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 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...

Manager’s Report October 2017

Wow! What happened to the year!? It feels like 2017 started yesterday and now we only have two months to go before the end of the year. I guess you can say that “time flies when you’re having fun!” There is always lots of fun to be had in the bush. We had a little bit...

Manager’s Report September 2017

Spring is in the air!  Birds are singing, trees are blooming and the bush is a slowly turning into a painted canvas of green delight!  It seems as if everything almost transformed overnight, after we received an extremely welcome shower of rain just before the last...

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...

Rangers Report October 2017

What an awesome time out in the bush. The temperatures were pleasant most of the time, but the month ended with a heat wave of note! The average maximum temperature for October was a wonderful 32°C. We were once again on the tip of our seats, with all the amazing...

Rangers Report September 2017

Spring is finally here and with it, came some wonderful rain and temperatures. With 18mm of rain, the bush received a total facelift in the form of wonderfully bright, green colours. The average maximum temperature for this month was 32°C. All the browsers in the area...

Big 5 Sightings 04 – 10 June

The Big 5 highlight of the week was Sibuye the female leopard and her cubs feeding on a impala kill   Monday,4 June 2018 (26ºC) The Nkuhuma pride of lions stalking a group of impalas on 2nd Windmill Road One buffalo bull feeding close to Ntoma Crossing A breeding herd...

Big 5 Sightings 28 May to 03 June

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see a mother Cheetah and her two cubs moving through our traversing area   Monday 28 May 2018 (29ºC) A pack of eight wild dogs resting on MMM South Road One elephant bull feeding at Sixteen Crossing Tiyani the female leopard on a...

Big 5 Sightings 21 to 27 May

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see a mother cheetah with her two sub adult youngsters moving through the area.   Monday, 21 May 2018 (28ºC) Hukumuri, the male leopard feeding on a grey duiker on One Eye Pan Road Two elephant bulls feeding on Simba Makhulu open...

Big 5 Sightings 07 to 13 May

The Big 5 highlight of the week was the Mhangene pride of subadult lions following the Nkuhuma pride of lions whist hunting an impala, then stealing the kill from the Nkuhuma’s Monday 07 May 2018 (31ºC)    Nine sub adults from the Mhangene pride resting on East Bank...

Big 5 Sightings 30 April 2018 to 07 May 2018

The Big highlight of the week was to see One Pangolin twice feeding at Mums Road   Monday 30 April 2018 (30ºC)   A pack of eight wild dogs resting on A-Main Road The cub of Moya the female leopard feeding on her duiker kill at Big dam link north Road The Hukumuri male...

Big 5 Sightings 23 to 29 April 2018

The Big 5 highlight of the week was: Xidulu the female leopard meeting a wilddog while chasing the same impala   Monday,23 April 2018 (32ºC) Tiyani the female leopard walking along Pungwe Island crossing The Nkuhuma pride of lions resting on Simbambili firebreak road...

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

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...

Rangers Report October 2017

What an awesome time out in the bush. The temperatures were pleasant most of the time, but the month ended with a heat wave of note! The average maximum temperature for October was a wonderful 32°C. We were once again on the tip of our seats, with all the amazing...

Rangers Report September 2017

Spring is finally here and with it, came some wonderful rain and temperatures. With 18mm of rain, the bush received a total facelift in the form of wonderfully bright, green colours. The average maximum temperature for this month was 32°C. All the browsers in the area...

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...

Manager’s Report October 2017

Wow! What happened to the year!? It feels like 2017 started yesterday and now we only have two months to go before the end of the year. I guess you can say that “time flies when you’re having fun!” There is always lots of fun to be had in the bush. We had a little bit...

Manager’s Report September 2017

Spring is in the air!  Birds are singing, trees are blooming and the bush is a slowly turning into a painted canvas of green delight!  It seems as if everything almost transformed overnight, after we received an extremely welcome shower of rain just before the last...

Big 5 Sightings 04 – 10 June

The Big 5 highlight of the week was Sibuye the female leopard and her cubs feeding on a impala kill   Monday,4 June 2018 (26ºC) The Nkuhuma pride of lions stalking a group of impalas on 2nd Windmill Road One buffalo bull feeding close to Ntoma Crossing A breeding herd...

Big 5 Sightings 28 May to 03 June

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see a mother Cheetah and her two cubs moving through our traversing area   Monday 28 May 2018 (29ºC) A pack of eight wild dogs resting on MMM South Road One elephant bull feeding at Sixteen Crossing Tiyani the female leopard on a...

