We headed out on drive on Tuesday morning and immediately heard that our Western Pride were yet again found within the northern part of our concession – and with every day that passes, there is a feeling that these lions might actually start becoming more and more resident? I know that simply typing that could be a curse, but they are still not encountering any opposition, and seeming to be quite settled, so fingers crossed!
As I had seen them last night, I opted to head south and spent a wonderful morning down there; along the way we saw impala, giraffe and elephant, and whilst bumbling around, we ticked off more zebra, rhino, buffalo bulls, impala, wildbeest and giraffe before stopping for coffee. We had gone south hoping to see if Nthombi was still around the site of her impala kill, but sadly, that was not to be and she had moved off. Just before coffee, a herd of impalas with a wildebeest were alarm calling like crazy, and I was convinced that the leopard was close, but despite checking the area in the vehicle and on foot, we found nothing, so carried on to check other areas. What we did however find after more zebras, was a herd of giraffe starting intently into the bushes, and we soon found the object of their interest – one of the Sumatra male lions resting in the shade. They were well fed after finishing their buffalo, and not looking to do much this late in the morning; we found his partner resting in thicker bush not too far away, but he was even more lack lustre. After ticking off four of the Big 5 without having seen another vehicle all morning, we headed back looking for the now elusive leopard, and succeeded in finding one…however, it was just a leopard tortoise.
In the afternoon, the clouds came over the sky, but it was still a warm afternoon, and I headed east to see what was up in that area. It was a pleasant afternoon with impala, zebra, kudu, a lovely herd of elephants, more zebras and wildebeest – it is such a pleasure having this bounty of general game around at the moment! My plans were to go and see the lions in the north that had spent the afternoon resting in a thicket, but when Ntima male leopard was found with a kudu calf kill in the central regions, my decision was made and i headed off towards that area, passing some buffalo bulls along the way. It went a bit quiet after that, but we arrived to find this gorgeous leopard resting up in a large marula tree; at first I was a bit doubtful that this leopard would be Ntima, as it was very far east of where we have been seeing him of late – thankfully the initial ID was correct, and we enjoyed a lovely sighting of him before having a sundowner and heading home. Before we got home, we rounded a corner near camp and found a female leopard resting in the road, but sadly she was not very relaxed and got up and moved off into the bush, but as she was not chilled, we left her to it and closed down after a wonderful day.