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Sunday, 26 August 2012

Idube Safari Highlights #150: 19–22 July 2012

In this highlights video:

The title clip features a male kudu feeding.

One of a group of 6 or more elephant bulls close to the lodge.

One of the Selati male lions (#4) whom we found on foot.

The Maxabeni (3:3 young) male leopard at night.

The big buffalo herd.

A Selati male lion in the company of a Ximhungwe lioness.

A male hippo sporting some serious bite marks, looks like he was pushed out of his spot in the river by a bigger male.

Hlab’nkunzi female leopard watching the hippo as it passes under the tree her impala kill is stashed in.

An outburst of aggression between hippos at hippo pools.

A giraffe feeding along the northern bank of the Sand river.

A herd of elephants descending a steep sandbank to drink at the river.

A lovely sighting of a serval on the clearings in front of the lodge.

Close up shots of a herd of elephants.

Hlab’nkunzi female leopard lying in the grass close to her kill which she had moved around in the tree a bit.

Hippos coming out of the water to lie on a sandbank in the morning sun.

A mating pair of lions – Selati male/Ximhungwe female.

A small zebra foal.

A side-striped jackal in the road.

One of a couple of hyena chewing on some old bones.

Another herd of elephants around the lodge.

The Selati male lions just as they finish feeding on a nyaa and go to rest.

Hlab’nkunzi female leopard feeding on her kill.

3 Ximhungwe lionesses feeding on a wildebeest they caught moments before.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Idube Safari Highlights # 149: 12–15 July 2012

In this highlights video:

The opening title features a close up of an elephants trunk as it feeds on the branches of a marula tree.

A white-backed and hooded vulture at the carcass of a buffalo cow that two of the Selati male lions had finished off close to the lodge.

The two Selati male lions had been joined by a Ximhungwe lioness at the kill, they moved off a short distance and were sleeping in the grass.

A large group of buffalo bulls in the Mabrak riverbed.

The Kashane male leopard sleeping close to the lodge.

A giraffe bull feeding on an acacia tree in the early morning.

One of a group of bull elephants feeding on a freshly pushed over marula tree.

A big herd of cape buffalo moving through the bush at dusk.

A close-up of the Kashane male leopard.

Some of the Selati male lions sporting fresh injuries after more in-fighting over mating rights.

A big herd of buffalo crossing the road.

Kashane male leopard patrolling his extended territory along the banks of the Sand river.

The Tai Dam male leopard (Previously the Shangwa 3:3 young male) listening out for movement as he looks for a meal.

The big buffalo herd, we found them whilst tracking one of the Selati male lions. His tracks went straight past the herd.

Selati male lion, the one we were tracking. He had circled ahead of the herd and decided to watch them from the elevated position of the termite mound.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Romance Between the Selati Male Lions And Othawa Lionesses

SnapShot(291)

Once the Selati male lions established themselves a Killing one and chasing the other two Mapogo lions, their next job was to take over a pride.

In the Northern parts of their new territory was the Othawa pride, once controlled by the Mapogo and raising four cubs fathered by them, the cubs were young and were soon gone and by May and June 2012 all three females were mating with the new territory holders.

The Following videos were filmed at the end of May and beginning of June as the Selati males established their right to mate with the females:

Male #3 was actually mating with both the lionesses in this clip.

 

Male #4 with one of the lionesses after the group finished a buffalo kill

Male #4 and the female again, this time he got it a bit wrong.

 

Male #4 and the female mate for a third time in less than 30 mins!

 

2 Days later and #4 is still with his lady.

 

The mating was less frequent now, this session about 30 mins after the first.

 

#3 takes over the lioness from #4 after a fight – #4 took over the lioness that was with #3!

 

Later the same day #3’s wounds have dried and the mating continues.

 

The next morning, after some more fighting, Male #2 takes over a lioness.

 

Nearly 40 mins between mating now.

