Sunday, 4 September 2016

The Cat Report 27 August - 3 September

Saturday the 27th of August

A lion’s roar can be heard by human ears up to 8 kilometers away. So having the lions only a few hundred meters from camp with their insistent nighttime vocals certainly made getting enough beauty rest quite the challenge. Yet it’s always worth it for all the amazing sightings WE are fortunate enough to experience. This morning was no different as the all the Nkuhuma’s, their teddy-like cubs as well as two Birmingham males sauntered to the edge of the Galago pan for a refreshing day-break drink. Lining up in panthera perfection the lions drank long and deep, no doubt needing to sooth raw vocal cords and stiff hyoid apparatus. Once the lions had whet their palates sufficiently is was time for an early morning sunbath. The cats reclined luxuriantly in the morning light, yet it seems there was tension among the pride. One of the lionesses appeared to be coming into oestrus and was dogged relentlessly by one of the Birminghams. He marked her every move like a shadow and showed immense displeasure whenever any of her pride mates came too close. This eventually erupted as one of her pride mates approached and greeted a cub lying not far from the grumpy and frustrated male. He snapped and launched himself towards her growling and swatting frantically. The lioness immediately flattened herself on her back to show her unwillingness for a boxing match. Eventually the scene calmed and the lions moved into some nearby shade.

1 Nkuhuma lioness and cubs 27 Aug AM.jpg
(Nkuhuma lioness and cubs, Screenshot Credit: Marieke van Nistelrooij‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

By the time WE had set out on our sunset safari the Nkuhuma’s and their Birmingham suitors had beat a lethargic retreat into a nearby drainage line. The cats remained flat barely paying any attention to the large herd of buffalo surrounding them on either side of the steep dry river bed. The cubs played and suckled, one even tried his hand out at being a leopard for an afternoon by clambering up a low branch and perched there while his tail twitched out of the reach of his brothers, sisters and cousins. Boys will always be boys and the Birmingham’s are no exception, the lioness believed to be coming into oestrus rose up and stretched out her well muscled body, within seconds her shepherding shadow was back. He tried his luck with a potential copulation only to be met with a low growl and a swat to the face, not today!  

Nkuhuma cub 27 Aug PM.jpg
(Little leopard lion, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Sunday the 28th of August

Another bright an early start to all the big cat action! WE managed to get a very brief glimpse of the Nkuhuma pride and their gorgeous postcard perfect cubs. The lions, true to form, headed directly into an impenetrable wall of thick burnt out bush. WE got one last sultry and teasing look from the lionesses as their tawny coats and lean bodies slowly melted perfectly into the thick shady block. Yet they didn’t stay hidden for long, that afternoon Brent managed to catch up with them in a sandy clearing, right in the center of the impenetrable wall of dry bare trees packed closely together. Flatness again, was the order of the afternoon as the lion lazed in shady pools.

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(Nkuhuma cub relaxing next to mom, Screenshot Credit: Hélène van Dijk‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

To the east the roughed up Styx pride had been found relaxing on Cheetah Plains. The pride consisting of 3 lionesses and their 8 cubs also found themselves in the company of one of the Birmingham males. Although he struck a somewhat impressive figure, despite his coma-like sleep state, the lionesses and cubs looked a little the worse for wear. The lions have picked up a skin mite responsible for causing mange. The lionesses tawny coats are dotted with bald patches from constant licking and scratching. The cubs looked even worse, although they had been feeding well it seemed the mange had taken a rather large toll on their health. Movement was labored and a little disorientated as the cubs stumbled from dirt patch to dirt patch. They too scratched, itched, twitched and licked throughout the entire duration of the day. If that was not disconcerting enough it also seems as though the pride had lost a cub bringing their total to 7. Heartbreaking scenes unfolded as the cubs sought comfort from their mothers, yet the lionesses were clearly exhausted and could do little more than raise their heads. Eventually we left the sombre sight, now only time will tell the future fate of the Styx pride.

