Lebala

Lebala Camp, January 2022

We have discovered a Brown hyena den at Lebala Camp! Our expert guides noticed that a den seemed active, so Tom and Mayezi made a plan to get up extra early and stake it out. They were rewarded with the incredible sighting of a sub-adult returning home at 6.30am (typical teenager, you might say). During the rainy season, these shaggy creatures don’t have to travel as far to forage, so they can spend more time at the den, which has remained active. The Brown hyena has not been shy and guests have scored some great photographs! 

Nature is back to life. It has been beautifully green, the bush was covered in flowers, and rivers have risen slightly. Our summer months from December to March are classified as the Green Season thanks to these stunningly verdant landscapes. 

A pack of 10 wild dogs were located along Rosina Road, and they looked hungry and on the hunt, but we couldn’t watch them for long because they soon veered off into the thickets.

The general game has been excellent. We’ve witnessed congregations of several species drinking together at waterholes, including giraffes, zebras, elephants, wildebeest and impalas. Elephants have also entertained us with their mud bathing while wading birds sprinkled along the shores provided superb birdwatching during the morning coffee stops. Amur falcons have arrived in good numbers along with the African and Black cuckoo. Ground hornbills have also been very active, and we’ve noticed a few juvenile Yellow-billed and Saddle-billed storks. 

One morning game drive, we found three male lions resting around Skimmer Pan resting. They seemed tired as if they’d covered a lot of ground during the night. They gave us a terrific roar before getting up to a drink from a waterhole.

Back at camp, three other lionesses walked behind our base to the marsh area, and in the afternoon, we found them using the higher vantage of a dirt mound to scan for prey. On a different day, a buffalo stress call from behind the staff village alerted us to further lion activity. We found three male lions feeding on a buffalo the following morning, and they stayed put for almost three days. We also had three male lions feeding on a sub-adult hippo in front of the camp.

One afternoon, we tracked two male lions up to Mogobe Wa Seolo, where we found them resting. It was Old Gun and Sebastian. We waited with them until dusk when they marked the shift from day to night with a series of hair-raising roars. We then left them to continue our night drive. 

African wild cats have been seen in good numbers during the evening, but they have been typically shy and soon dart in the dark. Springhares, on the other hand, have been abundant. 

Fireflies also joined us on these night drives, and we often stopped the vehicles to enjoy the evening chorus. Bubbling kassina frogs make an incredible high-pitched liquid call, while the Angolan painted reed frog has a lighter tinker. The males of the latter species have to climb right to the top of their reed perch to sing their song so that some lucky female can better hear the call.   

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