October Game Report

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. To this end 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 can get your fix right here on the blog, without having to wade through the far more technical looking pages on the website. On the other hand, those of you that preferred the original wildlife diary posts (pre-Social Media) will no doubt love these in-depth updates.

CAPE BUFFALO

As the property has become steadily drier, so the buffalo flocked in their droves to the Sand River during spring. With the onset of rain the pans are now starting to fill up again, so the buffalo are beginning to move further from the river to enjoy the new harvest of fresh green grass in the recently burned areas. Being the number one prey species for our lions, there large bovines have taken quite a knock over the past month. But as the year draws to a close we’ll see them regain their condition, and become a more formidable prey.

Buffalo

Buffalo by Donald MacCrimmon

RHINO

As with the buffalo, the onset of the spring rains has brought with it the new grass the rhino love so much. And with large areas of the property being burnt, it’s been an early Christmas for these bulk grazers. There’s was an increase of almost twenty sightings of these herbivores this month. We’ve had many new additions to MalaMala’s rhino population as well, with at least two very young calves being viewed in both the Matshipiri and Mlowathi River systems.

Rhino

Rhino by Ant Mulligan

ELEPHANT

With the hot and dry winter finally behind them, these friendly giants are reveling in the spring rains. The pans are filling up nicely, and there is an abundance of grass and browse shoots around, all of which make for very happy elephants. There’ve been many young calves seen across the property, and herds of fifty plus animals even being viewed on occasion.

Wallowing elephant

Wallowing elephant by John Richardson

Total sightings for the month

Elephant: 143
Rhino: 117
Buffalo: 91

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