 

A few days later, Male #2 was still mating with one of the lionesses.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Good and Bad News:

First the good news:
Yesterday saw the debut of the new, improved RonaldCam! One of the first sightings that Ron used the camera on was of the Ximhungwe pride on a wildebeest kill. On the morning drive we had seen the three lionesses on the very fresh kill and by the afternoon only one of the pride was feeding. Soon a report came in that one of the lionesses was approaching the kill with a tiny cub in her mouth! The cub is 3-4 weeks old and it was a surprise to hear that the lioness was bringing such a small youngster to meat. Ronald was able to capture some footage of the tiny ball of fluff as it sat in the grass watching the adults feed. Unfortunately I cannot post the footage yet as our internet connection is not good enough to upload video with.
Now for the bad news...
The mother of the little cub is showing no signs of the cub suckling and it may be that she brought the cub to the kill in the hope of getting it to eat. The cub seems weak and could hardly move this morning. It was also heard wailing as it tried to move and the mother was basically ignoring the distress calls. It seems that the new addition to the Ximhungwe pride may not last much longer. Hopefully with all the mating activity between the Selati males and the other two Ximhungwe lionesses there will be more cubs arriving soon.
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

The Sun Is Setting On Africa’s Rhino Population

The poaching of Africa’s rhinoceros population continues to make headline news. We are only halfway through 2012 and already the number of rhino killed illegally is pushing close to the 300 mark. Rhino horn is estimated to reach up to $80,000/Kg on the black market at the moment making poaching an extremely profitable pastime. Rhino horns are even being stolen from museums! The horn is sent to countries such as Vietnam and China where it is prized as an important ingredient in traditional medicines, the increase in poaching in recent years seems to be linked to a claim that rhino horn can cure cancer. Other traditional medicinal uses include treating fever, rheumatism, gout, and other disorders. According to the 16th century Chinese pharmacist Li Shi Chen, the horn could also cure snakebites, hallucinations, typhoid, headaches, carbuncles, vomiting, food poisoning, and “devil possession.” (However, it is not, as commonly believed, prescribed as an aphrodisiac).

Unlike the horns of most animals, which have a bony core covered by a relatively thin layer of keratin, rhino horns are keratin all the way through — although the precise chemical composition of the keratin will vary depending on a rhino’s diet and geographic location. Rhino horns are not, as once believed, made simply from a clump of compressed or modified hair. Recent studies have shown that the horns are, in fact, similar in structure to horses’ hooves, turtle beaks, and cockatoo bills. The studies also revealed that the centres of the horns have dense mineral deposits of calcium and melanin — a finding that may explain the curve and sharp tip of the horns. The calcium would strengthen the horn while the melanin would protect the core from being degraded by ultraviolet radiation from the sun. As the softer outer portion was worn away over time by the sun and typical rhino activities (bashing horns with other animals, or rubbing it on the ground), the inner core would be sharpened into a point (much like a wooden pencil).

As far as actual scientific proof of any medicinal value to the horn goes, there is nothing, in fact even the government of China have gone as far as signing the CITES treaty banning the sale of rhino horn, and removing rhinoceros horn from the Chinese medicine pharmacopeia, administered by the Ministry of Health, in 1993. In 2011 in the UK, the Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine issued a formal statement condemning the use of rhinoceros horn.A growing number of Traditional Chinese Medicine educators have also spoken out against the practice.

Despite all this the demand for horn remains high, fuelling the poaching crisis we are experiencing. 2012 has seen a large number of arrests in South Africa, yet the crisis continues…

Monday, 2 July 2012

Idube Safari Highlights #148: 09–12 June 2012

In this Highlights Video:

The title clip is the sunset over the Drakensberg mountains.

Metsi female leopard joined up with the Dewane male leopard with intent to mate.

Part of the big buffalo herd in the south-western section of the reserve

The Ximhungwe pride of lions (3 females, 3 youngsters) resting after feeding on a young member of the buffalo herd.

Another part of the buffalo herd on the south-eastern side of the reserve come down to drink at Lion Pan.

Some elephants close to the lodge

A huge crocodile on a sand bank in the Sand river.

Metsi female leopard, still together with the Dewane male.

Responding to a reoprt that the Selati male lions may have come back into the western sector we spent most of the morning trying to track them down. Eventually we found them sleeping off a meal of buffalo bull.

