We had our first rainfall during August so spring is definitely on the way. The bush is still at its driest now so game spotting is fairly good, with vision not being restricted by vegetation as in the summer. As a result we have had some really good sightings.
Great sighting of our old male lion Marvin, who is still regularly heard roaring in the northern section of Thornybush. We had heard him roaring early in the morning so we decided to track him down, which we did indeed! His tracks led us to a river system and we found him lying in a cool sandy spot. As we approached he lifted his head but as soon as we stopped, he resumed his daily routine of about 16 to 20 hours of power-napping. Lions are very energy-conservative so lots of rest during the day will allow him to save his energy until he needs it the most, which may be for hunting or defending his territory.
We had a beautiful buffalo encounter as we watched them all lying together by the dam enjoying each mouthful of cud. The sun was setting at a perfect angle and the water in the background made for amazing photographs. Buffalo are bulk grazers, which means they spend a lot of time eating grass! They have especially large rumens so they take considerable time during the day to ruminate and chew the cud properly. This enables a larger surface area for the enzymes in their stomachs to maximise digestion of the tough cellulose.
We followed a female leopard with her cub through the bush and eventually had to turn back towards the road as she was entering a very densely vegetated area. We reckoned that she may be heading towards one of our dams so we drove around to the dam and sat patiently waiting for them to appear, still filled with those nagging doubts – these elusive cats can easily disappear! Just when we thought all hope of seeing them was lost, they graciously showed themselves. The cub even came down to drink and we had an amazing sighting. A bit of intuition certainly paid off.