Duba Plains - June 2012

Jul 21, 2012 |   |   | 
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The water level continues to drop drastically, which has led to most places being accessible, enabling more chances to view game at different places that used to be inaccessible during this time of the year. June is also our coldest month and we have seen temperatures going down to as low as 6° C and the highest recorded being just 31° C. In general, this month the weather has been favourable.

Game viewing has been good as the grass has started drying up and becoming shorter with most trees also starting to lose leaves. Big herds of red lechwe have been spotted around the plains especially at Python Island and at times they would be sharing the plains with tsessebe and warthog, presenting a good platform for photography and viewing.

Duba Plains has an abundance of large birds like the Goliath heron that converge at drying crossings or pans to collect the fish and frogs that are affected by loss of water.

The war between the dominant male lion and one of his sons who has grown up over the last two years has intensified to the extent that the challenging son has been almost kicked out of the pride and he moves mostly with his lone sister all the time now. These two are still young though and it has been difficult for them to survive by themselves, as the two of them cannot take down their usual prey - the buffalo. They have tried sneaking back into the pride on a few occasions but only to be sent fleeing at the sight or roar of the dominant male lion. As hunger will not have mercy on them, they have been seen pouncing on baboons and killing a big one for a meal. This has kept them alive for the time being.

This situation is also not helped by the fact that their mother gave birth on the 10th of June and does not want them any closer either now. She hasn't brought her cubs out for viewing as she is only seen when hunting, with all the evidence that she is lactating.

The rest of the lion pride have been seen hunting the buffalo, but have had a fewer kills as the buffalo have been successfully defending themselves. Recently the lions killed one cow that was limping which was the obvious target when the hunt started. She was brought down within seconds and was breakfast/lunch/dinner for that day.

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