Big 5 Sightings 21 to 27 May

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see a mother cheetah with her two sub adult youngsters moving through the area.   Monday, 21 May 2018 (28ºC) Hukumuri, the male leopard feeding on a grey duiker on One Eye Pan Road Two elephant bulls feeding on Simba Makhulu open...

Big 5 Sightings 07 to 13 May

The Big 5 highlight of the week was the Mhangene pride of subadult lions following the Nkuhuma pride of lions whist hunting an impala, then stealing the kill from the Nkuhuma’s Monday 07 May 2018 (31ºC)    Nine sub adults from the Mhangene pride resting on East Bank...

Big 5 Sightings 30 April 2018 to 07 May 2018

The Big highlight of the week was to see One Pangolin twice feeding at Mums Road   Monday 30 April 2018 (30ºC)   A pack of eight wild dogs resting on A-Main Road The cub of Moya the female leopard feeding on her duiker kill at Big dam link north Road The Hukumuri male...

Big 5 Sightings 23 to 29 April 2018

The Big 5 highlight of the week was: Xidulu the female leopard meeting a wilddog while chasing the same impala   Monday,23 April 2018 (32ºC) Tiyani the female leopard walking along Pungwe Island crossing The Nkuhuma pride of lions resting on Simbambili firebreak road...

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 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...

Rangers Report October 2017

What an awesome time out in the bush. The temperatures were pleasant most of the time, but the month ended with a heat wave of note! The average maximum temperature for October was a wonderful 32°C. We were once again on the tip of our seats, with all the amazing...

Rangers Report September 2017

Spring is finally here and with it, came some wonderful rain and temperatures. With 18mm of rain, the bush received a total facelift in the form of wonderfully bright, green colours. The average maximum temperature for this month was 32°C. All the browsers in the area...

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...

Manager’s Report October 2017

Wow! What happened to the year!? It feels like 2017 started yesterday and now we only have two months to go before the end of the year. I guess you can say that “time flies when you’re having fun!” There is always lots of fun to be had in the bush. We had a little bit...

Manager’s Report September 2017

Spring is in the air!  Birds are singing, trees are blooming and the bush is a slowly turning into a painted canvas of green delight!  It seems as if everything almost transformed overnight, after we received an extremely welcome shower of rain just before the last...

Big 5 Sightings 04 – 10 June

The Big 5 highlight of the week was Sibuye the female leopard and her cubs feeding on a impala kill   Monday,4 June 2018 (26ºC) The Nkuhuma pride of lions stalking a group of impalas on 2nd Windmill Road One buffalo bull feeding close to Ntoma Crossing A breeding herd...

Big 5 Sightings 28 May to 03 June

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see a mother Cheetah and her two cubs moving through our traversing area   Monday 28 May 2018 (29ºC) A pack of eight wild dogs resting on MMM South Road One elephant bull feeding at Sixteen Crossing Tiyani the female leopard on a...

Big 5 Sightings 21 to 27 May

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see a mother cheetah with her two sub adult youngsters moving through the area.   Monday, 21 May 2018 (28ºC) Hukumuri, the male leopard feeding on a grey duiker on One Eye Pan Road Two elephant bulls feeding on Simba Makhulu open...

Big 5 Sightings 07 to 13 May

The Big 5 highlight of the week was the Mhangene pride of subadult lions following the Nkuhuma pride of lions whist hunting an impala, then stealing the kill from the Nkuhuma’s Monday 07 May 2018 (31ºC)    Nine sub adults from the Mhangene pride resting on East Bank...

Big 5 Sightings 30 April 2018 to 07 May 2018

The Big highlight of the week was to see One Pangolin twice feeding at Mums Road   Monday 30 April 2018 (30ºC)   A pack of eight wild dogs resting on A-Main Road The cub of Moya the female leopard feeding on her duiker kill at Big dam link north Road The Hukumuri male...

Big 5 Sightings 23 to 29 April 2018

The Big 5 highlight of the week was: Xidulu the female leopard meeting a wilddog while chasing the same impala   Monday,23 April 2018 (32ºC) Tiyani the female leopard walking along Pungwe Island crossing The Nkuhuma pride of lions resting on Simbambili firebreak road...

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 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...

Manager’s Report October 2017

Wow! What happened to the year!? It feels like 2017 started yesterday and now we only have two months to go before the end of the year. I guess you can say that “time flies when you’re having fun!” There is always lots of fun to be had in the bush. We had a little bit...

