Ranger Diaries & Press
July 2023 Wildlife Report
It’s the height of winter meaning we are having very cool mornings and chilly afternoons, we’re fortunate to have relatively warm middays to keep us warm. Along with blankets and a nice fire in the boma. The days are short and chilly, but with the bush thinning out as the leaves fall, we can still find some amazing things this time of the year. A few giraffes appeared to have made their retirement home near the lodge, allowing us to see them close to everyday even from the lodge deck. Zebra, impala, wildebeest, duikers, steenboks all make great use of the waterhole in front of our lodge. This month has been another great one with some incredible sightings.
All images in this article were taken by Thomas Veenema.
Makumu hosts a few prides that love to move around the area and can travel quite some distance. We were fortunate enough to encounter a group of 18 casually strolling through the area. We were able to stay with them for some time while they moved from one area to the next. It's incredible to see a big group like them walk along the road and pass you within a few metres of the vehicle. We were able to see how one female decided where to go, contact calling to let them know its time to move. Slowly but surely the rest of the group would follow her. Some of the teenagers were busy wrestling with each other and play fighting. This is a very important part of their upbringing to explore the limits of their body capabilities and strengthen their bonds with their siblings.
The photographic bunker that we have on Makumu can be a hit or miss, sitting for hours with little activity can be frustrating. But this time our patience was rewarded, two big bulls walked on to quench their thirst with us. Allowing us to look up at them and really admire their size. This particular day it was nice and warm, so they stayed with us for quite a while. This allowed us to take some beautiful photos watching them drink, rest and interact with each other.
Seeing these creatures from a frogs perspective really makes you appreciate the beauty of these magnificent elephants.
My favourite leopardess was at it again this month. The female, Shivindzi, which has her core territory on the Makumu property had killed an impala and carried it up a tree no more than 300 metres in front of the lodge. She stayed with this kill for close to a week and she allowed us every drive to view her in the most incredible ways. The strength they can muster to carry a kill, close to half their body size, all the way up into a tree is an incredible achievement.