Once a month the rangers compile a comprehensive game report summarising the activities of each member of the MalaMala 7 (Big 5 plus cheetah and wild dog). As our CyberDiaries tend to focus mainly on the big cats, the herbivores don’t get much more than a cursory mention.
Which is why we’ve decided to post a brief summary of rhino, buffalo and elephant sightings for the month. That way those of you with a soft spot for these animals will also get your fix.
There is a link to the full and unabridged scientific reports on the MalaMala website. HINT – Those of you that preferred the original wildlife diary posts (pre-Social Media) will probably love these in-depth updates.
Buffalo herds were in short supply this month. With all the rain we had in March, the herds are not yet dependant on the river for drinking. While we did see buffalo every day of the month, most of the sightings were of “dugga boys” (old male buffalo). The Eyrefield pride of lions did manage to isolate and kill a young buffalo calf from within a large herd at the beginning of the month, which was spectacular to watch. The large herd is moving around the Windmill at the moment, and this makes it hard to track them as they often move across into the Kruger National Park.
We enjoyed yet another excellent month of rhino sightings. There are a number of crashes around at the moment, so we’ve been seeing lots of young calves. The groups have taken up residency in some of the open areas where the grass has been cut. Their movements have become fairly predictable as a result, providing us with great sightings of these great grey beasts.
Herds of elephants have been plentiful this month, and dispersed all over MalaMala. March also saw a lot of bull elephant activity, which must mean that at least some of the females are coming into heat. There are a lot of young calves in the herds at the moment, and it’s very entertaining to watch these little guys explore their surroundings. With winter just around the corner, we can expect even more herds on the property. This will be great from a game viewing point of view, but is sure to take its toll on the environment.
Total sightings for the month