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Wildlife Report January 2015

Posted by Morné on Sat January 31, 2015.

Here is to a Happy and wonderful new year for all our friends!! Please join us to start reading this wonderful new blog and share with us the amazing experiences from Umlani Bushcamp...

January has been a very busy and hot month for us and all our visitors have shared in some amazing experiences with the guides out in the bush and with the team in the camp...


Sightings in general were very good with high numbers of Plain's Zebra, Giraffe, Blue Wildebeest, the omni-present Impalas and the likes of Kudu, Warthog and loads of birds making visits to the African bush ever so special!


The "Ross" pride spent large portions of the month visiting on our and our neighboring property. They killed a Buffalo cow and a calf and remained inactive in the same proximity for nearly a full week digesting their rather large meal. This pride of 9 individuals are spending more time in the Timbavati on our traversing and we hope they soon decide to frequent this vacant area.

The single "Machaton" lioness was seen on a few occasions by herself and a couple of times she joined the "Mbhande" coalition of two males. Our hope is that this lioness has another opportunity to raise cubs in the East of our traversing to give the once mighty "Machaton" pride a chance to regain momentum for survival.

Some of our guests were very lucky to see the one White lioness from the "Giraffe" pride with a rather large male. There were reports during that morning that some have actually witnessed them mating! Let's hope for the best and hopefully within the next 3 months or so we can report about some good news from the far West!

The four nomadic "Machaton" boys moved in to traversing from the North and entertained with a few good sightings. They presumably killed a young Buffalo, but were chased off by a single larger unknown male. This fellow ate the remains of the carcass over the next few days and entertained the guests with some great interaction when a Spotted Hyena showed up!


The leopard sightings have been exceptional during January. 

The "Marula" female and her two boys accounted for the most sightings during the month. They have been seen playing, hunting, eating, resting in trees and running away from Hyenas! The boys are growing fast now and within the early part of this year their mom will chase them away to fend for themselves. Often they are found alone waiting for mum, and it is already clear that they will no doubt be expert hunters. Birds, lizards, skinks, mongooses and squirrels are currently having a tough time when the two of them are around...

"Rockfig Jr." and her daughter frequented the Eastern parts of our property and toward the end of the month captivated guests and guides/trackers alike! She killed a Bushbuck and a large African Rock Python! This has been witnessed before, but this rare choice of prey caused for a lot of excitement in the reserve!

"Ntsongwaan" male was seen once and as per most previous times he was seen he had a large Impala kill in a tree. It is always good to see this male leopard and here is to hoping he starts exploring further South from his regular hunting grounds....


Both species graced us with presence in large numbers and were seen nearly every day!

The waterhole at camp also showed to be a favorite during the hot summer days and entertained many guests during lunchtimes!


Some Wild dogs were seen 3 times during the month and the highlights surely have been a few sightings of a very relaxed female Cheetah!!

Both these predators are very special to see as numbers for them are very low in the wild. It is funny thinking that as the fastest land mammal (Cheetah) and the most successful hunting predator (Wild dogs) we have very few opportunities each year to follow and photograph them, which makes every single occasion extremely special!

Thanks so much for reading!

Regards from the wild,

Morné and the Umlani guiding team.

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