Climate and Landscape
Temperatures were fantastic throughout the month even though we experienced some highs towards the last week of the month. This is a sure sign that October, and its high temperatures, is on its way. A few of our trees are flowering and have produced new leaves, livening up the brown landscapes after the dry season.
Game viewing was outstanding throughout the month. With a good number of natural pans drying up, a lot of these big herds of buffalo and elephant are being forced to drink at the Linyanti River as it’s the only nearby water source. This has provided some amazing sightings of these herds of animals which we otherwise haven’t seen much of as they have been concealed in the inaccessible, thick mopane woodland.
Our local pride of lions, the LTC Pride, was seen regularly on the eastern side of Kings Pool around an area known as The Basin; it seems to be the core area of their territory as it is rich in prey species like buffalo, kudu, giraffe, warthogs and the ever-plentiful impala. The last time we saw this pride they were on an adult male kudu kill east of The Basin. They all had full bellies, including the two pride males. We noticed that one of the three young cubs was missing and at the moment we still don’t know what could have happened to her.
The male leopard Ranko has been back in the area after being missing for almost nine months (he had incurred an injury to his nose). He gave our guests an incredible show feeding on a warthog kill he had hoisted up a mopane tree close to camp. We watched him feed on it for almost three days. Last night he killed an impala close to the guides’ village but everything was gone by the next morning – we think maybe hyaenas stole his kill.
The two adult female leopards within our area are also doing well. Slender was seen occasionally, most of the time without her cub, so we are hoping she has not lost it. On one occasion she gave us quite a show as she investigated an area where the wild dog pack had been resting. We suspect she hoped they had made a kill there and was looking for some scraps as she was sniffing all over the area. The Calcrete Female was also seen a good number of times, the last time on a kill together with her cub which is very relaxed around our game viewers. Slender’s older daughter was also sighted occasionally around her mother’s territory.
Regarding the canids, our wild dog family gave us some amazing sightings too, including a good number of unsuccessful hunts and kills, most of them around Kings Pool and surrounds. All eight pack members are doing well and are in great shape.
Birds and Birding
Birding was also great in our area, especially with the beautiful southern carmine bee-eaters having started digging their nesting holes in their common nest area. This year they came in a much larger flock, which has now attracted birds of prey like the Dickinson’s kestrel. The latter were sighted a number of times hunting and catching bee-eaters. A few of our other summer migrants have also arrived, including both the black- and yellow-billed kites. The very rare wattled-crane and southern-ground hornbill were also seen occasionally.
Staff in Camp
Managers: Mma B, Naledi, Jennifer, Wame and Phalana
Guides: Fanie, ND, Reuben and Nick
Newsletter: Fanie Mpiping