Its been an absolutely amazing week in the heart of Zululand. With all of the big five being enjoyed by our guests and rangers alike as well as some special appearances from a pack of wild dogs, a male cheetah and some spotted hyena !!
The lovely setting of the Msunduze Riverbed has been the backdrop for some of our top encounters this week. A pack of fourteen wild dogs happily chasing each other around and engaging in various social bonding activities. To our surprise a massive male warthog erupted out of the riverine forest and gave the dogs a run for their money – an amazing display of the strength of a fully grown bore as he sent the dogs running before taking off for cover in the thickets as the dogs pursued carefully to no avail. A leopard was spotted close to the dogs and they made sure not to let this elusive predator too close –shooting off in its direction – what followed was a scramble of dogs and audio from the leopard as it made its way up the mountain to higher ground.
Our male lions have once again been using the riverbed as a resting spot making for fantastic photos, but the females stole the show the other night with heir impressive hunting strategies. They cornered an nyala between two roads almost instinctively knowing where each other were, and the lucky antelope just escaped through a miracle gap in a sickle bush thicket. The lionesses returned to the road in front of us only to rub up against each other and purr loudly, a complete contrast to their actions minutes earlier.
The hyena were seen creeping cautiously around our lodge road and gave us the beady eye before slinking off into the bush to look for food. We were also lucky enough to track down an elephant bull for a few days seeing him each day and watching as he proceeded from waterhole to waterhole feeding – scratching and dust bathing with a quiet look at us from time to time to let us know he knew we were there.
Finally our guests were thrilled to follow a large male cheetah scent marking on the roadside as he patrolled his territory. Altogether a splendid week was had by all and we are in high spirits for what is to come – sign up for the Leopards Tale on the website to receive a detailed monthly update on our bush happening and sightings.
Until next week…
The Ranger Team