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March 2024

We had very little rain during the month of March. We are all keeping our fingers crossed for April, which marks the beginning of Autumn, and generally the last month we can expect to get rain in this part of South Africa. Visiting watering holes on game drives are always a good area when trying to find wildlife when it’s hot and dry. The watering holes still contains some water, but many of the smaller ones will dry up completely in a matter of weeks. We have recorded 283 mm of rain for the season. Well below the average of 450mm of rain for a rainy season. Like most of South Africa we here in Madikwe has also been experiencing a heat wave with average daytime temperature ranging from 35’C – 42’C. Sunrise is at 6:20 AM and sunset at 18:40 PM.

Sightings has been brilliant during the month. We’ve been very lucky with a few leopard sightings, as well as the 2 dominant male lions in the east, the Mahiwe brothers. These 2 males have been on a young buffalo kill and have been very busy lately, patrolling their territory, scent marking everywhere and vocalizing nonstop. We unfortunately lost a few Wild Dogs to predation in the last few weeks. At this stage they are covering the entire game reserve while sorting out pack dynamics. We’ve also been very blessed with Cheetahs sightings. The young mother and her 3 adolescents cubs have been hanging around the North- East again, something we are all very happy about. As a first-time mother she is doing an astonishing job raising those cubs. The spotted and brown hyenas have been very busy around the lodge after a large Giraffe bull died close by.

An interesting fact… People always see hyenas as a scavenger, but a lot of the things they eat, are what they hunt for themselves. They are very opportunistic. One of the biggest scavengers are actually male lions. If they come across any other predator on a kill during their territorial patrols, they will try to kill the predator first and then take their food.

Until next time

The Mateya Team