15 June to 21 June 2009
The dry and dusty winter bush has once again provided some fantastic sightings over the past week. Night drives have become quite productive, allowing us glimpses of animals that are usually hidden by the lush summer growth. Genets, civet, honey-badger and owls have all been seen during the week.
Tyson and Mafufunyane have been seen this week, both in a very similar area. Mafufunyane was seen around Ellie Alley as he attempted to hunt warthog. He spooked a sounder of pigs as they were exiting their burrow and gave chase narrowly missing one of the older piglets. He then spent the remainder of the morning following the scent trails left by the warthogs coming close on a few occasions to the adult boar without success. We left him as he settled down for a snooze in the shade of some large Guarri bushes.
Safari, was seen moving around her old haunts and had a meeting with Ntima on their territorial boundary. We then spent the remainder of the morning watching her patiently stalk a duiker.
Salayexe provided a number of sightings, we followed not only her tracks, but those of her two cubs, into the area around Mamba Road where she stashed the cubs in a large termite mound and moved out to hunt again and after a full afternoon of tracking we found her hunting a steenbuck ram, which was unsuccessful. The following morning we returned to the area to see if we could find her again. We were in for a surprise when instead of finding her we found her two cubs sunning themselves on a large termite mound. What a special sighting to see these two bundles of spots sitting waiting patiently for mum to return.
Al and Mumps had a wonderful sighting of the cubs suckling from mum late one afternoon before Salayexe moved away from them too have a drink at a nearby waterhole. It appears that both cubs are doing very well and have started to noticeably relax around the vehicles.
Lions have proved to be elusive, although we have had a visit from the Mapogo Males, the two males who have recently taken over the south eastern part of our concession where found resting near Serengeti Pan. They spent the remainder of the afternoon and the next morning in the same area. The Styx Pride, after their run in with the hyena clan and the Tsalala Pride, last week were seen in a territorial skirmish with another pride of lions, moving out of our traversing area and are yet to return.
Elephant have been seen in large numbers with two herds in excess of 50 animals being seen regularly, Rhino are still about and the crash of 6 being seen almost daily. The two territorial bulls Londoz and Short Horns are also seen regularly patrolling their territories, scent marking as they go. Buffalo bulls are still seen everyday resting around the waterhole in front of camp. The camp waterhole is an unbelievable spectacle at the moment with herds of giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, impala and elephant drinking throughout the day.
The elephant herds that pass through vary in size from 10 to 50 and the noise and excitement that is created when these big grey giants move in to drink is great. On a quiet afternoon I sat and watched the procession of approximately 6 different herds of elephant move in to slake their thirsts. The young calves provided some of the most enjoyable entertainment as they tried to master drinking with their trunks and managing to cover themselves and every other elephant in the vicinity with liberal amounts of water or mud!!
Till next week....
The Simbambili Guiding Team