Captivating game viewing at Umlani Bushcamp

The month of October started off on a very good note. The first bit of the summer rain finally fell upon the Timbavati. Be it only a light drizzle, it was very much welcomed by all after the extremely dry winter. The local elephants and buffalo were extremely pleased with the added water filling up the few mud wallows around Umlani. In his most recent blog post, Jordan Wallace talks us through the captivating game viewing at  Umlani Bushcamp over the past month.


Nthombi provided guests with several days of spectacular leopard viewing. She successfully took down a very large male impala then dragged it up a tree for safe keeping. She took her time to slowly eat her way through this large male. It is a welcome sight to see this older female continue to achieve such impressive kills with a young cub still very much dependent on her. Hopefully guests will get to see the young leopard a bit more in the months to come.

Cleo, a leopardess not often seen within the Timbavati, was spotted this month, much to the delight of Umlani guests. She too was seen with an impala kill in a tree near the riverbank. Guests watched as she fed on her kill, then proceeded to fall asleep on its rib cage. Not a very common sight.

Marula’s son was also spotted with an impala that he had managed to drag extremely high up into a leadwood tree. He appeared to be far more relaxed during the night viewings than he was during the day. Come night, he was happy for the game vehicle to get relatively close to him allowing for great viewing.


The Zebenine pride was seen on numerous occasions this month with the cubs taking centre stage. The pride chased off a group of nine lions from a buffalo kill which enabled guests to witness the cubs learning how to feed on a kill. They had to be put in their place a couple of times by one of the females due to fighting for food. However, they soon lost interest in the kill and opted to chase vultures lurking close by.

The Mbiri coalition continued to appear solidly this past month. They were seen spending a considerable amount of time with the Zebenine pride. On numerous occasions, guests were awoken by the roars of the male lions that travelled across the open plains.

A very brief appearance was made by the River pride this month. No doubt being chased off their buffalo kill by the Mbiris played a part in this. This pride has five young males that are getting stronger by the day. It would not be surprising if they will be out for revenge in the years ahead.


Umlani is very fortunate to have a waterhole directly across from the camp's deck. With this being one of the few nearby water sources, it has resulted in guests being treated to numerous elephant sightings during the day.


It was a fantastic month for seeing young animal. Game drives were filled with sightings of baby hippos, giraffe, hyena, lions and elephants. Further more, guests have been delighted to see a hippo family that has taken residency in a near by dam. This family is made up of a male, female and two young hippos. It is a truly special sighting.