With barely a sprinkle of rain this last month the animals are starting to feel the pinch. Grazing especially is hard, with the pathfinding females of the giant buffalo herds having to really on all their experience to lead their charges to the grass that remains, or two the grass responding to the light intensities turns green in anticipation of rain that never seems to come. Matriarchal elephants lead their families to the river and often three or four herds can be seen munching away on the Phragmites reeds, the newly established sedge grasses and other pioneer species. These plants are taking advantage the newly emerging islands in the river, and as such there are swathes of green all along the river. The crusty old dagga boys are so plentiful along the river, might as well open up a golf course for them.
The impalas have started lambing and it is open season for the carnivores. The wild dogs take at least three or four lambs every drive, the strategy is always the same at sunrise and sunset, the adults get up, play with the youngsters a bit and head off all in one direction and spread out. The first animal they see the chase it down and rip it apart in a few minutes, this whole process may only last 15 minutes or so as they are such efficient hunters. All you have to do is hope you are in the right place at the right time. The adults then return to the pups and regurgitate a portion of their meal for the pups. As such the dogs are always full and the pups are growing quickly as they have too; as it is a tough life to be a Painted Wolf.
Not to be out done the leopards are working day and night to keep up with the tally of the dogs. Tlangisa has had cubs but we haven’t found them yet, so she has a few mouths to feed.
Xhikavi’s little boy is still doing very well, he is still quite shy and takes a while to calm down to his mother’s level. He is ticking all the growth boxes though as she is a terrific hunter.
Dewane is constantly putting pressure on his neighbors and as such we see him in the north a lot. Torchwood is often seen killing warthogs in the south and Schotia is steadily sailing her ship into her future. Basile and Khokovela are giving cameos in the north and seem to be embracing their newfound freedom with the grace we have come to expect from Tlangisa.
The bush is really dry and the river looks like it might run dry this year. So please pray for rain.
That’s all from Matt for this month. We thank you for spending few moments with us in the wilderness, sharing our experiences and joining our adventures. We are committed to keep you updated. Please follow our Facebook page for daily updates.
Regards, THE INYATI TEAM
Keith & Francis – Managers
George (Head Guide) & Solly (Tracker)
Khimbini (Senior Guide) & Rodger (Tracker)
Matthew (Senior Guide) & Nelson (Tracker)
This month’s sightings report compiled by Matthew Brennan. *Photographs by Khimbini, Keith and Matthew