boys this month, but their tracks still indicate that they are in the area. There is an abundance of new mud wallows after the amount of rain that we had. This can also be why we do not see them very often.

Tiyani the female leopard by Morné Fouché

Young elephant bull playing in the mud Morné Fouché

 

Elephant

It was a real treat to see all the different breeding herds of elephants in the area. There was really no shortage of elephants, as we saw five to six different herds on a drive. We saw several new baby elephants who were born during the month. It was a spectacular sight to see, as the herd comes moving through, with the babies safely tucked away in the middle of the herd. These herds do not move very far in a day and they rest quite a lot, because of the new-born babies who need to take more regular breaks. There were a few of the herds who moved around in the area, who had up to fifty members. This was definitely an elephant month!

Special sighting

We saw several baby elephants this month, but it was very special to see one specific baby, trying to take his first little baby steps. This baby was only about a day or two old at most. It was so difficult for this little youngster to stand up and the uneven roads made walking somewhat of a challenge. He tried with all his might, but gravity was just too great. He came down face first a few times, but that did not stop him from trying even harder. With each attempt his little legs became stronger, until he finally got the hang of it and followed mum into the bush. This was an awesome sighting and I am glad we were part of this.

Did you know?

An elephant herd is considered one of the most closely-knit societies of any animal. Then only time a female will leave a herd, is when she dies.

See you out on the game drive soon.

Morné Fouché

Rangers Report September 2018

  It’s spring time! What an awesome time to be out on safari. Migratory birds are returning and the trees are all in bloom with fresh, green leaves. Our temperatures jumped from the one extreme to the next. One day we were sweating in 43°C and the next day we had our...

Rangers Report May 2018

This month was one for the record books. We had a great time with awesome weather and spectacular sightings. The day temperature was very pleasant, with only a few days where the temperature went as high as 33-34°C. The average maximum temperature for the month was...

Rangers Report February 2018

This month was very exciting, with incredible game viewing opportunities. The average maximum temperature for the month was 32°C, with a wonderful 86mm of rain. We had several wild dog sightings again this month. With our resident hyena clan, we are always guaranteed...

Rangers Report January 2018

We could not ask for a better way to kick off 2018. It was an absolute pleasure to be out in the bush this month. The sightings were phenomenal and there was never a dull moment. The weather was up and down, but the rain was a huge, welcome relieve. The average...

Rangers Report December 2017

And so all good things have to come to an end. It is hard to imagine that we’ve reached the end of 2017. Looking back on this year, one realizes once again just how fantastic the sightings were. December is normally a really hot and wet month. It was a little...

Rangers Report November 2017

  Finally, the long wait is over and the first babies of the season started arriving during November. The first impalas arrived between 10 and 13 November. November is the start of the rainy season and that directly translates into baby season. The majority of the...

Manager’s Report September 2018

  Wild photo of the month - by Paul, Sue, and Mark Johnstone Spring is in the air and the landscape is slowly changing. Some of the trees around camp are showing off new small, green leaves and before we know, we will be surrounded with a fresh burst of green. Now...

Manager’s Report May 2018

  We are at that time of the year again, winter has arrived! The bush is wearing its winter coat once again! We have the blankets and hot water bottles back on the game drive vehicles and game viewing has been spectacular! The trees and grass are not as lush anymore,...

Manager’s Report February 2018

The shortest month of the year came and went in the blink of an eye. We had loads of wonderful game drive sightings, had some maintenance projects and also celebrated many staff birthdays. We experienced some strange weather patterns as well. We had very hot, humid...

Manager’s Report January 2018

Like I always say: “Time flies, when you’re having fun!”   It feels like just a few days ago that we had our new year's dinner and we are already going into the second month of 2018. By now, I am sure that most people are back home after the festive season. Some might...

Manager’s Report December 2017

December was a great month to end the year. We had lovely animal sightings, shared happiness and laughter over the festivities of Christmas and New Year and just before we said our last goodbyes to 2017, we received a heavy downpour of rain and hail.  Our New Year's...

Manager’s Report November 2017

The final countdown has arrived… just one more month until we welcome the new year. With the bush now once again wearing its bright summer colours, we are looking forward to an eventful summer! Game viewing has been amazing and with all the new babies that were born...

Big 5 Sightings 26 November to 2 December

 The highlight of the week was one male lion of the Avoka coalition visiting, and three cheetah’s moving through the area. Monday,26 November 2018 (40ºC) Hukumuri, the male leopard resting on Airport Link Four members of the Nkuhuma pride of lions resting on Sawmill...

Big 5 Sightings 19 to 25 November

Monday,19 November 2018 (31ºC) Four members of the Nkuhuma pride of lions resting at Serengeti Dam Young Ingrid Dam female leopard resting on Star chestnut Road Ingrid Dam female leopard walking on Rocky Road A breeding herd of about 30 elephants feeding on Chestnut...

