Sunday the 1st of May
The week kicks off with a somewhat docile doggie sighting. The Sands pack of wild dogs has been located on Arathusa. Upon Sam’s arrival the most the dogs could be bothered to do was raise their heads in vague interest. Soon after their eyes were resting tight against the dappled autumnal sunlight. Once the afternoon cooled the dogs yawned, stretched and chirped away before dashing off into thick bush, no doubt in a state of great hunger after such a busy day. A dog’s life indeed!
(Sands pack of wild dog, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Arathusa)
Monday the 2nd of May
As the sun rose on a rather crisp morning the radio came to life with reports of a male lion at chele pan. Not long after James found himself with one of the Birmingham male lions. The impressive cat had scavenged himself a mysteriously deceased Nyala bull. The carcass had been discovered one day prior, yet no evidence of predatory action was visible. An enigmatic circumstance indeed, but still an advantageous one for a hungry male lion. By the time WE arrived on sight he had already satiated his appetite and spent the morning dozing in the radiant sunlight. Later on during the sunset safari he fed unenthusiastically on the Nyala for a short time before being chased off by a rather disagreeable buffalo bull clearly offended by the smell of lion and carcass.
(Birmingham male, Screenshot Credit: Gail Murphy, safariLIVE, Djuma)
To the north west 4 of the 5 beautiful Nkuhuma lionesses have been located near Sydney’s dam. The lions spent most of the afternoon sleeping in the cool shade. But after the sun disappeared behind the mountains the pride rose, stretched out their lean bodies and began to make their way slowly north. The 5th member of the pride has not been located since the sighting at Buffelshoek dam. At this point speculation of a den site and possible cubs is strengthened, yet without confirmation it is impossible to be certain.
(Nkuhuma pride, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Djuma)
Wednesday the 4th of May
This morning is off to an action packed start. Minutes before the start of the sunrise safari reports came flooding in about a lioness drinking at the Djuma pan. Sam and Jamie made their way straight into the area, eyes primed for the slightest tail flick indicating a big cat. Instead Wium yells out “wild dog!” Sure enough the dogs are back and after a brief sighting they disappeared into the thickest part of the Milawati drainage line.
After the excitement and mysterious disappearance of the dogs, Jamie finds Tsakani on patrol through the north western section of Djuma. This is the second time the young and astonishingly beautiful leopardess has been spotted in this area. Initially she’s hunting and surprisingly, wakes a very angry civet in the process! After a good deal of disgruntled growling the civet bolted through the undergrowth leaving the leopardess confused and frustrated. Tsakani then sniffed her way around paying close attention to several of Tingana’s favourite scent marking posts indicating that she may be setting up territory in the area.
(Tsakani, Screenshot Credit: Debra W. Baudoin, safariLIVE, Djuma)
The mystery of the disappearing wild dogs is solved later on the sunset safari. Reports yet again came flooding in as 4 adults were spotted having a drink at the Djuma pan. Jamie was first on scene but soon noticed that all 4 of the dogs were female. This makes them newcomers to the area, their reluctance to be near a vehicle also an indication that these lovely ladies are from outside of the Sabi Sands. Jamie kept her distance and after a relaxing pan side lie about the dogs were up and off. As darkness fell they dashed into some thick bush on a hunting mission..
(Unknown wild dog female, Jamie