Ranger Diaries & Press
June 2022 Wildlife Report
I will be covering all the wonderful sightings that happened during June 2022, and what a lucky month we have had.
The mornings are very crisp with the late rainfall we had in May, with lots of dew when we start our game drives, yet AD and I are still wearing shorts :-) We did however layer up and do advise the guests to be prepared when going out on game drives. The days are pleasant with temperatures still reaching mid 20‘C which is a beautiful summer day in most European countries. The night sky is breathtaking, the Milky way so bright it almost looks like a white cloud above us with the crackling wood fire warming our feet and hands as we sit around the boma fire enjoying a glass of wine.
Game drives have been great and the bush has thinned out a lot with lots of prominent animal pathways all leading to different water sources. We have started with bushwalks again.
All images in this article were taken by Stefan Breuer, owner.
Leopard sightings have been really good, throughout the traverse. The popular Manzi and her 2 youngsters are still sighted around the lodge quite often and they have been very successful, killing impala along with the river system, behind camp, as the river reeds and thicker vegetation there allow great ambush spots with animals coming down to drink. We are still getting movement through camp and a new more skittish female with a notch in her right ear has also been moving around the lodge watering hole. We have also seen a new male leopard walking between Malembeni and the Windmill pan and what a beautiful individual he is, he looks about 4 years old, nose still nice and pink with the most stunning green eyes and so relaxed.
Lion sightings have been very good, and they have kept us on our toes. With the many bellies to fill we have seen them split more often, so we have been finding tracks all over the traverse. The female with the 3 smallest cubs has been doing really well, they have joined up with some of the others and are covering quite a bit of distance, getting the youngsters nice and strong. The western pride has been active yet again in the western section of our property, getting more and more confident vocalising and scent marking. I have noticed the River pride males pushing further west and being quite vocal, so they are definitely becoming more aware of the Western prides’ presence.
Elephant sightings throughout the traverse have been very eventful, they have been all over and if I say all over, I mean everywhere, before and after game drive, during brunch, during afternoon tea. They have been around the lodge, along with the river system, at the various watering holes, all the way up to the old airstrip…
There are plenty of babies around, providing lots of entertainment and we have seen some very nice large males following the breeding herds around.
Buffalo herds have been scarce, even though we have been lucky on 2 occasions to find a nice large herd on our western border of maybe 120-150 strong with nice large bulls to protect the breeding females. The dagga boys have been around the lodge pan and river system, but they have given us some really good sightings.
They are still the apex predator in our area and they rule the Malembeni area all the way to the lodge. There are a few pups around and they all range from +/- 6 weeks to 7 months, at least 3 or 4 different litters. It is always a guest highlight when we go stop at the den site and the curious youngsters come out, they will sometimes walk up all the way to the safari vehicle and just stand there looking at you with those cute little faces. I can not tell how many times guests oooohhh and aaahhh to the cuteness of these youngsters.
The highlight of the month:
Both AD and I received new guests and decided to just drive our own property for the afternoon, we both closed down for drinks. I decided to drive up and down between the two watering holes, I drove from Malembeni to the Windmill and sat there for a few minutes, listening for any vocals or alarm calls, nothing, dead quiet. I decided to drive down to Malembeni again, and as we get there the whole watering hole was covered by buffalo.
We stopped at a distance with the lights on to view them. The next moment we hear branches breaking and out comes a small breeding herd of elephants to join all the buffalo for a drink. It was so nice just to sit there with the engines turned off, listening to all the sounds.
Thank you for reliving this wonderful experience with me.