Big 5 Sightings 12 to 18 November

The highlight of the week was to see Young Ingrid Dam female leopard Monday,12 November 2018 (34ºC) A breeding herd of about 20 elephants feeding at Five Way Junction Tiyani the female leopard resting in a tree at Simbambili Firebreak Two Ximungwe lionesses and one...

Big 5 sightings 05 to 11 November

The highlight of the week, was to see a young pangolin foraging for ants just before sunset   Monday, 05 November 2018 (36ºC) Xidulu, the female leopard, resting on Xihumbane Road. Two elephant bulls feeding on Simbambili Fire break. A pack of four wild dogs and four...

Big 5 Sightings 29 October to 04 November

Monday 29 October, 2018 (37ºC) Xidulu the female leopard, feeding on a duiker kill on MMM North The Nkuhuma pride, three young Mhangene pride and one of the young Talamati males resting on Gowrie Main Road A breeding herd of elephants feeding on EP open area   Tuesday...

Big 5 Sightings 22 to 27 October

The highlight of the week was the female cheetah and her two subadult cubs hunting and killing an impala female on Bushcamp East Monday, 22 October 2018 (24ºC) Moya, the female leopard eating her duiker kill at Londoz Drift Six members of the Nkuhuma pride of lions,...

Manager’s Report January 2018

Manager’s Report

January 2018
Wild photo of the month - Salayexe and cub by Paul, Sue and Mark Johnstone

Wild photo of the month - elephant mud bath by Paul, Sue and Mark Johnstone

Like I always say: “Time flies, when you’re having fun!”   It feels like just a few days ago that we had our new year’s dinner and we are already going into the second month of 2018. By now, I am sure that most people are back home after the festive season. Some might be back at work and others at school. I wish everyone the best for 2018!
Male giraffe by Morné Fouché

Elephant family by Morné Fouché

January was a very hot month overall and the rain we received was indeed a huge relief. One can almost hear the grass growing after the rain! We entered the new year with a bit of hail and ended this month with two very sudden and unexpected rain storms. Guests were still enjoying lunch outside on the deck and never expected to be caught completely off guard on game drive.   The rangers quickly made their way back to the lodge. Needles to say, it was a very wet return!
Male giraffe by Morné Fouché

Birmingham brothers on patrol by Morné Fouché

We saw loads of familiar faces around the lodge this month. It is always wonderful to know that guests enjoy their stay with us. What is even better, is when they return for a 2nd, 3rd or even a 4th time! I would like to thank each and every guest who returned, to visit us. It is great to build a relationship with our EP friends. If you visited our lodge in the past and would like to return for another amazing experience, please be sure to contact our reservation office. For those of you who have some short notice leave days, or an urge to come and relax in the bush, our live online availability tool will assist you to effortlessly make a last-minute booking.

Our maintenance team is making great progress with the current bush clearing project. Although we still have plenty of work to do, the current results are already making a great difference. We also have another project taking off soon. For this one, there is some renovating and exciting new developments happening. Although I would love to share the end result, we are rather keeping it as a surprise, to reveal once complete. Watch this space… it is coming soon!

Trapcam photo

Trapcam photo

This month we placed our trapcam on our delivery road, close to the lodge. I sometimes wonder if the animals know that they are being watched, because they seem to be on their best behaviour… Well, most of the time at least, as you can see. We often have baboons moving through our camp in search of the juicy marula fruits. They are extremely clever. The troop will sit under the marula tree and send two of the younger ones up to the fruit bearing branches. The youngsters in the tree will shake and jump on the branches, sending the fruit to below. The troop on the ground is then showered with the falling marula fruit. And there you have it – a fun, baboon picnic!

We celebrated only one birthday at the lodge this month. Happy celebrated his birthday on the first day of January. Happy is one of our tip top waiters and also assist in the bar from time to time. To all our readers who celebrated their birthdays during January, we hope you also had a fantastic day, filled with happiness and laughter.

Our recipe for the month is a mouth watering one! Chef Yolandi bakes the most amazing chocolate brownies. The great thing about these brownies is that they can be frozen for about 30 days after being baked. You can also add any topping of your choice, like almond flakes, nuts, cherries or even fresh fruit. For a kiddies’ birthday party, top with jelly beans for a fun, colourful treat.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients

1 cup Melted Butter
1 cup Cocoa
2 cups Sugar
4 eggs
4 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup flour
½ tsp salt
2 cups chocolate drops

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 15 cm x 30 cm baking tray with baking paper.
In an electric mixer, mix together the butter, cocoa and sugar till smooth and well combined.
Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure it is mixed in well. Then add the vanilla.
Mix the flour and salt together and add the flour to the wet mixture, making sure all the flour is mixed in, don’t over mix the batter.
Add the chocolate drops and mix just till combined.
Pour the batter into prepared baking tray and bake for 20-25 min.
Leave to cool down before you turn it out to cut.
Cut into square blocks.

For the Ganache Icing

Ingredients

1 cup cream
2 cups brown chocolate

Method

Add the cream and the chocolate together in a microwave bowl and put in the microwave for 6 min stirring it every 2 min.
Once the chocolate has melted, remove from microwave and let it cool down slightly.
Pour a spoon over each brownie and allow dripping off the sides.