Crocodiles at the causeway in the Sand river.

A hippo in the deep channel of the Sand river.

The Selati males, still on site with the buffalo kill.

The Shangwa 3:3 young male leopard, we saw him hunt and catch a porcupine.

Hlab’nkunzi female leopard watching impala outside the lodge. She had been in the lodge grounds overnight.

The Selati males finishing off the remains of their buffalo kill. Hooded vultures surround the kill picking up scraps.

A huge bull elephant feeding on the side of the road.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Idube Safari Highlights #147: 05 – 09 June 2012

In this highlights video:

The title clip features the Dewane male leopard.

A courting pair of lions – Selati male and Othawa lioness, here the male is using his vomeronasal organ to check the receptiveness of the female.

Dewane male leopard patrolling his territory at night.

A newborn baby elephant staying close to the protective mother.

A big male giraffe feeding.

A buffalo bull ruminating.

A herd of elephants feeding in the Sand river.

Selati male lions with an Othawa lioness along the banks of the Sand river.

Dewane male leopard watching a waterbuck run across the clearings before continuing his patrol.

2 Selati male lions on the clearings in front of the lodge, following a scent trail.

One of the Othawa lionesses sitting on top of a termite mound, the two male lions were following her scent, a third male was in the area but was well hidden in the grass.

Metsi female leopard in the branches of a tall tree, keeping a close eye on the Maxabeni 3:3 young male leopard below her.

A second Othawa lioness feeding on a buffalo calf that she had caught alone after being chased from another kill by the Ximhungwe pride. She was within spitting distance of the two leopards

The Ximhungwe pride of lions (3 females and 2 youngsters – one young male missing) feeding on the remains of a buffalo calf that two Othawa lionesses had killed. The third Othawa lioness was happily feeding together with the Ximhungwes after initially being chased off, unaware that her sister had another kill close by.

The buffalo herd that the lions had been picking calves out of was still close to the lions.

Three Selati males and one Othawa lioness lying close to the lodge.

Tassleberry female leopard lying close to an impala kill she had hidden in the long grass.

The big buffalo herd at sunset.

One Othawa lioness watching the Metsi and Maxabeni leopards walk past in the dark, she did chase them but it was too dark to film. Both leopards got away safely.

One of the Selati male lions close to the lodge on the way back for dinner.

Bull elephants right outside the lodge first thing, they headed to Schotia dam to drink.

Shangwa female leopard looking for food north of the river. The wound in her back leg is probably from a run in with the Selati male lions who are thought to have stolen her previous kill. She walks through a herd of giraffe with neither species paying much attention to one another.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Idube Safari Highlights #146: 02 - 05 June 2012

In this highlights video:

The title clip features a close-up of a male giraffe.

Some elephants browsing outside the lodge.

Hlab’nkunzi female leopard feeding on an impala kill she had killed a couple of days previously.

The Selati male lions sleeping in a grassy area.

A young elephant just outside the lodge.

The Selati male lions patrolling in the same area they were sleeping in the previous clip of them.

One of the Selati male lions listening to his brothers roaring.

A business of dwarf mongoose sunning themselves.

A giraffe feeding.

Another group of elephants outside the lodge.

Tassleberry female leopard hiding deep in some red grass.

Some plains zebra, the lodge is named after them…

A buffalo bull moving through some tall thatching grass.

A brief glimpse of the Dewane male and Dam3 female leopards as they move in and out of the mombosa drainage line.

The Selati male lions patrolling in the north, their attention was on some buffalo in the distance.

The Ximhungwe pride, found after tracking the whole afternoon. # females and 3 youngsters were found. This was confirmation that only one of the male youngsters had been caught by the Selati males earlier in the month and not all three like was previously feared.

The Maxabeni 3:3 young male leopard exploring his new surroundings, again it took the whole morning drive to track him down.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Idube Safari Highlights #145: 20 - 23 May 2012

In this highlights video:

The title sequence features one of the Selati male lions on the rocks in the Sand river.

Buffalo bulls in the Mabrak riverbed at Madagwaan crossing.

