Southern Africa Bush Tails

South Africa Camp News – June 2013

Weekly Sightings of the MalaMala Seven: 12 –18 May 2013

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Here are the sightings for the week ending 18 May 2013:
 Number of lion sightings: 8
 Number of leopard sightings: 16
 Number of elephant sightings: 52
 Number of buffalo sightings: 30
 Number of wild dog sightings: 5
 Number of cheetah sightings: 0
 Number of rhino sightings: 0
 
 
Special Times at Tanda Tula Safari Camp – Autumn Game Viewing
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The last few weeks have delivered some wonderful sightings and experiences for our guests. From lions and leopards to our resident hippo rolling around in camp dam. The hyena den situated to the south of camp has again produced some wonderful interaction between clan members, with the dominant females dishing out some serous discipline amongst the youngsters.

As the surrounding bush dries out buffalo herds are again making their way into camp dam to quench their thirst. This makes getting back to your tent in the evening very interesting! The young Machaton pride males have been a real highlight the last few weeks. The pride have been following the large buffalo herds and have on occasion been successful in tackling one.

We have also been fortunate to see a lot of male leopards recently. Rockfig Jnr’s young male has b een enjoying the thick bush of the Machaton river system and looks to be doing well on his own. Another large male seen recently was the enormous Argyle male who looks to have been displaced from his regular territory in the north by a younger stronger mal e. He seems to have taken up residence to the west of us as the area has been vacant of a large male for some time. As you will see in the images below, general game has been prolific and large numbers of giraffe, zebra, kudu and nyala are seen on a daily basis on drive. Enjoy.

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New developments at Tswalu!
We are looking forward to a host of new developments at Tswalu which we are certain that our guests will love! These include an extension to our award -winning spa in the summer.

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This project will see the gym relocated into the bush to give our guests a more authentic experience. It will still have air-conditioning and all the mod cons, but the views of the Kalahari will be enough to distract them from the most strenuous workout! The newly renovated spa will have a welcome lounge and both a couples as well as an individual therapy room leading into a private hydrotherapy garden. Our popular outdoor massage deck in the shadow of a sausage tree will remain in pl ace for green spalovers!

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We recently opened a third two-bedroom legae, or dwelling, at The Motse in response to a growing demand for occupancy. With two en -suite bedrooms, each with an indoor and outdoor shower, and a shared living area, the legae is ideal for families travelling together.

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The addition of a second sleep-out deck will offer guests the opportunity to sleep under the stars, without compromising on luxury. This new deck will include a sunken bath where guests can sip champagne as they watch the exquisite Kalahari sunsets.

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The Singita Wildlife Report

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Cheetahs are best known for their antics in vast open spaces like the Masai Mara and Serengeti. The large grasslands there create ideal habitat for the world’s fastest land mammal, as they chase down prey at speeds in excess of 100 km/h. That said, we have cheetahs in the Sabi Sand Wildtuin that have made this not-so-open habitat their home. The family of three pictured here joined us about two months ago, after an absence of cheetah cubs for almost five years. Singita’s most southern areas are open grassland, suitable for this family to settle and thrive. Large herds of impala often gather on the plains, giving great opportunity for the speed queen to stretch her long legs. She has had to adapt the classic hunting technique, and with several observations we have noticed that she stalks much closer to her prey than cheetah in East Africa do. She often hunts more like a leopard, in that she uses the available cover to stalk within 20 meters, or closer. A single male cheetah has also made this area his home. He is a large and strong male and has gone unrivaled for almost a year. With the arrival of the female, mating prospects have started looking a whole lot better. The only problem for no w is that she has two dependent cubs. The female will not allow him to court her whilst her cubs are still around, and this should still be the case for another eight months.

Male cheetahs are not as aggressive towards foreign cubs as their larger feline relatives. Lions and leopards often kill cubs fathered by any rival male. Male cheetahs have been observed to threaten cubs and show their dislike towards their presence, as can be seen pictured below. However, there are cases of male cheetahs actually kil ling cubs in order to gain access to the female cheetah a few weeks later. Only time will tell what will happen with these particular ones. From what we have witnessed, thus far, his disapproval of them is obvious in that he often spits or strikes at them in typical cheetah fashion. The female will intervene if things get too heated, and he usually retreats. The cubs are in great health and have always walked away from these interactions, unscathed.

Temperatures
Average minimum 15.2˚C (59.3˚F)
Average maximum 27.3˚C (81.1˚F)
Minimum recorded 12.0˚C (53.6˚F)
Maximum recorded 33.0˚C (91.4˚F)

Rainfall
For the month 92 mm
For the year to date 926.0 mm

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