Ranger Diaries & Press
December 2021 Wildlife Report
The bushveld is blooming with beautiful flowers, vegetation, full water dams and loads of wildlife babies. Welcome to another update from the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve and Makumu Private Game Lodge, your home away from home. I will be covering some of the exciting things that we encountered over the last month.
All images in this article were taken by Stefan Breuer, owner.
We have been extremely lucky to have had a couple of wild dog sightings on different occasions this month. Wild dogs can cover great distances, especially on cloudy days when it is nice and cool. Therefore, it is very special the day we do catch a glimpse of them passing through. On other occasions we even got to see them hunting and making a kill, which is quite the sighting out on safari. The way wild dogs hunt is so interesting and a great portrayal of team work.
Makumu’s lion sightings never disappoint as we have the big River pride that hangs around in the Klaserie. The small cubs are starting to grow as well. We look forward to seeing what becomes of this pride once the cubs become young adults.
A real treat this month was a sighting of a new nomadic group we have not seen before. 3 young males and 1 female was found relaxing at ours truly, malembei. This group looks very healthy and are beautiful. Unfortunately, they were gone the next day. But hopefully they will make an appearance again, as we would love to see what they achieve as a group.
With the thick dense bush in the summer, it can be very tricky to spot wildlife. Especially with the leopard and their beautiful, patterned skin which really helps them stay camouflaged. They could easily be lying down flat in the grass right next to you and you would not even spot them. But luckily for us, leopard sightings have really been booming this month at Makumu. On a few game drives our guests were even that lucky to have seen two different leopard sightings in one drive.
And then a definite highlight of course would be the leopard cubs with their mother Manzi. Our guide and guests spotted them relaxing on the rocks across the river. The cubs were playing around, and mom was constantly on alert, surveying the area.
Our local pregnant hyena finally had her cubs. And even better, their den is right by our beautiful malembeni waterhole. The cubs are still a bit skittish as they tend to run back to their den as soon as a vehicle approaches. But some of our guests were lucky enough to watch the cubs come out of their den, playing, and running around. The little cubs are quite curious as well. A very cute sighting was when the little cubs followed the older bunch away from their den with a lot of confidence, but they fell behind and quickly noticed they were far from their den. They realized their mistake and ran back to safety and hid in their den again.
There is quite a lot of elephant herds in the bush at the moment and they have been quite busy around Makumu and inside the camp. One thing that’s amazing about Makumu is that it is not fenced and is completely open to the bush. This really adds to the amazing experience as anything can move through the camp at night and during the day. And the elephants love to do just that. We sometimes get big herds moving though our camp which may even cause for our staff not being able to get to the lodge. But I wouldn’t mind my lunch being delayed by a beautiful herd of elephants eating from the lodge garden.