Mombo Camp - July 2012

Aug 6, 2012 Little Mombo
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Climate and Water Levels
July was a cooler month than June. A slight south-easterly breeze made the mornings crisp, giving way to clear blue skies revealing the early movements of wildlife. After long winter nights, they welcomed the warmth of the African sun.

The receding inundation of water continues, leaving behind small traps of water where frogs, snails and small fish collide as they try to escape the ever-present probing of beaks. With this feast at hand the open-billed storks can be seen far and wide from the deck of Mombo Main area.

The resident herds of red lechwe, impala, elephant and not forgetting the slow ambling Cape buffalo have been visiting camp on a regular basis during the day whilst the incessant chomping through the shallow waters of the hippopotamus pods lull guests to sleep at night.

The abundance of game in camp has not gone unnoticed by the predators of the Moremi Game Reserve and the Moporota and Mathata Prides have all been seen at camp. The Moporota Pride, who regularly use the camp as a hunting ground for impala, were not as successful as last month but did manage to take down one male impala to be shared amongst 12 lions! The Mathata Pride seem to use the camps grounds as a crossing point from Skimmer Island, usually crossing in front of Tent 8 before disappearing past Old Mombo and down Maun Road.

A breakaway group from the Moporota Pride has earned the name Hakuna Pride by our guides. Keeping to themselves, a new male lion seems to have taken over and has been seen mating regularly. This is good news as the prides in the area have not had cubs for over a year and hopefully this new male will add a few cubs to our population - which in turn will enthral guests soon with their antics.

The Western Pride, with the maned-female lioness Mmamoriri, have not been sighted much this month, however her distinct calls are heard every few nights from the islands to the south-west of camp. It seems they are adept at crossing channels in search of buffalo and red lechwe, all the while steering clear of the larger prides of lion that roam the Mombo Concession.

Towards the end of the month leopards Legedema and Lebadi were in camp at the same time! It seems Lebadi still cannot give up on Legedema even after he was pushed out of the area by the new dominant leopard Mmolai. Mmolai on the other hand was seen mating once again with Pula near Eastern Pan. It seems his frolicking ways have allowed Lebadi to stay in the area longer than expected. We hope that one leopard will come through and stake sole claim to the territory so as to sire some young. As it stands it seems to be a game between the two as to who can outlast the other and in doing so, cubs either will not be born as the female will not ovulate until she is totally convinced of her suitor, or, the non-mating male will kill off the newborn so as to state his dominance over the area and pass his genes on.

The wild dog, shadowed constantly by 'her' jackals, were observed chasing a male leopard up a tree. To make the sighting even more special, a spotted hyaena joined in the posse and was helping herd the leopard out of the jackal territory.

The hyaena den has two young cubs in it, one much younger than the other - their playfulness is always a joy to watch. Mom is never far away and they always seem to be a lot more confident when she is close to the den.

The general game has been constant. The large journey of giraffe that were reported last month are still seen near the airstrip and their young are growing fast. Dazzles of zebra are encountered on every drive, although their beautiful coats are often smudged with mud or dust as they roll around in the pans. Red lechwe, impala, wildebeest, elephant and warthog are abundant and ever-abiding as the guests get their fill of photographs.

Sometimes the most rewarding sightings are the ones where you can sit and watch many different species of animals and birds interact on one beautiful floodplain!

We look forward to what August will bring!

Staff in Camp
Managers: Graham, Claire, Nathan, Tshidie, Glen and Lizz at Mombo with Frank at Little Mombo.
Curio: Kessey and Rose
Spa: Rachael

Photographs by Graham Simmonds and Claire Tinsley

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