October 2012 Newsletter
Hope you are all doing very well. As most of you know who have been to the lodge in the last 2 months , it was extremely dry and you could se the condition of the kudus and impala. We did have some rain in the last two weeks and you can already see the transition in the grass and trees. Up to date we had about 60mm of rain. When you come up to the lodge you will see a dramatic change in scenery.
All is going well at the lodge and with the staff. I am sure most of you know that Gabriel will start his cooking course in January 2013 and I am sure he will make a huge success of it. A few small things we have finished at the lodge in the last while:
- Staff village revamp at the back
- Staff house kitchen rebuild
- Kitchen counter at main lodge
- Painted kitchen in main lodge
- sealed slate around swimming pool
- Installed more electrical lanterns
- Finished bush clearing in front of room 4/5 , now you can see out onto the firebreak properly
- New couches arrived at outside sitting area
Quite a few things are happening in the Park, like the two lions arrived and are in the boma and the two cheetahs that are in the lion boma as well.
We are all looking forward in the introduction of the rest of the cheetahs. With the introductions there have also been removals again. The 5 youngsters from the Jamala pride in the South have been removed along with some of the youngsters from the Tchaba pride in the north. Madikwe also suffered from rhino poaching again , just after the World `Rhino Day campaign they discovered a rhino carcass north of Tholo dam and a black rhino carcass close to Marula plains. A few days ago another rhino got taken just south of Vlei pan. Yes I know it is getting completely out of hand. The total for Madikwe is 15 rhinos lost to poaching. We have been seeing great things out in the bush and some of the migrants are back allready, like the cuckoos and swallows. The weavers are allready busy with courting the females.
The sightings that stood out for me the last while was the interactions between some lions and hyeans, the hyenas were walking down the road with such confidence , marking all along the road as they proceeded towards where the lions were resting. The tables turned so quickly with the hyenas running up the mountain to try and shake the lions. One female persisted and chase them right up to the top. We could clearly see why the lions are the Apex predators. They didn’t even stood down for that big clan of hyenas. The lions even scent marked on top of the hyena markings what a show of dominance it was.
Before we had the the first rains the sightings at Vlei Pan was extremely dramatic with every animal in the area trying to get a drink of water and we could capture some really dramatic scenes with all the confusion and dust
We have conservation weekend coming up this weekend that Jonathan Buffey is organizing every year. This year we will be collaring the two alpha males in the wild dog packs. They will also be notching 4 rhino and help with the branding of some lions. As you all know from a previous newsletter we are trying to habituate leopard and it is working really well, when we can get a warthog from our supplier.
Looking forward in seeing you guys back at the lodge
The Nkurru Team