Last night’s drive got off to a fantastic start with a rare and precious sighting of a very relaxed male leopard that we call Clara Male. He has very distinctive different coloured eyes, with one having a very cloudy appearance. This leopard has a huge home range and has been seen as far away as Orpen. According to our sources he is blind in one eye. He is unusually relaxed and has a curious nature. He was scent marking the area and then posed for a photo on top of a termite mound! Even a punctured vehicle tyre did not seem to put him off his show as he stopped to lie down for a rest near the vehicle!
At dusk we were lucky enough to see a large herd of buffalo at a watering hole drinking harmoniously with a female white rhino and her calf….at least until the young rhino decided to have a tussle with a buffalo cow who ran away distinctively unimpressed!
General plains game today was plentiful – and a young guest on my vehicle was particularly excited to see a mischief of Vervet monkeys doing what they do best…..being very naughty!
Ranger Story: Sarah-Estelle Sangster (Kapama River Lodge Ranger)
So there I was on drive this morning, tracking buffalo. As I came around a corner, a dazzle of zebra ran down the road. With the guests being very excited about seeing zebra for the first time, we tried to keep up with them.
All of a sudden we came across a “bush road block” A K A – flock of guinea fowl, who were spread out across the road. So we stopped and watched the guinea fowl for a while when the next moment a caracal jumped out of the bush, grabbed a guinea fowl and started running away. The startled guinea fowl having gotten the fright of their lives started fleeing in all directions. The caracal had disappeared back in the tall grass and alarm calls were heard around the vehicle from the startled guinea fowls. My guests had witnessed a kill. What an awesome sighting…
Long forgotten was the poor zebra.
After tracking our buffalo for about 45 minutes we found them in the southern area of the reserve.
Temperatures today, reaching a high of 23degC
Maggie Oosthuizen – (Kapama River Lodge Ranger)
It’s a month of babies at Kapama!
Mvubu (def): Shangaan for Hippopotamus
Part of our new arrivals is a Hippopotamus baby. It was spotted in one our many natural waterholes on the Reserve.
With a gestation period of 8 months, giving birth in water and its closest relative being the Whale, Hippo’s are magnificent creatures.
Known to be one of the most aggressive mammals in Africa; it is safe to say that we watched the mother and calf from quite a distance as they calmly lay in the water, but with an ever watchful eye on us!
Rangers Story: Jessicah Dunne
Last night was an eventful evening!
After tracking the Lion pride for a while, they were found on a kill – they had killed an adult female Eland. The Eland is the largest antelope in southern Africa and can weigh about 460-600 kg (?). With there having been enough meat for both adult Lionesses and all 5 cubs they were left passed out in the long grass!
The rest of the evening was successful, producing excellent Rhino, Elephant and a quick Leopard sighting.
This morning was a little warmer and the animals were quite active.
We had another sighting of our new Elephant calf – it is doing well and is not wobbly anymore!
The Lion pride was found next to watering hole lazing in the early morning sun – bellies full! The peace and tranquility was disturbed by the adult male Lion arriving – he fought with the sub-adult male Lion and kept chasing him away from the pride. The sub-adults are now almost 17months old and they will start maturing soon, therefore the young male will be kicked out of the pride soon.
Today’s forecast high is again 27degC and with the fair weather sightings tonight should again be exciting…
Rangers story: Hailey Bunge
Hailey Bunge, Kapama River Lodge Ranger
Another new arrival…
Early this morning a new Elephant calf was spotted for the first time! Ms Tricia Jakes currently staying at Kapama River Lodge took the first picture of the newly born elephant calf. It is still very wobbly and is only a few hours old! The adult females were very protective and ushered the little baby along wherever they walked.
Female Elephants are pregnant for 22months and generally give birth to calves every 3-4 years. The little calf will suckle until it is about 18-24 months old, during this time it has to learn how to use its complex trunk!
Our Lion cubs were spotted this morning too. They are very strong and were seen playing in the bush with their mother. A little while later our male Lion was found in the same area sniffing around looking for the Lioness and her cubs – he did not find them.
The Lioness is very defensive when caring for her new cubs and will move them around regularly to prevent other Lions, Leopard and Hyena finding her scent