Djuma Private Game Reserve » Induna Experience the Magic of Djuma Live! Sun, 12 Feb 2017 02:41:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Karula’s family tree – Her son Induna – part 2 Thu, 24 Nov 2011 09:10:30 +0000

Induna after a successful hunt by the lodge.

Hi everyone,

As the end draws closer I think it is only right to finish what I started and that was Karula’s family tree. The last blog looked at Induna and how to identify him, in this one we have a look at his personality! He was doted on by his mother more so than Mixo was and I think that does have a lot to do with him not leaving home yet! While Mixo left about 6 months ago, Induna, thankfully for us, has remained here. He seems to have gone searching other areas close to home, but decided mother’s territory is best!

Induna on the left and his mother Karula on the right!

He is really starting to come of age, having made some impressive kills of his own, one of which was a kudu calf a few months ago, which must have weighed the same as him if not slightly larger. I think once he is fully grown he is going to be a force to be reckoned with for sure! I think he has struggled in the past to tree his kills and because of this, he has lost a number to his nemesis, the hyena. He doesn’t mess around with them, it is straight up the tree at first sign of the distant relative approaching.

Now he is 3 years old and gaining muscle he has been protecting his meals in a tree more readily. I do not doubt he tries his luck for a free meal, as I think he has done a few times in the past with both his mother and father, but I think he is gaining more confidence in his own hunting too!

Xivambalana on the left with Induna on the right.

The incredible interaction between him and his siblings, albeit under supervision of either parent, is something quite amazing! Sadly I missed the drive with Marc where Xivindzi took an interest in her brother from her vantage point and proceeded to climb down, walk up to him and tap him on the nose! I can’t believe we had the privilege of seeing him with both cubs a few months later! His sister came to say hello, but he was not overly welcoming, his younger brother was so intrigued by him, it took a lot of snarling from Induna to stop him from following! At one point he did look like he might entertain the idea of play but another growl signaled that idea was short lived, if it was true!

Collage of the boys, Mixo and Induna!

One of his nicknames is “fumble paws!” This, sadly to say, is quite accurate! I am told from word go he was constantly moving his mother’s kill around in the tree, so much so he often dropped it! After watching him now with his kills, I wonder if it is purely because he finds it uncomfortable to feed on while in the tree and prefers to eat on the ground. We have seen recently on a couple of occasions where a kill is lodged in the tree and brought down to feed on, then placed back in the tree again! Either that or he enjoys the exercise!

The only picture I got of the boys playing!

He has certainly shared a few more mysteries about his character with us by staying here and has helped to answer those hard questions I remember having when the cubs were so young, about what he is likely to do if he ever met them and will Karula allow him to meet them! Not only this, he has opened our eyes to more of the rarely witnessed leopard behaviours. One of the sightings that I will always remember was him playing cat and mouse with a baby monkey. It was so heart wrenching to watch, but it was still part of his own learning process, practicing and perfecting his skills, understanding how this potential prey moves and reacts. I think that day we all routed for the monkey though.

He seemed to be closer to his brother Mixo, than Xivindzi and Xivambalana seem to be! They were still playing with each other even when I arrived in March, which would make them around a year and 4 months of age. I remember the first time I was on camera with them casing each other in the drainage line on Weaver’s nest and hyenas bursting in on them, forcing them to climb out of harms way rapidly!

The day the hyenas chased Induna and Mixo on weaver’s nest road!

They parted company when they were much older, over a year and half at least, but I remember the day we saw them sitting with each other on Philamon’s cutline in the early morning rays. Induna got up and walked off and we followed Mixo. That was the day we sat over some bone fragments he wanted to inspect and came within cm’s of Marc’s foot!

“Brotherly love!” Induna on the left, Mixo on the right

This was the last time I can remember seeing the boys together, although we saw them for a while afterwards, it was always without the other. They did come together briefly on the open area when they were around 2 years of age, but this time there was an invisible barrier between them. Neither growled or bared teeth, nor was there nuzzling or playing; the boys had grown up.