Manager’s Report September 2017

Spring is in the air!  Birds are singing, trees are blooming and the bush is a slowly turning into a painted canvas of green delight!  It seems as if everything almost transformed overnight, after we received an extremely welcome shower of rain just before the last...

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...

Rangers Report October 2017

What an awesome time out in the bush. The temperatures were pleasant most of the time, but the month ended with a heat wave of note! The average maximum temperature for October was a wonderful 32°C. We were once again on the tip of our seats, with all the amazing...

Rangers Report September 2017

Spring is finally here and with it, came some wonderful rain and temperatures. With 18mm of rain, the bush received a total facelift in the form of wonderfully bright, green colours. The average maximum temperature for this month was 32°C. All the browsers in the area...

Big 5 Sightings 04 – 10 June

The Big 5 highlight of the week was Sibuye the female leopard and her cubs feeding on a impala kill   Monday,4 June 2018 (26ºC) The Nkuhuma pride of lions stalking a group of impalas on 2nd Windmill Road One buffalo bull feeding close to Ntoma Crossing A breeding herd...

Big 5 Sightings 28 May to 03 June

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see a mother Cheetah and her two cubs moving through our traversing area   Monday 28 May 2018 (29ºC) A pack of eight wild dogs resting on MMM South Road One elephant bull feeding at Sixteen Crossing Tiyani the female leopard on a...

Big 5 Sightings 21 to 27 May

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see a mother cheetah with her two sub adult youngsters moving through the area.   Monday, 21 May 2018 (28ºC) Hukumuri, the male leopard feeding on a grey duiker on One Eye Pan Road Two elephant bulls feeding on Simba Makhulu open...

Big 5 Sightings 07 to 13 May

The Big 5 highlight of the week was the Mhangene pride of subadult lions following the Nkuhuma pride of lions whist hunting an impala, then stealing the kill from the Nkuhuma’s Monday 07 May 2018 (31ºC)    Nine sub adults from the Mhangene pride resting on East Bank...

Big 5 Sightings 30 April 2018 to 07 May 2018

The Big highlight of the week was to see One Pangolin twice feeding at Mums Road   Monday 30 April 2018 (30ºC)   A pack of eight wild dogs resting on A-Main Road The cub of Moya the female leopard feeding on her duiker kill at Big dam link north Road The Hukumuri male...

Big 5 Sightings 23 to 29 April 2018

The Big 5 highlight of the week was: Xidulu the female leopard meeting a wilddog while chasing the same impala   Monday,23 April 2018 (32ºC) Tiyani the female leopard walking along Pungwe Island crossing The Nkuhuma pride of lions resting on Simbambili firebreak road...

Rangers Report December 2017

Rangers Report

December 2017
Nkuhuma cubs - Morné Fouché

Birmingham male scanning the area by Morné Fouché

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 different this year, with little rain and mild days. There were only a few days where the temperatures reached the low 40°C’s. The average maximum temperature was 31°C and we had 23mm of rain.

We had a great time with the wild dogs once again. The wild dogs and hyenas made sure that we were entertained by having some standoffs. The Elephant Plains hyena clan has a new, rather unusual member in the clan. A young warthog male decided that the hyena den is the perfect place for him to call home. It is rather unique to see this kind of relationship between hyenas and a warthog. The warthog leaves the den in the early mornings to go and feed and returns later in afternoon. He does not bother the hyenas and they apparently do not bother him!

Leopard

The leopard sightings in our area were mind blowing, as always. Still there are some interesting times ahead of us, with the shuffling between the leopard females in the area. As we all know, nature works by a different guidebook than what we are used to and there is always a curve ball in the works. Moya and the older Ingrid Dam female have expanded their territories more north. At this stage they are putting more pressure on the two young females, Tiyani and the young Ingrid Dam.

Tiyani, the young female leopard, is growing a lot in confidence. After her mother, Salayexe, died it was like she transformed and climbed out of her shell. It is awesome to be a part of her life and to see how she grows into a more successful female.

The young Ingrid Dam female was also all over the show. She is getting more confident as the months go by. There is a big confusion regarding the two Ingrid Dam females, as the older Ingrid Dam female is pushing more north. We have decided that the young Ingrid Dam female will receive another name. We decided to give her a name that will suit her character. There is only one leopard who will always be on a termite mount. So, this made the choice very easy and we decided to call her Xidulu. Xidulu means termite mount in the local Shangaan language.

