Weather and Landscape
Winter is back on in the Kalahari, with quite chilly mornings and late evenings - the mercury was pushed to a low of 6 degrees Celsius.
The open plains and sand dunes are very dusty as the desert dwellers are showing their typical behaviour of digging for roots, bulbs and tubers. All of the vegetation has taken on a brownish hue, returning the Kalahari back to its grandeur as a desert.
In general, game viewing has been outstanding with a good number of sightings from all corners of the reserve. The big cats are still producing good records. The Plains Pride has been around the camp area a couple of times – and it appears that two of the females may be lactating. The Plains Male has been showing up around the camp waterhole, and has been active around camp many a night as evident by his tracks. We have also been woken up by his booming call on a number of occasions which is always such a treat. The legendary Lekhubu Male is living up to his expectations as one of the biggest males in the Kalahari at the moment. He has been trespassing on the Plains Pride territory. We have seen him twice this month, as he has moved all the way from Deception Valley and was seen at the camp waterhole.
Leopard sightings have been outstanding as well! We had sightings of new and unidentified leopards in the area. Some of them are quite relaxed, but some of them are really skittish and dart as soon as they get wind of us. As the wildlife disperses over a wider area, the predators have to follow them, resulting in the above. The reverse effect has happened with the smaller predators as we have only had a small amount of honey badger and bat-eared fox sightings.
The resident male cheetah has been seen frequently around Big Pan and appears to be in good shape and well fed. Over the last couple of months, a young coalition pair has been seen now and again and it appears that they may be settling into our area which is fantastic news. We enjoyed a number of sightings of this duo this month.
Other exciting and unusual sightings included snakes. We witnessed an incident between a black mamba and a scrub hare close to the staff accommodation. For the full story, click here.
We ended the month off with a fantastic sighting at the camp waterhole – shortly after dinner, a male lion arrived for a drink at the waterhole. As we were watching this brute, a brown hyaena arrived on the opposite side of the waterhole and was closely followed by a posse of jackals – what an incredible sighting indeed.
Staff in Camp
Managers: Lops, Lebo and Junior.
Guides: Luke, Willie, Godfree and Rodgers.
Newsletter by Willie and images by Lops