MalaMala highlights of the week

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24 January: Lions: the 2 Matshapiri males, 3 Eyrefield lionesses and 2 cubs were opposite Rattray’s Camp. 5 members of the Marthly pride are still south of the causeway. 2 of the Gowrie males were viewed in the north. Leopards: the Airstrip male and DOKF 3:3 were in the lower reaches of the Mlowathi River. The Bicycle Crossing male and an unidentified young male were south of the Rock Drift Donga. A large herd of buffalo and a couple elephant herds were also viewed.

23 January: Lions: The five members of the Marthly pride were seen once again, all of which were successful in capturing a fully grown kudu bull around lunch time. This was not the only kill seen today, as one of the lionesses from the Eyrefield pride managed to take down a buffalo cow on her own this morning, helped only a bit later with the final blows by a second lioness. As the buffalo herd fled for safety, the two Matshapiri males took advantage of the pandemonium and captured a buffalo calf. Over the course of the day, all thee Eyrefield lionesses were seen, as well as their two cubs. Over and above these lions, three more young males were seen in the south of the property. Leopards: the West Street male was seen again today, with the remains of a bushbuck kill, the Tamboti female witnessed capturing a juvenile warthog and the Treehouse make spent a majority of his day close to the buffalo kill with the Eyrefield pride – he got chased off as soon as he was spotted, however. Two male cheetah were seen in the north eastern parts of the property, both of which were well fed, and three Sable bulls encountered along the Sand river. In addition to these amazing sightings, numerous herds of elephant and buffalo were spotted too. What a day! 

22 January: Lions: the 2 Matshapiri males are back in the company of the 2 lactating Eyrefield lionesses and the older 2 cubs. The 3rd lioness was some ways to their north. The tailless Marthly lioness and the 4 sub adults are south of Main Camp. Leopards: the West Street male was at Calabash Crossing. The Airstrip male was in the southern parts of the Mlowathi River. The Treehouse male has finished off his impala kill. There was a huge herd of buffalo that drank at West Street and about 4 other, much smaller herds were seen. There weren’t as many elephant sightings as we’ve become accustomed to but we still saw a fair amount. A sable antelope bull was also seen.

21 January: Lions: the 2 Fourways lionesses and the 4 young cubs were with the 2 Matshapiri males- all feeding off a sub adult buffalo kill in eastern Flockfield. The Eyrefield pride and their 4 cubs were south of Rattray’s Camp. 5 members of the Marthly pride were south of Main Camp. Leopards: the Treehouse male is still feeding off his impala kill. The No ID lactating female was around Charleston North. A whopping 5 herds of buffalo were viewed today as well as many elephants.

20 January: Lions: the Marthly pride have split up again! The tailless lioness and the injured young male were being chased around by a herd of buffalo and then by elephants. Amazing to see how this lioness almost always assumes the role of chaperone! The 2 Matshapiri males were north of West Street bridge. 1 Eyrefield lioness was north of them. 2 Eyrefield lionesses and 4 cubs were close to Rattray’s Camp. Leopards: the Treehouse male is still feeding off his impala kill. Cape hunting dogs: a pack was seen close to our airstrip. 4 herds of buffalo were viewed as well as many elephants.

19 January: Lions: the Marthly pride has finally regrouped and all 7 members are feeding off their buffalo kill. The 2 Matshapiri males, 3 Eyrefield lionesses and their 4 cubs were near Rattray’s Camp. 3 Styx lionesses and 1 Gowrie male are south of Matshapiri Dam. Leopards: the Treehouse male is on an impala ewe kill. The No ID lactating female was at Charleston North. 2 unidentified female leopards were fighting at Flockfield Drift. 3 herds of buffalo were viewed as well as many elephants. A herd of 10 sable antelope at Matshapiri Open Area as well as 2 sable bull sightings.

18 January: Lions: the 5 members of the Marthly pride are feeding off their buffalo kill from yesterday- the young male that was gored has a very swollen leg but seems to be walking fine. The Styx pride are in the company of 1 Gowrie male. 3 Gowrie males were also seen in the north. 2 Toulon males were in the south. Leopards: the Emsagweni is on a young buffalo kill. The Treehouse male killed an impala. The Tamboti female, Kikilezi female and DOKF 3:3 were also seen. 1 large herd of buffalo was viewed as well as many elephant sightings.

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