About the Author

Pete Thorpe

Alumni Ranger

Pete was a Field Guide for Londolozi for 4 years, contributing to the blog as a fantastic writer as well as photographer. Right from his very first bush trip at the age of four, Pete was always enthralled by this environment. Having grown ...

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on Why This Time of Year is Phenomenal for Predator Viewing at Londolozi

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Amazing that the Flat Rock male missed that easy dinner!.. What triggers the impala to start the rut.. is it a change in seasons/weather? Do they start rutting at exactly the same time each year… We are coming out hopefully at end of April next year.. is that too early for the rut?

Hi Gillian,

Shortening of day length is what causes the rut to begin. Late April you will already start to see a few rams rutting!

Fantastic leopard viewing.

Pete – I read bio, “Right from his very first bush trip at the age of four, Pete was always enthralled by this environment. Having grown up in the Middle East, Pete’s home-away-from-home has always been a bungalow in the Greater Kruger National Park, where his family had a house – a place that to this day lies close to his heart.
This exposure from a young age instilled a curiosity within him that drove him to study a masters in conservation ecology, a journey which saw him monitoring wild dogs in Kwa-Zulu Natal and managing student researchers in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.” Wonderful blog today!

Poor Impala rams, they are overtaken with that ‘all consuming’ need to mate, herding the most females, being the strongest and most dominant male and as a consequence become extremely vulnerable. Such is the overwhelming power of instinct. Very interesting reading, thank you.

We really enjoy being in the bush during the impala rut! The sounds of growls and grunts, the lip curling and fighting all make for exciting drives. But we’ll be there for the rut next year!

So many opportunities, so few victories by the predators. I’ve read the statistics of their successes and it’s quite shocking they survive as well as they do. It just takes a bit of experience, timing and the perfectly distracted prey. Thank you for the blog.

Well at least for a little while the hunting is a bit easier for the predators. Interesting how the balance is constantly shifting.

These are great pictures. It must be a great time getting them. How long do impala live? Do you all ever tag them to track their movements and life cycles? Also, from viewing all of the blogs, I no longer agree with the idea of the strongest surviving. The plan, if there is one, is that the luckiest make it and it helps if there are scores more of the prey species than of the predator species. So the notion of the strongest surviving is debunked, so far as I can see from all the wildlife videos I’ve seen, including Londolozi’s blogs. I think humankind uses that notion as a way of doing injustice to all creatures, including our own species.

Hi Patrick,

Impala live to about 12-13 years in the wild. This is of course if they are lucky enough to avoid predators like the one pictured in this blog…

Wow, what a breathtaking account! I’m sure due to my own inexperience with all of this in real time and a youth spent watching nature shows, it always surprises me that the prey escapes the predator!! So cool!

An interesting time for you guys to be on Londolozi with all the attempts at hunting going on and Impala rutting. The first time I heard the males rutting I just could not believe it when I was told it was the mild looking Impalas! It sounded like two fierce snarling big cats. Wendy M

Can’t be easy trying to find as many mates as possible while every large predator on Londolozi is targetting you!!

So interesting!

Senior Digital Ranger

The rut in lmpala offers a life or breed opportunity for males but all at the price & risk of life ,because malnutrition & ignored defence senses make them easy pickings for predators.Wild dog have also syncronised their denning behaviour to coincide with lmpala rut to some extent since there is greater chance for food

Senior Digital Ranger

not often that leopard misses easy target like that.lmpala was trully not on the menu that day

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