Ranger Diaries May 2010 - July 2010

Posted on Sat July 31, 2010.

A warm and friendly hello to all our wonderful guests, past, present and future.

June started with a new buzz here in the Timbavati – The soccer world cup!! New friends, late nights at Jos macs cheering for our favorite teams, everyone got involved creating the most amazing atmosphere and a whole new experience of amazing sightings, interesting people and lots of laughs.ith spring at our doorstep another change in season is upon us. The birds are arriving back, the frogs are croaking, the days are getting longer and, with it, beautiful temperatures to enjoy around the pool or sitting on the deck over our increasingly active water hole. At this time the bush is at its driest, the elephants are back looking for water (more often than not at our water hole or under the tree house at Marco’s dam), bringing along with them great big herds of impala, kudu and, of course, the buffalo. But we are all looking forward to the coming rains and the changes they will bring. The flowers that will bloom, the dropping of all the young and the lush, thick green of the bush.

The game viewing in the past couple of months has been nothing short of exceptional. We have been treated to various encounters of leopard, lion, cheetah, a crash of six rhino, wild dog, elephant, buffalo herds and so the list goes on. 

On one occasion at Marco’s dam our guests were treated to three female lions stalking a breading heard of buffalo, elephant drinking and three wild dogs casually wondering through, only to be chased off by the lions. The guests were in awe at the unusual but incredible sighting.

The second would be two kills of different stature made directly in front of the lodge. The first a buffalo kill by two male lions which they and the guests enjoyed for days come and the second a rare treat, our young female leopard killing a bush buck ewe. Unfortunately she is extremely shy and hid away for the duration of the feeding. She has recently made Umlani her territory and is often heard calling around camp at night. If you have had the pleasure of meeting Margaret, Marco’s mom, the rangers have fondly nicknamed this young leopard “Margaret’s mafasi” (which means Lady in shangaan).

We have also been spoilt with birth of three new lion cubs from one of the machatten females. They are currently only a few weeks old. Only two have been sighted recently. They join the healthy leopard cub that is now almost 9 months old and the two white lion cubs that are growing ever bigger and stronger everyday.

We have also got our very own “little lion cub”, Shinga (meaning “Be Brave”). Our little African wild cat has taken over the camp and has made it his home. He is exceptionally cute with a personality to go with. He is often found curled up with one of the guests or keeping us all entertained with his antics.


We have had very exciting news in the last couple of days, Ruth (our head chef) and Ginger (head Ranger) have just had a little baby girl and have called her Nyaleti (meaning “Star”). We would like to congratulate them both and welcome Nyaleti into the Umlani family.

On a sad note we have said goodbye to Christie at the beginning of July who had been here with us for over a year. Her passion, friendship and enthusiasm, will be sorely missed around camp and we wish her all the best for the future!

Kyle and I have taken on the responsibility of managers and we look forward to many good times, great people and fantastic experiences with you all.

With warmest regards
Marco, Marie, Kyle, Louise and all the Umlani team

For more, see the Timbavati Nature Reserve blog