Pom Pom

Pom Pom Camp, April 2022

One of the Pom Pom pride lionesses bore a litter of five cubs, and they are about three weeks old as we compile this report. We often found them stashed safely into the dense foliage of Magic Guarri bushes as the mother went out to hunt.

Pom Pom Camp Mokoro

The waterholes fed by the rainwater have started to dry up, which concentrated the waterbird species as they clamoured for the food in these pools. Hamerkops, Egyptian and Spur-winged Geese, plus many Kingfisher species, have enjoyed the feast. Meanwhile, the floodwaters have started making their way toward our camp, and we have enjoyed hour-long mokoro rides as we wait for the inundation to reach us.

The vegetation was very thick, and most trees were covered with green leaves, such as the Large fever berry, Sausage tree and Jackal berry. It won’t be long until they start to turn with the autumn season. The grass is also tall, with species such as Cottonwool, Burr bristle, Riverbed and Yellow spike grasses standing high. We had a bush fire that burned along the south towards the edge of the airstrip, but we kept it under safe control, and it’s sure to yield a lush landscape as soon as the floods recede.

A Spotted hyena den close to camp?

There have been superb sightings of Spotted hyena, and we suspect that they have a den just a few hundred meters from Tent One. Most mornings and early evenings on our way to the airstrip, we found at least six of them resting in the area, often moving in and out of the thick bush.

Kwando Safaris guides located a female cheetah with two sub-adult males to the west of the camp, and we have detected one particular female leopard that liked the trees around our camp area. Sometimes, we heard Impalas making alarm calls during dinner, and the following day we would discover her tracks on the camp paths. One morning, we followed these fresh tracks and found the cat, staying with her until she successfully stalked and killed an impala. The same drive resumed, and these lucky guests found themselves in yet another leopard sighting just a kilometre away, where another female was feeding on an impala.

We’re expecting!

We still see a pair of wild dogs that reside in the southern section of the Pom Pom Reserve and the pack of ten that prefers the north. Both packs are very successful hunters, and it looks like the pair of dogs are expecting puppies soon!

Night drives have delivered sightings of African civet, African wild cat, Serval, Scrub hare, Genets, Springhares and Side-striped Jackals. During the day, we have noticed an increasing number of Red lechwes and Tsessebes as they start to assemble into bigger herds. Giraffes, lonely buffalo bulls, elephants and zebra were frequently admired from the 4WD vehicles.

We also guided some fantastic morning walks in the northern region of the reserve. During this activity, it’s much easier to examine and understand the subtle differences between animal tracks. For example, is that paw print a heavy male leopard? Or just a well-built lioness? And when did they pass through? It’s also an ideal way to better glimpse the indigenous plants and learn about their many medicinal uses.

(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!)

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