Rangers Blog 20 June 2010
Sarah-Estelle Sangster

This evening’s drive was very eventful with all big 5 being seen across the reserve. Especially great was a sighting of four young lionesses interacting with a herd of buffalo. The sighting was in a very open area of the reserve and as we watched them the sun set beautifully behind the Drakensburg mountains. The lionesses made a few unsuccessful attempts at taking down a young buffalo but the herd stormed them and chased them away. Eventually they took a rest (as lazy lions invariably do!) and lay down on top of an old bridge. The groups of buffalo were still milling around in the area and some of the older bulls were tentatively but bravely moving towards the lions in order to chase them away. Each time the buffalo approached they would get a little closer to the lions. Then the lions would growl at them in response and they would backtrack carefully. As we left them it looked as though the lionesses were taking the upper hand. We will go back into the area tomorrow morning to follow up and see if we can see evidence of the lionesses’ success or not! Earlier in the drive we were rewarded with a rare sighting of two Southern Ground Hornbills hunting for dinner. On the way back to the lodge we saw three hippos emerge from one of the dams to the east of the reserve on their daily mission for food. And we had perhaps our last sighting of a chameleon for this season. Chameleons usually hibernate during the winter times and most of them have already gone underground (they usually use old scorpion or ground dwelling spiders’ holes).


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