Mabula game drive sightings.

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“…few can sojourn long within the unspoilt wilderness of a game sanctuary, surrounded on all sides by its confiding animals, without absorbing its atmosphere; the Spirit of the Wild is quick to assert supremacy, and no man of any sensibility can resist her.” James Stevenson-Hamilton

 

 

With lockdown still at Advanced Level 3, where cross-provincial border travel is only allowed for business purposes, I got to spend time at Mabula Game Lodge to produce content for their social media platforms. Part of my brief included game drives during the course of my stay. With the humans following the correct social distancing protocols while on the game viewer, this lion seemed to have read the Government memo as it to remained at a distance from our vehicle. My ‘office’ was rather cold on the early morning drives, but, as I was able to get into the bush, I was not really complaining.

 

This on the remaining male of two brothers that used to be on the Lake Kyle property. I was grateful to have photographed both of them together before the death of one of them a couple of years ago. This lone male, together with his offspring (or nephew) and the small pride of females roam this bushveld area keeping us on our toes as we tried to find them during the course of several drives.

 

I have known this youngster since he was a cub. Although he often hangs out with his sister, his uncle (father?) will not allow him to remain permanently with the pride. He, therefore, social distances from the large male to make certain that their interactions do not end in bloodshed.

 

ANOTHER litter of cheetah cubs. These are two of the four cubs currently being raised by their mother…who seems to be almost uninterested in whether they are following her on not.

 

Spittle and water fly as these two hippos wake up and decide to interact before heading into the dam. Not a territorial dispute by any stretch of the imagination, but loud enough to get the rest of the pod to get out of their way and head for the safety of the water.

 

An unexpected sighting…a Gemsbok. One of a herd that roams widely across the reserve. I learned that the gemsbok ‘squats’ to defecate and it deposits its poo in a pyramid-shaped pile.

 

Usually, when a vehicle approaches, warthogs will high-tail it off into the nearest thicket. But not this individual, who was too comfortable in the sun to be bothered to move.

 

The eerie cry of a jackal as dusk falls is one of the iconic sounds of the African bushveld.

 

I had to wait 53 years for my first sighting of this nocturnal creature…and then we found him on two occasions, once at 15h00 and the final time at 11h00, most unusual for an Aardvark to be out in the daylight hours.

 

And you think that YOU are having a bad hair day because of lockdown? No, you are not, but this wildebeest was! Even its eye-lashes need a trim.

 

Watching me, watching her, watching me…this wary young zebra kept watching our vehicle as we drove past.

 

Mabula Game Lodge is currently undergoing renovations in preparation for their reopening to the public once the lockdown limitations have been lifted.

 

 

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