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(Styx cub infected with mange, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains)

Monday the 29th of August

Lions, lions leaping everywhere… Ok maybe not quite leaping, at least not on this bright morning. The whole Nkuhuma pride along with their precious bundles of hard-work have been found yet again. WE got a brief glimpse of the beautiful cats before they disappeared into the shady thickets. It seems the rising mercury is pushing the cats into the shade earlier and earlier each day. Yet not all hope was lost as Amber-Eyes along with another hopeful Birmingham suitor remained statically sleepy on the edge of the road. Eventually WE moved on to see what other surprises lay in store because although we love spending time with the big cats, watching them sleep could be equated to watching paint dry. That afternoon however things could not have been more different! Brent had been peacefully sitting with a stunning young male leopard (we’ll get to him in a moment) before the surrounding bush exploded with deep soul wrenching, booming roars and growls. Brent abandoned the leopard sighting and sped off, he caught a glimpse of one of the lioness’s firmly sending one of the Birmingham males on his way. She chased him fiercely across the road and off into the bush before she jogged determinedly back towards her pride mates! Tensions were high and anxiety filled stomachs twisted in knots as we all wondered about the fate of the cubs. Brent followed the lioness closely and eventually a wave of relief swept through the wild as all 8 cubs were discovered, present and accounted for. The lionesses quickly ushered them into the bush where they would be safe. A different Birmingham male then followed shortly after. Brent drove a few more meters and eventually the reason for the ruckus was finally discovered. The Birmingham males had been fighting ferociously among themselves for mating rights. The victor was bloody and battered yet held his head high in triumph!

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(Triumphant Birmingham male, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Now it’s time for the leopard. Young, beautiful and handsome, Sindile has been found once again in his natal territory. Our incredible tracker Hueberth followed this young male a long way from the westernmost boundary of Djuma. He was discovered flat, fat and content resting beneath a red bush willow containing approximately half of a recently deceased yearling impala ram. Cause of death was most definitely resting on the fit strong shoulders of young Sindile. He spent most of the day panting heavily while shifting between limited pools of shade. On the sunset safari hunger got the best of him and he ascended the precarious thin branches and fed greedily on what remained. Once he had his fill he then drifted off in the sagging boughs as the sun set directly behind him, a most magical and iconic African scene indeed!

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(Sindile in the sunset, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Tuesday the 30th of August

As iconic as the sunset was the day prior, so it was for the sunrise on this early morning. Sindile had been found again in the same exact spot still munching away happily on his impala carcass. His time away in rehabilitation has had no effect on this young leopard’s ability to hunt and fend for himself. The stunning male whiled away the morning hours crunching through the remains of his kill, barely paying any attention to the bustling vehicles surrounding him in the sighting. Eventually he descended from his lofty and precarious perch clearly content with a low hanging and rotund belly. He then lay in a patch of sparse shade before drifting off for the day. Later on in the afternoon Sindile had decided to remove his kill from the thin boughs of the selected red bush willow and relocated it to a far shadier and definitely more comfortable spot, tucked away against the side of a truly impressive termite mound. He spent the rest of the sunset hours steadily eating and by the time the sun had disappeared to the west only a few bite sized scraps remained.

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(Sindile, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

After spending a bit of time with the gorgeous Sindile in the morning, Brent decided to head over to Arathusa and see what surprises lay in store to the west. As he made his way off Djuma and into Arathusa a familiar and exciting sound greeted his ears. The distinctive whooping contact calls of wild dogs penetrated and electrified the dry dusty atmosphere. As could only be expected, Brent turned around and raced to the boundary hoping for a glimpse of South Africa’s most endangered predator. After waiting for a few minutes hearts sank as no sign nor sight of the dogs materialised. Brent then slowly made his way back towards the northern sections of Djuma before the radio crackled into life. Somehow, the sneaky pups had managed to slink past and were now trotting fluidly down Buffelshoek cutline, Djuma’s most northern boundary. Brent sped over and soon enough 3 adult wild dogs were in sight. The curious canines weaved across the boundary, snaking between Djuma and Buffelshoek, contact calling as they went. Eventually their delicate paws carried them north and east until eventually, we lost sight of them.

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(Adult African wild dog, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Once the puppy pandemonium was over Brent then decided to try his luck with the lions. Sure enough his determination paid off and soon WE were in the midst of a heavily shaded drainage line with the Nkuhuma pride. Again all 8 of the fluffy little cubs were present and accounted for. WE spent a few brief moments with the seriously flat cats before they moved further into the thickets. Later on it seemed they had moved back to their favourite spot near the Galago pan. Yet lionesses and cubs were still too pooped from the heat of the day and their walk from the drainage to do much. The cubs suckled noisely while their mothers and aunts slept in the cooling shade.

