Tuesday, July 26, 2011

So glad Karula and the cubs have been out and about!

Karula's daughter 24th July
Hi everyone!

We have had a wonderful few days with Karula and the cubs! I am so happy they have been gracing us with their presence!

20th July, Prince and princess of the castle!
The first time since the 15th July WE caught up with the cubs was on the 20th. Marc found them sitting on top of a termite mound on the firebreak by Buffleshoek cutline and Galago shortcut. The little female continued sitting pretty, with the look of her mother about her while her brother decided to explore the base of the mound. I think there is a pattern forming as to who is the boss. He seems to be more adventurous if either lady in his life is around! The sun sank below the horizon, so we had to say goodbye for the day.

July 20th Karula's little girl.
Evidently Karula hadn't returned to fetch them the following morning. The young male was a little distance from where we had seen them, but still on the firebreak on Buffleshoek cutline. He was bounding after a few scurrying creatures, but didn't have any luck in catching any of them. Eventually he gave up and scaled a termite mound of his own and settled down to sleep. We left him to his dreams and had a drive around trying to locate the lions which had been seen early morning on the Waterhole camera.

Karula waiting for the response of her daughter! 21st July
With no visible signs of the tawny cats WE returned to the cubs to find Karula had joined them on the mound. At first we thought both cubs were there, but it soon became clear Karula was still calling for her wayward daughter. Her son on the other hand was just pleased to see his mum! She was getting quite irritated with him as he was rubbing against her and wrapping his tail around her. Thankfully he took her snarl as a sharp warning and left her to call in peace!

21st July, Karula and son!
We followed Karula's gaze and as the male crossed the road in front of us looking in the same direction, his sister appeared on the northern side of the firebreak! A couple more reassuring calls from mum and she was by her side within moments. Reunited, they headed South, making it a challenge to keep up as they frolicked about. With the help of the Francolins who had been disturbed WE relocated the excited family on Galago short cut for one last glace before they disappeared further down the road. This time the bush was too thick to follow but luckily it wasn't long before we had an update of her whereabouts! 

Styx Male
With a special appearance from Sebastien as our guide on the 22nd, WE heard Karula had caught a duiker south of Twin dams on PM drive. Unfortunately with it being just outside our traversing area WE didn't get to see her, but instead Sebastien was able to spend time with the young male from the Styx pride who was sleeping next to the hyena den on Zoe's road!

Induna out for the count! 23rd July
Although tracks had been found of the lady and the cubs on the 23rd, she only turned up later on PM drive on Vuyatela access road, after her son Induna had stolen the spot light for a while! She disappeared just as WE arrived possibly with a view to hunt the impala close by, so we left her to her business. 

Karula's son and the hippo! 24th July
Going back to Chela pan the following day during AM drive, Marc heard the commotion of Francolins, babblers and squirrels in the drainage line and went to investigate, as a duiker burst out of the bush heading towards us, both myself and Marc caught sight of the little male cub in a tree! So that was what the creatures were complaining about! What was even more interesting was the presence of the injured hippo who looked to be pursuing the 8 month old cub, but not in an aggressive manner! Karula's son on the other hand was not too sure what to make of it all and kept his distance! The hippo's cuts seem to be clean and healing well at least.

Karula's Son, approx 8 months old.
Once again the female was no where to be seen and it was only on the PM drive on the 24th did we find her lounging on a termite mound at the junction of Chela pan road and Weavers nest road. A good distance from where her brother was! Every bit her mother's daughter, she is so independent already I wouldn't be surprised if she leaves Karula earlier than the boys did!

Karula's daughter approx 8 months old. 24th July
Yesterday morning she was relaxing under a weeping bore-bean, taking an interest in a herd of giraffe who strolled by. They were watching her as much as she was watching them! It was the male this time who was keeping a low profile after other guides found him close to Chela Pan again.

She has the look of her mother! 25th July
WE were still searching for a coalition of 6 male lions called the Matimbas, thought to be from the Manyeleti in the North. 5 of this group had been hanging out around Gowrie Dam in the early morning. Having heard their roars in the West at the beginning of drive, WE searched for tracks only to find they were still on the open area by the dam! By the time WE caught up with them they were just disappearing into the bush.

The Alpha male of the Matimba lions.
The big "Induna" or chief of the group has the tip of his tail missing. The rest are golden maned lions and could possibly give the Majingilanes a run for their money, only time will tell what will happen!

Thank you for all the great pictures and collages sent in, they always help to make the Blog and rekindle the memories!

Written by Tara


  1. Thanks Tara...Love hearing about the "Cats" and seeing everyones pictures. Missed a couple Safaris last week, but I am on board till the end. :(
    You do a wonderful job of bring Africa to us.
    Thank you so much
    Donna Q

  2. Thanks Tara.... I hope we get to see them together and spend some time with them before the end of the week!

  3. Hurry up and get back Marc and Tara!! And of course Sebastian. I miss you all so very much.. I don't know what to do with myself..honestly..very sad heh? Hope you are well and cant wait till we meet again soon!! Sooner than later:)