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Highlights of the week

October 28th. 2 lion sightings: 6 lionesses from the Marthly Breakaway pride and both Clarendon males killed a buffalo south of Main Camp. The Eyrefield pride and both Matshapiri males were viewed near Confluence Crossing. 7 leopards: the Kikilezi female and both her cubs were seen in Marthly with the Piccadilly female being viewed nearby as well. 2 no ID males (including Quarantine) were seen separately around Clarendon Open Area. Another unidentified male was seen along the Mlowathi River. An unidentified female was found in the south. Many elephant and buffalo sightings were recorded. An African wild cat was also viewed.

October 26th. 3 lion sightings: 6 lionesses from the Marthly Breakaway pride (mangheni) and the 2 Clarendon males were found near Tslebe Rocks with 2 buffalo kills. The Eyrefield pride and both Matshapiri males are still feeding off of their giraffe kill north of Rattray’s Camp. A lioness from the Sand River pride was seen in the south. leopards: the Bicycle Crossing male was viewed near Mamba Waterhole. A no ID male (maxabeni) was at Charelston North. The Piccadilly female is still feeding off of her impala kill west of the Mlowathi River. The Treehouse male was viewed north of West Street. The Island female was south of Main Camp. An old unidentified female (1:2 spot pattern) has a duiker kill west of New Rocks. Many elephant and buffalo sightings were recorded today as well as a special sighting of a Brown Snake Eagle killing and eating a large puff adder!

October 25th. A jaw dropping sighting was experienced today and it involved a pack of 22 cape hunting dogs, an unfortunate bushbuck and a no nonsense hippo. The pack chased a bushbuck into a hippo’s mud wallow- what transpired next left us speechless and will be covered in more detail later. The nutshell version is that there was intense interaction between the species. A second bushbuck arrived on the scene shortly after and it to was kill a mere 20m from where it’s comrade fell. 20m north of that the pack the attacked a sickly buffalo cow. It was madness. Later in the day we followed the cape hunting dogs as they moved eastwards and saw them chase an unidentified female leopard up a tree! 8 other leopards were seen: the Kikilezi female and her cubs have a kill near Matumi Rocks. The Treehouse male chased the Island off of her impala kill claiming it for himself. An unidentified female was seen at Matshapiri Dam with an impala kill. The Piccadilly also has an impala kill west of Mlowathi Pans. The West Street male and Teardrop female were seen in the south. 2 lion sightings: the Eyrefield pride and both Matshapiri males killed a giraffe north of Rattray’s Camp- probably during the storm we had last night (18mm of rainfall!!!). We also had distant visual of a lioness in Marthly. Countless elephant and buffalo sightings were also recorded today.

October 23rd. 11 leopards: the West Street male was mating with the Teardrop female in the south. The Bicycle Crossing male has a warthog kill near Charleston North Crossing- an unidentified male approached and the two had a standoff. The Island female has an impala kill south of Wildebeest Crossing. The Tamboti female was finishing off the remains of her impala kill before being harassed by a hyena and then a side-striped jackal. The Emsagweni female was viewed east of Matshapiri Open Area. The Split Rock male was at Buffalo Bush Dam. The cubs of the Kikilezi female were west of Main Camp. An unidentified female was seen at Matshapiri Dam. 2 lion sightings: the Eyrefield pride and both Matshapiri males have killed their 3rd buffalo within 100m of the first kill- a herd of 8 sable antelope almost walked right into the lions but got wind of them just in time. The No ID large male was viewed again in Marthly. 2 sable antelope sightings: the aforementioned herd of 8 (7 females and one calf) were seen as well as a lone female at Drum Crossing. Many elephant and buffalo sightings were recorded.

October 22nd. 2 lion sightings: the Eyrefield pride and both Matshapiri males were moving between their buffalo kill from yesterday and the Sand River- another buffalo strolled past the spot where the kill was and it met the same fate. The large No ID male lion was viewed again, this time in the Manyelethi River- he’s pushing northwards. 9 leopards: the Treehouse male spent the day with the Kikilezi female and both their cubs- they have an impala kill in a tree. An unidentified female leopard was viewed in the western parts of Marthly. The brother of the Senegal Bush male (Quarantine) was seen at Clarendon in the midst of a herd of buffalo and many other animals- Clarendon Open Area has become somewhat of a ‘garden of Eden’ after the heavy rainfall it received a week ago. The Piccadilly female was at Fred’s Tree. The Accipiter male was seen near Matshapiri Open Area. The Tamboti female has an impala kill near our airstrip. Many buffalo and elephants (including a birth) were seen today.