The day they found a snake skin! Induna on the left and Mixo on the right!

I will miss our special family deeply and hope to return someday, if at the very least to catch up on what Karula and her family have been up too, but if ideas work into becoming reality, I hope it will turn out to be for a little longer than a quick hello! I will keep you all posted, but as yet it is only ideas that need to be built on and everything is still up in the air!

Thank you once again for the pictures and this time I added a few of my own memories too!

Written by Tara

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Great friends and awesome memories! Wed, 23 Nov 2011 05:34:56 +0000

Xivambalana 22 Nov

Hi everyone,

With a couple of days left, we are still seeing some awesome sights and making memories which I am sure we will continue to do right up to the last. Xivambalana came to visit camp again so everyone was treated to a tour of WildEarth camp along the way on yesterdays AM drive!

We have been amazed this week by a black mamba sitting on the road clearly focused on some potential meal in the bush, it didn’t even glance in Marc’s direction! I was so excited at seeing such a tiny warthog baby the other day and such a perfect picture moment that I had missed but luckily others caught, of the baby standing underneath mum’s belly! Priceless!

We have played with dung beetles,

watched tortoises courting,

visited the leopard orchid,

had the elephants drop in to say hi,

and even met the cub of a female leopard who we have rarely seen, Inkanyeni. Her cub is around 6 months old and was sitting in an apple leaf as the rain started to fall! WE couldn’t stick around to see his mother return but at least we saw this pale eyed young male who must be the offspring of Mvula!

Our favourite leopards have not been disapointing us either!

Xivambalana 17 Nov

Xivambalana was realxing by the side of the road on the 17th, struggling with the emense heat of the day, but as the temperatures dipped slightly it was time to move on and we caught up with him again as he inspected the road and bush in his own time! Dusk fell and as he approached the open area he was startled by Xivindzi as she popped out the bush! She called to him as if her maternal instinct was taking over and the pair continued their stroll back into the vegetation towards Graham’s old house. The sound of the even chorus was punctured by the shrill call of a bushbaby that was most put out at Xivambalana’s attempt on it’s life and made sure his ears were ringing of it!


We were blessed to have had 2 of the Matimbas join us briefly for the day of the 18th as well as Induna, both of which were sleeping on our boundaries, but thankfully far enough away from each other not to be a problem for Induna. The boys headed north as the sun set and were no longer visible from Buffleshoek cutline, but at least they had swung by to pass on their regards!Matimba males

That night Marc was lucky enough to find Xivambalana and Karula on Vuyatela access road after drive. As he watched Xivindzi joined them and the young family headed back to the West, but sadly we couldn’t find where they may have had a kill on drive the following morning. One guide had found Xivindzi in the same area but by the time we arrived, she had disappeared into the bush, leaving no trace of where she had gone too.

Xivambalana on impala road

While we had reports of Karula in the South on Chitwa Chitwa the following day, Xivambalana was found on Impala road that afternoon and we managed to catch up with him briefly as he settled down for a snooze. But it was Marc’s find of Induna the following day that proved the most interesting!

Induna was lying not far from tamboti dam and was panting heavily, with a female impala watching him close by. It was only when Marc returned were his suspicion of a kill confirmed. The impala mother was still around, while Induna rested on the opening to a nest which Marc later found to have empty egg cases inside.

Floppy ear, the hyena clan matriarch, caught Marc’s eye as they sat with the unlikely couple, but it was distracted by something in the tree;  a baby impala. Realising she had her eye on his dinner, Induna made a bee-line towards the tree and climbed quickly she charged in! It was as if he was gloating, this time he was the victor!

Induna and floppy ear

And so as the bush opera continues, it is time to reflect on what has been and what will be. As much as it is heart breaking, at least we can say we have been privileged and honored to have been able to watch and share so much much of their lives and all these amazing times, will be forever etched in our memories and enjoyed the world over with friendships found and made along this incredible journey we have traveled on together.

Once again, a big thank you for sharing your wonderful screen captures of which I am going to miss a lot. I will stay in touch, as I am sure Marc and Seb will do, on our facebook pages both public and private. I have my own blog page for those who are not on facebook and I do twitter when the latest blog is out too!


