Weather and Landscape
This month has been fairly warm one for the winter season. In the morning, while having coffee and getting ready to go on the drive, one feels the easterly winds sweeping through, causing temperatures to drop slightly. We had some good clear weather at the beginning of the month and this might have been the reason why we went for some time not worrying too much about the cold. Sometimes, in the mornings, clouds form, which is just the moisture from the atmosphere, but they disappear during the course of the day.
The inundation waters from the Angolan highlands continue to come in, driving along the swamps.
Normally in a place where there are few lions you get other predators in numbers and that is true of African wild dog in our area. We have seen three different packs this month and have had plenty of sightings of two of these packs. One consists of five males and a pregnant female while the other pack of four, we believe, broke away from the resident pack that moved to the west. These four have been moving up and down in the area and have been trying to avoid contact with the other pack, which we have seen successfully hunting occasionally.
Kings Pool Camp is one of the few places in the northern part of Botswana where you have the chance of seeing leopard at this time of the year. As they are secretive they breed well when not disturbed by other predators like lions. We don’t often see leopard cubs here until they are a couple of months old and that’s when they get to move with their mothers.
Another predator we do see is cheetah. We often see them on the transit road and they are often males moving around looking for females and trying to get away from other predators.
There has been a lot of lion movement of late in the area a bit further afield. The coalition of five males are still trying to familiarise themselves with their new territory which has slowly extended to the west, past our sister camp Dumatau. At the moment they are separated, the older male is moving alone and he is injured; we believe he was involved in a fight with other male lions from the west. His slightly younger brother seems to be patrolling the other side of their territory and is looking for any intruders. The three younger boys have been on seen to the east of their territory but haven’t come anywhere close to us this month.
You can never visit Kings Pool without having the chance of seeing elephant. You see them in a family unit with females and youngsters, in bachelor herds or you see solitary bulls wondering alone through the mopane woodland. This is one of the few places you see them crossing the river from one country to another. The sunken hide continues to be a fantastic place to observe these beautiful grey beasts.
Hyaenas are known to be scavengers but these animals do hunt when they are in a big clan. It’s that time of year when one can see them taking down baby elephants in the mopane woodland as the weak ones get eliminated.
Managers in Camp: One and Alex Mazunga, Kemmonye Wright, Frank Maule and Jacques Le Roux.
Guides in Camp: OD Modikwa, Ndebo Tongwane, Yompy-Diye Kennetseng and Lemme Dintwa.
Newsletter and Pictures: Lemme Dintwa