To all our guests past and present, and those that are still to come, a warm welcome from the beautiful Mluwati concession here in the famous Kruger National park. It is the height of the dry season and water is scarce but this is what makes it part of our peak season as the bush is thinned out and animals’ movements a little more predictable. It has been another extraordinary month of sightings and meeting all our wonderful guests from all over the world, who leave with memories they will cherish for a lifetime. But, as with all things we look forward to the start of the rainy season and the new life that will flourish in the bush and the total transformation that takes place is fantastic to behold.
Another good month as Lion sightings go; we had lots of new faces on the concession and some just passing through. There was as a sighting of four sub adult male Lions just coming into their prime moving through the concession one morning and trying to catch a Buffalo, but not succeeding. It is becoming difficult to recognise some of the sub adult males from the Imbali pride and we think at least one or two have left to find their own place in the world. The Scorro Mbiri male is still around Hamilton’s and has been seen mixing with various parts of the Hamilton’s pride. We wait in anticipation to see if any cubs appear in the coming months from when he was seen mating with two different females.
Leopards have been seen almost every night at the waterholes in front of the various lodges during dinner time. They are popping in for a quick drink much to the surprise of the guests. On drive they have been a bit harder to find and one reason would be the increase in Lion activity around the concession. We did have some fantastic sightings of the young male leopard Tshidulu. He is growing into a beautiful male and makes for some impressive photos. The dominant male leopard in the area Wabayiza, was seen mating with an unidentified female around Hoyo, so we hope that maybe in a couple of months we might be lucky enough to find some cubs running around somewhere. We also saw the female leopard Nkanye, on two occasions without her cub, so one must assume that she has now lost both of them.
There were two sightings of Cheetah this month and it is always very special to observe these beautiful cats and explain to our guests how lucky they are to be able to see them. At time they are gone for months on end. One female cheetah was found close to Hamilton’s with her stomach so full she could hardly walk. The other sighting was of two sub-adult males patrolling our southern boundary in search of some prey.
All that’s left after 21 Hyenas finished the remains of a Lion kill
Unknown male that had pulled down a Wildebeest
Wabayiza always seems to know when someone is taking his picture
A quick glimpse and she heads into the grass
As with last month, it started out slowly with no sightings of any dogs. Also as with lasts month, the pups are now old enough to be moving with the pack so they return to their far-reaching nomadic lifestyle. Then one morning out of the blue, the guests and guides where blown away by a sighting of 23 dogs running around all over the concession. And with so many mouths to feed, they where hunting constantly and stayed around for four days, much to our delight.
Elephant and Buffalo
Elephants have been in abundance all over the concession and are always a welcome sight. Most new guests arrive at the camps to be welcomed by a group of Elephants drinking at the waterholes in front of the various lodges. In the dry season these mass herbivores travel greater distances as water becomes more difficult to find and the vegetation they are eating a lot drier. Another interesting fact of these mammoth mammals is that their tusks grows twice as fast in the last ten years of there life than at any other stage of their development.
Buffalo herds are scarce for the same reason, as they are very reliant on water. Having said this we still have lots of Dagga boys all over the concession.
Birdlife is changing everyday as we enter our summer months with lots of the migrants returning. Thus far we have seen Yellow billed kite, European bee-eaters and hornbills to name a few. Most are back and into full swing of finding a mate and raising their offspring.
The concession is teaming with wildlife at the moment from the smallest of animals and birds to the largest Elephant Bulls and Ostrich there is always something for everyone to enjoy. “May the call of the African Fish Eagle ring out through the savannas and may the roar of the lion vibrate through your soul….”
THE GUIDES OF THE MLUWATI CONCESSION
Bull Elephants are seen all over concession but never far from Water
Yellow Billed Hornbill
Sleeping pack of Wild Dogs often found like this during the heat of the day