Wildlife Weblog – June 2021

It was hoped that 2021 could be a greater yr for all, however it appears that evidently the chaos of 2020 has adopted by into this yr. In some ways, it has been barely higher and we proceed to have a gentle circulation of native company, with some hints at issues bettering for our worldwide travellers. However time additionally simply appears to fly by in these loopy instances, and it’s with some embarrassment that I realised that we missed the April and Could editions. For these die-hard supporters, we apologise, however hope to make up for it with a bumper problem in June.


Lots of you’ve been following our social media on Fb, YouTube and Instagram, in addition to the updates from different lodges, and would have seen the unhappy and really surprising demise of the magnificent Ottawa male. He turned very assured and determined to problem the Birmingham males to his east, in an try and broaden his territory. Sadly, being on his personal, he was killed within the battle, and we misplaced one of the unimaginable males we’ve got had for a while.

This has had some main ramifications for our lion inhabitants, as one would possibly anticipate. Extremely, the Mhangene satisfaction appeared to have picked up in a short time that he had died, and that their new cubs had been at risk, so moved a lot additional west and into our concession. For the previous month or so, they’ve been completely on Savanna’s property and have been giving us implausible viewing of the younger cubs specifically.

The 2 youngest cubs (each feminine) are actually round 4 months outdated and are stuffed with power, combating with each other, working towards their stalking methods and tackling their older cousin, who’s now one-year outdated. Their antics are definitely a pleasure to observe!

The satisfaction itself now consists of 5 grownup females, a one-year outdated feminine and the 2 younger cubs. We aren’t positive what occurred to the sixth feminine, as she has hardly been seen because the satisfaction got here west, however we’re nonetheless hoping that she is okay. They’ve been common sightings on our drives, concentrating within the south-west of our concession, and just lately had a big buffalo kill for a couple of days which saved their cubs very content material. As is common after such a feast, a protracted thirst-quenching drink is so as! For a video replace on the satisfaction, take a look right here.

The Ottawa satisfaction has been simply as rewarding, as they too have some younger cubs. These are a couple of weeks youthful than the Mhangene satisfaction’s cubs and so one can recognize that they too are implausible viewing in the meanwhile. They don’t have an older sibling to harass, so that they take it out on the moms and aunts, who sometimes aren’t within the temper! The one benefit they’ve is that there are three of them, so they’re able to make do with one another if the mother and father are less than enjoying. Please click on this hyperlink for a video replace!

The Thumbela males are additionally gaining in energy and confidence because the demise of the outdated Matimba male. We’re seeing them roaring with fairly some power of late, however they nonetheless appear to be sticking with the Ottawa satisfaction more often than not. Apparently, they haven’t proven any curiosity in heading south towards the Mhangene satisfaction but, however maybe they’re unaware of their presence for now.


We even have some children within the leopard inhabitants! Tlangisa has a brand new litter and, though we’ve got not seen her and her cubs a lot prior to now few months, it appears that evidently she is doing exceptionally properly. She is her common calm self, and it displays in the way in which that the 2 younger cubs are already extraordinarily relaxed across the automobiles.

We even have some children within the leopard inhabitants! Tlangisa (pictured proper) has a brand new litter and, though we’ve got not seen her and her cubs a lot prior to now few months, it appears that evidently she is doing exceptionally properly. She is her common calm self, and it displays in the way in which that the 2 younger cubs are already extraordinarily relaxed across the automobiles.

Khokhovela (pictured under) has additionally been fairly scarce recently, however she was just lately seen mating with Ravenscourt, so hopefully there could quickly be some extra cubs operating round.

Ravenscourt has been sustaining his dominance properly within the west and appears to have picked up a bit along with his patrols to the south, presumably in response to Thamba, who’s placing strain on him from the south. He nonetheless, nonetheless, spends most of his time alongside the river, the place the situations are most suited to him.

He has additionally been getting some strain from Euphorbia within the north, and we just lately had a sighting of the 2 of them mendacity about 30 metres aside, growling at one another. What was fascinating was that it was on the southern facet of the river, i.e. extra in Ravenscourt’s territory than Euphorbia’s and that Euphorbia didn’t appear to be backing down, however was holding his personal.

