Tanda Tula - spotted wild dog on safari in South Africa
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Chad Cocking | A Week In Pictures

Hello once more to all of our blog readers from across the world. We trust that this finds you well and in good spirits!  We enjoyed another week of isolation with the animals here in the Timbavati,and despite two miserable and windy days this week, we enjoyed largely pleasant weather with a couple of small patches of rain to settle the dust and make tracking down game a little more challenging for us (well, that and the fact that we haven’t got our gifted trackers with us at the moment!).  Still, we managed some good viewing this week, and although the lions dominated most of our viewing on the big game front, it was no doubt the welcome return of the wild dogs that was this week’s highlight.

Although, I picked up the endangered painted wolves’ tracks after the weekend’s rainy and windy conditions, my searching of the area proved fruitless until we heard that the “smaller” pack of 15 was seen running past another camp on Wednesday evening.  That meant that on Thursday morning we were out in the rain in search of them, and fortunately we managed to catch up with them as they went trotting along our access road and alternated hunting attempts with attacks on the clan of hyenas that were following them hoping for an easy meal.  They spent the day settled on the northern boundary of our concession, so we shall see if they spend the early part of our next reporting period in the area.  Some animals that appeared not to have done so this past week were the two cheetahs, and we sadly found no more signs of them this week.

Tanda Tula - wild dog pack chasing hyenas on safari

Tanda Tula - hyena and wild dog on safari in South Africa

Tanda Tula - wild dog running on safari

Tanda Tula - wild dogs of the Timbavati, South Africa

As mentioned, the lions dominated the big game viewing with almost daily sightings of the Nharhu males and/or the River Pride lionesses.  Despite the one lioness with cubs leaving evidence of their activity on many days, finding exactly where they have been hidden proved much more difficult. However, Luke, Britt and Dale managed to find them one morning this week – sadly I was busy watching two other lionesses and a male grooming themselves after a kill, so I didn’t head there. Seems to be the trend with this pride, they are seldom found together as a cohesive unit and either we found lone lions or pairs of pride members moving together.  The most members we saw together were three males and two lionesses when I found them resting on an open area last weekend.  Despite checking a couple of times, we didn’t find any sign of the Mbiri males or Mayambula Pride this week.

Tanda Tula - Nharhu male lion on safari in South Africa

Tanda Tula - Nharhu male lion under full moon

Tanda Tula - River Pride lioness and Nharhu male

Tanda Tula - River Pride lioness grooming in the Greater Kruger

Amazingly, despite many efforts to look for them, we failed to find any leopards, and they seemed to be taunting us – either pitching up in camp (once with a kill hoisted up a tree close to our water tanks at the back of camp, and another time whilst Don and Nina were sitting on the verandah enjoying a movie (only to look up and see a leopard sitting watching with them!).  Xisiwana and Cleo (and her sub-adult male cub) were seen, but sadly not by me, so I don’t actually have any photos of leopards to show you!  However, just to prove that we do have them around, go and read the Leopards of Tanda Tula blogto find out more about the leopards that call Tanda Tula Safari Camp“home”.

Elephant herds were less in evidence than usual, and we didn’t find any breeding herds of buffalos this week (only the lone bulls), but our drives around the Timbavati did result in us seeing good wildebeest, zebras, impalas, giraffes, kudus and hippos.  In doing our Sofa Safaris (if you haven’t watched them yet, go check it out Youtube Channel)it has focused our attention on some of the smaller aspects of the bush.

Tanda Tula - giraffe herd on safari in South Africa

For now though, that is all from us!  So please, to all of our readers across the world stay safe, stay positive and keep on playing your part to help as all get through these crazy times!

Until next time…

Cheers,
Chad

Tanda Tula - giraffe bull on safari in the Timbavati

Tanda Tula - vulture at sunrise

Tanda Tula - Woodland Kingfisher on a birding safari, South Africa

Tanda Tula - zebra crossing the Timbavati, South Africa

 

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