The bush is evolving with the arrival of the first rains this month, sparking a fantastic surge in insect activity, including Christmas beetles, flies, Damselflies, Dragonflies, and Winged Termites (Alates) taking to the skies. These Termites, reproductive members, are leaving their nests to establish new colonies.

After a controlled burn last month, the landscape has undergone a remarkable transformation. Emerging green grass and fresh vegetation are providing sustenance for herbivores and ground-dwelling creatures like mice, shrews, and millipedes. This growing biodiversity has attracted an array of birds, especially birds of prey.

The river’s water level remains low, a boon for both free movement within the Reserve and the concentration of wildlife seeking hydration.

In terms of weather, there have been 4 to 6 mm of rain, with temperatures ranging from 14℃ to 30℃. The biome is classified as Grassland/Savanna, with a sunrise at 5:45 AM and a sunset at 5:48 PM.

Now, let’s delve into the wildlife highlights:


The star of this month’s show is our resident lioness and her two cubs. Surprisingly, these cats spent significant time near the river, even pulling off a Kudu kill there. The playful antics of the cubs, dealing with the water, have provided delightful viewing.


Cheetah activity remained subdued until the end of the month when a mother and her two cubs (now nearly one year old) made a swift kill right in front of room 12. Cheetahs are adept eaters, finishing their meals rapidly to avoid attracting larger predators.


Buffalo herds are now a familiar sight, and early births have been observed in some herds.


The elephants seem to be favouring the Mthembu Lodge side. There’s a delightful new addition—a baby elephant. This young one is still learning to use its trunk and relies heavily on its mother for survival.


White rhino sightings were quite frequent this month, indicating increased activity. Some guides noted fresh marking signs around the area, a sign of territorial boundaries.


A unique encounter involved two spotted hyenas, possibly focused on scavenging or hunting. They play an essential role in maintaining the ecosystem.


The pack of wild dogs spotted last month has now become a permanent resident. The young puppies continue to stay close to the den, and the collared female is thriving.


Spring has brought an influx of migratory birds, filling the bush with birdsong. The presence of the White Imfolozi River and its surrounding areas offers excellent bird-watching opportunities, from bee-eaters to giant eagle owls.

In addition, the controlled burn led to the arrival of jackal buzzards, endemic raptors that have been observed swooping down to catch rodents fleeing the fire.

The bush is alive with change, growth, and an abundance of wildlife, promising more exciting sightings in the coming months.

Photo Credit – Camilla Irene Sala

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