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Lagoon Camp, April 2022

The Aardwolf sightings have been incredible around Mabala-a-Matlotse and Mosheshe areas! Bat-eared foxes, Yellow, Dwarf, Banded and White-tailed mongooses, and Civets, genets and Porcupines all seemed to favour the insect-rich area too.

The Holy Pride had split up for a while, but the lions located each other this month again. Once, we tracked the pride to Grass Pan and found the leftover carcass of a Blue wildebeest, where we also identified the tracks of more lions. These belonged to the three northern boys, who had chased the Holy Pride off their kill. The Holy Pride were otherwise successful, and we frequently encountered them feeding on zebra and Red lechwes. 

Lion Sighting Lebala Camp

We also uncovered the Mma Dikolobe pride. They had been pushed over to the Lebala side of the Kwando Private Reserve by these same Northern Boys, which come from the Rra Leitho Coalition. The Mma Mosetlha pride was not often seen, but we did come across them once at the airstrip, and one appeared to be lactating, which is a sure indicator of cubs stashed somewhere. 

A mother leopard and her two cubs were spotted in different places, but often on male impala carcasses that the female favours. We also located another heavily pregnant leopard busy chasing away a subadult female and a big male leopard that was also repeatedly seen. 

The Spotted hyenas were busy this April and captured many kills from other animals. We found four of them feeding an impala killed by cheetahs, seven finishing an antelope felled by a leopard, and countless animals moved in and out of the carcass of a hippo, which lost its life in a territorial dispute. The male hippo had a deep wound on its chest before it died, which took three long days where it stayed totally out of the water. 

The resident pack of wild dogs was found hunting along the airstrip areas but they were unsuccessful in landing a meal. We also found that one of the nine dogs is missing and counted just five subadults, one adult plus the alpha pair. They were seen again on Main Road feeding on a male Red lechwe and several times throughout the month in search of prey. 

Lebala Camp Cheetah Territory

The two cheetah brothers marked their posts and actively sniffed out their territory before completing their circuit beyond our boundaries. Cheetahs will leave calling cards on prominent landmarks, such as termite mounds and big trees to tell other males that they were in the area. Being able to assess these markings for freshness also helps inform our guides where to look for the cheetah next!

Pearl-spotted owlets, Brown snake-eagles, Ostriches, Wattled cranes, and Ground hornbills were commonly seen out on the game drives along with zebra, Hippo, Sable, Eland and Kudus, among many other antelopes species as well as different breeding herds of elephants. 

Sublime autumn stargazing

The night sky has been incredible because we have experienced fewer cloudy skies as we move closer to winter. Most trees and grasses have slowly started to lose their colours as we start the day off in colder mornings. The Milky Way was crystal clear, and guests could identify several constellations lying in our galaxy. The early mornings were even more ideal because we could watch the planets around the fire with coffee in hand. After all, they are typically the last night lights to peter out, and we watched as Venus and Jupiter grew closer together every day. Mars and Saturn, on the other hand, widened their gap from the rest.

(Please note: For the safety of the animals, we do not disclose the location of either rhino or pangolin sightings. 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!)