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Pumba Private Game Reserve Malaria Free - Eastern Cape - South Africa
Pumba Private Game Reserve

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Pumba Private Game
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Ranger Diary

Content by Ranger Neale Howarth.

Curious Cubs

Finally, an update on our ever growing and curious cubs! The five little ones grow from strength to strength as time goes by. Though we have not been able to establish genders of the little ones yet, there are many theories based on their behaviour, with all the guides agreeing on one little tawny being a boy.

Giraffe Dominance Battle

We have witnessed a lot of giraffe dominance battles this week. On one of our photographic drives this week, our guests were able to watch 3 different fights all happening in the same area. This image shows just as both males swung their heads down to strike at each others knees.

A rare and special sighting

Our elephant herd has been very active over the past few weeks, moving across the reserve in great distances. A special sighting was the rare visit to the very Southern side of the park, overlooking the entire basin below. It is not often we get them up on this hill and it was superb to have the dramatic backdrop in the distance.  

Flown The Coop

The chick has finally flown the coop! We are sad to have seen the last of our Verreaux’s Eagle Owl’s after the chick was first seen sitting in the top of the tree and not since. This was an amazing bird sighting for the past few months, one that we had almost started to take for granted. The challenge is now on to see one away from the nest!  

Lioness Leads by Example 

Our eldest white lioness managed to take down a zebra last week and her and her daughter feasted on it all day and all night. Lions will happily stay with their kill for as long as it takes to finish so it was great to see her return to the kill one evening and carry on chowing down!

Narina Trogon

At long last, we have finally got a confirmed sighting of a Narina Trogon, the bird that everyone has been talking about since a few reported sightings. This elusive bird is so incredibly rare in our area and we are hoping to see more of them in the coming months. 

Our Oldest Lioness

Our oldest white lioness has a habit of sitting in a very specific spot, under  a very specific tree. But brilliantly enough, her spot is just 2 metres off the road, at eye level with the vehicle. There is always a brilliant moment of truth as we come around the corner to see if she is in her spot, which she has really been enjoying recently in the heat. Her relaxed nature allows for some amazing, close up viewing. 

BirdLife South Africa

BirdLife South Africa hosted Birding Big Day this past Saturday, with a push to identify as many species as possible in one day. Our ranging team banded together and managed to identify 84 species. Pictured here is a nesting Green Woodhoopoe, always a favourite die to their friendly nature. The winning team ended up identifying a whopping 302 species! 

Leopard spots

We were lucky to see 2 different leopards this week, with the highlight being a sighting of the incredibly elusive 'short tailed' female, a sighting that is incredibly rare. But, as usual, the male outdid himself, with sightings so close that we were able to get some fantastic detailed images of his 'spots'. 

Leopard sighting

The highlight of any day at Pumba is a leopard sighting, but it gets even better when you have sightings like this past Wednesday morning. Our dominant male was found striding along the Brook, our river valley, marking his territory as he went. Our delighted guests managed to follow him for well over an hour, with one lucky set of guests actually seeing him mark his territory on another vehicle!! 

Verreaux's Eagle Owl

Our Verreaux's Eagle Owl is almost fully-grown and we are not looking forward to the day that both parents and the chick disappear. It has been an absolute pleasure to watch this little chick grow up and we will hopefully see a bit more of it if they choose to settle in the area. 

Elusive Cheetah

The elusive cheetahs have been active over the past week with numerous good sightings, the best of which being the three brothers relaxing quietly in the shade, digesting their meal from the morning.

Dominant Male Lion

A constant battle Pumba is the dominance of our lions. Our current dominant male, the big tawny male on the property, was seen to push off the sub adult 5 year old male a few days ago, simply for being in his space. This white male has the signs of being very big lion so the tawny better hope he has a short memory, because in 2 short years this fight is going to get a lot more interesting. 

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