Pom Pom

Pom Pom Camp, August 2021

Our guides at Pom Pom Camp reported some super sightings from the Okavango Delta this month. Our favourite has to be the tale of the leopard, hyena and crocodile in a standoff over a lechwe carcass. As Ryder says, “In August, we had great wildlife in Pom Pom Reserve”. 

The waters start to recede as we head towards summer, but the levels were still suitable for mokoro trips and short boat cruises. Ryder reports that while on board, guests saw the Angolan painted reed frog, Rubber banded frog, Guttural toad and Monarch butterflies. 

Plenty of birds graced the eyes too during water activities — cormorants, herons, storks, African darters, eagles, African jacana and vultures. Ryder also noted a diversity of fish species, such as bream, catfish, African pike, and many beautiful flowers that sat on the water’s surface. The Waterlily, Vlei ink flower and Cornflower vernonia are all in blossom at this time of year.

Even away from the water, birding remained brilliant, however, with species such as the Blue waxbill, Red-billed firefinch, Red-billed buffalo weaver, Bearded woodpecker, Southern ground hornbill, plus the Long-crested eagles and elegant Wattled cranes going onto the record. We were also pleased to welcome the colourful Carmine bee-eaters back!

Regular grazers remained on guard in the grasslands — buffalo, giraffe, elephant, zebras, blue wildebeest, tsessebe and impala — and a pack of two Wild dogs were seen within the reserve hunting some impala but were not successful. The other pack, a group of ten adults, have been more triumphant. We’ve seen them return to feed their six puppies often. The little ones love to play outside, around the den at our boundary.

Lion sightings have been equally fantastic, Ryder recalls. “One evening, we saw the lioness killing a male red lechwe with two cubs and started eating at the front of our vehicle, which was such a special sighting for everyone!”  There have been sightings of two lionesses — one with four younger cubs (roughly two months old), and the other has two cubs that are seven months old. Two big males and five sub-adult males have been frequenting the reserve too. One day, guides found them on a kill of two buffalo feeding at Manongthoto Island.

Several different leopards were also reported this month, as well as little cubs. One morning, the trackers picked up fresh paw prints. After assessing the impressions and following the signs for over an hour, our team found the leopard feeding on a Red lechwe pulled up onto a broad Sausage tree branch. This one got to keep its kill, unlike his comrade that lost it to a croc.

Several nocturnal species have been spotted on the evening drives:  African civet, Porcupine, Serval, African wild cat, aardwolf, Small spotted genet, Side-striped jackal, plus the prolific little Scrub hare.

This months photographs were taken by our talented guest, Peter Ismert, at Pom Pom Camp.

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