Tau Pan, Oct 2019

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In a fantastic sighting we found that the ten lions of the Tau Pan pride had treed a leopard who was looking down very nervously at the formidable lions below. We also enjoyed seeing this impressive pride regularly at the camp waterhole. A pair of lions from the resident pride were mating at the waterhole, however the antelope were so desperate for water in the searing October heat that they still crept down to drink, despite the courting couple. The following day there seemed to be much competition between the five males of the Tau Pan coalition for the attentions of the single female in oestrus. The males created quite a commotion with roaring and chasing which meant that the antelope didn’t dare to come close enough to drink. At other times we saw various members of the pride feasting on oryx and kudu. A female from another pride came to check out the Tau Pan males, but she was attacked by the resident lionesses and she slunk back to rejoin the other female that she hangs with.

A different pride of lions was discovered at Passarge Junction looking very full after they had killed and eaten an oryx. They were surrounded by over thirty vultures who were waiting for the lions to finish their meal. On another day trip to Deception Valley we stopped at Sunday Pan and came across lions who were finishing up a kudu that they had killed the previous day. However, we saw that they had also killed a lioness from a competing pride and to our surprise they were also eating her remains.

A lone elephant continued to hang between the camp and the waterhole, enjoying a mud wallow in the afternoons.

A female leopard was located at the camp waterhole drinking. We also saw a well-fed tom patrolling his territory which he was marking by spraying bushes with urine.

Two different cheetah were located on the same day in different places on a day trip to Deception Valley.

Bat-eared foxes were denning at Tau Pan.

Good general game could be seen concentrated around the waterhole at Sunday Pan. At the camp waterhole big herds could be seen coming in for a drink including a group of fifty kudu with some impressively-sized males. At Tau Pan the game ventured outside of the actual pan to take advantage of fresh shoots in the surrounding bushes. Species included oryx, giraffe, kudu, springbok and wildebeest.

Bird life was great with sightings of tawny eagles, black-chested snake-eagles, pale chanting goshawks and yellow-billed kites. We saw a big flock of vultures come to the waterhole to drink and wash themselves after they had finished eating a carcass.

(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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