Tau Pan Camp, October 2020

RAhlborn.Cat1.Lion Family.TauPan

Lions were often in and around the camp area. A lioness with three cubs took up temporary respite from the intense sun under the deck of the manager’s house. We could see that she was nursing an injured leg and during this time seemed to prefer being away from the pride and staying in camp where she could hide her cubs. This meant that the camp team needed to be extra careful as they moved around, but by the end of the month, her leg had improved and she was seen more often with the pride at the waterhole. A male lion, the father of the cubs, was also keeping an eye on his family in camp and seen near to the office. The lions were often hanging out at the waterhole, much to the frustration of thirsty antelope, who could smell the water but did not dare to get too close. One day the lions were successful in killing a wildebeest at the waterhole and another time we saw that they were stalking some drinking giraffe, but the giraffes spotted them in time and ran away. As is usual at Tau Pan, the team looking after camp were regularly entertained by the coalition of five males roaring heartily through the night to proclaim ownership of their territory.

One morning a brown hyena was seen running away from a lioness at the waterhole. We also saw a caracal heading towards the camp office – a very special sighting.

A big tom leopard was seen resting under a bush, this is the son of the dominant female in the area. The resident leopard did a patrol of the whole camp, inspecting the veranda of each room, before moving onto the next one. We followed her tracks in fascination the next day, wondering what had been going through her mind. Maybe she is missing having guests in camp as much as we are?!

The camp team saw a gabar goshawk kill a cape turtle dove and then he took his meal off to the bushes to enjoy in peace.  Another time, a big brown snake eagle caught a dove, but he didn’t finish his meal, because all of a sudden, a tawny eagle flew over him and he dropped his prey, which was snatched up by the larger eagle.

General game at the waterhole included kudu, giraffe and wildebeest.  Right at the end of October we were delighted to see a newly born springbok, already strong and ready to run for its life from some approaching lions.

One morning our guide saw a slender mongoose climb a tree and then jumped down. As soon as he landed, a Kalahari scrub robin started to give a warning call to other birds.

(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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