Pom Pom

Pom Pom Camp, February 2022

Lucky guests saw three different leopards in a day this month! We first came across a handsome male resting on the termite mound, and then, just as it started getting dark, our spotlights shone on a female with her sub-adult cub by Kessy’s Field. The mother was clearly expecting her next litter, and we felt she was trying (without much success) to persuade her cub to move out. Two different female leopards were also seen in the Pom Pom Camp surroundings. One day, we discovered one of them being harassed by three Spotted hyenas, but she managed to keep her kill safely out of their scavenging paws. 

The Pom Pom pack in camp

There were regular sightings of the pack of two African wild dogs and an additional pack of 10 that frequented the area. We witnessed a kill right in front of the camp when the ten-strong group managed to nab an impala opposite tent one. They first gave the puppies a chance to feed for a few minutes before the adults moved in to eat. The puppies certainly are the most privileged individuals in the pack! We enjoyed watching the pack dynamics until suddenly, six Spotted hyenas arrived on the scene to steal the meal. It was not easy for them because the dogs outnumbered hyenas, and the united pack managed to keep the clan off their dinner. 

Pom Pom Camp Wildlife

Plenty of hippos enjoyed the water in front of the central area, and they graced us with their presence and guffaws throughout February. We also saw plenty of other huge herbivores on our early morning and late afternoon game drives. We noticed particularly large breeding herds of elephants, and the usual zebras, giraffes, Red lechwes, buffalos, Impalas, Kudus and Tsessebes. Then there was the enchanting acrobatics of the baboons and monkeys, which provided terrific entertainment during the hotter hours of the day. 

Hippo Pom Pom Camp

Night drives were just as good, with the highlight being several encounters with the little insect-eating Aardwolf. Not only is this nocturnal creature an insectivore, but it feeds on a particular type of termite, which is likewise active at night. Isn’t our natural world astonishing? Night drives also yielded fantastic sightings of the Small spotted genet, African wild cat, Side-striped Jackal, African civet, and porcupines. 

The birdlife in camp was also excellent. Many species found shelter in our tall forest trees that beautifully shade the tents. The Blue waxbill and Common waxbill were frequently identified, along with White-bellied sunbirds, Southern masked weavers, Golden weavers, Verreaux’s eagle owl and the ever-present Fish eagles plus the Yellow-billed stork. Elsewhere we logged Malachite kingfishers, Black heron, African jacana and Pel’s fishing owl.

We often saw a coalition of three cheetahs along Manontlhotlho area. We also noticed some tracks around Letswai area and Kessy’s Field. A young male lion was frequently seen and easily identified due to an injured hind leg. He scored the wound during a territorial tussle with bigger males over a giraffe kill. Another pride of five males and four lions have occupied the northwest areas of Pom Pom, and we often located them on the move, hunting at night. We’ve kept a close eye on the lionesses because three are heavily pregnant. We can’t wait to see their cubs! 

(Note: Accompanying pictures are 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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