SPONSORED CONTENT by Tintswalo Safari Lodge
The past month has been one of spotted cats in the Greater Kruger’s Manyeleti. In a single week, we saw a record of eight different leopards and six different cheetahs during game drives, and you can imagine how happy the guest were when they left the lodge.
The green grass of spring is to blame for the spike in kitty numbers as the mother impalas start dropping their little lambs on the new grass, making easy pickings for the leopards and cheetahs lurking by the plains.
We enjoyed a particularly spectacular sighting of the brother cheetah coalition killing a young impala right near the vehicle. But no sooner had the brothers started to feast when suddenly a huge kettle of vultures descended on the area and proceeded to chase the cheetahs off their kill. It might not seem possible for vultures to challenge something as big as a cheetah – but it happens more than you think in the Manyeleti. Luckily, the brothers had already had their fill by the time the vultures arrived.
The leopards are also providing a fascinating show for us. The Xirombe cub is growing quickly and turning into a gorgeous leopardess. She is full of energy, and we watched her one evening as she darted and weaved her way through the trees chasing after squirrels and birds.
The magnificent mother, Nompethu – whose cubs is becoming a local celebrity at Tintswalo Safari Lodge – was found on a grey duiker kill that was safely stored up the tree. We watched for a whole week as they stayed in the area and feasted on the kill.
Lions have also moved into our concession in record numbers, with no less than six prides appearing in the last while – including an exciting visit from the Birmingham Pride. This pride has become world famous because of two white lions that live in the group and appear in photos all over the world.
The big Talamari Pride is often in the area too, with their nine little cubs always in tow and looking healthy and happy. It’s wonderful that so many of the cubs have survived this long, and that is a testament to the continuing presence of the Avoca male who still stays with the pride to look after the youngsters.
The Mbiris have, once again, provided us with plenty of entertainment with various kills and attempted kills. They have also started moving further into the northern regions of the reserve, seemingly putting themselves further into the territory of the Orpen males.
The Ngala pack of painted wolves (African wild dogs) are still moving within the reserve, putting a lot of pressure on all the antelope who make daily treks to the last remaining sources of water in the area. All the pups are still alive and healthy.
It’s getting hotter in Kruger, and it won’t be long before all the water dries up. The animals must make use of the food and fatten up for the hot summer months ahead. As always, we will keep you updated.