21 June to 28 June 2009
Lions, lions and more lions have been the flavour of this week. We were fortunate to have the 2 Mapogo male lions from the south move into our traversing and kill a fully grown buffalo bull. From the trampled vegetation in the area around the dead buffalo, there seems to have been a tremendous struggle that ensued, with the lions being victors at the end of it. The 2 males fed on the buffalo for the entire week and are still feeding on the buffalo as we speak, two days ago the male 'Kalahari' left his brother at the carcass and headed south, we could not understand why he would do this, but a day later we discovered he had gone south to fetch the two females and their two cubs of the Styx Pride, so that they could join them at the carcass. Both males, both lionesses and both cubs were all present at the carcass. The buffalo is virtually finished and im sure they will all move away soon.
The Tsalala Pride also has been hanging around in our traversing area quite a lot, with two sightings of them and their cubs this week. The 2 females were both seen with 6 cubs, this was the first I have seen theses tiny cubs, they range in age from 3-4 months and all seem to be in great condition.
The rest of the Styx have also been seen this week, it looks as though they have permanently split from the other two lionesses that are spending their time with the two Mapogo males. This could be due to the fact that the other females mated with the Rollercoaster male and he is the father of the other 6 cubs, while the 2 lionesses have their cubs sired by the 2 Mapogos. Due to the fact the males will kill other males cubs they are spending all their time away from the 2 Mapogos.
The 3 nomadic males have also made their presence felt within our traversing area; on Wednesday we left for drive early in the morning only to find tracks of the 3 all over the camp, past most rooms and in the parking area, we spent most of the morning following these 3 lions tracks to find them at Simbambili Dam hunting buffalo. They are still quite nervous of vehicles, but in time they will adapt to the presence of vehicles and relax, so we can continue viewing these incredible new males. They are all 3 within the ages of 3-4 years old.
Leopard sightings have also been fantastic this week with 3 sightings of Salayexe's cubs. They are both doing tremendously well, and Saleyexe is a great mother she is placing them in the best possible hiding places so no lion, hyena or other male leopard may find them. They are both very relaxed with the vehicle and we are able to enjoy longer periods with the cubs. The photographs this week have been absolutely spectacular.
Mafunyane, Safari, Ntima and Kwatela have all been seen this week as well as Jordaan, a big male leopard that we see every so often, that comes in from the North.Elephants, Rhinos and buffalo have been plentiful this week as well as all the general game including Hyenas back at a den site after the lion attack of a few weeks ago. Wild dogs were sighted in the beginning of the week, but moved off the property very soon after.
The Simbambili Team