We started off the new year with a superb game drive that could not have been any better. Guests staying with us last night were incredibly fortunate to see the rare Timbavati white lions. Some guests come to the Timbavati year in, year out, in hope of viewing these incredible creatures, but are less fortunate.
This was a first for me and I was just amazed at the contrast between the white and tawny lions.
We located the pride late afternoon and it consisted of two white lionesses, three tawny lionesses and one tawny adolescent male. They were very relaxed when we approached and they allowed us to get within twenty metres of them! Late afternoon or evening is the ideal time to view lions as they are more active, which makes for perfect viewing and photographic opportunities. We stayed with them for quite some time and then headed back to camp. It has now become a Tanda Tula tradition to celebrate a white lion sighting with a tot of our local liquor, Amarula, once arriving back at camp.
The following morning we continued the run of good fortune with a phenomenal female leopard sighting as well as viewing two playful hyena cubs and their mother outside their den. We located the Marula female early morning who had killed an Impala the night before but to her dismay, was barraged by hyena who had won it over with their numbers and strength. We later found her again with a duiker carcass safely tucked away in a Marula tree. This wily young female had gotten one over the hyena, in fact as the duiker carcass had always been safely hidden while she fed on her other carcass the impala. These predators are extremely resourceful and I am always amazed at their uncanny ability to come out on top in any situation.