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(Nkuhuma pride and cubs, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Wednesday the 31st of August

Thick mist blanketed the sabi sands, as the gloomy shapes of trees emerged and rushed past safariLIVE crew while setting out on their sunrise game drive. The first order of the day was a stop by the site of Sindile’s kill in the hopes the gorgeous young male leopard was still in attendance. Sure enough, Stef soon found him sleeping on the soothing damp sand. Clearly enjoying the relief from the usual scorching late winter sun, Sindile slept soundly as the dense fog swirled around him. His belly protruded like a great spotted boulder as his chest rose and fell in deep comforting sleep. Later on however, as the sun climbed higher in the great blue African skies the mist lifted once again revealing it’s blistering rays. By the time Jamie had returned on the sunset safari he was stuck in again, greedily gulping up the last few scraps of his now 3 day old impala. Once finished he lumbered slowly up the edge of his chosen termite mound, belly swaying rhythmically from side to side. He eventually lay in regal radiant light, sunning his bright golden coat and sleeping off his latest meal installment. Jamie then decided to move off in search of more active sightings.

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(Sindile in the mist, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Sindile however was not the only spot of luck for the WE team this morning. Mvula, a once revered dominant male leopard had been found lying on the banks of the great Buffelshoek dam. Perhaps dam, in this context, is too strong a word however, the current drought has rendered the dam dry and cracked. Yet Mvula seemed to be unphased by this, his age is starting to show however, through tatty ears and sagging skin. He lay handsomely perched in his chosen spot as the sun burnt off the thick greyness of the morning mist and eventually nodded off before WE left to allow others a chance to see the former king of Djuma.

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(Old man Mvula, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Of course the day could not be complete without a sighting of the Nkuhuma’s and their 8 little fluffy children! As with Sindile, the lions began as tawny shapes in the thick morning mist and eventually emerged near the Vuyatela dam. The cubs become more brazen each day and when WE first came upon the little monsters they had set their sights on a stalking target that was perhaps just a little out of their current range. A large, unimpressed and terrified looking hippo was frozen in panic as the lion cubs practiced their sneaking techniques, subtly moving through the damp undergrowth as the mist swirled around their fuzzy faces. Eventually a voice of reason spoke in the form of an exhausted mother lioness, she shepherded the cubs past the hippo and towards the empty Vuyatela dam. Once in the open space the cubs leapt into action and scrambled all over the cool dry mud, pouncing on each other and practicing those all important buffalo takedown skills. Eventually the three lionesses present in the sighting managed to round up the hyperactive lion toddlers and ushered them into the drainage line behind the dam wall. Shrouded in thick white fog WE then lost the Nkuhuma family as they wound their way ever deeper into the dry river bed. A cooler morning had definitely worked in favour for the lions, even though the lionesses were exhausted after overactive cub minding, they still managed to bring down a rather large buffalo bull between the sunrise and sunset safaris. Once again, our unbelievable tracker Heuberth managed to locate the happy family tucked away in the dense bush during the sunset safari. After some skilled negotiation Jamie soon found herself enjoying a lion sunset as the cubs and lionesses fed on their beefy prize.

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(Nkuhuma cub in the mist, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Thursday the 1st of September

