May 2018 – Mluwati Concession

To all who have joined us here on this beautiful concession and experienced the wonders of the Kruger National Park we hope you return one day again. The concession is a special place of beauty where trees as old as time itself stand tall along the riverbanks and we can only wonder the stories they could tell. The amazing wildlife we are privileged to witness on our safaris with our excited guests. This month has been no different and we have witnessed some really special sightings. One standout for this month would have to be a female lioness trying to kill a pangolin. Although she never managed to even injure the Pangolin which rolled itself tightly into a ball, it still provided our guests with an amazing sighting.

Lions

Sightings of Lion on the concession have left all of us wondering who they are and where they have come from, with many different prides, break away prides and individuals being seen on concession. The Talamati break away pride had a kudu kill close to Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge, this pride consists of 2 females, 3 subadult males and 3 smaller cubs of various ages. The Imbali Pride is still very active on the concession moving between Imbali to our Far Southern Border and back again. 2 Adult females during the last few sightings we are hoping that they are off mating or have already possibly had cubs. Brief visuals of some of the sub adult males from Hamiltons pride have been seen, although the pride tends to stay further south east up S125 nowdays. No sightings of our two males from Hamiltons pride, one lone male found with 2 younger females presumed to be Hamiltons females late in the month. Information from a reliable source tells us this is an ousted male from the Mbiri Pride in Manyeleti, spent a couple of days on concession and has not been seen since.

Leopard

Amazing sightings throughout the month for leopard again here on concession including, special moments with Nkhanye and her cubs. Wabayisa our resident Male from Hamiltons has been spending time moving around concession again this month, seems to be broadening his territory to include Imbali. Female leopard spotted almost every day for about a week around Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge. Imbali Female also been seen a few times between the staff village for Imbali and the waterhole. Tshidulu has not been seen through this month, one wonders now that his mother has new cubs and he can longer steal food from her if he has indeed starting to searching for his own territory. We are hoping he will pop out again soon, his character and comfort with vehicles has always made for special sightings with guests.

Cheetah

Only one sighting of Cheetah this month, found close to Imbali staff village by our staff just before afternoon drive. Head Ranger follow the two young males for a while and managed to witness the kill, as the two males pulled down a fully grown impala. Luckily all our guests got to see them relaxing with very full bellies a short while after.

Wild Dogs

Unfortunately the packs who are normally seen everywhere on concession, have been scarce this month due to them denning. Once dens are established the pack stays within close surroundings of the den hunting and finding food for the pups. They tend to not venture far from the pups until they reach about 2 – 3 months old and are able to move around a bit more. The pack as a whole will care for all the pups killing prey and feeding until well gorged where they then return to the den and regurgitate the half processed meat for the pups. We look forward to meeting the new pups once they become mobile enough to venture away from the den site.

Elephant and Buffalo

We are still finding big herds moving in and out of concession, waterholes at all three lodges are becoming more and more popular with the bigger animals. Imbali has had a herd of 40 plus buffalo on a few occasions as well as dagga boys. Elephants are also frequenting the waterholes as winter sets in and water becomes scarce in the bush. Both Elephant and Buffalo herds show health in the number of very new offspring we have around at the moment.

Birds

Birdlife on concession although being winter has still given us some special sightings from Kurrichane Buttonquails who always fly out of the long grass as the vehicles drive past, to the White Backed Vultures who are nesting all over the concession. There is always an interesting feather or two out there. Most of our Francolins and Spurfowl also have small chicks running around with them. Mluwati Concession is fortunate enough to have a very healthy breeding population of White Backed Vultures as well as Ground Hornbills, we have a breeding pair of Saddle Billed Storks and many different owls nesting around the lodges and in our river crossings, great for all bird lovers from beginners to well-travelled individuals.

The concession is changing from lush green to the distinctive reds, oranges and browns of winter…. Morning and evening game drives one tends to feel the chill and sun rises and sets…

“May the call of the African Fish Eagle ring out through the savannas and may the roar of the lion vibrate through your soul….”

THE GUIDES OF THE MLUWATI CONCESSION.