MalaMala weekly higlights

Highlights of the week

October 3rd. Lions: the Matshapiri males provided us with an adrenaline pumping sighting as they attempted to catch a young hippo in the presence of its mother. 5 leopards: a collared young male leopard with a 3:3 spot pattern was found in the north, we believe he is known as ‘Sindile’- a leopard that was placed in quarantine after coming into contact with a rabies positive domestic dog and then released in May. The Kikilezi female and her cubs are on an impala kill west of Main Camp. The Accipiter male was also viewed.

October 2nd. 3 lion sightings: 1 Gowrie male and the Styx lionesses were seen in the north. The Eyrefield pride slept for most of the day and then we watched them hunting nyala in the evening. The 2 Charleston males were seen east of our southwestern corner- the one male’s ‘hanging’ canine is still attached! 6 leopards: the Bicycle Crossing male was viewed at Charleston North and he was in the company of a large herd of elephants and a herd of buffalo. An unidentified male with an old cut across his top lip was viewed east of Rattray’s Camp. The Island female was just south of Main Camp. The Kikilezi female and her cubs were west of Main Camp.

September 30th. Lions: the Matshapiri males were found south of Rattray’s Camp- they’d been involved in a ‘roaring match’ with what sounded like 2 other males to their north- probably the Clarendon males. 9 leopards: the Kikilzei female and her cubs, the Lookout female and her cub, the West Street male and the unidentified male south of Charleston north were all still feeding off their kills from yesterday. In addition, the Island female was seen as well as a No ID male (Quarantine) viewed in Clarendon Open Area. Cheetah: the 2 brothers were also seen in Clarendon Open Area. Cape hunting dogs: the pack of 22 were viewed in the south.Many buffalo and elephants were viewed on both days. The hyena den site near on Ostrich Koppies road was also very active.

September 29th. A little bit of rain overnight made for a refreshing day. 2 lion sightings: the Eyrefield pride were viewed moving south through the Tamboti Thickets. The Styx pride were still feeding off their buffalo kill – visual was distant and the bush was thick. 8 leopards: the Kikilezi female and both her cubs were feeding off an impala kill west of Main Camp. The Lookout female and her cub were found with an impala kill and a steenbok kill south of Styx Crossing. An unidentified female was viewed near Matshapiri Dam. The West Street male had an impala kill of his own in central Charleston. An unidentified male was seen feeding off a hippo carcass south of Charleston North Crossing. Cape hunting dogs: the pack of 22 killed an impala in the south. Cheetah: 2 males were seen in the north.

September 28th. 2 lion sightings: the Eyrefield pride spent most of the day around the Tamboti Thickets and in the Sand River south of Rattray’s Camp. The Styx pride were viewed in thick bush in the north- we could only see 2 cubs and their condition is not good. 5 leopards: baboons alerted us to the presence of the Bicycle Crossing male- we viewed him moving south along the Sand River close to Rattray’s Camp. The Emsagweni female is still feeding off the the remains of a buffalo carcass. The Kikilezi female and her cubs were seen just west of Main Camp- an amazing sighting in which we watched both cubs toying with an old buffalo bull. Many other buffalo were viewed as well as multiple elephant herds.

September 26th: First and foremost… Yet another pangolin (the worlds most trafficked mammal) sighting was enjoyed today! Lions: the Eyrefield pride is still feeding off their buffalo kill and they’ve been joined by both Matshapiri males. Leopards: the skittish large male (nicknamed ‘the ghost’) was seen in the central parts of the property. Cape hunting dogs: the pack of 22 was seen along our western boundary. Cheetah: the two brothers were viewed in the north again. Many elephants and buffalo sightings were recorded.

September 25th. Lions: the Eyrefield pride were found with a buffalo kill in southern Flockfield- later in the day a small herd of buffalo inadvertently approached the area and the lions brought down another one! 7 leopards: the Kikilezi female and both her cubs were west of Main Camp. The Piccadilly female was in the southern most reaches of the Mlowathi River. The Island female was around the old airstrip. 2 unidentified male leopards were viewed- one at Clarendon Dam and the other at Charleston North. Cape hunting dogs: the pack of 22 killed an impala north of Dudley Crossing. Cheetah: the 2 brothers were in Clarendon Open Area. Many elephants where seen including a blue-eyed leucistic calf. 3 herds of buffalo were also seen.