A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A GAME RANGER by Luke Street

A week of fights, snarls, yawns and portraits – 8th November 2019

About that thunderstorm… Well, it’s yet to happen! But I have faith in the drama that is Africa. One of these days, the sudden announcement of the impending rain will come! It always amazes me how animals continue to find nutrition in such a dry and unforgiving environment at this time of year. A time where the temperatures climb immensely, when there is almost no shade to talk of and water sources are few and far between. Somehow the wildlife still manages to persist.

There have been some incredible leopard sightings this week. The first viewing of the week came when we found Nyaleti (star) leopardess on a kill not far from Tanda Tula Safari Camp.It has been really interesting to watch the movements of this female over the last few weeks as she has become more and more aware that Marula has gone and her territory now lies wide open. This has prompted her to return to the area around camp, a place she used to frequent daily a few years ago.

The next leopard sighting had a far more exciting edge to it as Thombela (hide) leopardess found herself to be the victim of an attack by a much larger male. Our previous blog posttells the whole story with some pretty amazing images. Later that morning after seeing this incredible leopard fight, we were fortunate to find Ntombi (young girl) leopardess as she went about her territorial patrol. I hadn’t seen Ntombi in a long time, so I was really happy to see what good condition she was in, considering she is a 15 years old.

The last leopard to add to the tally was N’weti (moon) leopardess. This beautiful and young leopard is the daughter of Nyaleti and has recently become all but independent. It has been interesting to see how Nyaleti has conceded the north eastern portion of her territory to her daughter, this can be fairly common practice for leopardesses and their daughters.

During the week we were lucky to have the River Pride around for a few days. This is a pride that moves into our concession from the north, so we don’t get to see them all that often. Currently the pride is comprising of 3 females and a young male, but I am very sure that the young male will be leaving the safety of the females in the next few months. However, it is likely he will link up with his slightly older brothers, who left to forge their own way not too long ago, this will then create a formidable coalition of 4 male lions. The Mbiri males better start watching their backs!

The rest of the week was made up of some great elephant sightings, general game sightings and an awesome sighting of a herd of over 300 buffalo as they searched for water. The buffalo herds have still not regained their pre-drought numbers, but the herds are starting to look a lot bigger as just about every mature female has a calf in tow.

Another great week comes to a close at Tanda Tula Safari Camp, I look forward to seeing what Chad captures over the next few weeks as I am sure he will keep you all updated on the stories, as well as the trials and tribulations of the many animals that exist in the Greater Kruger Park.

Until next time, happy snapping ~ Luke Street

By courtesy of the Tanda Tula Safari Camphttp://www.tandatula.com/blog/

https://www.instagram.com/tanda.tula/

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