Over the last couple of days, we had some really great sightings. It is as if all the animals are just waiting for you to find them. With the sudden heat wave, you don’t have to look too far for rhinos and buffaloes, lazily hanging around waterholes. The big lion and lioness were having a feast on a zebra, and another lioness with her two youngsters were seen playing around one of the dams. Three separate leopards have been spotted two evenings in a row, and elephant sightings were also really good!! With all the excitement, and the fact that you never know what to expect, we can’t wait to go out on the next safari to see what nature has in store for us.
By: Maggie Bester – River Lodge Ranger
Today I was lucky enough to see two of our sub adult lions playing around and irritating a mother rhino and her calf. The whole thing started when we were following the two youngsters and their mom. The lioness walked straight past our vehicle and laid down for a rest. Quite a distance into the bush we noticed two rhinos standing, starting to settle down for the night. This off course got the attention of the 2 sub adults and brother and sister started stalking the rhinos side by side. Seeing that it was already dark and rhinos in general don’t have good eye sight the lions got to right next to them. The next moment the two jumped on the backs of the rhinos, holding on for dear life. (They did not make 8 seconds). The rhinos quickly got rid of the two inexperienced lions on their backs and stood back to back facing the lions. This game carried on for a few minutes before the rhinos decided that enough was enough and they chased the youngsters away.
I was sitting there still trying to take it all in when I suddenly realized: We’re the only real danger here. Although careful of the lions, the rhinos were never really scared or in danger at any stage. The only danger to them is the humans. They walk past us every day and don’t even realize that they are staring their biggest enemy in the face.
The number of rhinos poached in 2010 was 333. In March 2011 we’re already standing on 62. Where is this going? Will there be any rhinos left in a few years from now? I don’t think we realize how big this problem is and that it needs to stop. Where I used to just drive past a rhino and think that I’ll still see many, I now stop, look and appreciate.
By: Marilize Minaar – River Lodge Ranger
With our previous litter of lion cubs now being roughly 22 months old, their mother has now become pregnant again! The last sighting we had of her was about 2 weeks ago and we could see that she is lactating heavily. She headed into the area where she gave birth to her last litter and we haven’t seen her since. We are all waiting in aticipation for the next time we see her, hopefully with new cubs running around her feet, and some photos to share!
Watch this space, we will keep you updated..
Head Ranger – Kapama Lodge
Some days Africa can give you everything and other days it gives you nothing as if to say hold on that’s enough, you need to work a little harder! Another thing Africa does is teach you never to rush anything and to let the wildlife come to you on their own time and own terms! After finding not a trace after looking for lion tracks for 2 hours was enough to make most people loose heart but knowing how Africa runs or works made us try one more time! 19:25 – almost time to head back and there in the middle of an open plain are the 3 lions we had been searching for, we spent the next 30min out in the open, lights of f relaxing with 3 magnificent creatures! And to top it all off a huge thunderstorm was building to the north with magnificent lightening bolts and thunder to make an even beautiful scene much more beautiful! So, it just shows you if you wait a little bit longer, most of the time you will be rewarded even if it takes a little longer.
By: Josh Beaton – River Lodge Ranger
Earlier this week me and my guests were very lucky indeed. As we found our dominant male lion and a lioness we noticed they were hunting. A quick scan around told that they were eying some warthog not even 15 meters away. It all went down very quickly after that with as an end result a warthog piglet firmly grasped by the lioness. Very quickly she silenced her prey, so it will not attract the unwanted attention of other predators, including the male.
The male in the mean time went after his own prey but missed. As we stayed with the female she became very quiet and took her kill into a thicket and kept looking around quite anxiously, she was looking out for the male. Eventually he came back and started looking for her as he did hear her make a kill. In the end he found her and even though she tried he managed to steal her kill from her leaving her with nothing. In lion society the biggest and strongest one get the best and most food, so the lioness had to go on and try again. A very interesting sighing with plenty of action.
By: Roel van Muiden – River Lodge Ranger