Kalahari Plains Camp - July 2013

Aug 6, 2013 |  Botswana |  Central Kalahari |  Kalahari Plains Camp
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Weather
Over the course of the past two months we have been experiencing a drop in temperatures, and July was a bit cold with strong winds blowing mostly from the westerly direction. We have so far recorded lows of 3 degrees Celsius and highs of 22.

Wildlife
Despite the fact that around the dry season most antelope move into the thickets to feed on small shrubs and tubers, it is quite interesting to see some slowly relocating to the area closer to the camp, especially springbok, giraffe, oryx as well as the wildebeest.

Springbok are gracing our area at the moment. This antelope has been spotted in mixed herds which is always exciting to see. Since the breeding season is over it gives us a chance to see territorial males tolerating each other because there is less competition for females.

It was great to hear a guest mentioning that she has had a brilliant opportunity to observe and learn about her favourite antelope of the desert, referring to the springbok. They were amazed to hear from their guide that they consume soil as a source of minerals which is possibly one of the reasons it has such a beautiful coat.

Another antelope species that frequents our waterhole, as well as other areas in the concession, is the blue wildebeest even though seen in small family units. A resident adult male occupied the nearby surrounding open plains for quite some time. He almost got himself killed one day by the local pride of lion because he was busy rolling on the ground despite alarm calls of the nearby springbok. Fortunately he came to his senses and took off. The cats gave up and went under the nearby trees for a rest.

Steenbok have also shown themselves. They prove to be quite active during the day during these cooler months, unlike during the hot periods when they rest in the shade.

Lion have been the top predator seen this month. The local pride of four adult females, one sub-adult female and a young male is seen often. At some point the local male was sighted on game drives mating with one of the adult females for a couple of days in nearby areas surrounding the camp. Hopefully she has conceived and will bring new life to the pride. This pride has been frequenting the camp area quite a lot this month as well, to an extent that on one of the days the staff had to be escorted by guides and management around camp for their safety as the pride spent some time under the nearby shade. Their presence also gave guests an opportunity to view them.

We also had a special sighting of a brown hyaena which is fantastic as this nocturnal animal is normally a very shy animal.

We are so delighted to report a leopard sighting. Our guests were thrilled to come across this cat’s fresh tracks on their morning drive one day. Godfrey, their guide, followed the tracks and within a short period they found it walking along the road at a brisk pace giving the guests a good chance to take some nice shots and also enjoy the cat’s company, who seemed so relaxed despite their presence.

Other antelope that are spotted quite often in our area include the likes of kudu and giraffe. It is always so fantastic to see them at the waterhole in the afternoon, especially when the sun sets.

Birding
Birding has been absolutely amazing of late. The fork-tailed drongos have proved to be the African Kalahari bird, seen quite often in the concession and surrounding areas. They have been observed displaying their common behaviour of mobbing aerial predators and giving true alarm calls on some occasions.

A martial eagle kept our guests entertained for some time one afternoon in the concession. They first saw it preening and yawning before taking off and displaying some awesome undercarriage plumage.

One can also not ignore the consistent presence of one of the common raptors in the area – the southern pale chanting goshawk.

The lappet-faced vultures, which always congregate around the local waterholes in our concession, have proved to have had a successful breeding period in the Kalahari since they are seen in big flocks.

Staff in Camp
Management team; Lops, Lebo, Tuelo and Junior (Host)
Guides; Rogers, Willie, Fannie and Godfrey

Newsletter Compiled by: Lopang Lops Rampeba

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