Wildlife Weblog – November 2021
Our rains normally start throughout October and November, however this 12 months we didn’t have a lot in October in any respect, and we thought that we is likely to be in for a dry season. The primary few weeks of November additionally didn’t look very promising, however a chilly entrance got here by means of within the third week and it rained virtually always for eight days, offering some much-needed water to leap begin the rising season! Sadly, for many who have been right here on the time, it meant that the scarcest sighting for the week was the solar!
However what rain brings is life, and the outcomes are displaying shortly! As that is the time of lots, many of the breeding occurs in early summer season, when meals and water is available. Impala ‘flood the market’ with their lambs, coinciding their births so that almost all of lambs are born inside a month.
And they don’t seem to be the one ones. Wildebeest and zebra have additionally began dropping their younger, and the clearings are filling up with calves and foals operating with the herds.
The breeding herds of elephant have been transferring about fairly a bit throughout November, probably on account of the rain, and having plenty of choices obtainable. Throughout the second half of November, elephant sightings have been few and much between, however once they have been seen, they virtually at all times had one or two very younger calves with them. These are at all times a agency favorite with guides and company alike and we’re blessed to have such relaxed elephant herds that enable us to get incredible viewing of them.
Simply A Little Completely different
One other explosion on account of the rain is the insect world usually, and when circumstances are proper, we expertise enormous termite emergences! Usually termite colonies synchronise their emergences, leading to tens of millions of winged aletes withdrawing. These are the kings and queens of the following era which, after the nuptial flight, lose their wings, pair up with the other intercourse, and burrow down into the earth to start out a brand new colony. These are, nevertheless, one among nature’s finest types of protein, and every part from mammals and birds to frogs and different bugs have a feeding frenzy when these emergences are found.
And whereas nature is bursting with abundance, the common performers proceed to contribute to the unbelievable sport viewing now we have grow to be accustomed to. The Mhangene satisfaction have been common guests to the south and are a pleasure to look at. Being near the lodge very often, it permits us loads of alternative to view them on the transfer, earlier than they discover shade as the warmth of the day approaches.
On one among these events, having discovered the satisfaction resting on a termite mound, they all of a sudden observed a lone wildebeest bull approaching and shortly went into stalk mode. They really managed to remain centered, even with two giant elephant bulls in the best way, laid the ambush and efficiently hunted the bull! To see a video of this motion, click on right here.
The 2 younger cubs are each doing very properly and are a continuing supply of leisure. The youthful one lately discovered a big leopard tortoise which, whereas the adults have been being fairly lazy, offered some nice amusement. I’m certain that the tortoise didn’t discover this as amusing, however fortuitously it was giant sufficient to keep away from being crushed by their jaws, and after an extended sport, they lastly left it in peace.
The Ottawa satisfaction have additionally completed very properly. All six cubs are thriving and are rising by the day. They’re now seven and 9 months outdated and we’re very hopeful that they may pull by means of. They’re now on the ages that make for lots of enjoyment out on drives, and with the moms offering them with common kills, they’ve some additional power to burn! Play has grow to be a vital a part of their growth they usually always chase each other in mock searching and combating.
The only lioness from the break-away group as soon as once more made a go to within the West, and we have been hopeful that she would be part of up with the adults, as at one level she was very near them, however sadly she didn’t. She is in good well being, although, and it will likely be attention-grabbing to see the place she leads to the longer term.
We now have additionally seen the 2 Tsalala females fairly a bit this month. They’ve been primarily sticking to the river, not transferring an excessive amount of and attempting to maintain a low profile. Sadly, they didn’t preserve a low sufficient profile, and the older feminine was killed within the Sand River on the twentieth of November. From the tracks within the space, we assume it was the Plains Camp males, who’ve been pushing additional west and getting near our concession on a number of events. The younger remaining feminine has moved a good distance east and now we have not seen her since.
The Thumbela males are going to need to defend their territory properly to make sure that these two males don’t encroach on their house and threaten their prides. We want them to guard the six younger Ottawa cubs and be sure that the satisfaction has some new younger females to maintain the satisfaction going. Thus far, nevertheless, they’re doing very properly! The bigger of the 2 males is trying in incredible situation and is rising in confidence each day. His brother isn’t recovering as shortly however is nonetheless beginning to look good. The limp that he has had since they arrived remains to be there and is maybe hindering his progress. We’re assured, nevertheless, that they may proceed to guard their territory and cubs.