Another lion filled day lay in store for the safariLIVE crew! Stef began his drive with both Amber-Eyes and the youngest of the Nkuhuma’s. Both had been reported mating in Buffelshoek with one of the Birmingham males in the days prior, yet they had managed to give him the slip. After resting on the high banks of what used to be the Vuyatela dam the lionesses moved off and slowly made their way towards the rest of their pride, still happily tucking into their large buffalo breakfast. Stef eventually lost the lionesses as they wove their way through thickets of leafless trees. At the sight of the kill Jamie was ready and waiting, soon enough both Amber-Eyes and her young pride mate arrived. Greeting ceremonies between lions are always fascinating to watch and today was no different. The cubs rushed up to their aunty Amber, eager to say hello, yet her reaction was not quite as friendly. Mating it seemed had taken it’s toll on her usual gentle mood and she growled a warning at the cubs. The cubs have by now learnt that when growled at you stay away, they sat in a perfect semi-circle at a few meters distance with confused expressions etched on their furrowed brows. Eventually the 3 lionesses responsible for the kill ambled over and rubbed heads with the new arrivals and the cubs followed suit. The scene then calmed and 13 members of the Nkuhuma pride settled down for a morning nap. That afternoon when the world traveller Mr James Hendry returned the lions, he found them feeding ferociously. The cubs had replaced their adorable mews with deep throated growls and yowls and they swatted at each other for the best feeding position. Once the cubs had their fill they filed out into the smallest of open clearings right in front of the vehicle. They then played to their hearts content until little legs could no longer support bulging bellies. They collapsed in a pile of tawny lumps and spent the rest of the afternoon sleeping soundly.

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(Playful Nkuhuma cub, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

The peace of the lion sighting was soon interrupted by the ever crackling voices on the game drive radio. Tingana, a large dominant male leopard had been spotted and only a stone's throw away from the lions. James wove through bush and eventually came upon the stunning spotted cat. It was not clear at first if Tingana realised how close he was to the Nkuhuma’s but he soon realised his proximity to the 13 lions. He turned on his heel and beat a hasty retreat leaving James to crash and bash through the bush behind him. A truly beautiful scene then unfolded as the prince of cats walked determinedly into the setting sun, past herds of angry impala who snorted out their displeasure, warey kudu and waterbuck that kept a beady eye out and of course James and Bryan desperately trying to keep up. Tingana looked to be on the hunt, although not emaciated he could certainly use a good meal. James eventually lost the camouflaged cat as he disappeared into a nigh impenetrable thicket very close to the Vuyatela lodge.

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(Tingana, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

To the far east Jamie had her own heap of cat luck on Cheetah Plains. It all began with a sighting of the Styx pride, 3 large lionesses, their 7 cubs and 1 impressive Birmingham male. The lions, as usual, were flatter than a recently surfaced salt pan! Barely any movement occurred as all 11 cats slept off the scorching heat of the day. The cubs and lionesses are still plagued by a severe skin infection and only broke their slumber every so often to itch and scratch away at their thinning fur.

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(Scruffy Styx cubs, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains)

The soporific lion sighting sighting was then abruptly interrupted. Reports of young, pretty leopardess, came flooding in over the radio. Jamie was quick off the mark and managed to catch up with covert cat as she wound her way through thinning sun scorched clearings. At first this madame of mystery moved through the dry bush and clouds of dust with intent, steadily making her way towards the Nkorho boundary. As with most leopards, she does love herself a good termite mound and soon ascended one of the large, ancient mounds where she sat beautifully in the golden light of the setting sun. Once done with her sunbathe she moved northwards yet again, she eventually crossed and WE lost sight of her among the thick bush. Further reports at this point indicated that this was the 2 year old cub of Thanid. Sister to Shadow and daughter of Karula.

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(Thandi’s unnamed cub in the setting sun, Screenshot Credit: Debra W. Baudoin‎, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains)

Just when we thought the day couldn’t get any better, all hell broke loose! Jamie, while making her way back towards the Styx pride all of a sudden found herself surrounded by the scruffy Styx cubs, not fifty meters from where she had lost visual of Thandi’s unnamed cub. The cubs were scampering at high speed to the north but there was no sign of the lionesses. Jamie, reticent to follow unattended cubs, came to a halt in the road. Contact calls from the south then draw her attention and as one last straggling cub called out vehemently for the rest of his brothers, sisters and cousins. With no idea where the Styx lionesses were, Jamie stayed firmly in position, the mangy little cub scampered past and then out of sight. Only then did we get a view of 2 of the Styx lionesses, they ambled their way slowly in the same direction before going flat behind a leafless piece of scrubby bush. The lone cub then came racing back, still calling out, soon after the rest of the scraggly rabble scampered past as well. There was no rhyme nor reason discovered for this peculiar display of behaviour. Once the lions were reunited, the scene seemed to settle slightly. That was, of course, until Thandi’s cub popped out of nowhere, still on Cheetah Plains, despite watching her cross north only a few short minutes before. The leopardess also appeared to be a little spooked, whether this was due to the presence of lions or some other natural force, WE will never know. Eventually Jamie left the lions as the evening grew darker, unwilling to place them in an even more precarious situation by spotlighting them for a better view.

