February 2017 – Part 1

By March 22, 2017Ranger Diaries

Hello from the amazing Mluwati concession a place we have the privilege of calling home and sharing all the beauty with our guests. February was a fantastic month for all on the concession and the bush has come to life after even more rains. Everywhere one looks there is life, butterflies of various colours and bright yellow hibiscus flowers all in full bloom. One can hardly believe that all this has happened in the space of two months but it is wonderful to see the transformation in the bush and that all the grass and trees have recovered since the drought and there will be sufficient water everywhere during the dry months later in the year. Which in turn will deliver some amazing game viewing.

Lions

Lion sightings have been a bit up and down this month and same as last month we have been cut off from various areas due to rivers flowing and tributaries cutting off some roads here and there. That said we had some good sightings and we had good news as last year the older Hamiltons cubs looked in very bad shape with the drought making it difficult for the mothers to move them around and find food. We didn’t see them for quite some time but eventually we did and the cubs are alive and healthy. Our two resident males have been spending a lot of time on the southern boundary of the concession and seen mating with two different females which we think are the other Hamiltons females who didn’t have cubs last year. So, we will wait and see if we get some new life in about three months time and so far the males are making sure no other males are coming to claim their territory. And we hope they continue to do so and keep our Lionesses and their off spring safe.

Leopard

Leopards as we know are elusive and secretive creatures and with grass being almost 4 feet tall our guides have had to use all their skills to locate these secretive creatures. We did find a new female with two cubs who we haven’t seen before so we are limiting the amount of vehicles when she is seen to get her relaxed and ensure that no pressure is put on them this in turn will ensure better sightings in the future and is standard procedure for all reserves, it’s also good that we are getting new bloodlines in the area. Our resident male around Hamiltons was seen a couple of times and the wound he had on his side as we reported last month is healing nicely. The female we call Nkanye and her cub have also been spotted on a regular basis and are doing well.

Cheetah

As with last month we had another bumper month when it came to this highly endangered carnivore. With a total of around only 300 in the entire national park and sometimes one can go months without seeing one. We had various sightings of Cheetah this month including a group of 4 which we haven’t seen before on our southern boundary patrolling some open plains on the lookout for some potential prey. The guests at Imbali got a front row seat one morning when a female attempted to catch a bushbuck right in front of the dining area almost being successful but the Bushbuck was too agile then she spent a good three hours relaxing in full view of the deck much to the delight of all the guests. We also saw another female around the Hamiltons area and she looks to be pregnant as well so only time will tell if we are going to be lucky enough to have some little ones around soon.