Lions on buffalo kill while leopard waits patiently in tree above

Tanda Tula guests continue to be thrilled by the return of the Machaton pride lions to our area. Sightings are becoming more frequent as the young males quietly go about the business of getting bigger and stronger, getting ready to eventually defend their reclaimed territory. We recently saw them enjoying the spoils of a buffalo hunt, and we weren’t the only ones watching. A young male leopard found a good vantage point high up in a tree, where he patiently watched, waited and napped hoping that at some point the lions would have their fill and leave him the leftovers. As the sun set, they continued eating. We don’t know if the leopard’s patience paid off, but when we checked the next morning there was nothing left of the kill.

The Machaton matriarch is doing her job well, teaching the young ones the necessary skills to stalk and suffocate their prey. When we caught up with them again that evening and we were able to observe the instructional play that saw the boys taking turns biting Mom on the neck and covering her muzzle with their mouths, mimicking the strangulation and suffocation techniques that will make them successful hunters in the future.

Words and images by Jacquie Gauthier

At Tanda Tula safari camp, big five game viewing is exceptional, as with many other Timbavati safari lodges, but it’s important to remember that there are many other smaller species which are just as special to see. Nocturnal animals such as the brave honey badger, the porcupine and civet are always a treat to come across. In camp, while relaxing on your private deck over looking the African bush, you can encounter some of our ‘resident’ game such as the nyala, banded mongoose, squirrels and even Harry the hippo!

Tanda Tula Tanda Tula Tanda Tula