The world’s most trafficked mammal is one that many people have never even heard of. Amidst the catastrophe of wildlife poaching and trafficking, where animals such as rhinos, lions and elephants often take the spotlight, this very small creature is mostly overlooked. There are eight different species of this, the world’s only truly scaly mammal, and they are all threatened with extinction
Many of us have joked that if everyone at Rattray’s Camp, barring Shadrack Ndlovu, was taken ill and unable to work then the camp would probably still run smoothly. Obviously this is said in jest. We believe that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but you get the point… Shadrack is a jack-of-all-trades and he has mastered each one.
You may feel far removed from 'the real world' and you'd be quite right, you are, but in a very good way. You are now in the wild, living with wild animals. You have become part of a pristine and vast ecosystem, breathing in its fresh air. Just being here may make you feel like you've inadvertently booked a massage for the soul. But why stop there?
The recent movements of our longest serving group of lions, the Styx pride, have raised many eyebrows here on MalaMala. We have been finding them in some rather unexpected places that are not only far away from their core territory but well within another pride's. More stress is the last thing that this pride needs after barely scraping through a tumultuous chapter in their history.
We are entering the dead of winter. Mother Nature has discarded her lush green summer dress, slipped into a brown winter robe and climbed under a thick dusty blanket. At first glance one may find it rather drab but we’ll argue that there is just as much beauty in the current landscape as there is in summer.
January 10th. 4 lion sightings: The 2 Matshapiri males were found early this morning, mating with one of the breakaway lionesses. Later in the afternoon 4 of the lionesses were seen hunting impala on our airstrip when the 2 males burst onto the scene roaring and chased after the lionesses.
December 24th. 3 lion sightings: the Eyrefield pride were viewed today near Princess Alice's Pans- they're in close proximity to a herd of buffalo. Both Matshapiri males were seen in the Sand River in front of Rattray's Camp.
December 1st. Dawn this morning was heralded by the reverberations of lions roaring, emanating from 4 different locations. The distance between 2 of these points was decreasingly rapidly and what followed was but a chapter in the book of lion warfare.
November 22nd. 3 lion sightings: The 6 lionesses from the Marthly pride and both Clarendon males were found early this morning west of Campbell Koppies. They had their eyes set on a weak looking hippo in a pan nearby.