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Ranger Report : March 2015

Although our rainy season started in early November like most years, the clouds opened up and covered the earth with a lot of water in our region in the last two weeks. Because of all this water in such a short time both humans and animals had to adapt.

Under normal circumstances we could usually expect animals such as buffalo, elephant, impala, zebra etc. to be found at the usual water points like natural water holes, dams, and the big rivers like the Crocodile and Sabie rivers, but due to all the water everywhere in the bush there is no reason for the animals to come to these water points. Therefore the animals are very unpredictable as to where they can be found.

On the 14th of March there was one female lion with four cubs at the junction of Napi road and H3 on "Klipspringer koppie". I think they will still be there for a while longer, because female lions usually separate from the pride to find a quiet place to look after their cubs until they are ready to be introduced to the rest of the pride.

We were lucky enough to come across some hyenas on the 15th of March. Everything was soaking wet on that day. They are also currently busy raising their cubs in the dens.

On the same day we came across 7 young male lions resting in the road just a few km’s north of S25 on road 114. The lions blocked the road so everyone had to turn around and take alternative routes to their destinations. We found them just in time because, shortly after we turned around it started to rain very hard.

On the 16th of March on road S28 just a few hundred metres from the tar road next to Crocodile bridge gate we had the highlight of the week, if not of the whole month. We came across 15 lions walking in the road towards us. We immediately stopped to observe. The guests were getting nervous as the lions came very close to the vehicle. One of the female lions got up and walked straight to the vehicle and started to smell around to us and started to lick the back wheel of the vehicle. That was an amazing experience. We were privileged enough to see four of the big five in only 45 minutes.

We returned to our accommodation at Crocodile Kruger Safari Lodge for a wonderfull dinner under the African Sky to the sound of Lion , Hayena and Hippos.

The level of the river went down now and maybe the rain will give us a chance to go out and find some more beautiful sightings. We are already approaching autumn season, so maybe the biggest rains are done, but we will never know for sure because the weather is very unpredictable lately.

Ranger Albert (Killer)