Thank you so much to everyone for all your support, encouragement, loyalty and most importantly your friendship, it has been a huge pleasure and a fantastic experience to have been on safari with you. This is not goodbye, but fair well until we meet again…..

Written by Tara

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Karula’s family tree – Her son Induna- part one Mon, 14 Nov 2011 09:25:23 +0000

Hi everyone,
I will release the last part of Karula but I thought in light of today finding Induna with an impala kill on Gowrie cutline, I think it is time to show the spot light on Induna!  Induna, meaning chief, is the son of Karula, born in mid Nov 2008 with litter mate Mixo. The pair were Karula’s second litter and she would have been just 4 and half years old. She had been seen mating with Yambilu-Jordaan and through his numerous appearances with the family it is widely accepted he is their father. This will make him and Mixo full brothers to Xivindzi and Xivambalana.
What is remarkable is the fact he is still here! He is 3 years old and still utilising his mother’s territory, while she has cubs. He has even met his younger sister Xivindzi nose to nose and shared a couple of meals with his father! Mean while his independent brother, Mixo, seems to have left us behind and continued his journey into adulthood somewhere else in the sands. The latest report was he has made it to the Southern part of the Sands!
I must admit I a very happy at least Induna has stayed around a bit longer, as I am sure many of you are! It is great to see how he is progressing and the fact we have seen family interactions like this is incredible!
To identify this charismatic boy I usually use the following marks which are very distinctive. Firstly the pattern between his eyes is very distinctive, most people say they see a face, others see something else but it is distinctive what ever you see it as!

Looking on his right side, there is a very neat semi-circle of spots over his eye. This I have noticed, he shares with his dad Yambilu-Jordaan, who also has this spot pattern above his right eye! Induna also has a triangle that points towards the corner of his right eye and lies just at the end of the semi-circle of spots.


On his left side the arrow points to his beauty spot, another triangle but much larger than the one on his right side. Some call it bat wings! You can also see a line from this to the corner of his eye which is almost vertical. His brother Mixo has a “Y” at the corner of his eyes as does his younger brother Xivambalana.


Sadly Induna lost the tip to his tail. We believe it was due to a hyena, possibly even floppy ear when he was younger. Last year the tip became exposed and but thankfully it healed and he seems no worse for wear. In fact if you see his tail now, you would have to look closely to see it is slightly smaller than other leopard tails!

Thank you everyone for sending in pictures of this beautiful boy, I will be going into a bit more of his character in the next Blog about him!Written by Tara

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A leap of leopards! Fri, 04 Nov 2011 10:04:30 +0000

Wow wow wow! Did I say Wow already?!

Hi everyone! What an incredible sighting we had on the 2nd Nov! Father, son of 3 years old and cubs of 1 year old together!

Floppy ear nursing her cubs

Drive started slowly due to it being so cold. I was completely wrapped up in bennie, scarf, fleece and wind breaker with just my eyes showing through! Seb took us to the hyena den where we found floppy ear giving her cubs their breakfast, while teddy and the gang had to satisfy themselves with cuddling for warmth.

One cub even went to lie next to the nursing cubs, resting it’s head on the back of one! Everyone seemed content until Floppy ear noticed and tried to lunge at the intruder while her own children were still feeding from her! The cub got the message and went to sit on it’s sibling while it proceeded to wash itself. Teddy on the other hand was watching from a safe distance at the den entrance, for once keeping out of trouble!  Eventually everyone settled and went back to snoozing, so we took our que and left.

Teddy waiting!

It was an hour or so later we ended up around tree house dam and while we sat watching the orange-breasted bush-shrike we heard something call.

I thought it was a leopard calling, but with my ears covered by my hat and hood, I could barely hear it! Seb thought it was the end part of lion’s roar, but with the machines buzzing it was difficult to say for sure! Happy at the prospect lions could be in the area, we hoped to hear the calling again to get a direction at least, unaware at what we were about to witness!

