Lebala, Aug 2019

GTankard.Cat4warthogkill

The pack of two wild dogs were often hunting impala and steenbok in the camp area and then travelling back to the den to regurgitate for their puppies. The Wapoka Pride of lions sometimes took over the wild dogs’ kill and once this happened right in our car parking area. One day the puppies had been left on their own whilst the parents went hunting and the dominant male lion known as Old Gun came along. The puppies managed to make their escape before he could see them, supported by the alpha male dog who managed to divert the lion’s attention in the opposite direction. As the month went on the puppies started to accompany the adults on their hunting missions and we saw them hunting successfully near the airstrip and also killed multiple impala within camp itself.

The Wapoka Pride of nineteen lions were also doing well and they even managed to kill an elephant. In an amazing 48-hour period they killed four times in front of our vehicles including a simultaneous take down of an impala and a warthog. We also saw these lions feasting on a kudu bull, tsessebe and wildebeest. Once we came across them fighting with another pride and they had managed to steal a carcass from them when suddenly a herd of elephants appeared and started to chase all the lions.

A beautiful herd of fifteen sable antelope together with their nine calves were grazing as a mixed herd with zebra. We also saw roan antelope with their young. Other general game included red lechwe, warthog, impala, kudu, sitatunga, reedbuck, tsessebe, warthog, eland and steenbok.

The two resident cheetah brothers were located and we saw them feeding on red lechwe carcasses more than once. Once we saw them hunting but they were thwarted when their prey ran into the marshes.

Huge clouds of dust in the distance gave away the location of buffalo herds on the move. We also saw plenty of elephant and the cooler weather meant that sightings of hippo out of the water were good.

We were thrilled to find an aardvark two nights in a row as that is a very rare sighting. One very lucky night drive we located a pangolin along the airstrip road hopping on its hind legs, and later the same evening an aardwolf which was moving up and down looking for termites. We also saw honey badgers, porcupines, genets and wild cats during the month.

We located a male leopard hunting a couple of times. A female leopard was spotted hiding under a bush with her two cubs.

Flood waters were very slowly starting to seep into the Lebala area and so we enjoyed great birding. At Twin Pools African Skimmers could be seen living up to their name by flying close to the pools and skimming their lower mandibles through the water to feed. Other great bird sightings included fish eagles, vultures, white-faced ducks, goliath herons, Verreaux’s eagle owl, tawny eagles, marabou storks, carmine bee-eaters, black herons, pink-backed pelicans, African spoonbills and endangered wattled cranes.

(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!)

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