July Sightings At A Glance
A quick overview of some of the notable sightings we enjoyed at Arathusa over the month of July – some rare, and ALL exciting!
We are through winter’s coldest days, and look forward to the change of season coming over the next few weeks. Spring is one of our favourite times of the year as the sun returns to our hemisphere, and both colour and new life explodes around us.
Our leopards – particularly the ladies – have not disappointed, and although the lions were not as busy, we did have a few noteworthy encounters.
Here we go…
There were 63 separate sightings of leopards in July, including:
Xidulu – 6 sightings
Xidulu has given birth! We are very fortunate that she has established a den site on our property (we believe that she is using one of her old den sites). We do not know how many cubs she has yet, but she is definitely lactating and has evident suckle marks.
Cara – 3 sightings
We have seen Cara more frequently over the course of July. She is Xidulu’s first cub – the only to have survived thus far. She is strong and independent, and has made a few kills – including one where we watched her being chased up into a tree by the Talamati breakaway lionesses who proceeded to steal her hard earned meal!
Tiyani – 3 sightings individually, and 3 sightings with her cub
Ndzutini – 4 sightings
Shasha – 7 sightings
Langa – 7 sightings
Makhomsava – 5 sightings
Kuchava – 2 sightings with her cub
Thlalamba – 2 sightings individually, and 1 sighting with her cub
Maribye – 1 sighting
Tavangumi – 7 sightings
The young Tavangumi male has treated us to some spectacular sightings this month. Our guests witnessed him pulling a wild dog, which the Talamati lion pride had killed, into a tree (did you know that leopards are known to love wild dog meat?)
Tortoise pan – 4 sightings
Unknown Female – 1 sighting
Quarantine Male – 4 sightings
Nkanyeni – 1 sighting
A very rare sighting of the Nkanyeni female involved this old female stealing a kill from 2 cheetahs.
Watika – 2 sightings
Seen a total of 79 times over the course of July.
Torchwood Pride – 1 sighting
Nkuhuma Pride – 16 sightings
Talamati Pride – 27 sightings
Probably the most special of their sightings was when we found 3 new members of their pride, just a few weeks old!
S8 Male – 12 sightings
The S8 male is the father of all the Talamati breakaway pride cubs. He is under extreme pressure because he has to protect the cubs from any and every other male. As a lone male, this poses an enormous responsibility to ward off threats from male lions up in the north, the Avocas in the south, and the Kruger male lions in the east. He has done exceptionally well at keeping the cubs alive so far, with the help of the 3 females.
Avoca Males – 22 sightings
Unknown Male – 1 sighting
12 sightings of the ‘painted wolves’ were enjoyed in July.
Were seen 39 times over the course of the month.
14 individual sightings were enjoyed.
THE RARE AND UNEXPECTED
Once again we were very fortunate to enjoy a sighting of the very rare pangolin and 2 individual sightings of honey badgers. We often see more honey badgers, aardvark and pangolin in the winter months because resources such as food becomes more scarce, and ground cover opens up. This means that we tend to see them earlier on in the day instead of only at night.
We also came across the extremely rare caracal – the first sighting of the year. We also had the privilege of spotting 2 cheetah (the last time we found cheetah was before lockdown over two years ago!)
Let us see what August has in store for us…
Until next time,
The Arathusa Guiding Team