Nxai Pan

Nxai Pan Camp, June-July 2021

As if they aren’t cute enough as adults, aardwolf cubs were a particularly special sighting this winter. On the West Road, Kwando Safaris guides located an aardwolf den just metres from the dirt track and one day four of the adults laid basking in the sunshine just at the entrance.

Thanks to good rains this year, there is still a bit of surface water lying around for the game. Plenty of Black-backed jackals were seen scoping these pans, some trying desperately to catch Helmeted guineafowl for dinner.

One day on the way to Baines’ Baobabs (plenty of Oryx and Steenbok logged during the drive) guides reported tracks of both lion and wild dog. The team did a few day trips and often arrived at the historical site to a welcoming committee of Lesser flamingoes flocked across the waterlogged salt pans. However, these seem to be drying fast, leaving us with a caked salt pan crust.

The camp waterhole is always flush with life during this dry season and it’s been a joy to simply watch the animals parade past from the deck. Spotted hyenas were seen drinking water on several occasions and on one particularly hot day, over 100 elephants. These pachyderms were joined by plenty of other plains game species: buffalo, blue wildebeest, plains zebra, the greater kudu and a generous herd of springbok. Under the cover of darkness, the camp also had visits from the Small-spotted genet and lions were vocal in the vicinity.

The birdlife has been great too with plenty of raptor activity, prides of ostrich foraging in the golden grasslands and several sightings of Botswana’s national bird, the scholarly-looking Kori Bustard. Two tall secretary birds were also seen (rather conspicuously) sitting on top of the Umbrella thorn acacia trees, which is their preferred nesting site.

Did you know? This bird has the longest tail in Southern Africa. It measures about 75cm.

(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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