Pom Pom

Pom Pom Camp, June-July 2021

It’s sure been a season of lion sightings over at Pom Pom Camp this winter! Several different lion prides have been using the area. Six females and two of their six-month-old cubs were spotted feasting on a fully grown wildebeest. A further five lions were spotted near the airstrip lying in the abundant shade of a Sycamore fig tree.

On yet another occasion they proved to be more lively, much to the delight of our guides and guests alike. Four lions from the Pom Pom pride were seen stalking the speedy Tsessebe antelope, which true to its reputation as the fastest antelope outran the predators. These lions were also noted hunting Red lechwe more successfully. However, we were reminded that lions are not always the prolific hunter.

Mike noted that lions also chose to scavenge instead by taking over a leopard kill. The leopard had to watch woefully from its treetop perch as three of them feasted upon its well-earned dinner. Speaking of dinner, an African civet was seen feeding on Jackalberry fruits during a night drive. Civets are stocky animals, omnivores that eat everything from grass to poisonous millipedes to fish and even puff adders.

On another evening, while guests ate their three-course meal of far more delicious fare, three lionesses passed close by the camp in a rather blatant fashion. Their contact calls rang through the bush as they attempted to find others from the pride.

After hunting through the night, they were found feasting on a kudu the next morning. A day later, a different set of lionesses were seen beside thick riverine bush with their two cubs after landing an impala kill. It seems those contact calls eventually proved successful because the mothers with cubs joined the lions seen feeding on the kudu. However, we don’t know if they are getting along. Our last report for the month recorded the sighting of an injured lioness on her own, bleeding from her thigh and sporting a swollen head.

One morning during an early game drive, one of our guides intuitively followed alarm calls coming from the airstrip just as dawn broke. Closer investigation revealed an adult leopard on the hunt. A few days later a pair of wild dogs exploited this open area again while looking for food on the move. Later, a pack of ten dogs made for far easier photography as they lay resting. Our guides have also uncovered the location of a wild dog den, which is very exciting!

A female leopard was seen at a site known as Fishermans Crossing, making her way towards camp and seemingly on the hunt and using the wind to her advantage, but she was unsuccessful. Over on Marula island, another leopard has been seen fairly regularly. Guides noted that it likes to use the tall grass (there’s still a decent height remaining from the rainy season) to discreetly follow impala. A smaller spotted special, the beautiful serval cat was also seen on the hunt on two separate occasions.

Water levels in July were still high from the incoming floodwaters that wind down from Angola, so both boating and mokoro activities were enjoyed by guests. Little bee-eaters, fish eagles swooping in for barbel fish and malachite kingfishers proved very obliging and made for great pictures, but the most unusual sighting had to be a bright green chameleon spotted by one particularly eagle-eyed poler.

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