Photo by Tayla Jane McCurdy

As most of you know I have recently returned from my off time. To be honest I thought my last work cycle was going to be a tough one to beat. This week however has had every curve ball possible when it comes to wildlife!

Tingana came bursting into Djuma one chilly morning and decided that he was not going down without a fight. Firstly he started scent-marking, he showed a little more swagger in his step and then his rasping calls echoed down the Mlwamathi River. I’m not too sure what Hukumuri will think of this… Although, the younger male has had his paws full over the last week. A recent autumn fling with Tiyani and being chased around by the Anderson male will probably keep him occupied while Tingana sneaks back onto home turf.

Xidulu seems to be settling in nicely around the western section of Djuma where she killed a steenbok and, in typical Xidulu fashion, hoisted it into a marula tree- these seem to be her favourite. She also found the jacket of an unlucky safarigoer and decided to test its durability. I’m not sure if the person who dropped it ever got it back- Ha!

The madness in the Mara continues with Tristan and Scott spending many hours out in the field navigating the waterlogged roads and successfully finding cats. The Musketeers have been seen a lot further south in the Triangle than normal but seem to be their usual shade-loving selves. A lone male lion lingers near the four boys but their presence seems to be enough to send him on his way. The Mugoro lionesses have been wading their way through the marshy areas along the Mara River hoping to snatch a meal. Naretoi on the other hand has successfully caught two meals for her youngsters and when she’s not catching dinner she’s out teaching them how to climb –  a fig tree was this weeks choice.

17th May. Yes this day needs a special mention for many reasons!

After rubbing my eyes a few times (I was seeing way too many spots) I noticed some lion tracks on the ground. It was the entire Nkuhuma Pride, I assume the roars that could be heard belonged to them. Their tracks zig-zagged through the reserve as they searched for their next meal, I did the same and eventually found them with the help of Taxon (A guide from Djuma). It’s good to see the lions are back home but I can’t help but wonder where they will go next.

Just when I thought the morning couldn’t get any better, I stood on Cheetah Cutline staring down at leopard tracks that were going east into Torchwood. This was a scene that I had played over in my head many times before this moment, except this time, I could follow them. The tracks ended up turning back and headed into Djuma but I couldn’t resist the temptation to explore further into Torchwood. It paid off as some alarming birds and squirrels pointed me straight to Kuchava, her cub and a freshly caught duiker. Turns out later on she dropped her kill but managed to salvage it from the four hyena below and safely took it up a different tree. Kuchava always does things spectacularly- that’s why she’s my favourite!

It’s all happening at the moment and I can’t wait to explore further on Torchwood, as I think we may get to see some old friends and hopefully meet some new ones.

Written by Tayla Jane McCurdy