(The Investec Pack stands at attention, Screenshot Credit: Ashley Wall, safariLIVE, Djuma)
After murmurings of wild dogs in the general vicinity, WE finally caught up with the pack on Sunday morning. It was fortuitous that WE happened upon them when we did, for after a short chase the five breakaway dogs did something rarely caught on camera: they hooed. While the sound of wild dogs hooing is more reminiscent of a bird call, the hooing of these wild dogs signified them attempting to contact the rest of the pack, which sadly went unseen.
(Thandi wakes up after an afternoon nap, Photo Credit: Wildlife Kruger, safariLIVE, Djuma)
While Thandi herself did not do anything particularly noticeable this week, the general change in her shape is reason enough to report. It has become apparent over the past few weeks that Thandi’s full belly is not due to being perpetually well fed, but rather an indication that she is pregnant. WE are all very excited at the prospect of new cubs gracing the Sabi Sand and your screens in the coming months.
(The Birmingham Coalition has returned, Photo Credit: Nkorho Bush Lodge, safariLIVE, Chitwa)
The wait is over: the Birmingham Coalition has returned after meandering off property for over a month. While WE were breathing a sigh of relief at their return, Mfumo and Tinyo were showing off their impressive roars.
(Tingana on the move with his new wound, Screenshot Credit: Ashley Wall, safariLIVE, Djuma)
WE had heard well informed rumors yesterday that Tingana had been mating with a female leopard in a neighboring area and it seems that he has been a busy boy indeed. While investigating a small herd of buffalo, WE happened upon an agitated antelope. Not long thereafter, Tingana appeared on the scene sporting a very fresh and sizeable gash on his back, right leg. The possible culprits of said gash are as follows: a competing male leopard (Anderson), hyena and most likely, the tusk of a warthog. Happily, Tingana didn’t appear too fazed by his injury, having no apparent limp as he erratically circled the area.
(One of the cubs from the Sausage Tree Pride relaxes on a mound. Screenshot Credit: Janine, safariLIVE, Maasai Mara)
SAUSAGE TREE PRIDE
On this chilly afternoon, the Sausage Tree Pride was in a relaxed mood. It seemed that the plan for their afternoon was to spend it napping, as all were flat on the ground, except for one cub who was sitting on a mound. However, one of the lionesses woke up and started stalking a warthog. And shortly thereafter, another lioness joined her. One of the cubs also joined the lionesses much in the clumsy way of young cubs who haven’t perfected the art of the patient stalk and threatened to ruin the element of surprise. However, the warthog unwittingly (or wittingly) moved towards a herd of buffalo, and the lionesses decided to forego bush bacon for that afternoon.
WE came across the lionesses again on a cool evening. They were all asleep and looked like they had no plans of waking up anytime soon.
On this beautiful day in the Mara, WE found the cats asleep again. However, this time, they woke up for a little while and affectionately interacted with each other before settling down for the night.
(The cubs of the Black Rock Pride settle in for a suckle. Screenshot Credit: Debbie Vancouver, safariLIVE, Maasai Mara)
BLACK ROCK PRIDE
On a crisp morning in the Mara, WE found the Black Rock Pride settling into the day. Much to our delight, all 9 cubs were present. Still adorable and cute, they thrilled us by playing before settling in for a suckle and cuddle with the moms. Shongo, the Black Rock boy, was nearby. Although he did not interact with the cubs, he looked to be very much in charge.
When WE came across the ladies on this chilly evening, it became apparent that they had food on their mind. Their sights set on a warthog, they followed him to his hole. He tried to burrow, but they stormed his homestead by attempting to dig him out. He tried to make a break for it, but they caught him and made quick work of him, despite the fact that he was particularly large in size.
(A crocodile snaps his jaws at one of the Paradise Pride lionesses at the water’s edge. Screenshot Credit: Ex Ranga, safariLIVE, Maasai Mara)
WE came across a lioness walking along the water’s edge. At first it seemed as though the feline was contemplating a crossing. A particularly large croc snapped his jaws in the water at the lioness, causing a small splash. WE’re not sure if that deterred her plans, but she did not cross or approach the water for drink. However, WE also noticed that she has suckle marks and looked hungry. After a short while, she called and another lioness appeared. They both started eyeing topi and impala that were grazing in the background.
(One of the 4 Kilometer Boyz contemplates another beautiful day in the MAasai MAra. Screenshot Credit: IBelieve, safariLIVE, Maasai Mara)
4 KILOMETER BOYZ
On this beautiful morning, WE were delighted to come across Blackie and Lipstick (4 Kilometer Boyz) – the dominant males of the Ridge Pride. They looked relaxed, reclined and very regal.
