Its Monday 21st October 2013 and roaring news from Majete!

Hope the weekend went well and you are all set for the week ahead! This week we have some exciting news from Mkulumadzi Lodge so without further ado, over to Chris.

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“Last Monday having braved the weather, which promised a storm, we headed out for an afternoon drive, eager to do some birding. We went out of camp heading west and after only a few kilometers we stopped to put on ponchos and put cameras away as we were starting to feel rain drops. But having prepared for the rain and unwilling to give up we continued our drive and going further west we saw a couple of bird species and a sun squirrel before reaching “Njati” road.

The rain had by this point all but disappeared and we were sitting near a junction watching a lazy cisticola, which was sitting on a branch nearby whilst we tried to figure out what was in its beak, when we suddenly heard the lions start contact calling. We quickly turned ourselves around and headed down the road in the direction of the calls, we hadn’t gone far when we heard them calling again. We stopped to see if we could pick them out through the bushes and grass, and instead saw two very nervous looking waterbuck. We drove a little further and this time when they called they were closer. Pulling off on the side of the road, we sat waiting and watching in the direction from which we had heard them. We came to the conclusion that they must have made a kill to be calling as much as they were.

sapitwa

As our discussions continued our patience was rewarded when a head appeared some distance away! It was one of the males, he stood and watched us for a minute and then walked over into the shade and collapsed; then a smaller head appeared, then another! TWO CUBS! I could barely contain my excitement and then proud mother “Shire” appeared, the lions stayed some distance away on the ridge, the cubs playing with each other and annoying their mother and “Sapitwa” (the male lion) too!

cubs

After a few minutes we saw the fresh carcass of a young male waterbuck lying in the grass, it was between the lions and us, so we backed off and gave them the space that they needed to feel comfortable to start feeding. It seemed that they had made the kill and then having secured dinner went to collect the cubs, cool down and catch their breath, before coming back to feed.

Once we’d backed off, the cubs and “Shire” made their way over to the carcass pretty quickly and while Mum tried in vain to have a bite to eat the cubs climbed all over her and her meal until she gave up and let the cubs have their fun first. Just before we left, the cubs having satisfied their curiosity, climbed off their dinner and Shire was able to tuck in; at that point we left so that they could all continue undisturbed. We managed to get some photographic evidence, finally, and are completely ecstatic to report that there are two. Well done “Shire” and all in all not a bad way to start the week!

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Also on the list of great sightings are the hoards of dung beetles of all shapes and sizes that have been greatly abundant. They have provided great entertainment for all as they compete for the best dung balls and mates and struggle over incredible obstacles to reach a suitable place to bury their dung ball and lay their eggs. A great example of team work!

dung-bbeetles

We’ve also had some superb sightings of Southern Carmine Bee Eaters in the park this year, very exciting as we didn’t see many of them last year; beautiful Violet Backed Starlings, Rock Pratincoles, Racket Tailed Rollers and Broad Billed Rollers to name but a few.

bird

In other news, African Parks recently celebrated their 10 anniversary of operating in Majete. It was an exciting day with the auspicious occasion commemorated with traditional dancers, the Majete band and a local school choir. We’d like to congratulate African Parks on the success that is Majete and wish them many more highlights in the years to come.”

Brilliant news about the cubs! Thanks Chris for filling us in on what’s been happening over there.

That’s all for now. Enjoy the week ahead!

emily1

 

 

boottom

 

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