August 2018 – Mluwati Concession

By September 7, 2018Ranger Diaries

To all our guests and followers of our monthly newsletter a warm welcome from our wonderful part of the Kruger National park where we have the privilege of taking our wonderful guests on safari on this 10 000-hectare wilderness. Winter is now coming to an end, the August winds have been blowing on and off all month. The last of the Cold fronts have been moving swiftly through the concession, with cold overcast days occurring more often. For the first time since the severe draughts which we have had in 2016 we have received some drizzle, Knobthorns and Shambok pods have already started flowering. Sightings on the concession have been more concentrated around the waterholes during this month with Leopard often seen drinking at Imbali and Hoyo Hoyo in the evenings while guests are enjoying dinner. Lion, Elephant, buffalo and even the occasion Honey Badger. The bush is looking very dry and brown, the grass being palatable mostly only for the bulk feeders.

Lions

Another spectacular month of various lion sightings both on and off the concession, Imbali pride is still doing well all guides now days are finding it hard to differentiate between the young females and adult females. Torchwood pride have been seen around Hoyo Hoyo again through the month all still looking good and healthy. Females from Hamiltons have been seen through the month again mating with the Scorro Mbiri male. Unknown adult male which was seen earlier in the month on Imbali access has been seen around Shumangwineni – unsure if this is one of the Skybed males. Looking forward to seeing young cubs from Hamiltons in a couple of months.

Leopard

Leopards have been seen throughout the month this month with some really interesting developments – Wabayisa is still very active between Imbali and Hoyo Hoyo Safari lodge, venturing down towards Borehole area but not staying there for long. 2 young female leopards seen around Hoyo Hoyo often in the evenings drinking water with one large male seen occasionally unsure of which male this is. Shidulu made 2 kills in the same evening around Hamiltons – spent 4 days gorging himself while hyeana always remain in the background waiting for some scraps. After 4 days we suspect lions stole the remainder of the kills out of the tree. Nkhanye seems to remain well hidden after losing her one cub, keeping the little one and herself well hidden.

Cheetah

Only one sighting of Cheetah this month, seem to be staying in areas away from main roads where there is still sufficient cover for them. Sighting of Cheetah was very unique as it was seen while guests were out on bushwalk, watching elephants in the riverbed next minute Impala running in all directions and a flash of a cheetah running after them. Hoping once the bush becomes lush again we will have some more incredible sightings of these amazing animals.

Wild Dogs

Guests were treated to some awesome sightings of these incredibly rare carnivores this month, however now that the pups are old enough to venture out with the pack the sightings have slowly become less and less for the remainder of the month. Leeupan pack moved further off into the Sabie Sands. Our Resident Manager Johan and a once in a lifetime sighting of interaction between Wild Dogs and a herd of Elephants on the S36. The smaller pack around Hoyo Hoyo made a kill in the river beds right by the lodge which amazed all our guests.

Elephant and Buffalo

Elephants have been plentiful all through the concession with big herds at Hamiltons and Imbali visiting the waterholes in the early mornings and late afternoons. Being how big they are, they generally take over the waterholes – pushing and shoving has become regular sightings between Elephant and Buffalo. Dagga boy pushed into the riverbed by an adult Bull Elephant after not wanting to move. Bull Elephant being head butted by stubborn Dagga Boys who have refused to give up their space at the waterhole.

Birds

Birdlife never disappoints any of our guests whether or not they are birders, from Owls to Louries, from Starlings to the smallest Quails and Waxbills. Late afternoons flocks of Double Banded Sandgrouse come in to the camps waterholes for water and fill their feathers with additional water. African Fish Eagle is a regular visitor to Hamiltons Tented Camp at the moment waiting for the opportunity to catch an unsuspecting fish out of the small pools which remain at the Weir. Kori Bustard are still being seen on our southern boundary as well as flocks of guineafowl all over the concession.

The concession is teaming with wildlife at the moment from the smallest of animals and birds to the largest Elephant Bulls and Ostrich there is always something for everyone to enjoy. “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