Makes 12 brownies.
Serve and enjoy!

All the best till next month,
Tersia Fouché

Manager’s Report September 2018

  Wild photo of the month - by Paul, Sue, and Mark Johnstone Spring is in the air and the landscape is slowly changing. Some of the trees around camp are showing off new small, green leaves and before we know, we will be surrounded with a fresh burst of green. Now...

Manager’s Report May 2018

  We are at that time of the year again, winter has arrived! The bush is wearing its winter coat once again! We have the blankets and hot water bottles back on the game drive vehicles and game viewing has been spectacular! The trees and grass are not as lush anymore,...

Manager’s Report February 2018

The shortest month of the year came and went in the blink of an eye. We had loads of wonderful game drive sightings, had some maintenance projects and also celebrated many staff birthdays. We experienced some strange weather patterns as well. We had very hot, humid...

Manager’s Report January 2018

Like I always say: “Time flies, when you’re having fun!”   It feels like just a few days ago that we had our new year's dinner and we are already going into the second month of 2018. By now, I am sure that most people are back home after the festive season. Some might...

Manager’s Report December 2017

December was a great month to end the year. We had lovely animal sightings, shared happiness and laughter over the festivities of Christmas and New Year and just before we said our last goodbyes to 2017, we received a heavy downpour of rain and hail.  Our New Year's...

Manager’s Report November 2017

The final countdown has arrived… just one more month until we welcome the new year. With the bush now once again wearing its bright summer colours, we are looking forward to an eventful summer! Game viewing has been amazing and with all the new babies that were born...

Rangers Report September 2018

  It’s spring time! What an awesome time to be out on safari. Migratory birds are returning and the trees are all in bloom with fresh, green leaves. Our temperatures jumped from the one extreme to the next. One day we were sweating in 43°C and the next day we had our...

Rangers Report May 2018

This month was one for the record books. We had a great time with awesome weather and spectacular sightings. The day temperature was very pleasant, with only a few days where the temperature went as high as 33-34°C. The average maximum temperature for the month was...

Rangers Report February 2018

This month was very exciting, with incredible game viewing opportunities. The average maximum temperature for the month was 32°C, with a wonderful 86mm of rain. We had several wild dog sightings again this month. With our resident hyena clan, we are always guaranteed...

Rangers Report January 2018

We could not ask for a better way to kick off 2018. It was an absolute pleasure to be out in the bush this month. The sightings were phenomenal and there was never a dull moment. The weather was up and down, but the rain was a huge, welcome relieve. The average...

Rangers Report December 2017

And so all good things have to come to an end. It is hard to imagine that we’ve reached the end of 2017. Looking back on this year, one realizes once again just how fantastic the sightings were. December is normally a really hot and wet month. It was a little...

Rangers Report November 2017

  Finally, the long wait is over and the first babies of the season started arriving during November. The first impalas arrived between 10 and 13 November. November is the start of the rainy season and that directly translates into baby season. The majority of the...

Big 5 Sightings 26 November to 2 December

 The highlight of the week was one male lion of the Avoka coalition visiting, and three cheetah’s moving through the area. Monday,26 November 2018 (40ºC) Hukumuri, the male leopard resting on Airport Link Four members of the Nkuhuma pride of lions resting on Sawmill...

Big 5 Sightings 19 to 25 November

Monday,19 November 2018 (31ºC) Four members of the Nkuhuma pride of lions resting at Serengeti Dam Young Ingrid Dam female leopard resting on Star chestnut Road Ingrid Dam female leopard walking on Rocky Road A breeding herd of about 30 elephants feeding on Chestnut...

Big 5 Sightings 12 to 18 November

The highlight of the week was to see Young Ingrid Dam female leopard Monday,12 November 2018 (34ºC) A breeding herd of about 20 elephants feeding at Five Way Junction Tiyani the female leopard resting in a tree at Simbambili Firebreak Two Ximungwe lionesses and one...

Big 5 sightings 05 to 11 November

The highlight of the week, was to see a young pangolin foraging for ants just before sunset   Monday, 05 November 2018 (36ºC) Xidulu, the female leopard, resting on Xihumbane Road. Two elephant bulls feeding on Simbambili Fire break. A pack of four wild dogs and four...

Big 5 Sightings 29 October to 04 November

Monday 29 October, 2018 (37ºC) Xidulu the female leopard, feeding on a duiker kill on MMM North The Nkuhuma pride, three young Mhangene pride and one of the young Talamati males resting on Gowrie Main Road A breeding herd of elephants feeding on EP open area   Tuesday...

Big 5 Sightings 22 to 27 October

The highlight of the week was the female cheetah and her two subadult cubs hunting and killing an impala female on Bushcamp East Monday, 22 October 2018 (24ºC) Moya, the female leopard eating her duiker kill at Londoz Drift Six members of the Nkuhuma pride of lions,...