Nxai Pan

Nxai Pan Camp, January 2022

Nxai Pan Summer

There was lots of lion activity at Nxai Pan this month. On a day trip to Baines’ Baobabs, Kwando guides came across a tower of giraffes, and all were looking in one direction, which can sometimes indicate predators nearby. Following this instinct, guides detected the Nxai Pan pride of 11 lions settled around the kill of male kudu. 

One dominant male was located east of Nxai Pan Camp, heading to the waterhole, and guests followed it in a vehicle. However, a few minutes later, a big herd of elephants disrupted its peaceful drink, chasing the lion until he eventually disappeared into the bushes.  

Two male lions were also seen at the other waterhole in the south, and the following morning we came across the Nxai Pan pride loping across the flourishing grasslands east of West Road. 

We did not see any leopard this month, but we did come across fresh tracks on the road to Baines’ Baobabs. Likewise, we didn’t have any cheetah sightings, and we only heard Spotted hyenas when they called during dinner time. We did notice an increase in reptile activity, however. We surprised a Black mamba basking in the sun on the side of the road to Baines’ Baobab and caught sight of a golden Cape cobra crossing the road. Guides also clocked a beautiful Boomslang on the West Road,  following it until it vanished into the tall grass.

A blossom of butterflies

Insect life thrived this month thanks to the plentiful pools of rainwater. There were pond skaters in the natural waterholes,  crickets and Tok-tokkie beetles scampered through the fields alongside the busy dung beetles that had to clean up after all the Plains zebra now milling about. We’ve been blessed with an abundance of butterflies too. Brown-veined white butterflies, Broad-bordered yellow grass and African monarch butterflies have been noted this month. 

Flowers have blossomed too, including Flannel weed, Jackal food, brightly coloured Flame lily and Cats tail. 

Zebra migration update

Kwando Safaris guide Matt reported, “An outstanding migration of zebras has arrived. The area is green everywhere, and we saw many animals in the pans with their young”. Nxai Pan has had excellent general game, and herbivores sighted include the jubilant springboks, gemsbok, red hartbeest, wildebeest, small groups kudu and large groups of giraffe, sometimes numbering 30 individuals in a group. 

Guests loved seeing the Bat-eared foxes with their two cubs. They had created a burrow at the side of a termite mound close to the road. We also located an aardwolf, and a Honey badger visited the camp behind the kitchen near the water tanks. Scrub hare and Black-backed jackal were seen regularly on early morning drives. 

Migratory birds such as the Steppe buzzard, European and Blue-cheeked bee-eater, European roller, Greater snipe, Barn swallow and Denhams Busard were all seen across the skies. We also enjoyed watching a Black-chested snake eagle feeding on a Striped skink and Tawny eagles feeding on termites. Birding became action-packed one day when we found a White-backed vulture fighting a Lappet-faced vulture over an elephant carcass.

(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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