With summer approaching, the daytime temperatures at Kalahari Plains are already starting to warm up considerably. So much so that on one occasion this month we recorded a high of 38 degrees Celsius! However, we still feel the winter pinch during the night and in the early morning and a low of 4 degrees was not unheard of.
The Kalahari is reaching it driest time of the season. This has had an effect on animal behaviour, which in turn has worked in our favour on a number of occasions.
Most of the herbivores have moved out of the pans into the woodland areas in search of good palatable vegetation, which includes tubers, roots and bulbs to quench the thirst. This local migration of herbivores has also led to most of the territorial predator species expanding their territories so that they overlap with their prey species.
Speaking of predators, the Kalahari Plains Pride has been sighted many times this month, mostly in the vicinity of the camp. The new male (Lekhubu) who took over the pride around April this year was seen mating with the females often, clearly trying to make sure that his genes are passed on.
We also recorded more than six leopard sightings this month, the highest we have recorded this year. As one of the highlights of the month, a young female leopard was sighted while we were transferring guests to the airstrip. We watched as she rolled and played with a piece of stick for about four minutes in front of the game viewing vehicle, and then walked swiftly away, disappearing into nearby thick bushes.
Cheetah sightings were quite low for the month of August, which was probably due to the high presence of lion around camp.
Other great sightings of the month include brown hyaena, honey badger, bat-eared fox, Cape fox and two unusual but special sightings of the aardvark. These aardvark sightings are extremely rare and while both only lasted two minutes, they will remain in our memories forever.
Birding around Kalahari Plains has been fantastic. One of the highlights was when we watched a Gabar goshawk chase and kill a forked-tailed drongo - right near camp.
Guides: Godfrey, Fanie and Willie
Newsletter Compiled by: Fanie Pimping