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Another incredible month has come and gone at Kingfisher Villa Suites, leaving guests, and guides alike with special memories that will last a lifetime. Although there is something magical about winter in the bush, the beautiful greens of summer and the rich vibrancy of life across the landscape rejuvenate one’s soul. It is always so gratifying for me to spend time with wild animals.

King Fisher Villa Guide by car

Changes in the seasons throughout the year bring different benefits to all the organisms in the natural ecosystem. As another incredible month on Mabula Private Game Reserve comes to a close, we reflect with fondness on the extraordinary highlights shared with our guides and guests. Beyond the tangible achievements and transformations, the greatest highlight lies in sharing the beauty of our reserve with our guests and instilling a love and passion for our natural world. Highlights of this month, the guiding team here at Mabula celebrated the promotion of one of its own, Tshepo King Loni, an exceptional guide, has been promoted to Kingfisher Villa Suites.

King Fisher Villa guide

Tshepo’s’ incredible manner with guests, coupled with his profound passion and love for the bush, positions him perfectly for this role. His promotion underscores Mabula’s commitment to excellence, ensuring that every guest enjoys an enriching and unforgettable safari experience. Tshepo exemplifies the standards of excellence and hospitality that define the Kingfisher Villa Suites experience.

Ecological Landscapers of our reserve.

We are extremely privileged at Mabula Private Gamer Reserve to witness a diverse array of wildlife daily. One of the most captivating creatures we encounter regularly or on every safari we go out and is highly sought-after is the zebra.

People are invariably drawn to their striking coats, which are truly unique and unlike those of any other animal here on the reserve. While their coats are a spectacle in themselves, there are fascinating reasons behind their beauty, turning zebras into a flagship species not just at Mabula but across Africa.

Over and above being spotted from a distance, if predators surprise the zebras, when they flee, they band together in a tight huddle. Their stripes criss-cross over each other having dazzling effect and making it more difficult to narrow down or isolate one individual, or the one the predator initially had its eye on. Causing a moment of hesitation and giving the zebras a split second more to get away.

Zebras, with their enchanting black and white coats, have evolved to navigate the challenges of their environment. The battle against biting flies, the quest for thermoregulation, and the need for anti-predator camouflage all contribute to the marvel that is the zebra’s stripes. These theories, while not definitive, collectively paint a fascinating picture of the ingenious ways in which nature equips each species for survival in the wild.

Imagine dealing with swarms of biting insects constantly while going about your daily activities. For zebras, this isn’t just a hypothetical scenario, it’s a daily reality. Zebra stripes serve as a natural deterrent against these pesky insects.

The irregular patterns create optical illusions, making it challenging for flies to land on their intended targets. Essentially, it’s like a built-in insect repellent, enabling zebras to maintain their composure and focus on more critical aspects of life, such as finding food and staying vigilant against predators.

Under the scorching African sun, animals must find ways to cool themselves down. From wallowing in mud baths to seeking shade during the heat of the day, staying cool is essential for the heat. Interestingly the unique black and white stripes of zebras play a crucial role in thermoregulation. The dark stripes absorb sunlight, while the lighter spaces between them reflect it.

This creates a natural airflow around the zebra’s body, acting like a built-in air conditioning system. By regulating their body temperature more efficiently, zebras can thrive in the challenging conditions of their habitat, maintaining their vitality and health. Survival in the wild often hinges on the ability to evade predators. Zebra stripes serve as a form of anti-predator camouflage.

The contrasting black and white patterns break up the zebra’s outline, making it harder for predators to single them out from the surroundings. This strategic advantage allows zebras to blend in and avoid becoming easy targets for lions and other predators, thereby enhancing their chances of survival in the wild.

Cheetahs update on the reserve.

Cheetahs risk injury by hunting big game from wildebeest to an eland. Our first coalition was able to bring down a subadult eland cow, while our cheetah mother managed to take down a juvenile girrafe on her own. 99% of the time they successfully hunt, chase and catch their prey within 100m of the chase.

Some of the risks cheetah can recover from, while some become permanent. We have had two occaisions in the past where we have lost a cheetah due to hunting injuries. In the current coalition on the reserve one male can only see with one eye, we don’t know exactly what happened but definately injured during a hunt. He is lucky to have his brother who comes in very handy for him, as his brother does most of the chasing and helps him out.

Cheetah tend to prefer open plains as opposed to more dense thickets., their strength in hunting is speed. Open plains offer a lot more potential for cheetahs to reach full speed in a chase, increasing their chances of a successful hunt. We are very lucky to have great sightings of cheetah on our reserve. Here at Kingfisher Villa Suites we offer guided cheetah tracking experiences that offers our guests the opportunity to see these magnificent animals on foot as well as give them unique insight and knowledge into the behaviour of these amazing creatures.

Until next time…

From Isaiah Banda & Mabula family.

Safari Greetings.