Shenton Safaris Big Cat Round Up
What an amazing week of sightings we have had out here. We are including alternative names in brackets for our Lions, the alternative names come from the newly aired Documentary-Drama on ITV “Lion Country – Night and Day” which was filmed here at Shenton Safaris during the 2016 season. Numbu Boys (The Punks), Mwamba-Kaingos (Prince & Ziggy’s Pride) and Hollywood Pride (Rosa’s Pride)
Thursday – 27 July
This afternoon a young male Leopard was seen by Acacia Loop. It was hard for Sylvester to identify him as the leopard was being chased by a large troop of baboons who were barking at him. Hopefully we will see him again soon.
Later the leopardess Chiphadzuwa was seen at the bottom end of Fish Eagle Lagoon. She had positioned herself just off a well used game path close to the rivers edge, hoping some unsuspecting prey would venture by.
Friday – 28 July
This morning Sylvester came across 3 leopardesses together. Mayi, Malaika and Chiphadzuwa were found close to Hippo Hospital feeding on a bushbuck. This is very strange behaviour as usually leopards of the same sex do not tolerate each other. It seems each leopard was more concerned about having a quick meal rather than fighting. Mayi was the leopardess who made the kill originally.
Saturday – 29 July
This morning on Andy’s Loop the two leopards Malaika and Chiphadzuwa were found. Malaika had stolen a bushbuck carcass from Mayi, another leopardess. Since then Mayi left, leaving just Malaika and Chiphadzuwa. After a while Chiphadzuwa got tired of watching her mother feed, she attack Malaika and she ran out of sight. Chiphadzuwa then finished off the remains of the bushbuck.
This evening a very large unknown male leopard was found in the Ebony Grove close to Kaingo Camp. He was resting on the side of the road with a very full belly. We watched him for while before he stood up to move into some thicker shade by some nearby bushes.
Sunday – 30 July
This morning, close to chalet 5 of Kaingo Camp, the same unknown male leopard from yesterday was walking down the road in the direction of Hippo Hide. This male is slowly pushing into Luambe’s territory. Will we see a territorial take over before the end of the season?
Later on in the morning, 8 adult lionesses from the Hollywood Pride (Rosa’s Pride) were found close to Waterbuck Dam. They were also in the company of the brother of the late Ringo (Golum) and his son who is around 4 years of age, second sighting of them together this season. That evening just after sunset they attempted to hunt a zebra but completely misread the situation and the zebra was able to escape. It was not long after that however that they regrouped and managed to kill a male puku. After feeding for a while it was not long before the hyenas arrived. Two hyenas managed to steal the last remains of the carcass away from the females. The 2 Numbu Boys (The Punks) were not around at this moment or this would never have happened.
Monday – 31 July
This morning the guests of Mwamba woke up to lions in the camp. Shortly after sunrise the 10 members of the Mwamba-Kaingos (Prince & Ziggy’s Pride) left camp and went to rest a short distance away. 3 adult Lionesses and 7 yearling cubs.
An unidentified male leopard was seen during the afternoon drive in the area of Leopard Loop. He was extremely relaxed and carried on with his hunting allowing us to watch, unfortunately he was not successful. Just down the road not too far away a second unidentified male leopard was seen in the area of Short-Cut Crossing. He was moving down the gully looking for any unsuspecting prey feeding too close to the bank.
Later in the evening we got a pleasant surprise in the form of the Kapanda Pride. This is our first sighting of them this season. 3 Adult Lionesses , 2 sub-adult males and 6 year old cubs (3 male,3 Female). They were all feeding on a buffalo close to Elephant Bend. Judging by the remains it seemed to have been killed that morning. Hopefully with things drying up we will be seeing more of them over the next few months.
Tuesday – 1 August
The Luwi Pride were found this morning, 4 lionesses and 3 young males, close to the area of Kaingo Corner. This is a surprise move for this pride moving so far north as the competition is stiff in these parts, lets see what happens next.
Malaika, the old leopardess, was seen this evening sleeping on the road side close to Acacia Loop. Although there is so much leopard activity in this area she did not seem to have a care in the world. Obviously very confident, unfortunately it is clear to us that it was her cub that got killed last week. That is 2 years in a row where she has given birth but the young have not survived, it won’t be long before she will start mating again in an effort to raise a new litter.
Wednesday – 2 August
This morning the dominant leopardess Chiphadzuwa was seen in her favourite spot of Fish Eagle Lagoon. She was once again using the old dried up hippo gully to hunt some impala but unfortunately she was unsuccessful.