Pom Pom

Pom Pom Camp, March 2022

Two different packs of Wild Dogs have operated in the Pom Pom area. A group of ten wild dogs came hunting through the camp one day, and there was another pack of two adult dogs who preferred the airstrip territory. We saw them hunt and successfully kill impalas on several occasions. One early morning, we watched five hyenas being chased by the pack of ten wild dogs at Kessy’s field.

A group of twelve Spotted hyenas was seen at Rebecca’s field lying down near the big waterhole. Another clan was then repeatedly seen around the airstrip, and the den was located ten minutes away from camp near Bushman’s Baobab tree. 

Little lion cubs and leopard action

Pom Pom Camp has enjoyed plentiful meetings with the resident pride of four lionesses and one male. We have not witnessed any kill from the pride this month, but they were very successful and regularly feasted on Red lechwe. 

Guides noticed that three of the four lionesses were pregnant and two heavily so. Towards the end of the month, one gave birth on an island in the flood plain near the mokoro station. We estimate that the cubs are about a week old as we compile this report. Although we have not seen them, we have heard their squeaks and growls at the den site! Lions are born blind and weak, so they are kept in hiding until strong enough to join the pride.

Unlike antelope, lions have no particular breeding season, but they do synchronise their breeding so that mothers can mutually suckle each other’s cubs. 

We had amazing leopard action during March. One morning we saw four leopards in different locations! There is one adult female that is very relaxed. She was seen several times with her cub, often on the hunt. Another shy adult female has been roaming the camp area and she also has a sub-adult cub that is more relaxed. We saw a big male leopard on Mochimbamo island feeding on sub-adult female kudu up on a Rain Tree one day.

Camp has enjoyed plenty of wildlife. Spotted hyenas often walked past when guests were having their morning breakfast. Crocodiles have enjoyed sunning themselves by the waterhole out front and at night, the bushes around the campfire area come alive with the flickering lights of fireflies in a most romantic end to the day. Dragonflies and Banded groundlings have also been common, especially when we stop for our morning teas and sundowners.

Swimming pythons and pairs of Pel’s

There was little luck with cheetah sightings this month, but tracks have been detected in the area, which means they are around. Likewise, the reptiles were still active, and we came across plenty of snake tracks crossing the game drive routes but never glimpsed them. However, one day we did find a Southern African Python swimming in the water at one of the crossings in the flood plain near the mokoro station.

Scrub hares, Small-spotted genets, Side-striped jackals, Aardwolfs, porcupines, Honey badgers, African wild cats and Springhares were all logged during night drives. During the day, elephants (both breeding herd and bachelor herd groups), buffalos, giraffes, Tsessebe, Blue wildebeest, Kudus, Common reedbuck, Waterbuck, Bushbuck, Steenbok, Impalas, hippos and Plains zebras all enjoyed the lush grasses.

Birding has also been fantastic with plenty of waterbird activity. We spotted Wattled cranes, Saddle-billed storks, Black-winged stilts, African jacanas, Squacco herons, Goliath herons, Black egrets, Slaty egrets, Pied kingfishers and Black crakes. We have also had great fortune with sightings of Verreaux’s eagle owls and Pel’s fishing owls in the tree lines along the flood plains. We even found one pair of Pel’s in an open branch clearing one day, making for wonderful photographs.

(Note: Accompanying picture of Pel’s fishing-owls by guest René Gomes. The others 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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