Saturday the 19th of March
Late on the sunset safari Brent managed to catch up with one of the Birmingham boys. It is not immediately clear if this is the same individual, that was spotted with the somewhat unenthusiastic Nkuhuma lioness, the previous day. After some debate with the viewer it is agreed this is not the same lion, which means two of the Birmingham males could potentially be on Djuma.
(Birmingham male, Screenshot Credit: Hélène van Dijk, safariLIVE, Djuma)
Monday the 21st of March
The early hours of the morning were filled with the resonating roars of a male lion coalition. The safariLIVE crew leaped into action and shortly after the dazzling sun broke the crisp morning air Jamie came upon 3 of the Birmingham male lions. The lions looked less than regal and it seems they had potentially been in conflict, either amongst each other or with the Selati males, the dominant coalition to the north of Djuma. The trio of trouble spent some time enjoying a good roll around in something less than desirable before heading off to the west.
(Birmingham male, Screenshot Credit: Linda McCaslin, safariLIVE, Djuma)
Later on that afternoon, all 5 of the reigning coalition were found on a large buffalo kill in Arathusa. The boys are back, the theory of an inter-coalition battle between the Birmingham’s and the Selati’s was definitely strengthened by their dilapidated appearance. At least the buffalo kill ensures that the lions will be well fed for the coming days allowing them time to recover.
(Birmingham male, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen, safariLIVE, Djuma)
Tuesday the 22nd of March
The following day the boys are found again fat and flat. Still on Arathusa and in sight and smell of their buffalo kill. The remain in this state for the duration of both the sunrise and sunset safaris.
(Birmingham males, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain, safariLIVE, Arathusa)
To the north Brent is patrolling the northern boundary hoping for any sign of a leopard. He spotted a large breeding herd of buffalo crossing north and decided to catch up with them while keeping an eye out. After spending a while surrounded by moving buffalo the throng tapers to the individuals bringing up the rear. Mere seconds after the last mother and calf crosses a large male leopard is spotted slinking through the lime green bush. It’s Mvula and his lean appearance meant he was hunting. He went into stalk mode eyeing out a young and still wobbly buffalo calf. His stalk attempt failed as he was unable to get close enough without risking certain detection. He then waited and watched carefully before following the herd into thick bush beyond Djuma’s northern boundary.
(Mvula, Screenshot Credit: Joshua Gross, safariLIVE, Djuma)
Wednesday the 23rd of March
Another big cat morning with one of the Birmingham males being found flat cat in the middle of the road. The morning was wet and chilly, he looked less than regal with a dirty, matted main and less than enthusiastic energy about him. He gave a few disgruntled looks at passing vehicles and slept uneasily. A report over the radio indicate that his 4 coalition mate are not far from his location, sure enough after a few more minutes of rest he slowly made his way towards them. The boys then spent the rest of the sunrise safari sleeping off the night's activities.
(Birmingham male, Screenshot Credit: Claire Armendinger, safariLIVE, Djuma)
The safariLIVE crew went out in search of the coalition again on the sunset safari, however, when Brent arrived at their last known location there were quite a few ellie tracks, soon after he found the male lions tracks crossing our southern boundary. The conclusion is clear, the boys were chased out by the elephants. But this drives real surprise came much later in the form of a serval Jamie spotted while on the way back to camp. We rushed to go live again and watched the elusive yet very relaxed cat hunt until it eventually slunk off into the darkness.
(Serval, Screenshot Credit: Agnes Zsiga, safariLIVE, Djuma)
Thursday the 24th of March
All started off still and calm, leopard tracks were found in all areas of the property and both Brent and Jamie had been tracking the elusive cats since the waking moments of the day. As luck would have it minutes before the sunset safari came to a close each presenter came upon a leopard. After a closer inspection it turns out to be Karula and her daughter Shadow. Both confirmed mothers and within a few hundred meters of each other. Shadow stalked impala on Sandy patch as Karula patrolled a few old haunts in and around the Vuyatela lodge, but not without stopping by the safariLIVE crew camp and Final Control.
(Karula, Screenshot Credit: Kaarina Pietiäinen, safariLIVE, Djuma)