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(Styx cub after reuniting with the pride, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Cheetah Plains)

Friday the 2nd of September

Another day filled with a cornucopia of cats! WE roared into action with the Nkuhuma pride, still stuck in on their buffalo carcass but this time with an extra breakfast guest in the form of one of the Birmingham males. He demonstrated the immense power and majesty involved in a lions sleep cycle. The cubs fed viciously, demonic sounds issued from their buffalo-covered faces as they argued and squabbled over the carcass. The lionesses were no better, their deep growls and snarls could be felt far and wide while they packed away pound after pound of less than desirable, 3 day old meat. When the Birmingham male arose from his deep slumber the lionesses fed even more frantically, warey of the fact that he may of chased them off their meal. Yet he only had one thing on his mind, he walked from urine patch to urine patch keenly testing to see if any of the lionesses may be receptive to a few days of mating. Yet after many minutes of sniffing and performing the flehmen grimace he realised his luck was out and soon went back to sleep. Once the lionesses and cubs had satiated their appetite for the morning they went back to doing what they do best, sleeping.

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(Birmingham male performing the flehmen grimace, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Further to the south an interesting discovery was made, once again, by our incredible tracker Heuberth! A tree climbing impala, firmly wedged in the high boughs of a tall marula was being devoured by none other than she who is the nemesis of small to medium sized antelope. Karula, the Queen of Djuma, had done it again! She fed on the kill for a brief period while she glanced curiously over her shoulder to the south. Clearly the indecision between eating and fetching her cubs was causing great internal turmoil. Eventually however, she descended the particularly tall tree and missioned to the south. Soon enough though, she was returned with little Hosana and Xongile in tow. The cubs took turns feeding on the kill while the Queen reclined in all her splendor at the base of the marula. WE then left the spotted felines to their morning snack as the sunrise safari came to a close.

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(Karula, the Queen of Djuma, Screenshot Credit: Debra W. Baudoin‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Queen Karula however, was not the only member of the royal family present on Djuma. One of her daughters Shadow was discovered in the throws of passion, with none other than Tingana. Initially the mating cats played a little hard to get by concealing themselves behind a vast guarrie thicket. After a few copulations and some wild growling and swatting they eventually made their way into a small clearing. Shadow frisked and flirted with Tingana relentlessly, tempting him into further copulations. Unfortunately, this does suggest that Shadow has once again, lost her cub. There have been no reports or sightings of the little one in over a week and Shadow’s behaviour would suggest that she has again come into oestrus as a result of losing her cub. There are an infinite number of reasons as to why this may have happened. As sad as this this is, life does move on and so do the leopards. Eventually the cats called it quits for the morning and took shelter in the cooling relief of a dense verdant guarrie thicket.

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(Shadow and Tingana, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Another high action sunset safari lay in store for the WE crew, as they set out in the ever increasing intensity of the approaching summer sun. Our first stop was of course with the 5  Nkuhuma lionesses, 8 little cubs and accompanying Birmingham male. As per usual, the lions were sprawled out in tawny heaps, resting in the shady relief nearby to their extremely pungent buffalo carcass. Once the day had cooled sufficiently to allow for movement the cats were up and about, they slowly made their way towards the nearest water source which happened to be the Vuyatela pan. Unfortunately for the lions, a rather substantial herd of elephants had the very same idea. The lions arrived and managed to have a brief drink before the elephants charged charged in and interrupted their afternoon sundowner. The lions, intent on keeping the term “flat cat” as a figurative phrase rather than a literal one, sped off at high speed ushering the cubs as they went. Once they were far enough away, the scene quietened and all was calm and at peace once again.

