This month definitely goes to the cats with all of our feline friends contributing wonderfully to our camera memory cards as us trigger happy guides fired away! This spray of ‘ammunition’ was only matched by the smiles on our guest’s faces as they saw a lion ‘for the first time’ or two cheetah cubs playing together! Truly magical! As I mentioned in the last newsletter, we had recently transitioned two new lionesses into the Nambiti Reserve through the use of our holding boma. These lionesses were released in September and after being confined in the boma for a good few weeks, were quite eager to explore.
A number of game viewers stationed themselves outside the boma as the gate was opened and within minutes, the felines were out and had disappeared into the thickets. These cats had proved to be rather timid and I personally only managed to have a good look at them after 10 days of them being released. In the last week however, they have seemed to have settled in well and in a close proximity to Springbok Lodge so our rangers have managed to share some amazing sightings with our guests as we head out in the mornings or on returning in the evenings! On one late afternoon, one of our guides managed to witness our new ladies stalk and take down a fully grown kudu bull just a stone’s throw away from the lodge!
In other cat related news, our three favourite cheetahs have finally been released from rehabilitation after the adult female was successfully treated for injuries. Khanya and her two confirmed sons, Sailor and Scar have been strutting their stuff for the whole reserve to see! My first encounter after they were released back included an unsuccessful attempted hunt of Eland! Yes – an Eland! I think their eyes and heart might be slightly bigger than their actual size and stomach! There has been one aspect that I’ve noticed with these two sons; they love climbing… anything and everything!
September is always an awesome month as the wildlife prepare for the season ahead! All the previous burnt sections are sprouting up with fresh new buds of green grass helped along by the 25.5mm of rain we were lucky to receive. All of our deciduous trees are gaining colours as their leaves develop. Soon the browsers will be just as happy as the grazers. Many of our bird species are returning from their wintering homes in Europe and across the Northern Hemisphere to spend their warm summer month’s right here with us in Nambiti.
At our guides’ accommodation, we have recently welcomed a pair of Lesser-striped Swallows who have decided to make their new mud nest on the side of our building. It’s great to watch them build while we are waiting for our guests to check-in.
In addition to the migrants, resident species are preparing for the courting season with Widow birds starting to grow their glorious tail feathers out and our Bishops slowly gaining colour in their feathers again.
It’s only going to get better from here!
On the mammal side of things, young animals are everywhere! It’s definitely the “ahhh it’s sooo cute” time of our year
Our Eland nursery herd is fully accounted for, Black-backed Jackals have their pups and the various other antelopes either have their young already or will give birth in the next few days or weeks. Of course it’s during this time that the carnivores get to choose from a ‘buffet’ menu every day…
Sadly – it’s the survival of the fittest out there…and sometimes the stories that our guests and rangers come back with from their morning and afternoon game drives don’t have happy endings (for the babies at least).
On the 24th of September South Africans celebrate Heritage Day – a day of cultural celebration where tradition is the name of the game. Our staff at Springbok Lodge went all out! Most dressed up for the day and welcomed guests returning to the lodge from their morning drive and those checking in to a choral treat. A traditional Zulu style meal was prepared for guests to enjoy for lunch which was served in the new boma.
In Lodge news our new pool, renovated Boma and kiddies play areas have been met with much delight and approval especially from our returning guests… And now we have just one final build for the year – Tent 1 is getting a complete rebuild. It has in recent times suffered irreparable weather damage so the go ahead was given to pull it down and rebuild. The rebuilding of this tent will in no way affect our guests’ stay at the lodge. It will be ready for guests by mid-November.
We would also like to take this opportunity to wish the 2018 Grade 12’s (Form 6’s)
Good Luck for their finals which start on the 23rd.
We wish you all the best as the countdown to the “Silly Season” and the New Year begins
and as always we really do look forward to seeing you at Springbok Lodge.
Bush greetings from all of us on the ranger team!
Shaun, Bronwyn, Marte-Lize, William, Theo, Bethuel and Brent