Leopards galore

Leopards galore
Text: Dave Landey | Photograph: Morne Coetzer With the exceptionally low rainfall this season, it is almost as if winter has come early and with it, a phenomenon known amongst rangers as ‘winter madness’. A term used to describe the exceptional, consistent, game viewing during the cooler and drier months. March has provided us with some great game viewing. Some parts of the month stand out more than others, such as the leopard sightings from the 16th to 19th of March. Over these four days, there were a total of 26 leopard sightings, in which 14 different leopards seen. During one exceptional...
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The Matshapiri female and her two new cubs

The Matshapiri female and her two new cubs
Text: Dave Landey | Photographs: Dave Landey and Sarah Kobal The infrequently seen, yet stunning Matshapiri female leopard is fifteen years of age this year. She holds her territory in the north eastern parts of MalaMala, namely around the northern parts of the Matshapiri river. Born to the White Cloth female (1993 – 2010) and fathered by the Rock Drift male (1995 – 2007), this female has up to this point mothered three litters of cubs. The first was a litter of two cubs in 2005, the survivor was a young female, known as the Daughter of the Matshapiri female. She has not been seen in a number of...
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Weekly sightings: 09-15 March

Weekly sightings: 09-15 March
       
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Easy come, easy go – a blog from ranger James Moodie

Easy come, easy go – a blog from ranger James Moodie
Early one morning, the Airstrip Male leopard was found doing his territorial rounds near MalaMala main camp. What began as a familiar sighting of this dominant male moving around his territory, quickly turned rather exciting. The Airstrip male, who was busy patrolling, all of a sudden came to an abrupt halt. His ears pricked and he started staring intently into a nearby thicket – this leopard was on full alert. Something in the magic guarri thicket had his attention and he was going to investigate. The Airstrip male began moving towards the bushes, initially as a fast walk which quickly turned into a...
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Winner of the 2014 MalaMala Rangers Photographic Competition

Winner of the 2014 MalaMala Rangers Photographic Competition
Well done James Moodie for winning the 2014 game ranger photo competition! Winning image: Boomslang and weaver chick   Finalists:                   How the competition works: All images were sent to our judges, in order to choose ten of their favourites each. Points were then allocated to each photo from 10 (their first choice) to 1 (their tenth choice). These points were then combined so that a winning image could be selected. Our sincere thanks to the judges – all professional photographers – who were willing to assist us with this...
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The fever tree, its residents and the attack – a blog from ranger Dave Landey

The fever tree, its residents and the attack – a blog from ranger Dave Landey
For those of you who have visited MalaMala main camp, you will remember that there is a water feature as you drive in through the gates. Alongside said water feature, there is a tree – a fever tree (Acacia xanthophloea) to be more specific. This tree acts as the foundation for a number of nests which are built every year, by the smallest species of weaver – the lesser masked weaver (Ploceus velatus). These birds are a common resident in woodland/savanna environments, which breed between August and March, with the peak breeding season being between October and January. During this breeding season,...
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