14 to 21 July 2008
EnOne morning as always the safari started with some warthog sniffing around the waterhole as we were having our first cup of coffee and as we departed from the lodge we came across some very fresh leopard tracks with a difference, these tracks were accompanied by two sets of cub tracks !! We were excited and after some intensive tracking we found Nyaleti and her two cubs in the Manyeleti River. The cubs went in to hiding but Nyaleti came very close to the vehicle and started calling for the cubs as if wanting to show them off. One of the cubs came out after about 10min. A great sighting for ranger, tracker and guests.
We were treated to an even better sighting a day later when Nyaleti was found with her cubs on a bushbuck kill close to Big Dam. Mafufunyane has been seen marking his territory on a regular basis and we were even treated to a sighting of him killing a young warthog right in front of our vehicle.
The male leopard Tyson and the female, Salayexe were spotted early one morning on our southern boundary. When we got there they started mating which was great and made for a truly memorable sighting. After they had mated they moved further south and we were unable to follow. It was not until later in the week that we were able to track and relocate Salayexe moving west past Simbambili Lodge. During the week the female leopard Ntima and her cub were also seen in the south of our traversing area looking great as always.
Another great sighting during the last week was of a cheetah that had just killed an impala. We were watching some baboons basking in the morning sun when they all of a sudden went crazy and alarm calling. We followed their gaze and found the cheetah that had just made a kill. He started feeding straight afterwards.
We had 3 females and one male lion (Tsalala pride) in our area for a few days during the week and this pride made two kills before moving south again. The herd of approximately 300 buffalo is still in the area and providing regular viewing. The elephant sightings have also been exceptional since it is the middle of winter and water is scarce.