A young bull elephant on the southern side of the waterboard.

The Othawa lionesses had joined the Selati male lions at the buffalo kill and the meat was basically finished.

A pair of white-tailed mongoose.

A new male leopard in the Western sector: the Maxabeni 3:3 young male from the Londolozi area.

The lone Ximhungwe lioness resting close to a young zebra that she had killed.

A tatty old buffalo bull feeding next to the vehicle.

Dewane male leopard, fast asleep after a long night of patrolling.

Kashane male leopard sitting in a position where he could watch the clearings for food.

A lovely elephant herd on the southern bank of the Sand river.

Kashane male leopard lying next to a fresh impala kill.

One of a pair of hippo bulls that had been fighting along the river at Inyati causeway.

Two separate mating pairs of lions – Selati males/Othawa lionesses lying a few hundred meters apart.

Whilst we were having a drinks break we could hear som commotion with the lions, we returned to find the two mating pairs had met one another and the males had started fighting. A third male was also in the area. the fight resulted in the two mating pairs swapping partners.

The lions were still together on the afternoon drive.

A spotted hyena feeding on the buffalo carcass the lions left behind.

The lions had been fighting overnight again and the lionesses were with different partners.

A big herd of elephants close to the lodge to end with.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Idube Safari Highlights #144: 16 - 18 May 2012

In this highlights video:

The title clip features waterbuck an impala on the clearings close to the lodge.

The four Selati male lions resting next to the road close to the Sand river.

A spotted hyena walking down the road at night.

The Tassleberry female leopard in the long grass close to the Tulamanzi drainage line.

Buffalo bulls along the banks of the Sand river.

A young member of a herd of elephants with an itchy ear.

The Xindlevhana male leopard, once thought to be dead. It seems he has taken over the territory that the Xinzele male occupied before the floods.

A male hippo feeding on the side of the lodge access road at night.

Kashane male leopard with an impala kill close to the Mabrak river.

The Selati male lions feeding on a buffalo that they killed overnight on the bank of the Sand river.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Idube Safari Highlights #143: 06 & 10 - 13 May 2012

In this highlights video:

The title clip features a warthog on the lawn inside Idube lodge.

The Tassleberry female leopard on the bank of the Tulamanzi drainage line.

Dewane male leopard walking along Mackenzie cutline in the dark.

Kashane male leopard in the Ximobonyane drainage line, resting close to an impala kill.

Dewane male leopard marking territory no more than 1km away from Kashane’s position.

One of a group of bull elephants feeding in a bush willow thicket.

Three of the Selati male lions and the three Othawa lionesses together, mating was taking place but is not shown in this video. One of the males had wounds on his leg so there had been some fighting over possession of the lionesses.

The big buffalo herd crossing the main road onto Idube property.

The Tassleberry female watching some impala on Nkombe dam clearings.

Kashane male leopard, fast asleep near his kill.

A large-spotted genet resting on a fallen tree.

An artistic shot of a giraffe at Piva pan.

The Selati males and Othawa lioness across the river on Othawa airstrip.

Kashane male leopard grooming after feeding on his kill.

An elephant herd digging for roots.

The Ximhungwe pride of lions back in the west after spending some weeks avoiding the Selati males.

Dewane male patrolling his territory along the edge of Idube property.

The four Selati male lions following the scent of the lone Ximhungwe lioness, they had just left the Othawa lionesses and were a bit tired so they gave up.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Mating leopards – Dewane Male and Hlab’nkunzi Female

Since losing her cub earlier in the year the Hlab’nkunzi female leopard has been unsuccessful in her attempts to conceive a new litter. She has come into oestrus roughly every two weeks and has been seen mating with both the Dewane and Kashane males. This sequence of clips was taken one evening as she was mating with the Dewane male.

 

 

 

 

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Drinking Leopards!

 

Leopards get mucho of their moisture requirements from the blood of their prey, however, they will drink readily when water is available. The quality of the water is unimportant as these clips show, even a muddy puddle at the side of the road is fine!

