Lagoon

Lagoon Camp, January 2022

Lagoon Camp Summer Sightings

Bat-eared foxes have had a brilliant time feeding on all the termites early in the morning and late afternoon. We’ve loved seeing these insectivores active thanks to the cooler rain-induced temperatures. 

On Maheke Road, we came across an impressive dazzle of zebra, and we estimated there must have been over 200. They formed a herd together with 20 Eland antelopes. We also came across a newborn zebra foal on Pangolin Road. It took precious time for the foal to gain its balance, and it wobbled around for over twenty minutes, but some fifty zebras stood nearby to ensure its safety. The general game along the flood plains has been rich with elephant breeding herds, elands, tsessebe and lots of Red lechwe. 

Wonderful Walking Safaris

We enjoyed such varied and diverse nature walks. Thanks to the insect activity, there was plenty to inspect, such as the Harvester termites and Matebele ants. We also saw many dung beetles pushing their big dung balls, which always look so comically enormous compared to the beetle’s diminutive body size. The tracks of different animal species were easily seen after the good rain, and we could safely approach elephants up to about 500 metres. Other animals sighted included Blue wildebeests and some Black-backed jackals. 

Fig trees and Jackal berry trees have burst with fruit, which has attracted Green pigeons, Grey go-away birds, and jackals. Most of the termite moulds also have mushrooms that gain baboons and monkeys’ attention.

Despite cloud cover on some nights, the sky was beautiful. The most prominent constellations were Taurus, Canis Minor, Canis Major and Orion. Very early in the morning, Scorpio was visible on the eastern side.

Brilliant Boating During January

During boat cruises, we noticed that the Kwando River had risen. It was also amazing to see the Red lechwe jumping across and splashing through the water. Wattled cranes have been seen several times along the river and other aquatic birds such as White-faced whistling ducks, Goliath herons, Black herons, and Dwarf bitterns.

At Halfway Pan, we always saw more than twenty crocodiles outside the water basking in the sun. One day, a small crocodile tried to grab a Spotted bush snake close to the boat in camp, but the small snake escaped. We often saw the Water striders and Water scorpions running on the water getting small insects such as the mosquitos during the boat cruises. 

Two lionesses with their six cubs were found along Diolo road feeding on the eland carcass, which guides estimate to have been killed early that morning. Four lionesses from Mmamosetlha pride were seen at Giraffe Pan. The considerable pride of 14 (commonly known as Mmadikolobe) was found at Water Cut lying down well-fed after feasting on a zebra. The mating pair was then seen at Kwena Lagoon for three consecutive days. 

There is a resident pack of 10 wild dogs that comprises four adults and six subadults. We often followed them hunting and witnessed them kill impalas and warthogs. 

One day, we saw a female leopard resting upon the tree along Maheke Road and on a leopardess sitting on the termite mound along Zebra Road. We tracked a leopardess with her two cubs along James Road, finding them with an impala carcass. They remained there for two days, as did the Spotted hyenas and Black-backed jackals who hung out on the periphery waiting for leftovers. 

One Spotted hyena was seen patrolling at Muddy Waters, but we heard them almost every night from camp. We saw lots of springhares and Lesser bushbabies during the night game drives with the spotlight. There have been great sightings of Small spotted genets hunting long James Road, and we also had the fantastic opportunity to watch the Black-backed jackals with their litter of four six-month-old puppies on the road connecting Zebra Pan and Grass Pan.

(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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