WE came across the Angama lionesses in the dark. They were mobile and it seemed as if they were gearing up for a hunt. WE stayed with them for a little while, but they did not hunt.
(4 Boys from the Salas Breakaway Pride enjoy a cat nap. Screenshot Credit: Debbie Vancouver, safariLIVE, Maasai Mara)
SALAS BREAKAWAY PRIDE
The 4 boys of the Salas Breakaway Pride were doing what lions do best, while all cuddled together.
(A Triangle Male admires the Mara landscape. Screenshot Credit: MrsZero, safariLIVE, Maasai Mara)
WE came across 3 of the Triangle Males relaxing in the company of some breakaway members of the Angama Pride and their cubs.
(An unknown male coalition rejects the application for membership from a young male. Screenshot Credit: Julie Drake, safariLIVE, Maasai Mara)
UNKNOWN MALE COALITION & UNKNOWN YOUNG MALE
WE came across an unknown male coalition laying together facing another seemingly younger male. WE suspected that the younger male wanted to join the coalition. Shortly thereafter, our suspicions were proved right. The 4 males approached the young male where they proceeded to attack him. There was a lot of growling and biting. Eventually they left him alone, and it seemed that they had wounded his leg. They walked away from him, and left him to lick his wounds.
(The 5 Musketeers enjoy a wildebeest. Screenshot Credit: James Richard, safariLIVE, Maasai Mara)
The 5 boys were in low energy when WE came across them. At first they were asleep, but soon woke up when they noticed an unknown lioness approaching them. At first we thought that we might witness a standoff, but it seemed that the lioness lost interest (or didn’t notice the boys) and was back on her merry way in the opposite direction.
When WE encountered them on the second day across the river, WE found them mobile, heading towards a herd of nearby wildebeest.They seemed to be gearing up for a hunt, but they quickly dashed our hopes and began playing together.
On our third day across the river, WE found them lying down on the ground. WE spent the entire afternoon with them, and in the evening they finally got up and went on the prowl. They successfully hunted and took down a wildebeest. Unfortunately for them, an unknown lioness came in and stole their kill. Hunt and take down of a wildebeest.
WE were fortunate to come across the 5 boys when they were ready for a hunt. They initially eyed a herd of wildebeest with a lot of interest, but were quickly distracted by a baby Tommy. They chased it around in a playful fashion for a little while, before quickly taking it down and making a quick snack of it. The baby Tommy was merely a snack as minutes later they were eyeing the herd of wildebeest that had re-appeared (after running away in fright when the baby Tommy was being hunted.) The 5 boys watched the wildebeest with growing interest and then went low. A few minutes, they had brought down a wildebeest. At first D’Artagnan let the rest of the Musketeers eat, while he seemed to play sentry. He eventually joined them and finally had his share.
(Malaika and her boys scope out wildebeest in preparation for a hunt. Screenshot Credit: Naturable, safariLIVE, Maasai Mara)
MALAIKA & HER BOYS
WE were finally across the river and delighted to see Malaika and her boys. Within a few hours of being with the family, we were treated to a hunting lesson from Malaika to her boys. They hunted a steenbok, and Malaika allowed the boys to finish off the steenbok. It took a while, but they finally succeeded in suffocating it and making quick work of the meal.
On the second day, Malaika and her boys went for a bigger target by setting their eyes on a wildebeest. Malaika led the charge, and succeeded in bringing it down. The boys helped finish it off, once their mom had brought the wildebeest down.
After two days of successful hunting, Malaika and her boys spent most of the day sleeping off their full bellies.
WE spent a crispy Mara morning with Malaika and her two boys. Despite their size, the youngsters reminded us of their age by their playfulness. They stalked their mom and each other, eventually lying down and purring in contentment.
(Imani stalking across the Mara plains. Screenshot Credit: Joy, safariLIVE, Maasai Mara)
WE spent the afternoon with Imani – the daughter of Amani. She surprised and entertained us with her quirky personality – bounding about seemingly without a care in the world. In much the same spirit, she hunted a Tommy. At first she played with it, but mercifully she made quick work of it when she decided it was time to feed on it.
(Miale enjoying the afternoon rays in the Mara. Screenshot Credit: James Richard, safariLIVE, Maasai Mara)
MIALE & HER BOY
WE had the rare treat of spending the afternoon with Miale and her son. They spent the afternoon relaxing and napping together.
(A Leopard in the Mara enjoys the cool evening breeze. Screenshot Credit: Rick Horton, safariLIVE, Maasai Mara)
On a particularly beautiful evening in the Mara WE were treated to the rare sight of a lone leopard walking in the grass. He seemed to be enjoying his evening walk. At first he rolled around in the grass, he rolled around a bit drank some water then continued on his merry way.