 

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Now filming:

The Selati males are feeding on a buffalo kill at the moment!
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The Ximhungwe Pride Of Lions

 

One of our resident pride of lions is known as the Ximhungwe pride, here is a condensed history of the pride together with some videos from le last couple of years:

Ximhungwe pride feeding on a wildebeest after the mapogos had been kicked out.

In 2004 the 6 females of the Castleton pride were taken over by the Sand River Male aka Dzunani and soon were producing cubs all over the place. Due to the fact that the pride seldom crossed onto Castleton property anymore it was decided to rename them after the large open area that they were now spending most of their time - Ximhungwe clearings.

The youngsters of the Ximhungwe pride face an uncertain future

18 cubs were born between 2004/2005 but the numbers dropped to 16 then 12. Such a large pride struggled to feed all their members and were often seen in bad condition. The times when they did get good food their condition improved overnight.

The pride in more stable times, together with the Mapogo males

Sadly a combination of Bovine TB and the arrival of the Mapogo males meant that the pride went into freefall in 2006, 5 of the six lionesses and Dzunani were all gone by the end of the year. The cubs were also reduced to a group of 3 young lionesses and a young male. The Ravenscourt pride (once originally part of the Castleton pride) was also in decline for similar reasons and the pride male (the brother of the remaining lioness) came across to spend more time with the Ximhungwes, when one of the youngsters was killed by a hyena we were all surprised to see the pride numbers were unchanged a few days later. The last remaining member of the Ravenscourt pride - a young lioness, had also been integrated into the group. The pride now spent most of their time trying to avoid the Mapogo and the Castleton male was trying hard to forge a bond with the young male, a bond that we hoped would last.

The youngsters were very interested in some of the debris that the floods bring every year

In 2008 the Tsalala pride (2 adult females 1 sub female and 1 sub male) started to be seen in our traversing area, another breakaway from the Castleton pride, they had moved in under pressure from the Mapogo. The young male soon moved off to become known as Solo and the 2 lionesses started to be seen mating with the Mapogo males, the sub-adult female was seen alone a couple of times.

When the cubs were a bit younger, together with the Mapogo males on a kill

One morning we came across the Ximhungwe pride on a zebra kill and noticed that there were now 5 instead of 4 lionesses in the group, the Tsalala youngster had joined with her distant relatives!

Some of the cubs that did not make it. This is the first female to mate with the Selati males

It was not long after this that the 2 males were put down after being found eating a dog which tested positive for Rabies, a week or two later and they would have been inoculated against the disease as the authorities were busy with all the large predators at the time :( .

The pride members in this video are no longer with us

This then opened up the pride to a takeover by the Mapogo, all the lionesses were almost of breeding age so there was no threat to the group. Cubs were born in 2009 and early 2010 that did not survive, the current crop of cubs from late 2010 and 2011 stands at 4 (3 males and a female). the pride is now down to 4 lionesses after the death of the last of the Castleton females, they are now truly the Ximhungwe pride!

The last castleton lioness showing what a good mother she was

With the vanquishing of the Mapogo males by the Selati coalition in March 2012 the pride is once again under threat from a takeover and it will be interesting to see if these four lionesses will be able to raise the cubs despite the new males being around, the same way that they themselves were raised…

The following videos are all from when the various cubs were small, some didn’t make it but the four youngsters remaining are in the clips too:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An finally, turn your sound up as the youngsters bid you all farewell:

 

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Selati Male Lions Down a Buffalo on the Soccer Field!

A few weeks ago the early morning game drive started off with the news that the Selati male lions were moving along the banks of the Sand river. As the sighting was not too far from the lodge we started making our way in that general direction, then came the news that they had seen some buffalo bulls in the reeds. As we got closer the call came in that they had taken down a huge bull on the soccer pitch, we arrived as the buffalo was on the ground in the last throes of life!

This video shows the buffalo in its final struggle and then the beginning of the feeding, the lions were irritated with the baboons and monkeys and were very aggressive, they could also see the movements of the staff in the nearby lodge. By afternoon the carcass had been moved into the shade and the big males were almost too full to continue eating.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Rhino Poaching In Today’s News:

A male white rhino marking his territory in the wild, a pretty good representation of most peoples views on poachers...

