Thursday 28 January 2016

It’s been a quiet start to the week in terms of spotting cats on the safariLIVE drives. Yet this doesn’t stop the animals from making their territorial rounds, Shadow was found this morning on Nkorho. She’s didn’t get up to much and spent most of the day lying quietly in the shade of the African bush. This is quite some distance from her normal range on Arathusa and Djuma. We are all wondering what made her travel here.

Shadow at Nkorho.jpg
(Image Credit: Chene Diane Wales-Baillie, 28 January 2016, Nkorho Bush Lodge, Sabi Sands)

Later that same day, Karula was spotted on Buffelshoek after being somewhat elusive over the past week. She’d made a duiker kill and hoisted it up a tree on Buffelshoek cutline just over the Djuma boundary. Scott went through to check it out on the sunset safari after being alerted to her presence by one of the guest vehicles. However, upon arrival Karula had moved off and in the queen’s own true style, goes flat meters from the boundary yet well hidden from the safariLIVE cameras.

Karula Buffelshoek 28 Jan 2016.jpg
(Karula, Image credit: Jors Dannhauser, 28 January 2016, Buffelshoek Sabi Sands)

Mvula was also found today on Cheetah Plains. He hasn’t been looking well in recent weeks, his age is starting to show with his ever greying face and his physical decline. Though it seems he was successful in making a kill during the night, hopes are that he will regain some of his former bulk and health with a good meal.

Friday 29 January 2016

A special treat today from the leopards! Tingana has been spotted on Djuma and he’s in the company of Thandi, a 9 year old female, daughter of Karula and sister to Shadow. The pair have been busy mating through the night and WE managed to catch up with them on safariLIVE. Thandi is not usually seen in this area, although her territory is rather close to both Karula and Shadow’s territories on Djuma and Arathusa respectively.

Tingana and Thandi Djuma 29 Jan.jpg
[left], Thandi [right], Screenshot credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen‎, 29 Jan 2016, safariLIVE)

Mvula has been found again today, the meal has done him good, he spends a good portion of the afternoon patrolling and scent marking his territory. As a result of his aging body he is continually being pushed further and further east away from his original core territory. This is mainly as a result of Tingana being pushed from his original territory by a massive male known as the Anderson Male.

Mvula Djuma 29 jan 2016.jpg
(Mvula, Screenshot credit: Gabi Hossain, 29 January 2016, safariLIVE)

Saturday 30 January 2016

The Nkuhuma pride have been found again! This time on Arathusa, they are healthy and on the move. But the heat of the day catches up with the lions and the cats decide it’s time to find a shady spot to rest up, hidden away from the sweltering sun. Scott manages to catch up with the pride again on the sunset safari, however the cats are still flat as ever and the most we get out of them is a few short walks. Both sightings today only consisted of 4 lionesses, and it remains a mystery as to the whereabouts of the 5th Nkuhuma lioness.  
Nkuhuma lioness, Brent, Andrew Djuma 30 Jan 2016.jpg
(Nkuhuma Lioness [left], Andrew & Brent [right], Screenshot credit: Becky Horn, 30 Jan 2016, safariLIVE)

The mating pair of leopards were spotted again, this time on Nkhoro, however, this time there was a third wheel present. It seems that Karula heard all the mating fuss during the night and decided to go and check out the female leopard encroaching her territory. Thandi has only ventured this far out of her own territory to mate, Karula is aware of this. There wasn’t too much aggression shown by either cat although the odd hiss and growl was definitely exchanged. Further reports indicate that Karula also mated once or twice with Tingana before heading off.

To the west, Thandi’s sister, Shadow has made a successful kill and hoisted into a tree on Arathusa, yet she is nowhere in sight. Jamie heads through to the location, during the sunset safari in the hopes that Shadow had returned to her unfinished kill. She’s is in luck, Shadow was present and it seems as though she had just finished feeding. Soon after WE arrive Shadow became mobile and leaped gracefully between the trees before heading off on her evening patrol.

(Shadow, Screenshot credit: Gabi Hossain, 30 January 2016, safariLIVE)

Sunday 31 January 2016

The Nkuhuma’s were found again, still within their former territory and the pride had made a successful buffalo kill during the night. The lionesses were fat, flat and happy on Arathusa when WE caught up with them. It seems they are finally comfortable enough with the presence of the Birmingham Boys to return to their core territory. Good news also arrives from the east, the 5th member of the pride has been found on Cheetah Plains in the company of one of the marauding Birmingham Boys. The pair have been mating and whether this is due to a natural oestrous cycle or a gesture of goodwill from the lioness, it can only spell good news for the Nkuhuma pride future.

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(Nkuhuma lioness, Screenshot credit: Gabi Hossain, 31 January 2016, safariLIVE)

Tingana and Thandi have now moved into Chitwa Chitwa, it seems Karula’s presence was not truly welcome and although she did mate with Tingana on a few occasions, she is nowhere to be found this morning. Thandi and Tingana continue their courtship throughout the day and late into the evening in and around the Chitwa Chitwa lodge.