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Lion resting in Manyeleti Private Game Reserve, Greater Kruger
© Tintswalo
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It’s not often that guests get to tick of the entire ‘Magnificent 7’ on a single stay at Tintswalo, but such has been the incredible state of game viewing in the Manyeleti over the last month.

To those unaware, the Magnificent 7 includes the regular Big 5 (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant) but with the addition of two spectacular animals – cheetahs and painted wolves (African wild dogs). These species are even more rare than many of the Big 5. Painted wolves tend to roam vast distances and are not easy to find, while cheetahs are normally skittish and like to keep to themselves.

African wild dog, painted wolf, resting in Manyeleti Private Game Reserve, Greater Kruger
© Tintswalo

One of the reasons we have been seeing the Nglala Pack of painted wolves so much is because they have eight little pups that they are trying to protect and feed. Luckily, they have been enjoying the abundant general game in the area and guests have been fortunate to witness multiple kills near the lodge. We’ve seen a number of run-ins with hyenas, and it’s interesting to see how the pups react to these large predators trying to steal their food.

The pack still has eight pups, and they are growing fast thanks to their frequent feasting.

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Cheetah sightings have been frequent and very special. Although they are elusive in many parts of Africa, we often forget how lucky we are to see these magnificent cats on a regular basis. We often see the two brothers and on one drive we managed to catch them just after they had killed a young impala, which they slowly feasted on in the dying light.

Two cheetahs eating carcass in Manyeleti Private Game Reserve, Greater Kruger
© Tintswalo

The beautiful leopard Nompethu and her female cub are doing brilliantly, and have been very successful in terms of hunts. In one gory scene, the fetus of an impala ewe was removed by Nompethu and given to the cub as her own meal. The bush can be a savage place.

The impalas will soon be dropping their lambs, and that’s good news for all the predators of the Manyeleti. It will be especially good for these two leopards, and it comes just at the right time for the growing cub.

Female leopard sitting in shade of tree in Manyeleti Private Game Reserve, Greater Kruger
© Tintswalo

It’s been a successful month for the Mbiri Pride, our resident lions, and they have hardly needed to move far from the lodge as they make kills near the riverbed and relax for days until they get hungry again.

The Nharu Pride revealed their cubs to us when we followed them to a kill. There were over 25 hyenas surrounding the kill, hoping to get a piece of the action. But the Red Road male was continually roaring and growling which kept the hyenas back and fearful. But his roaring proved to come back and bite him, as two large Orpen Males were obviously attracted by the sounds and arrived to chase him off.

The theatre of the wilderness is certainly puts on a good show, and we can’t wait to see what the next month has in line for our eager guests.

Lioness with cub in Manyeleti Private Game Reserve, Greater Kruger
© Tintswalo
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Tintswalo Safari Lodge

Settled on the unfenced western boundary of South Africa’s Kruger National Park, at the heart of the African bush, lies the private Manyeleti Game Reserve. Sharing the vast Manyeleti wilderness with only one other commercial lodge, the luxurious Tintswalo Safari Lodge offers all the raw, natural beauty of Africa.