South Africa Camp News – June 2013
Weekly Sightings of the MalaMala Seven: 12 –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
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.
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.
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)
For the month 92 mm
For the year to date 926.0 mm