Shadow and her cub were also seen a few times this month. The young female is a beautiful cat and she is growing really fast. It will be great for us if she can survive and stay in the area. Shadow is still looking great, although she’s had some altercations with Thandi this month. Both these females are busy expanding into their late mother, Karula’s, territory. Shadow is really doing well in raising her little cub and so far, it looks like a bright future ahead.

The Ingrid Dam female and her cub are both very healthy. This female is expanding her territory more north east into a part of Salayexe’s old territory. This puts more pressure on Tiyani to also move more north. I think that the Ingrid Dam female has realised that Tiyani is a young female and that she could easily take her on.

Moya was also seen a few times this month. Moya is also expanding her territory more north, putting more pressure on the Xidulu female and Tiyani. Moya is only 8 years old and still in her prime, so she still has the upper hand. Moya’s daughter is now spending a lot more time on her own. It looks like Moya’s milk glands are swollen.  If this is the case, then there are new babies on the way. Moya’s daughter is a really awesome little friendly leopard. Hopefully she will survive to adulthood and stay in the area. The south-western section of the late Kwatile’s territory is still open and any young female can still claim this territory.

Nsele’s daughter from her last litter was also seen a lot this month. A few months ago, she was really skittish and did not like the vehicles at all. She has improved a lot and is much more relaxed with the vehicles around her. It would be awesome to see this young female more often. 

Both Tingana and Anderson were low under the radar this month. It looks like Tingana was in a fight with another leopard, as he had a sore front paw. It was nothing serious, but he just looked uncomfortable. Tingana is still looking good and very healthy.  I do, however, expect a lot of competition for him in 2018, with all the young males in the area.

Anderson is still fit and strong. It is always great to see this big guy, but it looks like he is neglecting his area a little bit. This is not good for business, as it leaves an open invitation for other young males to move in.

There is a new kid on the block called Hukumuri, who is currently moving into the area around our lodge. This young male came from the western part of the reserve where he was born. We estimate him to be about 4years of age and he is already scent marking in the area. Hosana was also seen a few times and he is still looking great. He still has no intention to leave his fathers territory. Slowly but surely, Tingana will get fed up with this little youngster and eventually push him out.

Lion

The lion sightings were absolutely spectacular and we ended the year with some mind-blowing sightings.

The Nkuhuma pride had more bad luck this month, as they lost yet another cub. Nobody really knows what happened to the little cub. We just saw them one morning with only one small cub. Overall the pride members are looking very healthy. The sub adults are also looking great and the youngsters are getting nice and big now. When the females go out to hunt, they take them with so that they can start learning.

The Styx pride was also out and about and seen very often. The three adult lionesses are in top condition. The 10 cubs are growing up fast. With the 10 hungry youngsters, the females need to hunt more often than usual. The three females are always on the lookout for a good meal and will travel long distances in search of food. The cubs are still too small to join in on the hunts and they are left in a safe place. The future is looking bright for the Styx pride, but as we know, nature works in mysterious ways.

The Tsalala pride was also seen a few times in our area this month. We only saw three members of the pride. The two older lionesses are approaching 16 years of age and they might not be around for much longer. Unfortunately, the future of this pride is really not looking good at the moment.

We were very fortunate to see the Mhangene pride again this month. This is definitely my favourite pride of all. These females had a tough life growing up, but they had a fantastic teacher to help them. They are awesome females and look very healthy. The 12 sub adults are also in good condition. The nine young males are going to be a formidable force when they grow up. If these nine males stay together, they will surely cause mayhem. It is still too early to say what will happen to these youngsters and if the three females will stay with their mothers or not.

The Birmingham males were very low on the radar this month. This might be because they are expanding and looking for new horizons.  Two of the Birmingham males were seen in the southern part of the reserve. There are definitely changes happening and it looks like the Birmingham males want to move more south. It is difficult to say what they are busy with, but I hope that they will stick around until their cubs are bigger, before they make a move.

The two old Matimba male lions also came for a visit this month. It was great to see these beautiful males again, even if it short lived. They are now nomadic, because they lost all their territory. These males are moving all over the reserve and avoiding the dominant males in the different areas. Careful not to hang around in another male’s territory…

Buffalo

Finally, the long wait is a thing of the past. We had a big herd of about 100 or more buffaloes this month, moving through the area. It is good to see that the herds are finally moving closer to our area in their quest to find food and water. One thing we noticed is that there were no small calves within this big herd. There were, however, plenty of pregnant females in the herd. This might be a smaller splinter group that broke off of the main herd. Hopefully this herd will realise that there is enough food for the whole herd and remain in this area for the next few months. We also saw several bachelor groups moving through the area. One specific group had about 14 males sticking together.  This all male group also stayed in the area for a long time, before moving on again. It is almost time for these big boys to return to the breeding herds.

