Peak Season at Okonjima runs from June to November. Winter time is June to August when evening and night-time temperatures have been known to drop below freezing! Early morning tracking requires warm clothing!
Team AfriCat collared and re-collared six leopards between June and November. Among them were individuals that had already been collared in the past, as well as new individuals that had only been sighted occasionally on trail and live cameras. 11 different leopards were sighted in various areas of the reserve over the season. Shanti, MJ’s only cub from her fourth litter and was born in March 2013 was the most popular leopard among guides and guests. Her home range over laps with her mother as well as Mafana who we believe to be her father.
The Sibling Cheetahs after being separated during low season due to Spud fracturing his leg were once again re-united almost 7 months after his first injury. Coco and Bones were waiting outside his enclosure, and after a meal together, witnessed by some lucky Okonjima guests, it was time for Spud to be free again and re-united with his siblings.
Another favourite of the guides is Spirit, who is Dizzy’s last surviving cub. Left by her mother at only 13 months she has had to hunt and survive on her own. She has grown into a beautiful self sustaining cheetah.
Penta continues to keep us on our toes, this time escaping through one of the ‘river-swimmers’ and roamed to about 20km west of The Okonjima Nature Reserve. We scrambled the gyrocopter to locate her and then the ground team set out to dart her to bring her home.
Rex, Ricky and Raine our Wild Dogs have lately made a habit of chasing leopards around and have been seen forcing the leopards to seek protection in the nearest available tree. Their next big challenge will be the attempt to unite them with our wild dog pups Jogi, Messi and Robin, who are currently resident at the AfriCat Carnivore Care Centre.
Lots of sightings of Pooh our spotted hyena, he was mostly asleep during the day. In November we were also able to collar two more brown hyenas. This will hopefully allow us to learn more about these elusive animals.