Tau Pan, Jan 2019

KHayes.Cat5desert1

After some summer rains Tau Pan was transformed into a carpet of green and slowly attracted more animals into the area to take advantage of the nutritious grasses.

After the rain at the start of the month, the resident pride of lions seemed less reliant on the camp waterhole and we saw them drinking from the natural pans that had filled. However, as the month progressed, it was much dryer than usual for the time of year and so we saw the pride back at the camp waterhole more regularly, including a lovely sighting of three generations of lioness. For part of the month the lions were quite unusually in a group of 4-5 males with just one lioness, she seemed to be anxious to find the other three females who usually make up the family group and was doing a lot of sniffing, tracking and calling.  One night three males showed up in camp and their roared the whole night to the guests’ delight.

We watched the lions approach a group of jackals, but it turned out that the jackals were in that spot because there was a leopard with a kill behind a nearby bush. As the lions approached, one of the jackals made an alarm call and the leopard bolted away with its kill. Another time we saw a female leopard who has been known to us in the area for over nine years now. A rather shy tom leopard was found on the way to San Pan.

A female cheetah was seen relaxing at Phukwi Pan, a herd of springbok nearby seemed aware of the predator but did not seem unduly disturbed by being in the company of their natural enemy. A different female cheetah was observed at Piper Pan. A single male cheetah was located at Letia Hau; he was running back and forth calling as though looking for his coalition partner.

An enormous bull elephant was seen at Phukwi Pan moving easterly towards the camp.

Herds of springbok with their new lambs were enjoying the new shoots of green grass in Tau Pan. Red hartebeest were also found at the pan and guests enjoyed photographing their calves jumping around in the afternoon light. A large herd of wildebeest were seen running with their calves, apparently fleeing from some jackals although these small predators should not usually pose much of a threat to the much larger herbivores.  At Phukwi Pan we saw a large herd of oryx with calves together with red hartebeest and springbok. There were a big herds of giraffe on the western firebreak and around Tau Pan feeding on thorn trees. We enjoyed watching a tower of 15 giraffe, including five calves, drinking at Passarge waterhole. Other antelope species seen included common duiker and steenbok.

An adult aardwolf was seen at Tau Pan as well as some very relaxed bat-eared foxes with their cubs. We saw an interesting commotion between some bat-eared foxes and some black-backed jackals after they discovered a giant bullfrog. Although they both chased it and had a quick skirmish over it, the jackals as the larger more dominant predator took the prey. It was unusual to see the bat-eared foxes interested in such a large frog as they more typically feed on insects. An African wild cat was seen walking through the short grass at Tau Pan.

Raptors commonly seen during January included tawny eagles, bateleur eagles, yellow-billed kites and pale chanting goshawks. A summer migrant, the pallid harrier, was also still in the area. Ostriches, secretary birds and kori bustards were seen frequently as they walked the plains. Smaller notable passerines included fawn coloured larks, sabota larks and black-chested prinias.

(Note: Accompanying picture is from our Kwando Photo Library which consists of all your great photo submissions over the years, it may not be the most up to date, but we felt it was worthy of a feature alongside this month’s Sightings Report!)

Share this Story
  • Tau Pan

    Tau Pan, Mar 2019

    The Tau Pan pride was located at the pan in a group of ten, five males, 2 adult lionesses and three ...
  • Nxai Pan

    Nxai Pan, Mar 2019

    At the start of the month there were still a couple of spectacular thunderstorms, but overall this year’s rains were lower ...
  • Lebala

    Lebala, Mar 2019

    The resident Bonga pride of two adults and six cubs were found frequently, and often near to camp or the airstrip. ...
  • Lagoon

    Lagoon, Mar 2019

    We were able to follow the resident pack of wild dogs they hunted. One time we saw them take down and ...
  • Kwara Little Kwara Splash

    Splash, Mar 2019

    The male cheetah known as “Special” by our guides was seen often and we held our breath as we watched this ...
  • Nxai Pan

    Nxai Pan, Feb 2019

    During February there were big herds of zebra, wildebeest and springbok, often grazing just in front of camp. Some of the ...
Load More Related Articles
  • Tau Pan

    Tau Pan, Mar 2019

    The Tau Pan pride was located at the pan in a group of ten, five males, 2 adult lionesses and three ...
  • Nxai Pan

    Nxai Pan, Mar 2019

    At the start of the month there were still a couple of spectacular thunderstorms, but overall this year’s rains were lower ...
  • Lebala

    Lebala, Mar 2019

    The resident Bonga pride of two adults and six cubs were found frequently, and often near to camp or the airstrip. ...
  • Lagoon

    Lagoon, Mar 2019

    We were able to follow the resident pack of wild dogs they hunted. One time we saw them take down and ...
  • Kwara Little Kwara Splash

    Splash, Mar 2019

    The male cheetah known as “Special” by our guides was seen often and we held our breath as we watched this ...
  • Nxai Pan

    Nxai Pan, Feb 2019

    During February there were big herds of zebra, wildebeest and springbok, often grazing just in front of camp. Some of the ...
Load More By Kwando Safaris
  • Tau Pan

    Tau Pan, Mar 2019

    The Tau Pan pride was located at the pan in a group of ten, five males, 2 adult lionesses and three ...
  • Tau Pan

    Tau Pan, Jan 2019

    After some summer rains Tau Pan was transformed into a carpet of green and slowly attracted more animals into the area ...
  • Tau Pan

    Tau Pan, Feb 2019

    The resident Tau Pan pride were located frequently throughout the month and they were often seen drinking at the camp waterhole. ...
  • Tau Pan

    Tau Pan, Dec 2018

    On one exciting morning we barely had to drive any distance from camp at all to have incredible sightings. We had ...
  • Tau Pan

    Tau Pan, Nov 2018

    November was exceptionally hot and dry, even by usual regional averages for the time of year. As a result, there was ...
  • Tau Pan

    Tau Pan, Oct 2018

    The Tau Pan pride of five males, two females and three cubs were seen drinking at the camp waterhole and resting ...
Load More In Tau Pan

Check Also

Tau Pan, Mar 2019

The Tau Pan pride was located at the ...

Archives