Tiyani the female leopard by Morné Fouché

African sunset by Morné Fouché

 

Elephant

We had mind-blowing elephant sightings this month and could not ask for more. The rainy season is always great for elephant viewing. The mud wallows are full of water, acting as a mud bath spa for these gigantic bodies. Elephants need a lot of water to drink and need to cool down in the harsh African heat. Therefore, any water mass big enough to accommodate an elephant is a potential water spraying, mud throwing zone.

Special Sighting

It is always difficult to decide on the best, most special sighting of the month. This month there was one sighting that stood out from the rest. A spectacular interaction between a pack of wild dogs and the resident hyena clan still lingers in my memory. It was fascinating to watch how neither of the two groups wanted to give in. The noises and calls gave us all goosebumps and there was never a dull moment. Predator interaction like this is always very intense and exciting.  At the end, both parties got a bit of the impala pie and went their separate ways in peace.

Did you know?

A lion’s roar can be heard up to eight kilometres away. Roaring helps pride members to keep in contact, discourages intruders and advertises that the territory is occupied.

See you out on the game drive soon.

Morné Fouché

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...

Rangers Report October 2017

What an awesome time out in the bush. The temperatures were pleasant most of the time, but the month ended with a heat wave of note! The average maximum temperature for October was a wonderful 32°C. We were once again on the tip of our seats, with all the amazing...

Rangers Report September 2017

Spring is finally here and with it, came some wonderful rain and temperatures. With 18mm of rain, the bush received a total facelift in the form of wonderfully bright, green colours. The average maximum temperature for this month was 32°C. All the browsers in the area...

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...

Manager’s Report October 2017

Wow! What happened to the year!? It feels like 2017 started yesterday and now we only have two months to go before the end of the year. I guess you can say that “time flies when you’re having fun!” There is always lots of fun to be had in the bush. We had a little bit...

Manager’s Report September 2017

Spring is in the air!  Birds are singing, trees are blooming and the bush is a slowly turning into a painted canvas of green delight!  It seems as if everything almost transformed overnight, after we received an extremely welcome shower of rain just before the last...

Big 5 Sightings 04 – 10 June

The Big 5 highlight of the week was Sibuye the female leopard and her cubs feeding on a impala kill   Monday,4 June 2018 (26ºC) The Nkuhuma pride of lions stalking a group of impalas on 2nd Windmill Road One buffalo bull feeding close to Ntoma Crossing A breeding herd...

Big 5 Sightings 28 May to 03 June

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see a mother Cheetah and her two cubs moving through our traversing area   Monday 28 May 2018 (29ºC) A pack of eight wild dogs resting on MMM South Road One elephant bull feeding at Sixteen Crossing Tiyani the female leopard on a...

Big 5 Sightings 21 to 27 May

The Big 5 highlight of the week was to see a mother cheetah with her two sub adult youngsters moving through the area.   Monday, 21 May 2018 (28ºC) Hukumuri, the male leopard feeding on a grey duiker on One Eye Pan Road Two elephant bulls feeding on Simba Makhulu open...

Big 5 Sightings 07 to 13 May

The Big 5 highlight of the week was the Mhangene pride of subadult lions following the Nkuhuma pride of lions whist hunting an impala, then stealing the kill from the Nkuhuma’s Monday 07 May 2018 (31ºC)    Nine sub adults from the Mhangene pride resting on East Bank...

Big 5 Sightings 30 April 2018 to 07 May 2018

The Big highlight of the week was to see One Pangolin twice feeding at Mums Road   Monday 30 April 2018 (30ºC)   A pack of eight wild dogs resting on A-Main Road The cub of Moya the female leopard feeding on her duiker kill at Big dam link north Road The Hukumuri male...

Big 5 Sightings 23 to 29 April 2018

The Big 5 highlight of the week was: Xidulu the female leopard meeting a wilddog while chasing the same impala   Monday,23 April 2018 (32ºC) Tiyani the female leopard walking along Pungwe Island crossing The Nkuhuma pride of lions resting on Simbambili firebreak road...