Impala creches

Summer is around the corner and the bush is looking lovely and green. A lot of migratory birds are already arriving, and the insects are back again.

Most of the impala females are pregnant at the moment and they will all soon be giving birth – in fact the first newborn impala was seen a few days ago! An impala female will leave the herd when she is ready to give birth, which draws less attention to the rest of the herd as well. For their first few days the young are still developing their scent glands so predators will have a tough time finding them, when the mothers leave them hiding in the bush. The mother may only return to her lamb 2-4 times every 24 hours to suckle during the first few days. Then she introduces the lamb to the herd. By this time, other mothers have usually already done the same thing and they all return to the herd to form small “crèches”. So we can expect to see that very soon!

We had a magnificent sighting of Twinspot, our resident female leopard. She had been seen in the area that morning so we decided to try and relocate her in the afternoon. We managed to find her lying close to the road on the edge of a donga. We watched her as she lay there, almost oblivious to our presence. Occasionally she lifted her head up providing us with some great photo opportunities. Such a majestic animal to view, her cub was somewhere around but out of sight. As we know too well, it is entirely up to them whether they choose to show themselves or not. Most of the time it is incredibly hard to track and find these elusive cats.

The dominant male lion and one of the lionesses are still seen mating at the moment – this has been happening for longer than a week now! Cats need stimulation in order to ovulate, so it could be a while before fertilization takes place – up to 16 days or more! They will soon get very hungry and we have already seen them waiting outside warthog burrows, as they are more than likely to get a quick snack every so often when a warthog runs out of its burrow and straight into their grasp! After all, the warthog have to come out sooner or later and cats are patient…