Written by Luke Street
The rest of the week at Tanda Tula proved worthy of following on from that glorious morning with a superb sighting of the Zebenine pride lazing about with the Mbiri males one evening. They stayed true to their usual habit of not doing too much, but seeing sleeping lions are still pretty cool in my books. We did see the Mbiri males again later in the week as they followed a herd of buffalo. Unfortunately, they messed up the hunt and the buffalo took off into the distance.
At the moment we are all holding thumbs at the prospect of a pack of African wild dogs denning in the area. We recently had a pack move through with a heavily pregnant alpha female, so we are really hoping that they find a den sight nearby where she can give birth. I most certainly wouldn’t mind seeing wild dog puppies on an almost daily basis. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get any photos of the mother-to-be but she is just about ready to pop!
The famous gentle giants of the Timbavati have been in no short supply with many breeding herds flocking back into the area for their winter feeding and breeding. The great thing about this, is that many of the big males also flock into the area in search of a lady or two. It’s a tricky time of year though as many of these large males are in “Musth”. This is essentially a hormonal imbalance that causes the body to produce far more testosterone than normal, which of course leads to some rather intense mood swings. These moods swings coupled with six tons of mass is not the most relaxing thing to see but seeing big bull elephants is always a treat, even if one needs to keep their distance!
Rounding the week off, we had a great sighting of Ntombi, the gorgeous leopardess of the north. It wasn’t easy tracking her down with a number of trackers and guides involved in the hunt. But, in the end it all paid off and we got see a stunning leopardess as she carefully moved through the bush in search of prey. We also had a brief sighting of one of Marula’s cubs but it wasn’t very close to the vehicle and we decided not to stick around to long as mom wasn’t present.
A great week out in the Timbavati. It’s starting to get very chilly in the morning, so for those of you that are due to arrive at Tanda Tula Safari Camp over the next few months please remember to pack some warm clothes!
Until next time, happy snapping,