Pom Pom

Pom Pom Camp, January 2022

Jackals Okavango Delta

As well as regular encounters with the resident Pom Pom Pride, there was further outstanding cat action in this rich region of the Okavango Delta this green season. Dalton reported that “we had beautiful sightings of lions and leopards in Pom Pom Reserve” during January.

Much to the delight of our guests, we saw four leopards in different locations in just one morning. We first found two male leopards and then a female leopard with a cub (roughly two years old) feeding on a male impala in the fork of a Sausage Tree. On another day, we visited a big male leopard in Mochimbamo island feeding on a sub-adult female kudu,  safely stored in the boughs of a towering Rain tree.

We came across three new lions in our area (a coalition of two lionesses and one big male). Dalton estimated that the lionesses must have been roughly four years old and that the big male aged about eight. The king of the carnivores can live up to 14 or 15 years if he is very successful, but males are often killed in territorial disputes at the age of ten. This guy was in his prime. On another game drive, we found a romantic couple that had snuck away from the rest of the Pom Pom Pride. The lioness and big male were mating at Zeppa, near the mokoro station.  

Another morning, we picked up on the tracks of a pride at Rebecca’s field heading to the North-East of Xinega. We followed the paw prints for about two hours before locating four lionesses and a male lion resting under a big Jackal berry tree. One of the most prominent species in the Delta, the majestic Jackal berry trees were covered in creamy white flowers at this time of year.  

We also found a clan of twelve Spotted hyenas at Rebecca’s field lying down near a vast waterhole and on another early morning, we watched five hyenas being chased by a pack of ten wild dogs!

We saw this pack again at Kessy’s Field hunting impala without success because the tall grass and wild sage proved too tricky to move through at their famously dangerous pace. We’ve also noticed a small pack of two wild dogs that tend to move between the airstrip, Manonthoto and the camp, and to Pom Pom Camp’s northeast.

Scrub hare, Small spotted genet, African wild cat, Springhare and Side-striped jackal were all recorded during night drives. Dalton recalled the creative ways jackals fill their bellies in this months report. “Jackals live alone or in pairs that stay together for life. They can locate carrion by smell when they are downwind, but also by sounds of large carnivores fighting for food (we call this intra-specific competition). Jackals drink water if they can, but they can go for some time without because they often feed on fruits. They are very clever”.  

General game included elephants (breeding herds and bachelors), buffalo, giraffe, tsessebe,  Blue wildebeest, kudu, Common reedbuck, Waterbuck, Bushbuck, Steenbok, Common duiker, Red lechwe, Impala, hippo and zebra.

(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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