During May, the general game viewing was top class, as usual, with consistent sightings of giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, warthog, and antelope. But the quality of lion sightings was exceptional!
Many guests were fortunate enough to see some of the lion cubs who are running around the reserve at the moment. One of the month’s highlights was a group of four cubs and two lionesses feeding on a male waterbuck carcass over about three days. The two dominant male lions were also very vocal around Safari Lodge and on some days, their distinct roars could be heard throughout the evenings and early mornings.
There were many elephant sightings throughout the month, too. Multiple herds were commonly found on the route between Safari Lodge and Mountain Lodge. On several occasions, guests even got to watch them from the lodges, during meal times.
We also had a few leopard sightings. On two separate occasions, leopards were found in very close proximity to Safari Lodge, and on another, one was seen at the Mountain Lodge during day (very unusual as leopards are nocturnal). An evening game drive also yielded a special opportunity to view two leopards together.
May produced quite a few exciting sightings of the rarer nocturnal animals. Caracals were seen on three occasions, porcupines popped up a handful of times, along with civet, bat-eared fox and genet making appearances.
Many birds have already migrated, with the days getting shorter and colder. But the surprise of rain (23mm) – always welcome in the bush – later in the month attracted red-billed quelea birds. We watched their swarm-like flocks from Miss Mara Water Safaris, which have been a favourite of our guests – also for their front-row seats to the African sunset spectaculars. Other animal sightings from these river cruises included lions on the bank, elephants swimming, rhinos drinking, and plentiful kudu and waterbuck feeding on the water lilies.
Words by: Darryn Murray
Photos by: Charlotte Arthun