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, May 2019

    Lions from the Tau Pan pride were seen almost daily and very often at the camp waterhole where we were able ...
  • Nxai Pan

    Nxai Pan, May 2019

    A male cheetah was located moving along but with a very full belly. Guides reported that this animal was looking very ...
  • Lebala

    Lebala, May 2019

    The Wapoka Pride was still resident in the area. One time we were following fresh tracks through the Kalahari apple leaf ...
  • Lagoon

    Lagoon, May 2019

    At the start of the month the guides were thrilled to have found the resident pack of wild dogs denning and ...
  • Kwara Splash

    Splash, May 2019

    During May the Kwara Reserve lived up to its well-deserved reputation for fantastic sightings, averaging a remarkable three predator sightings per ...
  • Tau Pan

    Tau Pan, Apr 2019

    As a dry spell of weather continued the animals started to disperse and for a while the Tau Pan pride appeared ...
Load More Related Articles
  • Tau Pan

    Tau Pan, May 2019

    Lions from the Tau Pan pride were seen almost daily and very often at the camp waterhole where we were able ...
  • Nxai Pan

    Nxai Pan, May 2019

    A male cheetah was located moving along but with a very full belly. Guides reported that this animal was looking very ...
  • Lebala

    Lebala, May 2019

    The Wapoka Pride was still resident in the area. One time we were following fresh tracks through the Kalahari apple leaf ...
  • Lagoon

    Lagoon, May 2019

    At the start of the month the guides were thrilled to have found the resident pack of wild dogs denning and ...
  • Kwara Splash

    Splash, May 2019

    During May the Kwara Reserve lived up to its well-deserved reputation for fantastic sightings, averaging a remarkable three predator sightings per ...
  • Tau Pan

    Tau Pan, Apr 2019

    As a dry spell of weather continued the animals started to disperse and for a while the Tau Pan pride appeared ...
Load More By Kwando Safaris
  • Tau Pan

    Tau Pan, May 2019

    Lions from the Tau Pan pride were seen almost daily and very often at the camp waterhole where we were able ...
  • Tau Pan

    Tau Pan, Apr 2019

    As a dry spell of weather continued the animals started to disperse and for a while the Tau Pan pride appeared ...
  • 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 ...
Load More In Tau Pan

Check Also

Tau Pan, May 2019

Lions from the Tau Pan pride were seen ...

Archives