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(Birmingham male, Nkuhuma lioness and one fluffy cub, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

The leopards however had an even more challenging afternoon. Karula and her cubs were still sitting pretty at the site of the great queen’s impala kill. After feeding during the day the cats were relaxed and content, their chests rose and fell with heavy panting as the slept off fat full bellies. Clear their intention would’ve been to stay at the kill site until the very last scraps had been gobbled up, but fate seemed to have other plans. The mating pair comprising of Tingana and one of Karula’s very own offspring, Shadow came upon the happy family of three. Leopards being leopards, the surprise family reunion was met with a little resistance and some poor manners. Karula’s cubs dashed away as fast as possible while the big dominant male ascended the tall marula and claimed Karula’s kill for himself. The mother and daughter pair decided to lie a short distance away from each other and consistently growled their displeasure at the other. Yet the commotion and the scent of fresh impala drew even more unwelcome guests to the predator party. Soon one of the hyaena’s belonging to the Djuma clan was upon the scene. Tingana, who felt very safe in the high treetops paid little to no mind while the argumentative females kept a wary eye on the spotted scavenger. So it seemed the sighting had reached somewhat of a stalemate, that was until the hyaena all of a sudden glanced over her shoulder and raced off in an apparent panic. The reason for this odd behaviour soon came bounding in bring nothing but chaos with it. The 3 remaining members comprising the Sand pack of wild dogs bounded into the sighting with reckless abandon! Shadow and Karula bombed in different directions and scrambled for the nearest, safest and highest of suitable tree branches. The dogs sniffed around furiously and jumped excitedly at the trunks of the trees containing leopards. Darkness eventually stole the sighting from us as WE do not spotlight diurnal predators, such as wild dogs at night.

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(Hyaena and Shadow, Screenshot Credit: Marieke van Nistelrooij‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

Saturday the 3rd of September

The atmosphere was thick with anticipation and excitement this morning. The safariLIVE crew was anxious to head out and discover what exactly had become of the leopards and their unplanned predator party. Jamie was first on the scene, the impala carcass had disappeared over night, most likely due to a clumsy drop made by Tingana and the lightning quick reflexes of hungrily waiting hyaenas. Yet even though the carcass had vanished Shadow and Tingana were still in attendance. Once WE managed to catch up with them, they were on the move and clearly concerned about being interrupted once again. The leopards moved quickly westwards through various vicious monkey orange thickets. Eventually they emerged on the western boundary separating Djuma and Arathusa, once they had crossed the reason for the obvious concern was discovered. Three young hyaena had been following the sleek, spotted cats and once they had caught up immediately gave chase. Tingana bounded up the nearest, tallest and safest of the large marula trees while Shadow was relegated to a far thinner and precarious silver cluster leaf. The hyaenas sniffed around with excited tails stuck up and fluffed out. Eventually the spotted scallywags appeared to lose interest and trotted off further to the west. Shadow then left her precarious position and came to lie at the base of the marula Tingana had made himself comfortable in. Shadow cast longing and lustful looks at Tingana while he ignored her completely and just when we thought the sighting could not possibly endure any more excitement, the hyaena came back. Shadow dashed off out of sight while the hyaena gave chase. Yet soon enough the hyaena had once again lost interest and moved off. Eventually Tingana descended from his lofty perch and strolled deeper into Arathusa, while Shadow continued her relentless flirting. Jamie eventually lost sight of the amorous felines and moved off in search of more excitement.

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(Tingana hiding from hyaena’s, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma/Arathusa)

Back in the heart of Djuma the lions had been found, once again by the incredible Heuberth! It appeared the cat collective had returned to their buffalo carcass, all Nkuhuma’s were present along with 8 little bundles of trouble! The lions however, were in the mood for games, particularly hide and seek. As James arrived at the sighting WE had a brief view of the Nkuhuma’s as they slowly ambled their way into a steep banked, dry river bed. James followed as best he could but by the time he had made his way into the depths of the drainage line, the lions had already made their way out. The lionesses glanced over their shoulders curiously as Rusty fired up for the steep ascent up and out of the drainage. Finally it seemed WE would get some nice visuals of the cubs and lionesses lying in picture perfect poses just to the side of gowrie cutline. The lions however had other ideas, they seemed to realise error of their ways and that being out of the drainage line meant being out of the shade. James had only just managed to catch up with them before they once again descended the steep banks back into the drainage line they had only just emerged from. At this juncture James decided it would be best to let sleeping lions lie and moved off in search of less covert creatures.

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(Nkuhuma cubs, Screenshot Credit: Gabi Hossain‎, safariLIVE, Djuma)

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