Nxai Pan, Aug 2019

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As the weather started to get warmer elephants spent more time mud-bathing as well as drinking at the camp waterhole. This gave guests great opportunities to view the behaviour of the animals, and occasionally very close up photo opportunities as the animals came to investigate the camp swimming pool.

Three lionesses were located at the Wildlife Waterhole and the following day they had united with one of the resident males. These lions also tried to drink at the camp waterhole but were chased away by elephants who are very protective about the clean water that Kwando provides. One time we saw the lions stalking buffalo, but they were not successful.

Spotted hyena were seen a good number of times at the camp waterhole. In one particularly exciting encounter a lone spotted hyena decided to try his luck hunting blue wildebeest, but the whole herd turned on the predator and chased him away.

The camp waterhole was also visited by three buffalo bulls, warthogs, breeding herds of wildebeest, springbok, zebra and kudu. Day trips out to admire the huge trees at Baines Baobabs also yielded sightings of oryx in a herd of twenty and plenty of steenbok. Other general game included giraffe.

A male cheetah was located along the road in the middle of Nxai Pan.

There was evidence of a male leopard moving through camp and once during a bushman walk we found very fresh tracks from the previous night.

We saw a honey badgers digging for rodents and black-backed jackals were seen feeding on a guinea fowl carcass. We had a lovely view of bat-eared foxes lying close to a termite mound.

Ostrich were seen mating on different occasions, guests enjoying the ritual dance by the male. It was also breeding time for the vultures and we found both white-backed and lappet-faced vultures sitting on their nests. Other great birding ticks for the month were greater kestrels, tawny eagles, crimson-breasted shrikes, double-banded coursers, secretary birds, Bradfield’s hornbills and Cape penduline-tits. A martial eagle was seen eating a guinea fowl carcass behind the camp workshop; the resident pair seemed to be specialising on guinea fowl, however we also saw them eating a northern black korhaan and a slender mongoose. Guests enjoyed watching the brilliantly coloured lilac-breasted roller hawking for grasshoppers.

(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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