MalaMala highlights of the week

Photo by ranger James Moodie @rangerjamtin ‪#‎itsallaboutthewildlife‬

Photo by ranger James Moodie @rangerjamtin ‪#‎itsallaboutthewildlife‬

7 February: Lions: the 2 Matshapiri males were with all 3 Eyrefield lionesses and the 2 oldest cubs at Confluence Crossing and we watched them kill a bushbuck. Leopards: the Treehouse male is still feeding off the remains of an impala kill and although many hyena were present the Tamboti was not. The DOKF 3:3 was also seen. A couple herds of elephants were seen as well as some buffalo bulls.

6 February: Lions: the Eyrefield lionesses and their cubs were seen in front of Rattray’s Camp yet again. Leopards: the Treehouse male and the Tamboti female are still mating- there was extra excitement at the sighting today as they were both in a tree with a kill which was surrounded at its base by hyenas. Cape hunting dogs: the pack of 13 (Toulon pack) killed a young kudu around the old airstrip. Many elephants and buffalo bulls were viewed.

5 February: Lions: the Fourways pride and their 4 cubs were in the company of the 2 Matshapiri males near the Windmill- the males killed a hyena during the course of the day. The Eyrefield pride and their cubs are in the Sand River in front of Rattray’s Camp. Leopards: the Tamboti female and the Treehouse male are into their 3rd day of mating now. Cape hunting dogs: a pack of 13 was viewed near our Airstrip. A couple elephant herds were seen as well as many buffalo bulls.

4 February: Lions: the 2 Matshapiri males, 2 Eyrefield lionesses and 2 cubs are in the Sand River in front of Rattray’s Camp. Leopards: the Treehouse male and Tamboti female are still mating. The 1:1 spot pattern you male was seen killing an impala south of West Street Bridge. The Kikilezi female and DOKF 3:3 were also viewed. Cape hunting dogs: a pack of 13 chased the DOKF 3:3 leopard up a tree and made several failed attempts at catching prey. Many elephants and buffalo bulls were viewed.

3 February: Lions: The Marthly pride were seen in the Sand River northwest of Main Camp- still only the 5 members. 1 Eyrefield lioness and 2 cubs were in front of Rattray’s Camp. Leopards: the Treehouse male is mating with the Tamboti female. Cheetah: the 2 brothers were viewed in the northeastern parts of MalaMala. A large herd of buffalo was seen as well as scattered elephant sightings.

2 February: Lions: it was a very full day with lions today as the three lioness from the Styx pride were seen in the lower reaches of the Mlowathi River. The Marthly pride were in the Sand River, downstream from MalaMala main camp. Two of the older cubs from the Eyrefield pride were seen opposite Rattray’s camp, with their mother, and another Eyrefield lioness was encountered too. The evening ended off with a sighting of three of the Gowrie males around at Matshapiri dam. One leopard was seen today, the West Street male in the Tjellahanga River. There was evidence of a second, as a kill was found on Styx Rocks. The area had obviously attracted a bit of attention as three cape hunting dogs were seen in close proximity as well as hyena. We had numerous sightings of herds of elephants, and lone buffalo bulls.

1 February: A fantastic sighting was had this morning involving leopards, lions and baboons! The Treehouse male was found with the remains of his impala kill and he had been joined by the Kikilezi female. The interaction between the two leopards drew the attention of the 5 members of the Marthly pride as well as a troop of baboons. Both descended on the leopards and chaos ensued. Lions chasing leopards, leopard chasing leopard, baboons chasing leopards, lions climbing trees. And all this happened around our vehicles. Other lion sightings: the 2 Matshapiri males, 3 Eyrefield lionesses and 4 cubs were in front of Rattray’s Camp this morning- this evening one of the Matshapiri males made several attempts at catching a buffalo bull but failed. Other leopards: we found a new den site in the south, north of Flat Rocks! An unidentified female leopard with 1 young cub. The son of the Ostrich Koppies female was at Matshapiri Dam. A herd of buffalo was seen today as well as a couple herds of elephants.

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