On the leopard entrance, Tlangisa has been doing exceptionally properly along with her two cubs. She has been having some phenomenal success with making kills of late, however not a lot at holding them! We lately had an amazing view of her dragging a contemporary impala kill to a secluded spot, however earlier than she may return with the cubs, a hyena had stolen it.
She has, nevertheless, managed to supply properly and her two cubs are rising properly. She has one male and one feminine, that at the moment are 7 months outdated. They’re extraordinarily relaxed and are discovered repeatedly across the Sand River. Though Tlangisa has misplaced many kills of late, she nonetheless manages to seek out sufficient to feed the cubs and preserve them rising!
Boulders additionally appears to be pregnant once more, and we wait in anticipation for information of her cubs. She is notoriously good at hiding her den websites, so hopefully we will discover it quickly after the beginning, so we are able to comply with the progress of the cubs from early on.
Ntoma, whom we talked about final month for showing to be extra relaxed, has been seen on numerous events once more this month. She allowed us to comply with her lately and she or he really managed to catch a scrub hare whereas we have been following her. She turned instantly, and walked shortly in the other way, initially making us suppose that she was not proud of our presence. We managed to maintain up along with her, nevertheless, and to our shock, she led us again to the 2 cubs who have been hidden in a drainage line close by. The cubs have been a little bit nervous, however relaxed considerably at night time, and we had some nice viewing of the three of them collectively. Sadly, now we have learnt that one cub was later killed by hyena.
We talked about final month that Tisela had been in a scrap along with her brother, Hlambela, and that her leg was badly injured, however on the mend. This therapeutic course of has continued, and we’re completely satisfied to say that her limp is a lot better, and she or he is in good situation!
Her brother has grown up in a short time and, like his father Ravenscourt, is beginning to act in a dominant trend at a really early age! At three years and 5 months, he was seen mating with the Kelly Dam feminine for a interval of 5 days! It’s not unusual for a feminine to mate briefly with a younger nomadic male in her territory, with a view to persuade him that her cubs (if she had any) may doubtlessly be his. It’s, nevertheless, very uncommon for it to final so lengthy! To make it much more stunning, Ravenscourt met up with the pair, and as an alternative of chasing his son away, he simply joined in and we had them making turns mating with Kelly Dam, with virtually no aggression between the 2 males. Ravenscourt then moved on, with Hlambela staying with Kelly Dam! For a incredible video of this, take a look right here.
Ravenscourt nonetheless dominates the West, as he did final month. We now have talked about that he has contenders on all sides, ready for a possibility to problem, however they should wait.
Thamba appears to be content material with what he has in the intervening time and isn’t placing any apparent strain on Ravenscourt in the meanwhile. He appears to have settled together with his territory for now and has made the south his personal.
Euphorbia can be settling down within the north. Each he and Thamba appear extra intent on placing strain on Nyelethi additional east, as Ravenscourt remains to be in his prime.
The opposite predators have had some incredible displaying this month. At one level, we had two packs of untamed canine on the concession, giving us unbelievable viewing of this endangered species. These animals have a few of the tightest bonds between the people, and these bonds are strengthened by taking part in. Wild canine play greater than some other species and we have been spoilt with an exceptional sighting of one of many packs chasing one another round and thru a small pond for over 20 minutes! We now have a brief clip of that sighting right here.
Our glorious hyena viewing has continued, with the den nonetheless being lively and offering some incredible sightings of the younger cubs. We additionally repeatedly see adults scattered across the concession, as they give the impression of being, hear and scent for any probability of a meal that could be discovered.
African Wild Cats
We had some extra good viewing of the African Wild cat and her kitten in the beginning of the month, however they appeared to vanish towards the tip of November. Because the cub will get older, she’s going to transfer extra readily with the mom and be much less constrained to the den.
Our male cheetah has been a little bit scarce this month, with not too many sightings being recorded. This could possibly be a results of all of the impala lambs which are about, that are very simple pickings for him, and so he doesn’t have to maneuver too far earlier than discovering and efficiently catching prey.
For these of you who’re eager birders, this can be a nice time of the 12 months, as many migrants return to feed on the massive abundance of meals that’s obtainable throughout summer season. It’s the time for breeding and displaying, by making use of shiny colors, great shows and plenty of singing from outstanding perches.
We don’t typically point out rhino, as there may be such enormous strain on their populations which are crashing quickly on account of the huge poaching drawback dealing with all reserves in Africa in the intervening time. However as we method Christmas and the Festive Season, we want to pause to consider, and thank, these unsung heroes who will probably be spending their time defending and combating for the survival of our rhino.
With heat needs
Neil, Natasha and The Savanna Group