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GUIDE SIGHTINGS REPORT PEAK SEASON AUGUST – NOVEMBER 2013

okonjima game vehicletracking

OKONJIMA & AFRICAT had a very successful peak season and our guests had wonderful sightings of cheetah, wild dogs, hyaenas and of course of the 2 popular, leopard mothers with their cubs as well as rehabilitated Dizzy and her cub and rescued Penta and her 3 cubs.

Leopards were still our most popular trail, but tracking rehabilitated carnivores that once lived a 'life in captivity', but are now hunting independently – always touches the hearts of any animal lover.
A total of 596 leopard sightings were recorded and the other carnivores added up to; cheetahs 461 sightings, wild dogs 18 sightings and hyaenas 16 sightings.

okonjima-location-map

Leopards

leopard sightings nov 2013

Isaskia peakseason 2013

Isaskia

jango peakseason 2013

Jango

electra cub peakseason 2013

Electra and Cub

peak season mafana

Mafana

electra cub peakseason 2013

Electra and Cub

electra nkosi cub 2013

Electra, cub and Nkosi

 

Electra was sighted 224 times, mostly in the areas around the Okonjima, luxury Villa, the only Okonjima camp, inside the 20 000ha Nature Reserve. Her other favourite areas are around 'Copper Dam' and close to the entrance gate of the 2000ha predator-free area where our campsites, schools and other 3 camps are based. She was seen on 20 kills, eland, oryx and kudu juveniles mostly and on average stayed 1-4 days on each kill. In the first week of August she gave birth to 2 cubs. One of our guides, Gideon had a quick sighting of them on 13 August when she was moving dens, but the next sighting of them was only a month later on 15 September by lucky Gideon yet again. From then on she started showing off her cubs regularly and became very popular with the guides and our guests. Unlike MJ that has hid her cubs in caves high up in the mountain ranges – Electra showed them off at a very young age. Then again she moves in a much more accessible area close to rivers and waterholes bordering the more open plains.

 

MJ who will turn 15 years old in 2014 was sighted 188 times, mostly on top of the valley, close to the old cattle kraal, called 'North Post'. This area was used as one of the main water points during the farming days, pre-tourism era.  MJ also loves hanging-out at the famous sundowner spot, 'The Zen Garden' which is on the edge of the mountain range that splits the park. However her favourite area is around 'Wayne’s Dam'. Wayne Hanssen has closely been following MJ for 14 years and they have built an amazing relationship over time. She was seen on 21 kills, oryx juvenile, steenbok, duiker and warthogs, and also stayed 1-4 days on average with the kills. She is still our most well-known leopard and our guests had fantastic sightings with her and her cub, which now is 10 months old.
More information about MJ: see MJ's page.

 

Nxosi was sighted 80 times, mostly in the areas that include Electra’s territory, as well as 'Buffalo Dam' and 'Birding Dam', just north of the Villa. He was seen on 7 oryx juvenile kills, and stayed 1 day on the kills only. He is one of our big males and took over TJ’s popular status (MJ’s brother) after he was killed. Nkosi weighed in at 70kgs, when we darted him on 11 August after he sustained head injuries in a fight with another big male. His wounds were treated and he recovered well.

 

Jango the entertainer was sighted 74 times, near 'Okonjima Dam' which is also on top of the valley but he does venture down and shares much of his territory with MJ. He was seen on 6 kills, kudu and warthog sub-adults, and stayed 1-3 days on the kills. He was collared on 10 June. It took him a while to get used to our presence, but from the beginning of October, he started to relax around the vehicles and became popular with the guides because of his 'clown-like' ways of entertaining as soon as he sees a vehicle approach him.

 

Ishara, our 'shy-one' and MJ’s cub from her previous litter, was sighted 13 times, near 'Namaqua Post' (south of the TUSK gate) and 'Okonjima dam'. She was seen on no kills. She still stays in the mountainous areas and prefers dense thickets of bush. 'Ishara' is not an easy leopard to track and a challenge for the Okonjima guides and team AfriCat to find.
More information about ISHARA: see Ishara's page.

 

Isaskia was sighted 8 times, near 'Ombu Dam'. She was seen on no kills. She was collard on 18 June. She has two cubs, approximately 1 year old, but likes to move in thick bush and does not tolerate human presence for long.

 

Mafana the great, was sighted 6 times around 'Ombu Dam' and area. He was seen on 1 adult kudu kill, and also only stayed 1 day on the kill. He still has no collar after losing his collar again, but is too clever to go into any box-trap to be re-collared!
Over the years AfriCat has tried many different collars, with different life spans and ranges. Strangely enough, we still haven’t found the perfect collar!? Certain makes are more powerful with the range they provide, but then their lifespan is decreased or their collar ‘material’ is not favorable, hence the fact that Mafana always loses his collar.