Rhino poaching is again in the news today, but for once it seems to be some better news:

Firstly from the Times Live news site:

SA rhinos at mercy of global smuggling network

Petty hunters, corrupt wildlife officials and Asian traffickers have all been snared in South Africa's crackdown on rhino poaching as special prosecutors battle syndicates feeding the trade in horns.

More than 160 people are currently before the courts, exposing the complex supply chain stretching from South African parks to Southeast Asian consumers, said Joanie Spies, a prosecutor with the Rhino Project.

"Slowly but surely we're moving upwards and getting higher people who did not pull the trigger," Spies told AFP.

The National Prosecuting Authority set up the team to help combat the dramatic surge in poaching that has seen more than 200 rhinos killed so far this year.

The cases have exposed corruption within the systems meant to protect the animals.

Private game owners, national park rangers and veterinarians have been arrested. Authorities have also caught pilots who flew helicopters to spot and dart the rhinos, and both small-time and professional hunters who shot them.

"There is a great level of organisation involved," Spies said.

Some rhinos are shot by small-time hunters hoping for a lucky break by capturing a horn that sells for more than its weight in gold in Asia, where it is used in traditional medicine.

Not all of these hunters know what they're doing. One man in April sawed off a horn from a fibreglass rhino serving as decor at a safari lodge.

Other rhinos are killed by professionals who have helicopter support in tracking and darting the animals before hunters shoot and de-horn them.

Whoever does the shooting, the horns can end up in the hands of the same Asian kingpins, Spies said.

Vietnamese and Thai nationals have been arrested for trying to smuggle horns abroad.

In one case, Thai national Chumlong Lemtongthai faces trial for colluding with a South African game farm owner to stage legal trophy hunts.

He is accused of hiring Thai strippers and prostitutes as hunters who posed with the massive beasts' carcasses to document the kills to obtain some of the handful of legitimate export licenses for mounted rhino horns.

Authorities say he bought horns at around 65,000 rand ($8,400, 6,400 Euros) a kilogramme and resold them for up to $55,000 a kilo.

Horns typically leave the country through Johannesburg's international airport, or through the port of Beira in neighbouring Mozambique, where oversight is lax.

The horns may transit in shipping containers or air travellers' hand luggage in Asian cities like Hong Kong.

Customs officials in Hong Kong say they have seized 52 horns over the past five years. Last November 33 horns were found in a single container marked as carrying "scrap plastic." It had come from Cape Town.

The biggest market for the horns is currently Vietnam, watchdogs say.

"The resources that you would require to coordinate getting poached horns from South Africa to Vietnam means there is little doubt there are large, organised syndicates involved in that," Naomi Doak of conservation group TRAFFIC told AFP in Vietnam.

So far, prosecuting the top levels of such syndicates has been an elusive goal. Cracking a syndicate requires piercing through three or four layers of crime, Spies said.

Cases that have gone to trial in South Africa have landed stiff penalties.

Three Mozambican poachers were handed 25-year sentences in January after they were detained with fresh horns, rifles and an axe in the world-famous Kruger National Park, where much of the poaching happens.

Spies said South Africa is stepping up its efforts by creating a combined task force of police, military, prosecutors and environmentalists.

"You get better convictions, better sentences," Spies said.

And from Eyewitness News:

Hawks raid home of alleged rhino kingpin

Jacob Moshokoa | 09 May 2012

POLOKWANE - A team of police officers gathered outside the home of alleged rhino syndicate kingpin Dawie Groenewald in Polokwane on Wednesday morning.

The Hawks and national police are seizing Groenewald’s assets as part of an ongoing investigation into the alleged rhino poaching charges laid against him.

The home of Groenewald located in an upmarket Polokwane suburb, is busy with police recording each and every appliance as part of the ongoing investigation against him.

Police said they will now visit the alleged rhino syndicate's other property in the hope of seizing valuable assets including a helicopter and luxury cars.

Police plan to recover R55 million worth of assets.

