A series of repeated low grunting notes, not unlike the sound of a distant lion, greets the sunrise and adds some bass to the dawn chorus. A flock of prehistoric-looking birds emerge from the thickets into open grassland and stalk across the ground like undertakers at a funeral, their bright-red necks a startling contrast to their solemn black bodies.
With the onset of our dry season MalaMala has become quite… well, dry. And dusty. The rains will only fall again in November and so, in the coming months, animals must endure ever increasing hardships. These include less water availability as well as significantly reduced grazing and browsing opportunities.
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.
June 5th. 3 lion sightings: we witnessed yet another double buffalo kill today as the Eyrefield pride and 2 Matshapiri males brought down a cow and calf north of Rattray's Camp. The Sand River pride and the Toulon male are still feeding off their 2 buffalo kills.
May 29th. 2 lion sightings: the Eyrefield pride and the 2 Matshapiri males were on a buffalo kill at Lion Waterhole. 3 members of the Marthly pride were hunting impala south of Main Camp. 2 leopards: the Tamboti female was also just south of Main Camp and the DOKF 3:3 had an impala kill west of Campbell Koppies.
May 22nd. 3 lion sightings: the Fourways pride and their 4 cubs were found in eastern Flockfield with a buffalo kill. 1 of the Styx lionesses also had a buffalo kill west of Tslebe Rocks. The Eyrefield pride were south of White Cloth Road. 6 leopards: the Treehouse male has 2 adult male impala kills in a tree north of Maxim's Lookout.
May 15th. Lions: the two lionesses from the Fourways pride and their 4 cubs were in the company of one of the Matshapiri males- he was leading them westwards into Eyrefield pride territory. 7 leopards: The Airstrip male and the No ID female (Moya) are still mating in the Mlowathi River.