Orange-breasted bush shrike

Driving off the dam wall, we noticed floppy ear following her nose with a cub in tow, heading straight for the drainage line. She looked to have the scent of something, but thick bush deterred us from following the two hyena, so we tried a little further along the road to to see if we could relocate her. Eagle eyed Seb caught sight of a duiker, who suddenly clocked us and sped away! But both of us we so busy watching where the dwarf antelope had just been, neither of us had spotted the 2 leopard cubs sitting quietly on the side of the road also spying on the duiker!  It was only when Xivindzi darted in front of the Ganda in the direction of where the duiker disappeared, did we see her! At which point I turned to see where she had come from and sure enough there was Xivambalana curiously watching his sister! Could it be the duiker saw the spotted felines and was fleeing for it’s life rather than us? What ever the reason, the cubs tried to follow but lost interest as they climbed the banking on the other side of the drainage line.

Yambilu-Jordaan – the cubs father

At this point we moved to get a better view of them on the other side, not being too far from the junction Elephant skull and Weaver’s nest road, we could be with them in a minute or 2. Just as we arrived to where they were relaxing, something caught their attention, tails were twitching like mad! Following their gaze I could see another larger leopard approaching out of the bush from the South, my heart was in my mouth I saw it was a male, but luckily it took moments to realise it was Yambilu-Jordaan…their father! He had seen them! Karula was nowhere in sight and I wondered how he would react as he strolled out into the open.

 Y-J and his daughter Xivindzi!

Xivindzi took the initiative, obviously she recognized him as a leopard to trust. She eagerly walked right up to him and greeted him, even took a swipe at his nose! Xivambalana took his time but also came to greet his father but didn’t get as warm a response as his sister did! Once again Yambilu-Jordaan looked like he was taking on babysitting duty!

Yambilu-Jordaan and his son Xivambalana

The cubs soon tired of dad and started to make their way back across the drainage line at which point he started to follow. Unable to see any of them we once again moved giving us a better view of the Northern side of the drainage line. Literally where we had first seen Xivindzi there was another leopard who the cubs had gone to greet. I immediately thought it was Karula. It wasn’t dad they had lost interest in, it was the return of mum! This assumption was completely blown out of the water when “Karula” turned towards the camera and we could see the markings and neck of non-other than Induna!!

Arrows point to where the 4 leopards were in the same shot, although fairly close together it was one of the few times we had all 4 in shot!

So now we had 4 leopards in the sighting, I must admit I did wonder if I had miss identified Y-Jordaan and it was in fact Induna, but he would have to have flown and changed direction pretty quickly to have been the same leopard. This leopard appeared to have come from the north and looked towards where we had last seen Yambilu-Jordaan heading into the drainage line. Moving once again as Induna started to walk towards the drainage line, the fourth leopard was reviled for a second time We hadn’t miss id’ed him! There was a proud father sitting in the shade, with his son of almost 3 years making his way passed him and his youngest two following their brother with curiosity.

Induna on the left and Yambilu-Jordaan, his father on the right

Induna seemed to be less than interested in them and proceeded to come and sit right by the vehicle, making it difficult to see him. This was a catch 22, do we move and risk scaring him or stay put and not see what would happen if the cubs came to see him. We stayed put as Xivindzi couldn’t help herself and came to see her older brother, who didn’t greet her with open arms, being less than friendly towards her, maybe he remembers her batting him on the nose! We took the risk, Induna flinched but stayed put realising we were backing off from him. It was a little too much for Xivindzi and with a negative reaction from her brother, she removed herself.

Brothers together!

Next to investigate was Xivambalana but Induna was even more put out with this! He tried to stand his ground and snarled at his sibling when he tried to get closer, at which he just snarled back. For a little while it looked like a trews had been agreed, with both looking in different directions, but when one caught the other’s eye there were words again! Induna eventually give in and moved off for some peace and quiet!

It was fascinating to watch Xivambalana follow his brother. It was almost like a younger brother watches an elder in admiration and not getting the attention he wants so just becoming annoying instead! Yambilu-Jordaan also decided it was time to move on, stopping every so often to his mark territory.