Some radio-collars have internal antennas which cause a problem with cats or wild dogs that have thinner necks, for if you want to cut the strap to make it fit the animal perfectly, you end up cutting through the antenna?
Other collars do not have this problem, as their antenna doesn’t extend in the belting as long as some brands do.
Its important to know the exact diameter of your cat/dog’s neck to get an exact fit.
However if you are collaring spotted Hyenas and large, adult leopards, the internal antennas work, for no cutting of the strap is required and the max length of the collar is used.

For more information on radio collars see:
Sponsor a collar and tracking equipment.

Tracking and Monitoring.

 

Bwana was sighted 3 times, near oryx dam and powerline. He was seen on 1 warthog kill, and stayed 1 day on the kill. His collar is still faulty and he also avoids the box traps, just like his father Mafana.
More information about BWANA: see Bwana's page.

peak season leopard territory


This map indicates where the leopards were seen the most. These are not their full territories.

Red block - Electra
Blue block - MJ
Green block - Nkosi
Black blocks - Jango

 

CHEETAHS

cheetah sightings nov 2013

dizzy 9month cub jan2014

Dizzy and 9 month old cub

dizzy 9month cub2 jan2014

Dizzy and 9 month old cub

dizzy 9month cub3 jan2014

Dizzy and 9 month old cub

penta 5 cubs

Penta and 5 cubs

penta dec2013

Penta

needle dec2013

Penta's cub Needle

 

All 3 cheetah groups seem to stay in the central and southern areas of the 20 000ha Nature Reserve. Once the far northern sections are opened into plains, the next group of cheetahs will be released into the northern territories.

Dizzy was sighted 210 times, mostly in the areas south of the TUSK gate (Ishara’s territory), which is on the valley and close to the area where her cubs were born. She also moves north and loves the 2 open plains called 'Serenjima and Little Serenjima'. She was seen on 28 kills, kudu juvenile, impala and duiker adults, and stayed 1-2 days on the kills. Her cub is now 9 months old and doing well. She (we suspect a female) is with Dizzy all the time, learning how to hunt and stay away from other predators. They are a very popular sighting and witnessing how close the relationship is between Dizzy and cub, nicknamed – 'Champ', has been voted the highlight of 96% of our guests who have the fortune of spending time with this duo.
More information about DIZZY: see Dizzy's page.

 

Siblings – Coco, Spud & Bones were sighted 176 times, mostly in the areas south of the airstrip , close to the TUSK gate and on 'Serenjima', near Batton Hill. They were seen on 29 kills, kudu sub-adult, eland- and zebra juvenile, and stayed 1-2 days on the kills. Coco left the coalition 23 October, and has been seen twice on her own, only joining Spud and Bones for a day on 23 and 27 November. On 30 November, she joined them again and stayed with them for longer. She is showing positive signs of being a successful hunter on her own, which we were concerned about for she has a limp due to a broken back leg before she got to AfriCat.
More information about the Siblings, COCO, SPUD & BONES: see the adopt a carnivore in the Okonjima Nature Reserve page.

 

Penta was sighted 74 times, mostly in the areas around serenjima, oryx dam and between solar 1 & 2. She was seen on 8 kills, kudu and warthog juveniles, and stayed 1 day on the kills. They came down from the north and made their territory in the western side of the park near the serenjima plains. This party of four, has finally settled in and are hunting well. They have been seen making regular smaller kills. One kill stood out, an adult female kudu, meaning they are now working together as a team.
More information about PENTA: see Penta's page.


peak season cheetah territory
This map indicates where the cheetahs were seen the most.

Red blocks - Dizzy
Blue block - Penta
Green block - Siblings

 

 

Wild Dogs and Hyaena

Wild dogs were sighted 18 times, near 'Copper Dam', 'Eland Dam' and 'North Dam'. They were seen on 3 warthog and kudu sub-adult kills. The dogs were re-released on 15 August, after going back into captivity, temporarily while accompanying Raine during her recovery of a broken back leg (injury: 19 May). The plate in the leg only lasted a week and on 22 August, we had to bring them back into captivity and give Raine one last chance. They were then re-released on 28 October, and did their usual full circle around the park, making regular kills and Raine’s leg seems to have healed well.
More information about REX, RAINE & RICKY: see the adopt a carnivore in the Okonjima Nature Reserve page.

 

HYAENAS

Pooh was sighted 14 times, near north dam and buffalo dam. He was seen on 2 kills, eland and oryx.

Paddington was sighted 2 times, near north dam. He was seen on no kills.

Rupert – their farther, was not seen by any of our guests, only by Team AfriCat.

The hyaenas still move through-out the complete 20 000ha’s. Pooh’s collar stopped working in the beginning of peak season. He was re-collard on 23 November.

hyena pooh nov13

Hyaena - Pooh Nov 2013

hyena pooh paw nov13

Hyaena - Pooh Nov 2013

hyena pooh teeth nov13

Hyaena - Pooh Nov 2013

hyena pooh nov13b

Hyaena - Pooh Nov 2013

ruby second left dec13

Wild Dogs

wilddog ruby centre dec13

Wild Dogs

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