As talked about earlier than, Thamba is rising in dimension and is increasing his territory. He’s undoubtedly turning into far more assured and has made the south his personal. It has been actually good having an everyday, relaxed and dominant male near Savanna, and we see and listen to him recurrently.

Nyelethi remains to be the dominant male to the east of Ravenscourt, and that boundary appears to have been settled a while in the past. He’s, nonetheless, getting on at 12 years outdated, and will probably be coming an increasing number of below strain from youthful leopards. At this level, it’s not clear the place that strain goes to come back from, however for now he appears protected.

One risk is Hlambela, who’s the son of Boulders, and is now three years outdated. Nyelethi will in all probability maintain on for one more yr or two, which can imply that Hlambela will probably be 4 or 5, which is concerning the time that he will probably be in search of a territory of his personal.

One other younger male within the space is Scotia and Nyelethi’s son (pictured within the under sequence). At simply over two, he nonetheless has the ‘teenage’ gene in him and we just lately had the privilege of watching him stalk and pounce at a rodent subsequent to the highway. It’s at all times spectacular to see the persistence, opportunism and agility of those cats!

Cheetah and different Predators

A few of our different predators have additionally been busy of late. The male cheetah has been making his common common rounds, coming by the clearings within the south like clockwork. It’s at all times superb how these cats are creatures of behavior and transfer predictably to their common mounds and fallen bushes to scent-mark and use them as lookouts for prey.

Often he’s profitable at recognizing and catching his prey! Lately, on a day drive, we discovered him on the sting of the clearing at Cheetah Flats with a big male impala kill. He will need to have made the kill late within the morning, as he had eaten a lot of the impala already once we discovered him within the afternoon. We considered him as he squeezed as a lot meals as attainable into his abdomen, for he knew that come early night, the hyenas could be out. And positive sufficient, he was chased off the carcass by a single hyena who proceeded to gorge himself on the stays.

Hyena are sometimes painted because the villains of the bush, at all times stealing scraps and benefitting from the work finished by others. They’ve a sloping again, with their head held low, skulking about and at all times appear as if they’re as much as no good! It’s not usually that we see the extra sociable, playful facet of hyena, however some company had the chance just lately to observe a big group of eight or 9 hyena vocalising and operating in the direction of a clearing. We initially thought that they had been responding to a attainable kill, however as they reached the clearing, they began chasing one another very playfully and speeding right into a small pan for a swim. They’re one of many few predators within the savannah that love water, and it was superb to observe this extra ‘likeable’ facet of hyena.


The opposite animals who take pleasure in water – and that is no shock – are the hippo. Because of nice rainfall throughout our final wet season, we nonetheless have loads of water obtainable to them. As we head into the center of our winter, we are also having common views of the big pods popping out onto the sides of the dams and rivers to bake within the solar and have an excellent sleep!

Uncommon Sightings

Now we have additionally had a variety of uncommon sightings these previous few months as properly. Dan and his company had been spoiled with an ideal view of a large-spotted feminine genet and her two kittens. These are normally very shy and skittish, notably so once they have younger. However on this event, they had been capable of watch and {photograph} them for almost quarter-hour!

A big male ostrich has additionally been hanging out within the clearing simply north of Savanna. Though the numbers have improved over the previous few years, sightings of them are nonetheless few and much between and we had been handled to some nice viewing of him.

African Skies

Africa is famend for its skies, and extra particularly the sunrises and sunsets. That is much more true throughout winter, when mud, smoke and mist make the early mornings and late afternoons much more spectacular. We depart you with a couple of of those breath-taking views, and hope that you’re all capable of journey ahead of later, to take pleasure in them for yourselves in particular person.

We hope that each one our associates and company have been retaining protected and wholesome, and that your vaccine rollouts are going properly, which in flip could make it easier to all return to us quickly to witness, in particular person, nature at its greatest.
To make amends for all of the updates throughout our lockdown, please take a look at our YouTube Channel right here.​
With heat wishesNeil, Natasha and The Savanna Crew

The put up Wildlife Weblog – June 2021 appeared first on Savanna Lodge.

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