Highlights of the week

July 19th. 2 lion sightings: 2 lionesses from the Eyrefield pride, their 4 cubs and the Matshapiri male with the blonde mane were found with a fresh buffalo kill this morning east of Drum Crossing. The other lioness and Matshapiri male are still mating. 5 leopards: the Island female had her bushbuck kill stolen by hyenas just south of Main Camp. The Kikilezi female and her 2 cubs were also close to Main Camp. The Tamboti female was hunting near West Street Bridge. 2 herds of buffalo and many elephants were seen as well as 2 ostriches and a honey badger.

July 18th. 3 lion sightings: 2 lionesses from the Eyrefield pride, their 4 cubs and the Matshapiri male with the blonde mane were near Styx Rocks. The darker maned Matshapiri male is mating with the youngest Eyrefield lioness. The 3 lionesses from the Styx pride were viewed in the north. 3 leopards: the Tamboti female and her cub were seen near our airstrip. The Island female is on an imapala kill. Many herds of elephants were viewed as well as several herds of buffalo.

The drought we’re currently experiencing draws much sympathy for our herbivores as they battle against starvation. On the other hand- our predators are thriving. There is no rain in sight for at least a couple months. Some in Africa derive rain forecasts from the moon as they imagine it to be a cup holding water- if the cup is tilted the water will pour out = rain. In this case they’d seem to be correct.

July 17th. Lions: the Eyrefield pride with their 4 cubs and the 2 Matshapiri males were on the eastern bank of the Sand River opposite Rattray’s Camp. 4 leopards: the Bicycle Crossing male was also near Rattray’s Camp. The Island female was viewed close to Main Camp. The Tamboti female and her cub were south and west of our airstrip. A herd of buffalo as well as many elephant sightings were enjoyed today.

July 16th. 2 lion sightings: finally we got our first look at the ‘new look’ Styx pride in its entirety- 3 lionesses and 8 cubs in the northern parts of MalaMala. The 2 Matshapiri males are in eastern Flockfield. 7 leopards: the Accipter male was seen near West Street Bridge. The Tamboti female was viewed moving her cub westwards through Princess Alice’s Pans. The Kikilezi female and her cubs were near Main Camp. The Island female was also viewed. Cheetah: a single cheetah was seen in Flockfield. Several herds of buffalo were viewed as well as many elephant sightings.

July 15th. 2 lion sightings: the Eyrefield pride and 2 Matshapiri males were seen in central Flockfield. 1 Styx lioness was found in the north and was roaring frequently. 6 leopards: the Kikilezi female and her 2 cubs were close to Main Camp and the DOKF 3:3 was just north of them. The Tamboti female and her cub were near our airstrip. 2 sable antelope sightings: a herd as well as a lone bull were viewed in central parts of our property. 3 herds of buffalo and many elephant sightings were recorded. We also enjoyed an amazing sighting of a serval with her young kitten! 

July 14th. Lions: the Eyrefield pride and 2 Matshapiri males killed a buffalo calf in Flockfield. 9 leopards: 3 unidentified male leopards were viewed in what was previously Airstrip male territory. The Kikilezi female is still in the company of 2 generations of offspring- her current litter as well as her daughter from her last litter with the 3:3 spot pattern. The Lookout female and the Island female were also viewed today. 2 herds of buffalo and many elephant sightings were recorded as well as a male ostrich in eastern Flockfield.

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