We had a fascinating sighting a few days ago, not far from our safari camp, when the Ross pride brought down a large female giraffe. The pride had fed extensively on the carcass by the time we arrived as we could see that they had gorged themselves.
Shortly after, the kill attracted a huge number of hyaena who began to gather a short distance from the carcass. As their numbers swelled, so did their confidence.
An elephant rushed in to have a look at all the commotion which disturbed and distracted the lions. The hyaenas quickly took the chance to rush in and take over the carcass. They fed quickly as the lions backed up a short distance away, observing the large clan of hyaena tearing into their prize.
After a short breather the lions rallied and charged in, successfully chased the large clan of hyaena off to reclaim their carcass. The hyaena did manage to run off with a portion of the leg and continued to feed a short distance away.
Keeping an eye on the Hyaena
Watching these two apex predators going head to head was really something to see, and our guests were left in awe.
Text and photos by Dale Jackson
On Saturday evening, we were encountered with a wonderful surprise, when we discovered a pride of lion we had not seen before. We found the big five pride on the prowl right across the river from camp.
The pride make-up looked to be 4 mature lionesses, a young male of around 3-4 years of age and 5 lion cubs of varying ages. They were fairly nervous of the vehicles which indicated that they may have come from an area with very little vehicle activity or even the Kruger National Park.
During the night, the pride must have splintered as they proceeded to roar the night away around our tented safari camp. This fantastic serenade continued into the earlier hours of the morning. The pride then moved off and successfully hunted down a buffalo cow and managed to finish the carcass off in only one day!
This provided us with a fantastic opportunity to see the pride feeding and witness a clan of hyenas’ come in and patiently wait their turn in the hope of picking up some scraps. Hopefully they stick around and provide us with some more action packed moments.
We will keep you up to date.
The last few days on game drive at Tanda Tula Safari Camp have been exceptional and we have been spoilt with a wonderful array of sightings, including the big five.
We managed to find the Machaton pride busy on a fresh kudu kill, with the young cubs fighting tooth and claw for the best bits, and even managed to sneak in right below mom’s chin!
I photographed this hyena not far from the carcass, patiently waiting for the lions to clear off before making its move. Buffalo have been wide spread and the cows have taken advantage of good veld conditions to give birth – this little one doesn’t look much older than a week or two. The Zebenine female’s young cub is almost completely self-sufficient and we have not seen them together for some time now. He was really posing for us and presented a wonderful photo opportunity.
The highlight of the weekend must have been the small ‘herd’ or crash of rhino we found, ten of them all together, yes ten! What a wonderful sight as they grazed in and around the vehicle – a truly unique experience. Scotch later mentioned to me that in his 16 years at Tanda Tula this was the most rhino he had ever seen in one group. The sunrises and sunsets have also been sensational, especially if you can find some vultures in a dead tree to fit in the frame.