Lagoon Camp, June-July 2021

We are so pleased to share that a pack of African wild dogs successfully denned with a busy litter of 9 puppies! Kwando Safaris guides have been following the action closely.

Spencer reports that there are actually two dens. “Just 60 metres apart! The main den, where the Alpha female is often visible at the entrance is more active than the Beta female as she spends a lot of time indoors due to being dominated. She also tends to be fed less. At some point, she decided to join the hunt in the afternoon because she wasn’t being fed by the pack. They successfully killed a male kudu some 150 meters west of the den and stashed the kill in thick vegetation, devoured the meal over several days with the vultures hanging close by. The White-backed vultures constitute the largest percentage of the vulture species seen, but Hooded vultures help to give away carcasses and kills. The Lappet-faced vultures and the White-headed on rare occasions also grace our sightings”.

Meanwhile, the resident lion pride at Lagoon (the Holy pride) has been located several times this winter. The Holy pride has 10 cubs grown up to about almost a year. Then there are also two lionesses with seven more cubs of about two months old. They have been moving a lot to keep the little ones safe and the lionesses have been hunting during the day, mostly along the shores in Muddy Waters. There has been plenty of plains game. We saw lots of Red lechwes as our seasonal flood plains had been rejuvenated with the floodwaters, as well as waterbuck and reedbucks. The other pride (Mmamosetha pride) had been very active in and around the camp periphery almost every day with yet another coalition of three males occupying the territory north and west of Lagoon camp providing great sightings along with their pals, the hyena.

Hyena have been spotted on many occasions, either at the remains of the kills (zebra, in particular, the guides have noted) or on patrol. Spencer says, “We counted about 12 (if not more) having responded to one lion kill, but they were unsuccessful at intimidating the pride. The Mmamosetha pride has about six sub-adult males, which is why they so successfully defend their kills”.

In contrast, the cheetahs are reportedly feeding at midday. We have had good sightings of the three young cheetahs, aged 18 months (two males and their sister) hunting. On all occasions, they successfully killed an impala. They have slowly been moving north and are now close to camp (or literally in camp sometimes!)

Speaking of camp. There has also been a gorgeous leopardess with a cub of about six months visiting the area. One exciting evening, she made a kill just 200 meters from the camp and they dined on the steenbok for days, regularly moving to and from the lagoon to drink.

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