(Edited by Clare Matthes)

All this is still only makes a small dent in the amount of poaching but at least it is a start…

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Idube Safari Highlights #142: 18 - 21 April 2012

In this Highlights video:
The title sequence features a Nile or Water Monitor.
Elephants feeding on a termite mound.
Xikavi female leopard, who we found by following tracks and her distinctive roar.
Two of the Othawa lionesses, the third was reportedly in the company of the Selati males, east of our boundary.
A crocodile sunning itself on the riverbank.
A musth bull elephant pushing down a tree to show off his strength.
A Ximhungwe lioness in front of the lodge, we found her there after a long time tracking.
Female giraffe.
A lone buffalo bull close to the lodge.
Xikavi female leopard with an impala kill, we spent most of the drive with her.
Hyena coming to check us out first thing in the morning.
A huge herd of elephants. The female with the even, curved tusks is known for chasing the vehicles and sure enough, when we left the sighting she followed at speed!

Monday, 30 April 2012

Idube Safari Highlights #141: 14 - 18 April 2012



In this Highlights video:
The title sequence shows the Tlangisa female leopard walking towards the camera.
Elephant herd with calves close to the lodge.
Shangwa 3:3 young male leopard up a tree feeding on an impala whilst the Shangwa female watches from the ground.
The three Othawa lionesses, seen together for the first time for weeks. They were left hunting impala.
A nice big bull elephant on Idube access road.
Tlangisa female leopard drinking in a puddle at the side of the road.
A dark chanting goshawk feeding on a small snake.
A lone buffalo bull feeding in the reeds.
The pack of African wild dogs chasing impala and then feeding on the kill.
Three of the four Selati male lions, they had been responding to the calls of one of the Ximhungwe lionesses. 
Dewane male leopard patrolling, then taking a break to clean himself.
One of the troop of baboons that have been hanging around the lodge.
The Ximhungwe pride of lions (minus one female) sleeping close to the western boundary.
A hyena right outside the lodge grounds.
A nice relaxed elephant herd.
The Ximhungwe pride moving towards the eastern boundary.
The Shangwa 3:3 young male leopard, we spent almost the whole drive with him as he stalked various animals.
Zebra outside the lodge.
Kashane male leopard up a tree, looking rather unhappy as he had just lost his kill to a clan of hyena.
The african wild dog pack feeding and playing, they had caught another impala.
The hyena clan resting with the remains of their stolen impala.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Idube Safari Highlights #140: 05 - 08 April 2012


In this Highlights video:
The title page features a herd of zebra.
A large herd of elephants coming to drink at Ebony dam, north of the lodge.
A small herd of buffalo (a few males and one female) in the dry Mabrak riverbed.
Tlangisa female leopard posing in a tree with the moon rising behind her.
A quick glimpse of the Dam 3 female as she walked off from an attempt to mate with the Dewane male (who we did not see).
The Shangwa 3:3 young male leopard on a walkabout. 
The four Selati male lions at the confluence of the Kloof and Sand rivers.
A baby crocodile sunning itself on part of the broken causeway in the Sand river.
The Ximhungwe pride of lions resting in some long grass and teak thickets.
A huge bull elephant close up.
Hlab'nkunzi female leopard throwing herself at the Dewane male again, eventually they would mate...
The same huge bull elephant as earlier in the moonlight (And Ronald in the clip too!).
A side-striped jackal next to the road.
The Selati male lions caught a buffalo early in the morning, we missed the hunt but arrived as the last life was being strangled from the huge beast.
Kashane male leopard on patrol close to the lodge.
Returning to the Selati males in the afternoon, the kill now dragged into a bit of shade.
A small family of elephants at the confluence of the Mabrak and Sand rivers.
Kashane male leopard after an unsuccessful kudu hunt close to the lodge.
Reedbuck and hippo at Marula dam.
A nice herd of elephants with a few feisty calves.
Hippo at Xikwenga dam during a coffe break.
On a drive with Wessel:
Another playful young elephant.
A nice view of a herd off zebra.
The Ximhungwe pride of lions fast asleep.
A fascinating sighting of a young side-striped jackal catching flying termites.