Little Vumbura - February 2013

Feb 12, 2013 Little Vumbura
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Weather and Landscape
The rain seems to have subsided this month, and with just a few light showers, temperatures have been soaring with highs of 45° C and lows of 26° C…it feels like October all over again. The rain from January which left us thinking the yearly inundation had already arrived has all evaporated and water levels are all back to normal as per the annual records. The long thick grasses are beginning to thin out and the vegetation is not as dense as last month. This has been fantastic for game viewing as tracking animals in the long grass has not been as difficult. The area is still beautiful and green and the humid days have made some amazing cloud formations making for stunning views of the landscape.

Out in the concession the game viewing has been phenomenal. Amazing sightings and interactions between the animals have been witnessed by our guests. The lion population in the area is growing and coalitions are being re-formed. The resident Kubu Pride, which split two years ago, have got back together and formed a pride of eight lions. We also have a coalition of three big male lions, known as the Kubu Boys, which disappeared off the concession a few months ago, and are now back in the area roaming the plains and following the huge herd of buffalo. Another pride of four lions have also settled in the area. The guides believe this to be the Eastern Pride which used to be a larger pride but have split as well.

Leopard sightings have also been really good, with the four resident leopards in the concession being spotted almost daily: Selonyana (Pretty Little Thing), Mma Lebala (Madam Airstrip), Big Monna (Big Man) and Lesego, the offspring of Selonyana. These majestic cats have been hunting successfully and keeping our guests entertained with incredible sightings. We do know that one of the abovementioned females is rearing cubs as we had one rare sighting of a lone cub, but the mother was nowhere around to be seen so we have no idea which one.

Wild dogs! The sightings have been plentiful and as usual, these skilled hunters have been showing off their strategic hunting skills. They have been seen hunting prey much larger than expected, such as buffalo, sable and wildebeest, proving that there is strength in numbers. There are currently two packs in the area: the Golden Pack which is 27 strong, and another pack of 15, named 97. The 97 Pack has recently been spotted spending a lot of time at the Little Vumbura boat station which has been fantastic as it has often been the first sighting for guests in the morning.

At the resident hyaena den, the cubs have been growing well and the mother, Mosadi Mogolo (Old Lady), is doing a great job protecting her young. Guests have also had the pleasure of watching these young hyaena play and have witnessed some hilarious interaction between the youngsters as they have a very inquisitive nature, showing an interest in the game drive vehicles.

With all these apex predators animals moving in the area you would think an interaction between these beasts was inevitable. You would be correct in assuming this. A few nights ago an amazing sight kept the guests enthralled for hours as they saw the Golden Pack get up from their daily slumber and give chase to a herd of wildebeest, successfully flushing out an individual. They then proceeded to chase the wildebeest into a waterhole and take it down. As they started to feed, two of the three Kubu Boys arrived, forcing the dogs off their kill. All the commotion didn’t go unnoticed as a number of opportunistic hyaena arrived on the scene soon afterwards. This incredible trio interaction lasted for a couple of hours, with all three predators growling and hissing, hoping to get their share of the carcass. Eventually the persistence and number of hyaena was too much for the lion and the hyaena took over the carcass.

Other outstanding interactions included the Golden Pack chasing Lesego off her kill as well as the Kubu Pride chasing the Eastern Pride off of their kill – all in all, just outstanding predator interactions and confrontations!

Staff in Camp
Managers: Hamish, Millie and KB.
Guides: Madala Kay, Sam and Rain.

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