By Louis Strauss, General Manager
The dry season is now reaching its peak in the Kruger with very little water left with the exception of a few pools in the Byamiti & Mitomeni Rivers and the few man made water holes. Although most trees have lost their leaves this time of year, nature provides for the browsers as the acacia leaves are starting to come out and this draws a lot of giraffe and kudu into our area. With the sparse grass cover the Rangers have been very successful at tracking down predators like lion and leopard as well as the smaller nocturnal predators that would be normally difficult to spot such as genet, serval, white tailed mongoose and civet.
The Jock pride of lion would be the pride that we view the most with daily sightings recorded over the past month. Two of the females have cubs and the other two females in this pride are about to give birth. Most of the cubs (6 in total) are around 6 months old and move with the females at the moment, slowly learning the art of hunting buffalo.
Leopard sightings are plentiful with a new Jock record by Ranger Lyle with 6 different leopards spotted on one game drive by him and the lucky guest on his vehicle. Cheetahs and wild dogs are seen at least once a week but sadly the Jock pack has split up and has not been denning in our area this year.
Rhino, Elephant and buffalo herds are seen daily along the rivers and remaining water holes. Small groups of zebra and wildebeest are still finding sufficient vegetation and water to remain in the area. We also had a few very good encounters on foot with black rhino on the walking safaris.
Birding is still good considering it is winter but we are eagerly awaiting some of our summer visitors that will arrive from October onwards.
In general the next 4 weeks is my favourite time in the bush as the temperatures are fairly mild and the game viewing is excellent.