Yambilu-Jordaan on the right and his daughter Xivindzi on the left

Induna followed his father and being almost 3 years old, he added his scent to the mix and once again Xivambalana was keen to join them! A couple of times Induna reitterated his irritation at his younger brother tagging along, each time he was dissuade for a longer period before  continuing to follow!

Induna telling his brother to stay away!

Xivindzi seemed to not want to miss out on any action, so she brought up the rear watching her male relatives go about their business! Eventually though she decided, after another irritated growl from Induna, to leave them to it and headed back towards the drainage line. We had lost visual of the boys as they headed South across the road and with Xivindzi disappearing on us, it seemed the right time to say goodbye.

Xivambalana, waiting  for his brother to move on!

While we were with this incredible sighting, we heard Karula had not been too far away from this drama. Another guide had found the remains of an impala in a marula tree close to the junction Weaver’s nest and Elephant skull road. We decided to have a quick check, so we knew where it was for afternoon drive. Sure enough it was a little way in to the bush, but there was Karula, the carcass and little Xivindzi, who was busy adding a few extra mouthfuls of breakfast to her belly! She must have gone straight back to feed once she decided to leave the boys!


What an amazing morning, the interactions between all the leopards, the lack of Karula being there to chaperone her elder son. I wonder if she was watching from her vantage point while guarding the kill to make sure Induna wasn’t going to steal it! It did look like he had come from that direction now we know a little more of the puzzle. It could have been Yambilu-Jordaan who we heard calling and Induna may have responded to the call. I have no doubt they can recognise each other’s voice. There are any number of scenarios that could account as to why they were all in the one area. One thing I know for sure was that it was magic and I hope we get chance to see more interactions between the family to try and understand more about these intriguing felines!!

Afternoon wash before bed

We did go back that afternoon, but bumped into the young family as Karula escorted her cubs towards Inga’s house where they ended up resting and digesting their meal! Xivambalana must have had more than his fair share as Xivindzi’s belly didn’t look as full as his. She seemed to be more alert and we watched as a sound caught her attention. Slowly she made her way to a bush and pulled out a young chelonian which she promptly ate. She then disappeared following what was possibly another potential snack, leaving her brother and mother behind!

Thank you once again to everyone sending in such wonderful pictures to help make the Blog possible! If anyone missed the amazing interaction here is the link to muttluver’s video on you tube.

Written by Tara

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The excitement continues! Mon, 31 Oct 2011 15:20:57 +0000

Karula taking cover from the buffalo

Hi everyone!

What an unbelievable couple of drives!

Yesterday afternoon brought us Xivindzi looking exhausted from chasing squirrels and the humidity, she was breathing heavy as she rested a while on Zoe’s road by the hyena den. I am more convinced Karula had picked them up on the way through and left them around this area instead! It was great to see little Xivindzi, but the highlight was certainly Karula!

Karula in stalk mode!

As we joined her she was in full stalking mode, she rounded the termite mound she had used for cover and I was so shocked the steenbok in her sights had not seen the Karula, who was barely 30m from him! He must have been lookig in the opposite direction as she re-positioned herself. We did the same and it was only after we had sat there for a while, did we notice Karula lying flat against the ground with only the minimal amount of vegetation for cover.

Steenbok male

Very impressive! She must have been only 20m from her prey at this stage. The tension was mounting, a pair of Francolins strolled by a meter or so  from Karula’s nose, at which point we thought it was game over,but she remained as motionless, not even a whisker moved and they continued without so much as a look in her direction!  The steenbok flinched as the grey go-away bird tried to warn of the impeding danger, but with nothing detected, he returned to his supper.

Just as the francolins started their evening chours, in the blink of an eye, she struck, but the steenbok was lighting fast and fed before she had closed half the distance! Irritated she went to rest on a nearby log only to discover the steenbok had not gone far. The hunt was on again.

Karula spying the steenbok again!

Crossing over Philamon’s cutline, she used the thicker cover to hide behind, again closing the gap she waited, but something alerted the dwarf antelope and before she could even think of poncing he was gone.

Karula relaxing her second miss!

Reluctantly she relaxed and took the time to compose herself again, mean while a 200 strong herd of buffalo were filtering out of the bush heading in her direction.

The herd are closing in!

Once again she flattened her body against the ground, this time she was in danger if she was detected. The herd unwittingly closed in around her, seeming not to notice until one cow may have caught her scent and looked back straight at Karula. Unsure of what she was going to do, Karula waited, but the cow was not impressed and started towards, at which point Karula turn tail and trotted away. this clearly wasn’t fast enough as the cow gave chase, making sure Karula got the message loud and clear.

Karula is noticed! 

Instead of trying to out run the herd, the queen of Djuma gracefully reclined in a tree to view the mass below her, occasionally being watched from below by the curious few!

I see you! I see you too! 

It is amazing how quickly circumstances change and tables can be turned in the bush, one minute a predator is hunting to survive, the next it is fleeing to survive! Eventually her nemesis moved on and she could return to her role as huntress.

This morning brought a whole new mystery, with Induna being found on sitting on Chela Pan road with a duiker kill in the tree close by. The question being did Induna kill the duiker or did Karula and she went to fetch the cubs?

He sat for a while, then climbed the tree to where the antelope was wedged. He proceeded to move the carcass to a wider fork in the tree and tried to feed, but eventually he decided that didn’t work so brought the antelope down onto the ground where he could eat probably in more comfort! Sadly she was pregnant and this could be why she was caught. The extra weight she carries may slow her down making her an easier target for a predator. As he ate he was looking over his shoulder as if expecting someone to show up, maybe the hyena or Karula, or someone else, who knows?

Induna with the duiker

This afternoon we returned to find Induna had replaced the kill up a tree and just as we were leaving, Karula was walking cautiously down Chela pan road towards where the kill and Induna were. Induna immediately climbed the tree to claim his prize, making sure his mum wouldn’t try and claim it herself, so sadly she had to go without. The mystery still remains who did make the kill? If it was Karula’s, where were the cubs and why did it take her so long to return? But in the same stroke could it really be coincidence she was in the same area and she did seem to know the kill was there!

Written by Tara

]]> 4 Karula’s family tree in pictures Sat, 17 Sep 2011 08:43:59 +0000

Hi everyone!

If you are interested in following our elegant female leopard Karula and her family this is the right place! This special lady allows us to watch her as her life unfolds before our eyes during the live broadcasts from Djuma Game Reserve. If you haven’t yet joined us take a peek by clicking on the played on our front page and see what exciting events take place here in the African bush.  Any time we find Karula or her family the news will be posted here. Pictures are often sent in by viewers of the live broadcasts to help illustrate what this incredible family gets up to!

I thought the best place to start would be her family tree. Thanks to 3 people who took up the challenge, we have 3 brilliant illustrated family trees. Each one has something slightly different to show and together I hope they help to understand how they relate to each other!

The picture of Safari, Karula and Matimba was from Fay a little while ago and I was hoping to be able to use it at some stage! It shows Karula’s mother and Matimba who was born in Dec 2005 making him Karula’s younger brother!

We have had 3 people take up the Karula’s family tree challenge and with a brilliant outcome too!


Anat’s family tree after the cubs were named!

Anat’s helps to show the uncertainty of the actual father regarding Tandi and Shadow. It could be either male. I understand there was a mating seen by guides of Mufufunyane with Karula when she was very young which could have resulted in the first litter but there is some uncertainty. The way he has interacted with them does lean towards him being the father.


Stacy’s helps to show who of the family are male and female and John’s includes the order the litters were born in as well as all the family’s birth years.


Thank you once again to John, Stacy and Anat for putting these wonderful family trees together for everyone to enjoy!

The original date this blog was released was 5 Sept and we were still waiting for the little male cub to be named, since then he has been named Xivambalana. Look out for the following Blogs about the individuals who are part of Karula’s family and how to identify them!



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